Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently put to another blog entry at this site:
And you believe you should be able to act however you wish, regardless of the impact on the community all in an effort to have your opinions drown out everyone else.
Permitting honest posting would have a positive impact on every board and blog on the internet, Anonymous.
Consider someone like Mike Piper at Oblivious Investor. He feels bad about the lies he tells the people who visit his site. Mike has a heart and a conscience. Mike WANTS to permit honest posting. He even gave consideration to the idea of letting me write one Guest Blog Entry at his site each month so that his readers would be exposed to honest posting about the last 33 years of peer-reviewed research on a regular basis as well as to the smelly Buy-and-Hold garbage that he shoves down the throats of his readers on a daily basis.
Why hasn’t Mike made the switch?
BECAUSE OTHER BLOGS DON’T PERMIT HONEST POSTING.
Mike has to compete with other blogs. There’s a saying that bad money drives out bad. Well, it works that way with investing advice too. Bad investing advice drives out good investing advice. Mike wants to help his readers. But if he gives honest, research-based advice and his competitors continue to push the smelly Buy-and-Hold garbage, guess which sites are going to get more readers? We all possess a Get Rich Quick urge. The sites pushing Get Rich Quick are going to win if there is only one site promoting research-based strategies. Readers won’t have confidence in what that site says unless they hear what it says being confirmed by other sites. Mike feels that he will be driven out of business if he switches over to providing investing advice backed by the last 33 years of peer-reviewed research.
Now consider what happens if ALL of the blogs switch over to giving research-based advice at the same time. Then the blogs that will succeed will be the ones that have the best writing and that pick the best topics and that build the best communities and all that sort of thing. Mike is a star at all of that sort of stuff. So, in a world in which honest posting is permitted, Mike’s blog shoots to the top. And he gets to feel good about the work he does for the first time in a long time too. It’s a win/win/win/win/win.
When Bogle gives his “I Was Wrong” speech, he frees us ALL to give honest and accurate investment advice. Bogle’s speech will be written up in the New York Times. That write-up will launch a national debate. We will advance 33 years in our knowledge of how stock investing works in a few months as a result of that debate. Everybody wins!
When you say that it hurts the community for a community to permit honest posting, all that you are looking at is the embarrassment felt by those pushing or following Buy-and-Hold strategies. You are ignoring the misery experienced by all of the people who place their trust in the Get Rich Quick strategies pushed in that community. It’s not all about turning a quick buck, Anonymous. We need to care about what happens to the people who follow the advice too. In the long run, when we destroy our economic system through the relentless promotion of this Get Rich Quick garbage, we ALL lose.
Communities in which honest posting is permitted do JUST FINE in all areas of human endeavor other than stock investing. Why do you believe that the stock investing field needs to be the one big exception?
It is because investing is so darn important. Because investing is important, it causes more pain for people to learn about major advances. When we achieve major advances, we all feel bad to realize that we have been doing things wrong for a long time.
You know what? We need to move forward sooner or later. We need to experience that pain and move past it. The pain that comes with major advances is not a bad sort of pain. It is a GROWING pain.
We can reduce the amount of pain felt by all concerned by following the posting rules that apply at every board and blog. The Buy-and-Holders made a mistake. That should not be a cause for embarrassment in itself. We are all human, we all have made mistakes. Where we got on the wrong track was with this crazy idea that the mistakes made by the Buy-and-Holders should be covered up. When you cover up a mistake, you go from having done something understandable to doing something unethical and fraudulent. And then you need to cover up the cover-up and then cover-up the cover-up of the cover-up. That road leads down, down, down, down.
The answer is to stop going down and to start moving up. We are the luckiest generation of investors ever to walk Planet Earth. The Bennett/Pfau research shows us all how to reduce the risk of stock investing by 70 percent (it is done by AVOIDING Buy-and-Hold strategies!). We need to get the word out about this wonderful research and thereby transform stock investing into a virtually risk-free activity.
Will it hurt you to acknowledge that you made a mistake?
For a short time.
In the end, though, you will feel 50 times better about yourself when you are able to invest effectively yourself and to help your friends and neighbors and co-workers to invest effectively too.
Learning important new things hurts because recognizing that you have made big mistakes in the past hurts. The answer is not to continue making those big mistakes for the remaining days of your life. The answer is to come to terms with the mistakes you have made and MOVE FORWARD.
That’s my sincere take re this terribly important matter, in any event.
I naturally wish you the best of luck in all your future life endeavors.