Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
|Rob, you seem to be alone in this VII crusade. Haven’t you ever considered that you might be wrong about this?I have considered whether I might be wrong and looked for evidence to support that view every day of the past 12 years of my life, Sensible.I am not alone.
My work is rooted in the research of Yale Economics Professor Robert Shiller. Shiller was awarded the Nobel prize in Economics last year. Having the support of a winner of the Nobel prize in Economics ain’t being alone.
I am the co-author of the most important piece of peer-reviewed research published in this field in the past 30 years. Having your name on a piece of research that shows millions of middle-class investors how to reduce the risk of stock investing by 70 percent ain’t being alone.
I have over 200 quotes posted at the “People Are Talking” section of the site. Many of the quotes are by top-name experts in the field. Having that many supportive quotes by top-name experts ain’t being alone.
Jack Bogle, whom I rank as the second most important figure in this field, thinks enough of my work that he went along with having the entire Bogleheads Forum moved to another location rather than take the risk of appearing at an event with me in which he would be expected to respond in an effective way to my questioning. Impressing the second most important figure in the field to that extent ain’t being alone.
Former Financial Analysts Journal Editor Rob Arnott wrote me to tell me that my investing ideas are “sound.” That ain’t being alone.
Thousands of my fellow community members have expressed a desire that honest posting be permitted on our boards and blogs so that they can hear what I have to say about how investing works. That ain’t being alone.
Millions of people lost their jobs in this economic crisis, an economic crisis that my work shows was caused by the reckless promotion of Buy-and-Hold strategies. Those millions all want what I have to offer to become known to every person on this planet. That ain’t being alone.
Thousands of entrepreneurs saw their businesses fail in the Buy-and-Hold Crisis. Those thousands want what I have to offer to become known to every person on this planet. That ain’t being alone.
Millions of people from both the left (The Occupy Wall Street Movement) and the right (The Tea Party Movement) have begun to lose confidence in the ability of our political system to be responsive to the concerns of millions of its citizens because of the foolishness we saw in the wake of the onset of the economic crisis with people ignoring the obvious cause of the crisis (Buy-and-Hold caused $12 trillion in Pretend Money to be created and the loss of that $12 trillion in buying power caused the economy to collapse) want what I have to offer to become discussed at every board and blog on the internet so that we can begin to see some healing. That ain’t being alone.
Millions of middle-class people are in the process of seeing their retirements fail as a result of the 12-year cover-up of the errors in the Old School safe-withdrawal-rate studies. Those people are looking for the explanations of what happened to them that are contained in the thousands of pages of this web site. That ain’t being alone.
I’ve written e-mails to 30,000 academic researchers letting them know about the threats you made to intimidate Wade Pfau into silence on the realities of stock investing when he “crossed” you by publishing honest research and a good number of them sent back to me exceedingly kind and intelligent and helpful responses. That ain’t being alone.
I gave a presentation to the last Financial Bloggers Conference reporting on why Buy-and-Hold is the past and Valuation-Informed Indexing is the future and heard the applause of hundreds of my fellow community members learning about the truth in this area for the first time and enjoyed the hours of discussion of these issues that followed from a small group that came up to share a beer with me after the event. That ain’t being alone.
I have written scores and scores of Guest Blog Entries which have inspired wonderful, thought-provoking discussions and which earned me the effusive praise of my peers. That ain’t being alone.
I have done work that fulfills the boyhood dream of my good friend and hero Jack Bogle, making the change in his model for understanding how stock investing works that makes his approach workable in the real world for the first time. Thousands of my Buy-and-Hold friends have been looking for years for the resolutions to the contradictions in the Buy-and-Hold concept that were needed to make that long-deferred dream a reality and those people will be celebrating my work for many decades to come. That ain’t being alone.
I am alone in only one sense.
People are afraid to speak out about the intimidation tactics of you Goons. People hate seeing death threats. People hate seeing demands for unjustified board bannings. People hate seeing tens of thousands of acts of defamation. People hate seeing threats to get academic researchers fired from their jobs. I am not entirely alone even on that score. I share the feelings of repulsion that virtually every person living on this planet feels toward that sort of behavior. The only sense in which I am alone even in this respect is that I believe that the way to overcome you Goons is to expose your behavior to the sunlight. Most others are still too afraid to speak up. That will change following the next price crash, when they see how serious the threat is that you pose to our way of life. Then I will not be alone even on that score.
You are the one who is alone, Sensible. You are the one going to prison. To be sent to prison is to have your peers reject you completely, to have the society you live in declare that your behavior is so sub-human that you can no longer be permitted to walk freely among others. That is an isolation that I don’t wish on my worst enemies (and indeed I have worked hard to get your prison sentence reduced to the extent possible).
I have a battle to fight. There is evil in the world. There have always been people who see the accomplishments of others and feel drawn not to learn from them and achieve great things on their own but to equalize things by tearing down the good work that in their minds makes them look small and insignificant. But I am not the one who is alone. If I were alone, I would pose no threat to you Goons. It is precisely because there are so many millions seeking to understand for the first time how stock investing really works that you hate me with such a burning and all-consuming hate.
Bernie Madoff is alone, Sensible.
And you are Bernie Madoff times 5,000.
I want no part of it.
I offer the hand of kindness. Always. But not once in 12 years have I given a second’s thought to betraying my country. I won’t do that in the next 12 billion years either.
Why? Because when I violate the laws of the United States, when I betray my country, then I truly become alone in a way that I never want to be alone.
The people of the United States are traveling down some rocky road today. That much is so. We will overcome. We will prevail. It is those who doubt that our economic and political systems work any longer who will find themselves in days to come the lonely ones.
We humans made a mistake. It happens. We will figure things out and we will turn things around. You are too far down the dark path to turn around. To be lost in that terrible dark place must be a lonely feeling indeed.
I ask myself every day whether I have gotten something wrong, Sensible. Every day. Because I never want to find myself in the lonely place that you find yourself in today.
When I discover that I have gotten something wrong (it has happened on a few occasions over the past 12 years), I quickly ask to be able to come to the front of the room and say the magic words “I” and “Was” and “Wrong.” Because those words end the loneliness. Once I have said those words, I no longer have anything to hide. Once I say those words, I am again playing a role in the community of people living under an economic and political system that works.
I pray that I never face a temptation to play it the other way. I am a flawed human and so I cannot dismiss entirely the possibility that it could someday happen. So I pray. Not as often as I should but now and again at least. I will have to hope that that gives me enough strength to make it safely to the other side.
And I pray for you, my lonesome friend. I pray that there is a spark of kindness within you for your friends and co-workers and neighbors and fellow community members that will one day save you. It happens. People tell me to give up on you Goons. I don’t feel comfortable giving up on anyone. That’s not the answer. Love is the answer. Love is the thing that keeps me from feeling alone through those times when a good number of my friends are afraid to speak up.
Love prevails in the end, Sensible. You cannot fathom how, but it does. You keep forgetting that I read the last page of the story before I dared to venture forward with that crazy-brave post of the morning of May 13, 2002. I would have had to have been off my meds to have dared try that one without reading the last page first! I mean, come on!