Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently put to another blog entry at this site:
What value do you think you are offering the typical viewer? If you read all of your posts so far this year, it is about how you think you are a victim and how you think people (that you call goons) should be in prison. You really offer up nothing of value to the viewer on investing insights, etc. I am sure you think making your claims of lucky VII is the golden path, but what specific leaning, facts, etc have you really provided. Nothing. Take a look at other blogs, like Wade’s for example. Notice how he makes a point and then provides the specific data and facts to back it up. Why don’t you do that instead of spending your days crying about your hurt feelings? It is time to get over all your hate and anger.
There’s more leverage in what I am doing, Anonymous.
Say that Wade writes a good article on some aspect of stock investing. I certainly agree that that’s a limited plus. But the benefit that any one article can offer is very limited. What I am seeking to do is to open THE ENTIRE INTERNET to honest posting.
Not just on safe withdrawal rates. That’s where this started. I obviously want to see the errors in the Old School SWR studies corrected and to see the New School SWR studies promoted all across the internet. But I intend to achieve a whole big bunch more than just that one wonderful advance. I want to see honest posting on risk management. I want to see honest posting on retirement planning. I want to see honest posting on asset allocation strategies. And on and on and on and on.
Take a look at the articles at this site about the work that Wade and I did during the 16 months when he was under the impression that he could do honest work and not have the Buy-and-Hold Mafia come after him and threaten to destroy his career as his “punishment” for “crossing” them. Wade was talking about being published in the Journal of Finance, the #1 journal in the field. Wade was talking about winning the Nobel Prize in Economics for the amazing work we did together on the superiority of Valuation-Informed Indexing over Buy-and-Hold. Wade was like a kid in a candy store in those days. He was tapping into amazing new insights on a daily basis, insights he had never been exposed to during his days at Princeton. He was excited to be learning so much about how stock investing really works. And he was enjoying that amazing learning experience BECAUSE HE FELT FREE TO DO HONEST WORK, to follow the research-based insights where they led him.
You don’t see that sort of excitement in the work that Wade does today. Yes, he continues to advance the ball in tiny ways. But you don’t see Nobel Prize winning research coming from the mind of Wade Pfau today. Why? Because he is afraid of what will happen to his family if he does the work he was trained to do.
That’s sad, Anonymous.
It’s not just sad. It’s sick.
And it doesn’t just hurt Wade Pfau that he has been intimidated into giving up his right to do honest research. It hurts ALL OF US.
Wade should have called the police when you Goons threatened him. Then he should have gone to the New York Times. If he had taken those two steps, we would be living in a different world today, a world in which the same ethical standards that apply in all fields of human endeavor other than the investing advice field also apply in the investing advice field. That’s a world in which we would be able to bring this economic crisis to an end in six months. That’s a world in which we would be able to enter the greatest period of economic growth ever seen in our history. That’s a world in which we would all be able to post honestly about safe withdrawal rates at every board and blog on the internet. That’s a world in which we all would be able to reduce the risk of stock investing by 70 percent while also earning returns high enough to permit us to retire five to ten years earlier than we ever dreamed possible during the Buy-and-Hold Era.
I don’t want that just for Wade, Anonymous. I want it for every academic researcher out there. I want them ALL doing honest work. There’s no telling how many advances we will see when thousands of researchers are putting their life energies into mining new insights rather than into the tired and sick business of trying to prop up the smelly Buy-and-Hold garbage for another week or another month or another year. 33 years of propping up is more than enough! I mean, come on!
And I don’t just want to see all the academic researchers doing honest work. I want to see the “experts” in this field doing honest work too. Take my good friend Jack Bogle (PLEASE! [That’s a joke!]). What is Jack’s confidence level in Buy-and-Hold? I say that there is zero chance that it could ever work for a single long-term investor. What does Jack think? Does he think that the odds are 20 percent that it might work for some? 50 percent? 80 percent?
I don’t know the answer. Neither do you.
The difference between us is that I WANT to know. I don’t believe that Jack has zero confidence in Buy-and-Hold, as I do. But I sure don’t believe that he has 100 percent confidence (if he did, he wouldn’t be so afraid to respond to questions about his public statements). I want to know what level of confidence he possesses. You should want to know that too. Your retirement is at stake. And of course millions of middle-class investors NEED to know.
We are the luckiest generation of investors that ever lived. The Buy-and-Holders built a strong foundation for the development of the first true research-based strategy. Shiller provided the piece of the puzzle re which the Buy-and-Hold Pioneers messed up in 1981. Now we’ve got it all. Now we know (intellectually at least) what really works. We are on the one-yard line today.
There’s one thing holding us back. We are afraid of the Buy-and-Hold Mafia. We have for 12 years now seen how ruthlessly vicious they become whenever anyone dares to “cross” them by posting honestly on safe withdrawal rates or on any other critically important investment-related topic. You know what? I think the Buy-and-Hold Mafia is a paper tiger. They can destroy us one by one, as Wade well knows. But once ten of us take a vow to stick together and continue to tell the truth no matter what threats they make, their power to intimidate evaporates.
That’s where I am coming from, Anonymous. The hard part re getting ten of us to unite is that those who step forward first get the stuffing knocked out of them. I have been getting the stuffing knocked out of me for 12 years now. So I am pretty much used to it at this point. I don’t like it, of course. But it doesn’t shock me anymore. I have grown to accept that this is the way it is going to be until as a society we have made the shift from Buy-and-Hold to Valuation-Informed Indexing. That’s when all the fun starts.
I WANT THE FUN TO START, ANONYMOUS!
That’s the deal here. I LOVE posting honestly. I get an amazing kick from it. And I want to do it more and more and more and more.
So I absolutely refuse to cave in response to your intimidation tactics. I want the caving to stop. For me to cave just makes it more likely that others will cave. That’s the opposite of the direction in which I want to take things. So I believe that it is important that I not cave and that I encourage others not to cave.
I hope that makes some sense, my old friend.
My best and warmest wishes to you and yours REGARDLESS of what investing strategies you elect to pursue.