Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently put to the Joe Taxpayer blog:
Should you ever get tired of Rob’s schtick, or decide that you’d rather not have him be a guest blogger for you, he will make up similar stories about you.
I will tell the truth about Joe just as I have told the truth about so many others. If that’s the point you are trying to male here, you are right on. Perhaps they should put a sign on my back saying “Beware! This fellow has told the truth before and there is every reason in the world to believe that he will do it again! Beware all ye who participate in the greatest act of financial fraud in the history of the United States!”
Why do I make such a fetish out of telling the truth?
Because it was our collective dishonesty that caused the economic crisis.
Some are going to blame Jack Bogle. Some are going to blame Eugene Fama. Some are going to blame John Greaney. Some are going to blame Mel Linduaer.
They all played a role. They all did bad things.
But why is it that Jack Bogle is so darn reluctant to disassociate himself from the most vile Goons ever seen in the history of the internet?
HE WANTS TO BE POPULAR.
HE WANTS TO SELL STUFF. TO SELL STUFF, PEOPLE HAVE TO LIKE YOU.
So don’t we need to acknowledge that the people buying stuff played a role in all this? Didn’t those millions of middle-class people that I am always referring to sympathetically play a role in causing their own destruction?
It sure seems so to me.
We are ALL Goons!
To some extent. We all have that goon thing going on inside us. We are all drawn to Get Rich Quick. We all like to hear about the pretty Buy-and-Hold lies.
I said “all.”
“All” includes a certain fellow named “Rob Bennett.” Am I a Goon too?
I knew about the errors in the Old School SWR studies when I put my first post to the Motley Fool board, in May 1999. I didn’t put forward my famous post detailing them until the morning of May 13, 2002.
It’s The Invasion of the Body Snatchers come to life!
We’re all Goons.
We need to acknowledge it.
Doing so is the key to long-term investing success.
If we acknowledge that we are all Goons, we can let this honest posting junk that I am forever talking about run wild and we can all retire many years sooner than we ever before imagined possible.
But, yes, that is the price of admission.
If we do not give ourselves permission to talk about our inner goonishness, we obviously cannot protect ourselves from the effects of our inner gooinishness. And it is our inner goonishness (our desire to believe that Buy-and-Hold can work for someone, somewhere, sometime) that is responsible for 70 percent of the risk of stock investing. If we want to see 70 percent of the risk of stock investing disappear, we need to see 70 percent of our inner goonishness disappear. That means calling out goonishness everywhere we see it, That means telling the truth about others.
I’ll tell the truth about Joe. And I’ll continue to tell the truth about Jack. And Bill. And Larry And Rick. And — if I am true to myself and my beliefs — about that awful Rob character. The fellow who could stand to lose a few pounds. The fellow who was nervous about standing before a crowd of his friends and giving his Ignite presentation. The loser. The nutcase. The fellow who continually forgets to take his meds.
That guy! Goon!
And Joe probably too. I’ve never seen any evidence of it. But we never know what evil lurks in the heart of the friendliest guy in the world, do we?
That Wade fellow sure had me fooled for a time. Grrrr…
Rob the Goon