Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently put to the Joe Taxpayer blog:
If he (like so many others) eventually decides to ban you, will that make him an apostate?
I’ll tell the truth.
Carl Richards, who writes a blog for the New York Times, said that my site was the best investing site he has ever seen. He said that he has read everything about Valuation-Informed Indexing that he can get his hands on. He said that my work has “huge value.” And he banned me from his site.
Jack Bogle is the fellow who told me what I needed to know to understand why the Old School safe withdrawal rate studies get the numbers wildly wrong. Jack didn’t lift a finger when Mel threatened physical violence against anyone who dared to “cross” him by posting honestly at the Bogleheads Forum.
Bill Bernstein said in response to an e-mail from one of you Goons that “of course the methodology used in the Old School SWR studies is analytically valid.” In the same e-mail, he said that anyone who gave consideration to using one of those studies to plan a retirement was out of his gourd. That’s what I meant when I said that the studies were “analytically invalid”! The term “analytically invalid” is my shorthand way of saying that those studies got the numbers so wildly wrong that anyone who used one to plan a retirement would have to be out of his or her freakin’ gourd.
So me and Bill were saying the same thing in slightly different ways.As were me and Bogle. As were me and Richards. As were me and lots of people.
Why do all these people say things in a slightly different way than I do?
I don’t see what purpose is served with all the deception. We all agree that there has never been a sliver of support in the peer-reviewed academic research for Buy-and-Hold, right? We all agree that the ruthless promotion of Buy-and-Hold strategies by the Wall Street Con Men has caused four economic crises, right? We all agree that millions of our friends and neighbors and co-workers will be seeing their retirements fail because of the 11-year cover-up of the errors in the Old School retirement studies, right?
Why not just say that? Isn’t saying it clearly and plainly and frankly the quickest way to solve the problem?
There’s obviously a huge amount of money to be made telling the truth about stock investing. We are going to need to replace 95 percent of the books written in this field and 95 percent of the calculators published in this field and 95 percent of the current experts in this field. Why not get about the important business of doing all that good stuff? and have lots of fun doing it and make lots of money doing it?
Are we waiting for someone to ring a bell? Is there some advantage to be gained by holding off for a bit? If there is, my feeble human brain is sure not able to imagine what it might be.Maybe your far superior Goon brain has come up with something. If so, I would be grateful if you would fill me in.
We have filled millions of people’s heads up with Get RIch Quick nonsense. Those people are hurting. They don’t want to hear what the research says. It makes them very, very angry for people to report honestly what the research says. I get that part loud and clear.
But aren’t we just making things worse by holding off?
We are going to have to tell them the truth eventually, no? We don’t really want to live through the Second Great Depression, do we?
Are they not going to be ten times MORE angry if we tell them the truth AFTER they lose another 65 percent of their life savings as they would be if we told them today?
I am not out to “get” Bogle or Lindauer or Greaney or Phau or anyone else. I am trying to SOLVE A PROBLEM that every single one of us should want solved.
To solve the problem, we need to tell people the truth. So that’s what I do.
Do I say that Jack Bogle is a genius and that he discovered dozens of the powerful insights around which I built the Valuation-Informed Indexing concept? I do. Why? Because I want to flatter the big guy? No! I do it because it is the truth.
So why do I ALSO mention that Jack has permitted his name to be used at a discussion board at which the sorts of individuals who have put up posts in “defense” of Mel Linduaer and John Greaney are permitted to post? Same reason. It’s the truth!
I am just a mild-mannered reporter, you know? I report stuff. I report good stuff and bad stuff, whatever happens. I PREFER to report good stuff about my Buy-and-Hold friends. I am human. How could I not prefer to report good stuff about them?
But I cannot just make stuff up. I need them to DO good stuff for me to be able to REPORT good stuff. They need to give me some material to work with. When they do — bam! — you see that good stuff reported on at old Rob’s site, just like I always promised.
I HAVE reported bad stuff about people whom I admire greatly. That HAS happened.
I WOULD like it to stop.
But I do not CONTROL whether it stops or not.
I can realize my great desire to stop filing these negative reports when all these people I admire and respect and even love STOP PUTTING UP POSTS IN “DEFENSE OF MEL LINDAUER AND JOHN GREANEY.’
Do you see?
I report what happens. We need to have these good people STAND UP TO YOU GOONS for good things to happen. So I always urge everyone with whom I come into contact to stand up to you. But I do NOT control the behavior of other people. People do what they do. People do not always listen to what I say. Go figure.
Rob the All-Powerful (Not!)