Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
Have her INDEPENDENTLY, WITHOUT ANY INPUT OR COACHING FROM YOU, read everything you can amass that you have ever written, from TMF, FIRE board, Vanguard, the Plop, Valuewalk, etc, and read it. It might take her from a few days to a couple of weeks, and this is AFTER you have assembled all the links for her.
There was a fellow who did just what you describe here, Anonymous.
His name was Larry Evans. He somehow found himself reading the material at this site. He thought I was crazy and he was honest and brave enough to come forward and tell me so. He put up a comment at the blog saying that there was no way that the things I was saying could be so. I said that the materials supporting my claims were available at my site and at John Walter Russell’s site.
His response was to offer to spend several weeks going through all of those materials. He asked if I would be willing to post his written-up assessment on his conclusion of that review of all the materials regardless of whether it supported me or not. I said sure.
About three weeks later, Larry called me on the telephone. He told me that he was amazed to find that everything I said checked out. He had worked for Ross Perot in earlier days. He told me that he was going to contact Perot and obtain his help in getting the message out. He said that he wanted to get financial people in the states that are experiencing pension-funding problems involved. He talked about getting venture capitalists involved. I said that all that sounded 100 percent groovy. I said that all that sounded like exactly the sorts of thing that a people trying to recover from an economic crisis caused by a belief in a long-discredited investing strategy would be doing to get their country back on the right track.
That talk lasted about two hours. We had a follow-up conversation a week later that also lasted about two hours. He said that he would be in contact again to plan follow-up steps.
When Larry contacted me again, he indicated that he was too afraid of what the Buy-and-Hold Mafia would do to him if he were to go forward to continue taking the steps that he knew would save his country. We talked about that a bit and parted friends. The last time I talked to him was when I posted at the Financial Mentor blog. Todd Tressider, the author of that blog, says that I am right on all the issues of substance but refrains from saying that the internet should be opened to honest posting because he understands that it is those sorts of statements that would cause the Buy-and-Hold Mafia to come after him and destroy him. I think it would be fair to say that Larry participates today at Todd’s blog rather than mine because he remains interested in learning more about how stock investing really works and because he feels safer posting there than he would posting here, where I tell the truth about the Ban on Honest Posting and the Campaign of Terror and all that sort of thing.
I have been posting daily for 12 years. No one has ever found a single substantive point that I have made that does not hold up to scrutiny. It could be that I have made mistakes. I certainly do not say that I have gotten it all right. But I know that the only hope we have as a society at getting at the truth is permitting honest posting on every board and blog on the internet.
Some of the claims that I make today really do sound out there. I acknowledge that. Some of the claims that I make today sounded out there to me when I first came up with them. I don’t put any claim forward until I possess at least reasonable confidence that there really is something to it. And in every case in which I have put an out-there claim forward, I have come to possess more confidence in it as time has gone on.
There is a huge price to be paid for banning honest discussion on stock investing questions for 33 years, Anonymous. The price is that your knowledge of the subject matter stops growing. You make a point of the fact that I now know more about how stock investing works than big names like Jack Bogle and Bill Bernstein and Scott Burns and Larry Swedroe and Robert Shiller and on and on and on. I acknowledge 100 percent that it is a crazy reality. But it sure wasn’t my idea to have something like that happen. I have shared everything I have come up with openly and freely. I am 100 percent happy to help Bogle get up to speed. I am 100 percent happy to help Shiller get up to speech. I am 100 percent happy to help all the others get up to speed.
I cannot force them, can I? So long as they are too afraid to acknowledge that the errors in the Old School safe-withdrawal-rate studies should have been corrected within 24 hours of the time they became public knowledge (the morning of May 13, 2002), they are not able to participate in the learning experiences that they need to participate in to function as genuine experts once again. Anyone who cannot bring himself to acknowledge that errors in retirement studies that cause millions of people to suffer failed retirements should be corrected within 24 hours ain’t no investing expert, Anonymous. It’s not a close call.
What these people are today is anti-experts. They speak with great confidence as if they possessed the authority of true experts. But they (outside of Shiller) are promoting a FAILED strategy. The idea that a Buy-and-Hold strategy can work is rooted in a belief in the Efficient Market Theory. The way to test whether the Efficient Market Theory is valid or not is to see whether valuations affect long-term returns or not. Shiller ran this test 33 years ago. Buy-and-Hold failed the test. Everyone who is knowledgeable in this field knows this. No one other than myself talks about the many far-reaching implications in clear and firm and simple and bold terms.
