“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% of the Books Written in This Field. Why Not Get About the Important Business of Doing All That Good Stuff and Make Lots of Money Doing It?”

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!)

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  1. Anonymous says


    You are free to write your own book and sell it. Let’s see who wants to buy it.

  2. Rob says

    I am free to go to every investing board and blog on the internet and tell people what the last 33 years of peer-reviewed academic research says and thereby promote that book.

    You are free to commit financial fraud to stop me and then to spend the last years of your life in a prison cell.

    I am free to do what I can to get your prison term reduced while refusing to give an inch on my demand for recognition of my right to post honestly re safe withdrawal rates and hundreds of other critically important investment-related topics.

    I am also free to wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors, whether they take place in a prison cell or not.


  3. The Pink Unicorn says

    According to you, the market and economy is going to crash and large numbers of people will be in prison, so no one will have any money to buy your books.

  4. Rob says

    There won’t be a large number in prison — just you Goons. But a good number of you are friends of mine from the days before I pointed out the errors in the Old School SWR studies. So it hurts me that things have gone in that direction.

    I do worry about what the crash will do to our economy. That is my biggest fear. I can get the investing stuff 100 percent right and still turn up losers if we go into the Second Great Depression.

    The advances that we have achieved but not publicized over the past 33 years are huge. I think it is entirely possible that we could avoid a Second Great Depression or quickly exit one we fail to avoid if we all work together to get accurate information on how to invest out to people. So I remain cautiously optimistic about where things are headed.

    But it would be fair to say that an economic collapse is my biggest fear. Even many people who have grave doubts about Buy-and-Hold underplay this factor. Wade is in that group. I think that underplaying it is the worst thing to do. You want to prevent an economic collapse, not ignore the possibility that we are heading into one.

    But, strangely enough, not everybody listens to every thing I say, Pink. WhaChaGonDo?


  5. Rob says

    I’m not able to say, Anonymous. It’s not my place to say. There are juries that will decide that.

    People who advocate Buy-and-Hold and leave it at that will not be going to prison. I advocated Buy-and-Hold on the morning of May 13, 2002. I sure don’t think that I will be going to prison. John Walter Russell was a Buy-and-Holder when we met. Wade Pfau was a Buy-and-Holder when we met.

    You Goons have advanced death threats and demands for unjustified board bannings and tens of thousands of acts of defamation and threats to get academic researchers fired from their jobs. You have thereby caused millions of failed retirements. You have caused an economic crisis. I think it would be fair to say that you Goons are obviously going to prison. Is that not so?

    There are some people in a middle ground. There are people who have not themselves engaged in intimidation or deception to keep people from learning about the dangers of Buy-and-Hold but who have permitted you Goons to appear at their sites. Will those people go to prison? I don’t know. Evidence will be presented to juries. Questions will be asked under oath and the juries will listen to the answers and make their decisions.

    Instead of seeking a count of the number going to prison, you should be trying to get the number going to prison reduced while there’s still time to do that. It is these misplaced priorities of yours that are the problem. Had you been more concerned about getting the word out about the errors in the Old School SWR studies and less about covering up those errors, there would be nobody going to prison. As I told you at the time when prison sentences were still not a certainty.

    You destroy millions of middle-class lives with criminal acts, you go to prison. That’s how the system works. Can you really say you are surprised to learn this?

    You’re not surprised. You’re just upset that you have not been able to intimidate me into covering up the evidence.

    I care about you. But I care about the millions of lives you have destroyed too.

    I suggest that you stop worrying about how many will be going to prison and start focusing on the fact that you are one of the ones who will be.


  6. The Pink Unicorn says


    For me, I will keep doing what I am doing, because it has worked for me with long term results, just like it has for others like me. We do what works.

    I am sure you will keep doing what you are doing.

  7. Rob says

    You are of course 100 percent correct to keep doing what you think works for you, Pink. I certainly would not want it any other way. I don’t offer any guarantees on VII, you know.

    And, yes, I will of course keep doing what I think works as well.

    My best wishes to you.


  8. says

    Rob says “I am free to go to every investing board and blog on the internet and tell people what the last 33 years of peer-reviewed academic research says and thereby promote that book.”

    This is your problem, in a nutshell.

    You don’t understand (or more properly don’t respect) boundaries, even those codified into law, when your ego tells you to go ahead violate those limits.

    It’s a very bad thing Rob.

    That’s exactly why you are called megalomaniacal, insane, obstinate, and banned just about everywhere you appear.

