Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
For what it’s worth, and obviously not on the scale of what you have accomplished and achieved, but on the all-things-money blog I have frequented for the last couple of years, and debated against common stock market mantras, there have been several calls for me to be banned or my comments ‘moderated’ simply because I rally against what’s popular and the feel-good cheerleading.
A bit of background, I was a buy-and-holder until 2008/09. That shock woke me up and I said “There *HAS* to be a better way of investing and growing wealth!” The quest was on…
Funny thing is, I bring reams of data and research to the table — even if I have interpreted it in error, the data is still presented so anyone can see for themselves and correct me, make their own ascertains, etc. The nay-sayers almost always bring nothing to the table — no data, no research, no facts, not even an angry commentary, just name calling and requests for banning/moderation (and some of these people are financial industry “professionals”!). Brainwashed and fearful.
Discovering your work has been enlightening for me; it’s given clarity to my own ideas. Most people out there are all about self-preservation, even if it means shutting down the “truth”. Few people are about true discovery at any cost. I’m still playing catch-up with the large volume of work you’ve produced (and the reviews), but it seems to me that your theory is just as valid, if not more so, than what’s popular right now. Even if it’s not 100% perfect 100% of the time (what human function is?!), it definitely furthers the scope of investment knowledge.
Don’t worry, obsession on its own may not be good, but coupled with a higher goal can produce significant results. Aren’t we all super happy Mr. Edison was a highly obsessed S.O.B.? 😉
You are hitting on all the important points.
I hope you will continue posting here. It would be great if you posted on a daily basis. If there is anything that I can do to make that happen, please let me know. I will take what I can get. If you can only post once per week or whatever, that’s of course fine. Or if you choose not to do so at all, I will understand. It is boring to have only me and the other Goons posting here.
But please let me explain why in time I believe that we could make it less boring and why you could play a HUGE role making life better for MILLIONS of people if you spent some time here.
All that you say about how you have been treated is 100 percent in line with what I have seen at HUNDREDS of places. It is too sad.
It is very important that all understand that the people who have improperly called for you (and so many others) to be banned are IN GREAT PAIN. They are not bad people. They are not dumb people. They are hurting people.
Why are they hurting so much?
Because this stuff matters so much. They want to be able to retire someday. And they all have common sense. They know on some level of consciousness that it is pure nonsense to believe that price discipline doesn’t matter when buying stocks. The idea makes precisely zero sense. It is absurd. And of course we now have 140 years of historical return data CONFIRMING what our common sense tells us. There is zero chance that Buy-and-Hold can ever work for a single long-term investor. Zero. And all the Buy-and-Holders know it!
They do. I have been watching this stuff very carefully for 12 years now and I am 100 percent sure of this. The Buy-and-Holders know that Buy-and-Hold can never work. They get that loud and clear.
There is an obvious puzzle attached to what I am saying. The Buy-and-Holders follow Buy-and-Hold strategies. It’s not that they say one thing and do something else. No. They practice what they preach. The Buy-and-Holders BELIEVE in Buy-and-Hold. They believe enough to risk their retirement money on it.
I am contradicting myself.
I first said that the Buy-and-Holders do NOT believe in Buy-and-Hold. Then I said that they DO believe It cannot possibly be both! Either I am a liar or I am nuts. It’s not only the Goons who say that. I am proving it with my own self-contradictory comments. No?
Humans are capable of believing in two completely opposite things at the same time. This is actually a common phenomenon.
Say that you have a friend who is an alcoholic. He is in the process of destroying his life. His wife has left him. She took the kids. She took the house. His health is failing. His boss is close to firing him. It’s a bad scene. So you have lunch with him and tell him that he has a problem and that he needs to do something about it.
He starts screaming at you and banging the table. He has no freakin’ problem! He is just fine! He doesn’t need your friendship and he will axe you in two seconds if you ever again suggest that he has a problem. Get the hell out of his life!
That settles it. He doesn’t have a problem. He should know, right? He is closest to the situation. And he has told you clearly that he doesn’t have a problem. What else do you need to know?
He SAYS that he doesn’t have a problem. That’s the addiction talking. The very reason why he gets so upset is that he of course knows very well that he has a big problem. Suffering an addiction doesn’t make someone a moron. He knows with 100 percent certainty that he has a big problem. And he also swears on a stack of Bibles that he does not have a problem. Why? Because he cannot face it. He is hurting. Denying the problem gives him a little temporary emotional relief. That’s why he continue to deny the obvious. The obvious is too darn painful a reality for him to face.
That’s where the Buy-and-Holders are today, Canuck.
They kicked you off the blog not because you broke any rules or because you didn’t present enough evidence or because they have so much evidence supporting their views. They kicked you off the blog for precisely the opposite reason. You have ALL the evidence. They have ZERO evidence. And that’s a panful place to be. That hurts. They kicked you off the blog to make the hurting stop. You were posting real stuff and that stuff makes a Buy-and-Holder suffer incredible amounts of psychic pain.
I once had a poster who summed this up perfectly (and in a comical way). I was getting all kinds of static at this board. People were demanding that I be banned. And this guy stepped forward and said (I am paraphrasing): “Rob is probably the politest and warmest and most gentle person I have ever come to know. And he irritates me to no end!”
The guy couldn’t stand me. Not because I am a meanie. Not because I am dumb. He couldn’t stand me because he tried to tell himself that he followed research-based strategies and the strategy that he was following (Buy-and-Hold) was the farthest thing from a research-based strategy ever developed by the human mind. He couldn’t ignore what I was saying because it was so obviously true. And yet he couldn’t bear to hear me say it because, if he heard it, he had to make changes and, if he was going to make changes, he first had to acknowledge that he had made a mistake at an earlier time, and acknowledging that he had made a mistake about how he invested his retirement money was just too painful a reality to bear.
This is what is going on.
I don’t mean just with the Goons and with the people who demanded that you banned from that board. This is what is going on with Jack Bogle. And all the others. This is what is going on with every Buy-and-Holder out there.
All of them really do believe in Buy-and-Hold on one level of consciousness. And all of them really do follow Buy-and-Hold strategies themselves. And all of them lack confidence in the strategy they are following. And all of them suffer great pain as a result when they hear anyone discuss true research-based strategies.
That’s the underlying dynamic here. The implications are HUGE. And most of them are positive. The positive stuff here outweighs the negative by a factor of 50 to 1. People get hung up on the Goon stuff and we all need to get past that and get on to enjoying the benefits of the good stuff, which is so positive that most people cannot even imagine how positive it is.
I am going to stop here for this post. But I will post a follow-up or two that explores where I think this is going and why I believe that you have a HUGE opportunity to do good for MILLIONS of people if you care to take advantage of it.