Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
Your post is an insult to Rosa Parks and anyone with common sense, Rob.
I don’t think so, Sensible.
I don’t say that financial fraud is as evil a thing as racism. Racism is a direct injury to a person while financial fraud is a money thing. Racism is much worse. But the drivers of the stories are similar.
It’s rare to have a situation where there is one course of action that is all good and one that is all bad. We had that with the Civil Rights situation. It wasn’t just blacks who were going to benefit when we came to our senses and started treating blacks equally. Whites were going to benefit because they were going to enjoy all the advances achieved by blacks and all the friendships they would have with blacks. The Civil Rights revolution was a win/win/win/win/win with no possible downside.
Another similarity is that everyone knew that. Many Whites wanted the Civil Rights revolution almost as much as blacks did. And properly so. It degraded them to live in a society that did not honor both races. Many whites lived in shame and wanted to be clean.
So it is with Buy-and-Holders today. I have probably learned as much about how stock investing works from Buy-and-Holders as I have from Valuation-Informed Indexers. I learned about the errors in the Old School safe-withdrawal-rate studies from Bogle. Why did the king of Buy-and-Hold tell enough truths in his writings for that to happen? Because there is a part of Bogle that wants to help people and it comes out from time to time despite his desperate desire to stop millions of middle-class people from finding out what the last 33 years of peer-reviewed research tells us. Bogle wants to move forward as much as I do. He is just more afraid or more proud or feels more trapped or whatever. But deep inside he wants what I want.
The same is true of Bill Bernstein. Or else why did he respond honestly to one of you Goons when you sent him an e-mail asking if the methodology used in the Old School studies was really analytically invalid by saying that anyone who would give thought to using one of those studies to plan a retirement would have to be out of his mind?
The same is true of Larry Swedroe. Or else why would Larry tell enough truths at the Vanguard Diehards board to enrage Mel Lindauer enough to ban him?
The same is true of Scott Burns. Or else why would he become so envious when I told the truth about safe withdrawal rates that he didn’t name me as the person who initiated the New School? Scott would like to be the person putting forward all these amazing insights. He knows darn well that Buy-and-Hold is a big pile of smelly garbage and he cannot stand it that he does not feel free to write columns that hold together and that help people and that are rooted in the findings of the past 33 years of research. It hurts him deeply to see someone else doing that and that hurt comes out in the envy evidenced in phrases like “catastrophically unproductive.”
The same is true of Wade Pfau. The 16 months in which Wade was posting honestly were the happiest 16 months of his life. You can see it in all his e-mails and posts from those days. He felt miserable when he had to flip to The Goon Side. He did it for his two small children. But he would love to live in a world in which he could do honest and good work and be praised for it rather than savaged for it.
The same is true of Mike Piper. He would like to run an honest blog. He told me so. He would like to win awards for his blog and feel that he earned them. He would like to be able to make a buck in this world and feel at peace about the way he made it.
The same is true of J.D. Roth. He is viewed as a leader by many in the financial blogging community He would like to feel inside that he has earned the respect that has been given to him.
The same is true of Todd Tresidder. He would like to turn his successful niche blog into a successful mainstream blog. He would like to have million of readers and he knows that he would have them if only he worked up the courage to take on you Goons and post honestly not just at his niche blog but at a lot of mainstream places where he would be helping people who have been taken in by your smelly Buy-and-Hold garbage.
The same is true of Carl Richards. He told me that he read every article at my site on Valuation-Informed Indexing. He told me that he thinks my work has huge value. He loves, loves, loves the idea of being able to offer honest investing advice. And he hates, hates, hates having to lie to his readers because he lives in fear of what you Goons would do to him if he were to tell his readers the truth about the last 33 years of research.
The same is true of Shiller. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he has an entire second book written and ready to go the minute Jack Bogle gives his “I Was Wrong” speech and that tells us all his thoughts on the critical matter he failed to address in Irrational Exuberance — how people should be investing their retirement money given his “revolutionary” (his word) findings of 1981.
Another similarity is the means by which those who in some surface sense don’t want to move forward keep us all from enjoying the benefits of doing so. You Goons are big on intimidation. You are big on ridicule. You are big on anger. You are big on hate. You are big on pessimism. You are big on all things small and dark. I have a funny feeling that Rosa Parks would understand why you behave the way you do — She’s been on the other side of all that anger and hate and smallness.
Another similarity is how the Ban on Honest Posting betrays the basic principles on which our society was founded. We are a dynamic society. What makes us great is that we are always advancing, always moving forward. Goons didn’t like that when it came time for a Civil Rights revolution and Goons didn’t like that when it came time for teaching people about the first true research-based approach to investing in stocks. Indexing is not un-American, like the Fidelity ad once said. But Goons are un-American. 100 percent un-American.
Another similarity is how doomed the Goon position is. We were going to get Civil Rights recognized in this country no matter how hard the Goons fought the advance. So there was no purpose in fighting it. All the Goons of that day did was cause everyone a lot of unnecessary pain. So it is today. Shiller has been awarded a Nobel Prize for his work. You Goons are not going to be able to stop millions of people from learning about the implications of research done by a fellow who has won a Noble prize. Your destructive efforts are doomed, destructive efforts.
The comparison fits.
Death threats and demands for unjustified board bannings and tens of thousands of acts of defamation and threats to get academic researchers fired from their jobs don’t have a place in discussions of what the peer-reviewed research on stock investing says any more than lynchings and the letting loose of guard dogs and the opening of fire hydrants and the use of dirty n-words had a place in discussions of where people with different skin color should be permitted to sit on public buses.
The racists are despised by everyone today. You Goons will be despised by everyone at a future time as well.
That is part of what drives you. Your shame is so great that you cannot bear to acknowledge it.
I cannot change that. I can offer to help while noting that the first step to you obtaining any help is for you to heal the wounds inside that drive your hate. There is no other way.That’s as far as I can go without agreeing to post dishonestly re SWRs and thereby becoming a Goon myself.
The fight for Civil Rights was ultimately a fight to change hearts. The same is true of the fight to open every board and blog on the internet to honest posting on safe withdrawal rates and scores of other critically important investment-related topics.
You Goons have raised the biggest financial-related challenge to our way of life since the Great Depression. A lot of people thought our song was over in the Great Depression. Those people have been proven wrong. Another similarity!
Please take good care, Sensible. There are people who care about you a whole big bunch more than you care about you. Those people will be sticking by you when the tide turns. Count it.