Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
A contributing factor of you getting kicked off all those sites is the factbthat also don’t listen. You have your agenda and want to spread it on every thread, even when it is not the subject being discussed. You think that your points are more important than what anyone else has to say, yet give no consideration to the opinion of others. If it doesn’t mesh with your line of thinking, you say that people are lying or “afraid” and that is just a bunch of bull.
I plead “guilty” to having an agenda and wanting to spread it far and wide. No apologies whatsoever.
I plead “not guilty” to pushing that agenda on any thread in which it was not relevant. That is something that I would never do. That is something that I would never consider doing. I am a very big believer in following rules, Anonymous. And that is a rule which is needed and makes sense and which I endorse. I never, ever break that rule.
All that said, there is a small bit of legitimacy to what you are saying here.
Shiller’s findings are relevant to a LOT of threads.
That’s not my doing. That’s just the way it is. Shiller’s findings are of fundamental importance. They are relevant to many, many. many discussions.
I plead “guilty” to believing that my points are more important than the points being made by most others. Everyone is guilty of that. If I didn’t think my points were important, they wouldn’t be my points. I obviously always show respect and affection to those making other points. I obviously always try to learn from those making different points. That’s as far as a human can go. We all have biases. We all are influenced by the life experiences that have comprised our lives and by the particular skill sets that we bring to the table.
I plead “not guilty” to saying that people who don’t believe in Valuation-Informed Indexing are lying or afraid. I have said 10,000 times that there are millions of good and smart people who believe in Buy-and-Hold. I was a Buy-and-Holder myself prior to the evening of August 27, 2002. Do you seriously believe that I called myself a liar and a fearful person prior to that date?
I plead “guilty” to saying that those who engage in Goon behavior (death threats, demands for unjustified board bannings, tens of thousands of acts of defamation, threats to get academic researchers fired from their jobs) are liars or fearful. Those behaviors are over the line of what is considered acceptable or tolerable in a free society.
The root problem here is that Buy-and-Hold and Valuation-Informed Indexing are opposite strategies that both claim to be rooted in the peer-reviewed academic research. If VII weren’t rooted in research, the Buy-and-Holders wouldn’t get so upset. They still wouldn’t follow VII strategies. But they wouldn’t see VII as a threat. They see it as a threat because they believe that their ideas are rooted in research and those advocating VII are advocating a strategy that is the opposite in every possible way that is ALSO said to be rooted in the research. Huh?
The answer is for Buy-and-Holders and Valuation-Informed Indexers to show respect and affection for each other and to try to learn from each other.
That’s the way that this would have played out if getting this investing stuff right weren’t so darn important. If it were a small thing, the Buy-and-Holders could say “well, this new stuff doesn’t sound quite right, but let’s hear what these people have to say, it sure can’t hurt just to listen to them.” In this case, it CAN hurt. If the Valuation-Informed Indexers are wrong, they could cause people to suffer failed retirements. So the Buy-and-Holders feel a need to come on very strong.
The other side of the story is that, if you believe in Valuation-Informed Indexing, it is the Buy-and-Holders who are causing failed retirements! We believe just as strongly in what we believe. Buy-and-Hold is every bit as dangerous in the eyes of Valuation-Informed Indexers as Valuation-Informed Indexing is in the eyes of Buy-and-Holders.
We have to find some way of having a conversation without yelling at each other.
I am game for anything that doesn’t require me to say something that I do not believe. I don’t want to tell lies. That’s normal and understandable, right?
The problem comes with what you say up front. Shiller’s findings are “revolutionary.” They turn our old understanding of how stock investing works on its head. They change every strategic consideration.
It’s not my intent to jump on every thread in which the Buy-and-Holders are having a conversation amongst themselves and ruin it for them by turning it into an argument. It is NOT my intent to do that.
But it is not only confirmed Buy-and-Holders who participate on our boards and blogs. About 10 percent of our community members follow VII strategies. Those people should be able to hear the VII side of the story on all the threads on which it applies (and that is most of them). And there is a much larger percentage of the community that remains in the Buy-and-Hold camp but would like to hear the other side of the story from time to time as well. Those people have rights. The Buy-and-Hold dogmatics don’t get to decide by themselves how things go down.
Say that the Buy-and-Holders wanted the right to label some threads “For Buy-and-Holders Only” so that they didn’t need to get in arguments re basic points with the Valuation-Informed Indexers. I have no problem with that so long as the same right is extended to the Valuation-Informed Indexers. We get to have our threads where the Buy-and-Holders stay out too. And of course there would be other threats (most threads) in which both Buy-and-Holders and Valuation-Informed Indexers would participate.
The core thing here is that there needs to be a general recognition that there are TWO schools of academic thought re how stock investing works, not one. Buy-and-Holders are not dumb. Buy-and-Holders are not evil. But it is NOT true that Buy-and-Hold has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Fama won a Nobel Prize. So did Shiller. Both schools of thought are valid today. Every board and blog on the internet must be open to discussion of both schools of thought.
No one who comes to the table with a halfway reasonable mind is going to have a hard time working out details with me. I am 100 percent happy to bend over backwards to be reasonable and accommodating to my Buy-and-Hold friends. Put forward reasonable suggestions and we can lock this down in 24 hours.
It is NOT reasonable to expect me to sit in the audience for years while John Greaney pushes his retirement study on a daily basis and not say anything even though I am aware of the 33 years of peer-reviewed research showing that that study gets the numbers wildly wrong. I am not saying it that way as some sort of dig. I am saying it that way to make you aware of the very real problem here. You put me in an impossible situation when you apply intimidation tactics to silence me re something like that.
Greaney may well believe in the study. I believe that he does. Bogle may well believe in the investing strategy. I believe that he does.
But it is NOT the case that the Old School SWR methodology is beyond dispute proven. It is NOT that.
I have every bit as much right to advocate Valuation-Informed Indexing as Bogle has to advocate Buy-and-Hold. That right MUST be respected. There can be zero negotiation re that one.
Work with me and I will do everything I can to make things proceed smoothly.
Pull out intimidation tactics and I will call out your sorry ass on it. Every time. I am FAMOUS for it.
It has to be said that way because the bad stuff has been going on too long now for it to be ignored.
But, if you want to work together, I am 100 percent on board. I LOVE the good that the Buy-and-Holders have done, which is considerable. I care deeply about all of my Buy-and-Hold friends. It is my strongly held belief that VII is just a new version of Buy-and-Hold. We are not enemies. We are friends. We should be working together. It is a national tragedy that things ever got so far off track that there are people who today think of the two sides as working toward different purposes. We want the same things. And we can only obtain the things we want by working together.
I DO listen.
I listen to reasoned and civil arguments.
I do NOT listen to intimidation. Not ever. Intimidation tactics are a total and complete turn-off for me. My ears clog out when some Goon comes forward with dirty, smelly, disgusting intimidation tactics.
Please THINK before posting your next words. We all have to live with the consequences of what you put forward. Please listen to that voice within you that is telling you to take things in a positive and constructive and life-affirming direction. If you listen carefully to that voice, you will see all good things come back to you in return.