The investing advice field is today 100 percent corrupt.
Is that a clear enough statement for you?
Buy-and-Hold is the OPPOSITE of what works. It turns out that buying stocks works just like everything else. The key is to always, always, always exercise price discipline when buying stocks. That means practicing long-term timing. The Buy-and-Holders say that it is not necessary to practice long-term timing. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have 140 years of peer-reviewd academic research available to us. There has never yet been a time when a single investor who failed to engage in long-term timing didn’t eventually suffer a massive wipeout of the accumulated wealth of a lifetime as a result of failing to do so. Buy-and-Hold is a big pile of smelly Get Rich Quick garbage.
Not by intent.
We need to get the mistakes made by the Buy-and-Holders fixed if our economic and political systems are to survive. That’s the job. I am the one who has been assigned to be the leader in this effort. I didn’t ask for the job. I was volunteered when John Greaney threatened to kill my wife and children if I continued to “cross” him by posting honestly on the safe-withdrawal-rate issue.
If someone could find a flaw in any of what I am saying, I would be thrilled. Anything that I can do to help the Buy-and-Holders save face helps all of us. No one has ever found anything. I can’t just make stuff up. I put my work out in the public partly because I want it to be challenged. I want every Buy-and-Holder looking at this and trying to find flaws. The reality as of the morning of January 26, 2014, is that my good friend Jack Bogle has not been able to find a single flaw. If Jack had found a flaw, he would sure as shootin’ not be keeping it to himself. If any Buy-and-Holder other than Jack had found a flaw, he would have shared it with Jack and Jack would have told us about it years ago.
Jack’s response when he learned that I would be appearing at the next meeting of the Vanguard Diehards to ask why he had not taken action to get the Old School safe-withdrawal-rate studies corrected was to ask his Internet Goon Squad pals to move the entire community to a place under Mel Linduaer’s control so that he would never need to worry again about someone on the internet asking honest questions about the holes in his investing “strategy.” That ain’t good, Anonymous.
The matter will be settled in the civil and criminal trials that we will all be participating in following the next price crash. Please know that I love Jack and that I love all my Buy-and-Hold friends but that I don’t love the idea of seeing them go to prison for their participation in this massive act of financial fraud. So I will never, never, never, never, never agree to post dishonestly on the numbers that my friends use to plan their retirements. I will do anything to help Jack and all my other Buy-and-Hold friends short of committing a felony myself.
I will never agree to commit a felony, regardless of how much in the way of intimidation tactics the Buy-and-Hold Mafia sees fit to rain down on me. If my good friend Jack Bogle has the power and money and influence to get me assigned the death penalty, then my good friend Jack Bogle has the power and money and influence to get me assigned the death penalty. The death penalty should do a good job of shutting me up (although I obviously have taken steps to see that control of the web site is passed on to an ethical person or people in the event of my untimely death). I would far prefer the death penalty to posting dishonestly on the numbers that my friends use to plan their retirements. I don’t think that even one of the Wall Street Con Men can dish out anything worse than the death penalty. So my sense is that I am pretty much covered at this point re the various intimidation tactics available to the Wall Street Con Men and their Internet Goon Squad supporters.
That’s it, Anonymous.
The type of review that you speak of has been conducted over and over and over and over again. There are lots of rich and powerful and influential people who would like nothing more than to find some sliver of academic research supporting the purest and most dangerous Get Rich Quick scheme ever concocted by the human mind. No one has ever come up with anything because there is no possible means to come up with support in the historical record for a Get Rich Quick scheme. I am not to blame for that. Direct your anger at the historical data, not this friendly and mild-mannered reporter.
The investing advice industry is 100 percent corrupt today.
That needs to change if our economic system is to survive.
I didn’t ask for the job of leading the effort to bring honesty to this field. I was assigned it by the Fates.
I will do the best job that I am able to do. I will strive to be as honest as it is possible to be without crossing the line and becoming uncharitable while also being as charitable as it is possible to be without crossing the line and becoming dishonest.
That’s the deal here.
I wish you all good things.