Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently put to another blog entry at this site:
Which then means that not a single expert has the full combination of being honest, avoiding conspiracies and is knowledgeable……..and that you alone, Rob, is the only one that has all three of those attributes.
I don’t think that what you say here is too terribly far off the mark, Anonymous.
We all have different strong points and different weak points.
There are areas where Bogle’s knowledge base is so far greater than mine that it would be silly to compare the two.
That’s true with Shiller too. And of course with lots of others.
But if you limit the discussion to valuations, I far surpass Bogle. He is not in my league. Not because he is dumb. He is very smart. But he has elected not to learn about valuations. He has deliberately stunted his own growth in this area. So I have been able to race ahead of him. It may be that someday he will start devoting his energies to coming to a better understanding of the effect of valuations and then he will surpass me in that area too. He has chosen until today not to do that.
Valuations happens to be the most important subject matter for the majority of middle-class investors. This is the are where we had a huge advance a number of years back that most experts in the field have elected (not with full intent, but still…) not to pursue. So I have been able to go to the head of the class on an overall basis without going to investing school or managing a huge fund.
It’s been easy for me to avoid conspiracies. I never advocated Buy-and-Hold. So I never had any vested interest in it. I never experienced any psychic pain reading Shiller’s work or exploring the implications of it.
And, yes, I try to be honest. I think these other people do too. I believe that one of the big problems we have is that they feel that I am calling them dishonest when I say that they got the SWR wrong and they become defensive about it because they view it as important to be honest. So I do believe that they try to be honest. I often say that they are “smart and good people.” But their cognitive dissonance does not permit them to be fully honest.
Please remember that I was not fully honest in the days prior to May 13, 2002. I rationalized not speaking up about the errors in the Old School SWR studies for a time. I do not say that I am better than other people. Part of the reason why I have had to play it so honest is that I have had you Goons on my back for 12 years and, if I engage in one tiny bit of dishonesty, I am sure to be burned at the stake for it. My personal circumstances are more than a bit unusual.
The bottom line is pretty much as you say. The work that I present here is the product of a combination of a reasonable amount of intelligence and a reasonable amount of integrity. That happen to be a rarely found combination in InvestoWorld in the year 2014. So, yes, I believe that the investing advice offered here is superior to what is available just about anywhere else.
I wish it weren’t so. Anonymous. I would like to see all my blogger friends offering top-notch investing advice. I would like to see Jack Bogle offering top-notch investing advice. I would like to see Index Universe and Bogleheads Forum and Motley Fool and Early Retirement Forum offering top-notch investing advice.
You know what it takes, right?
We need to hear Bogle give his “I Was Wrong” speech.
That will clear the air for everything. That will launch the national debate we all need to hear.
Then EVERYONE will be offering advice that shows millions of middle-class investors how to reduce the risk of stock investing by 70 percent while increasing returns enough to permit them to retire five to ten years sooner than they ever imagined possible.
You know what, Anonymous? You should stop worrying about me getting the credit for all the wonderful material at this site. If you spent one-tenth of the energy learning from that material and spreading the word, you wouldn’t have to sweat it so much that I will be getting the credit for all this amazing stuff.
I am going to get plenty of credit. I deserve it. I sweated blood getting all this stuff right. I had to fight you Goons with two arms tied behind my back every step of the way. And I never flinched. I never quit. I never even slowed down. I am about as proud of my performance here as you would be proud of yours if the tables were turned.
But I am not going to be the only person getting lots of credit. This is so huge that there is plenty of credit to go around. LOTS of people will be getting lots of credit.
Here’s a tip: The early adapters are going to get the MOST credit.
Do you see what I am hinting at here?
My best wishes to you, old friend.