    Not Goons. No Campaign of Terror. It’s not Wade, or Bogle, or Swedroe, or Lindauer, or Greany.

    Just you.

    Nothing more and nothing less than your own ill-advised and reckless actions.

  9. Rob says

    Rosa Parks didn’t respect those darn boundaries either, did she?

    Buy-and-Hold is a lie. It didn’t start out that way. It started out with good intent and great promise. It became a lie on the day in 1981 when Robert Shiller published his “revolutionary” (his word) research showing that valuations affect long-term returns. From that day forward, no one had to ask “Mother, May I?” before pointing out that Buy-and-Hold is a big pile of smelly garbage, Helper. From that day forward, all of those of us who knew the realities were under a patriotic obligation to do whatever was in their power to get the word out to the millions of middle-class investors who need to know what the peer-reviewed academic research says about how they need to go about investing their retirement money.

    There are now millions of people on the road to seeing their retirements fail as a result of your 12-year Campaign of Terror against our board and blog communities. There are now millions of people unemployed because of the economic crisis brought on by the reckless and relentless and ruthless promotion of the Buy-and-Hold “strategy” for 33 years after it was entirely discredited by the peer-reviewed academic research in this field.

    Do lots of people experience pain when they hear the truth about stock investing? They do. Not because there is anything wrong with me or anyone else telling people the truth about stock investing. They feel pain because they have been lied to for so long and have lost so much money as a result of their belief in the lies that the “experts” were telling them. I ain’t no investing expert. But I’m honest. That puts me a few big steps ahead of a lot of the Big Shots in this field.

    Everyone is going to be telling the truth following the next crash. Everyone would like to be telling the truth today. People in this field are like people in any other field. They want to help people. They hate being put in circumstances in which they are forced to cause so much human misery. Who do you think is going to put forward a word in defense of you Goons when everyone had made the flip to telling the truth, Helper? You’re going to be in a darn lonely place in the not-too-distant future. If you thought the emotional reaction to me was bad, wait until you see the emotional reaction that will be directed by millions at you after they lose most of their retirement money.

    I crossed some boundaries. I was the first person on the Planet who got sufficiently disgusted by the human misery you Goons were causing that I posted honestly on the numbers that people use to plan their retirements. I noticed that I haven’t been the last. The same dynamic will play out in all the areas that people need to know about to invest effectively. You watch and see if it doesn’t, my Goon friend.

    Call me all your names. The people who come to this site following the next crash will call me names I have earned — names like “honest” and “real” and “friend.” There are MILLIONS of people in the market for honest investing advice today. I will be one of the richest people on this planet. And I will have the satisfaction of knowing that I earned every dime. Honest investing advice helps people. Buy-and-Hold Lies hurt people.

    My actions were reckless because I went up against the most corrupt group of Wall Street Con Men in history.

    So be it.

    I apologize for nothing.

    I will continue posting honestly on safe withdrawal rates and many other critically important investment-related topics.

    I will tell the entire story to anyone who shows an interest in hearing it. Spread my name all over the internet and I will be eternally grateful. I have zero to hide and a powerful desire to get the word out about this to everyone on the planet.

    My best wishes to you, my soon-to-be-prison-dwelling friend. Please let me know any time I can help you out with something.


  10. Rob says

    If I didn’t work up the courage to cross those boundaries, who the heck was going to do it?

    It’s been 33 years.


  11. Anonymous says


    You are NOT anything like Rosa Parks. There is nothing even remotely similar. In fact, brining it up is an insult to those involved in the civil rights movement.

  12. Rob says

    That’s exactly why you are called megalomaniacal, insane, obstinate, and banned just about everywhere you appear.

    People working a con always hate the obstinate ones.

    I wonder why.


  13. Rob says

    Why don’t you ask one of your Wall Street Con Men pals to sue me, Helper?

    That might work. You never know.

    If you don’t, people might become less afraid of you as time goes on.



  14. Rob says

    You are NOT anything like Rosa Parks.

    I have a funny feeling that Jack Bogle will have a different take when he again feels safe to post honestly on investing topics.

    And I have a funny feeling that Bill Bernstein will have a different take when he again feels safe to pot honestly on investing topics.

    And I have a funny feeling that Scott Burns will have a different take when he again feels safe to post honestly on investing topics.

    And I have a funny feeling that Larry Swedroe wll have a different take when he again feels safe to post honestly on investing topics.

    Time will tell the tale, my abusive-posting, Buy-and-Hold friend.


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