Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
No. You are wrong of course.
Those five reasons are what you would like the issue to be. But none of them are the issue.
The issue is the way you behave when interacting with others either by email or or discussion boards.
Numerous people come to the same conclusion independently.
And tell you so.
And you ignore them.
Over and Over again.
I’ll give a slightly different response to your comment, Evidence. I am going on vacation tomorrow morning. So I probably will not be able to react to any words you elect to put forward for a week or so. But, if you come back with something, I will certainly take a look when I return.
I don’t disagree with you that numerous people come to the same conclusion independently.
I don’t disagree that at least a good number of them make an effort to explain how they feel about things to me.
It’s not quite right to say that I ignore them. I make a sincere effort to LISTEN to every word directed at me re this matter. However, it IS true that I elect not to follow most of the advice re how to behave re this matter that is directed my way. So I don’t think we are in disagreement here.
And I don’t disagree that the same pattern repeats over and over again.
So we agree on much.
The thing we do NOT agree on is whether the behavior you are referring to is positive or negative.
My investing views are not majority views. I certainly hold no illusions that they are.
The problem from my point of view is that I believe that minority views re investing MUST be expressed AT ALL TIMES and under the same conditions as majority views. I get it that my views make many people feel uncomfortable. I get that loud and clear. That reality makes me feel that it is all the more urgent that these views be heard.
Discussion boards and blogs are communities of people holding a diversity of viewpoints re the subjects examined.
My views are at an extreme end of the spectrum of opinion.
For many years, these views were not heard AT ALL. Today, they are heard in small doses but only in small doses. I believe that all of our communities need to explore the implications of Shiller’s views far more frequently than they ever have before and in far more depth than they ever have before.
This is not something that can be put up to a majority vote. The majority is emotionally invested in Buy-and-Hold. If decisions as to what ideas a community could hear were made by majority vote, new ideas would never have a chance to grow and the communities following this practice would suffer. I believe that new ideas are the lifeblood of our communities. We not only should permit discussion of them. We should ENCOURAGE the discussion of them.
I certainly believe that the communities should decide what topics will be discussed. But not by majority vote taken at the time when a particular issue comes to the table. The communities decide what issues can be discussed by the rules they adopt to govern debate. All of our communities have elected to adopt rules that PERMIT discussion of the last 33 years of peer-reviewed research. That settles the matter.
People ARE uncomfortable with things I say. The best expression of this discomfort was put forward by a guy who said: “Rob is the most polite and gentle guy I have come across on the internet. And he irritates me to no end!” That guy was telling us how he really feels. I bug the piss out of him.
Your solution is to “protect” him from my words.
My solution is to figure out why my words bug the piss out of him.
If he were confident in his investing strategies, nothing I said could bother him. He shouldn’t be so irritated by mere words. There is something wrong here.
The P/E10 value that applies today tells us what is wrong. People are irrationally attached to stocks today. This whole thing is circular. People are upset to hear about the research because they are irrationally attached to stocks and people are irrationally attached to stocks because they have not heard about the research.
The only way to break the circle is to get posts about the research before people. Anyone who cares to can ignore those posts. But the posts need to be there at every board and blog for those who want to tap into what is said in them.
I don’t expect to convince you. I am putting these words forward because I felt that there was at least some truth in your comment and I felt that should be acknowledged.
There are many people who love my stuff. It is a minority. But there are a good number of such people. But there is also a larger number that is upset by my stuff. People tell me that all the time in various ways and, yes, I do largely ignore them. Because I don’t think that doing the popular thing helps anyone in these circumstances.
We need to get people exposed to the new ideas so that they can make up their own minds. It will hurt a bit for some. But that’s what happens when a society makes a decision to start rooting investing advice in research. Research findings change over time and that can be upsetting. It also can be very liberating in the long run.
Take care, man.