Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
And the majority disagree with you. We can see this by the lack of any significant interest on this site as well as the comments on other boards. Blaming your problems on others just to feel better, does not improve your situation.
The majority disagrees with me, Anonymous. I noticed!
But isn’t the entire point of rooting one’s investing strategies in peer-reviewed research to go beyond the subjective views of both majorities and minorities and to learn WHAT REALLY IS?
If the majority rejected gravity, would that make it any less a real force?
There was a time when the majority did not believe that people with black skin should be able to drink from the same water fountains as people with white skin. Did that make it right?
If the tobacco industry spent hundreds of millions of dollars of marketing money telling people that it is good for your health to smoke four packs of cigarettes each day and the majority fell for their lies, would you feel comfortable telling those lies to your friends and seeing them die early deaths as a result?
Heaven help us all, but there was a time when a majority of music listeners voted “Disco Duck” the #1 song. Should we put the group that performed “Disco Duck” in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their majority-pleasing efforts?
I like being in the majority. When the majority voted “Hey Jude” the #1 song, I said “right on!” But when “Disco Duck” reached the top spot, I felt compelled to disassociate myself from that particular majority decision.
Majorities are not always right. New ideas are NEVER supported by majorities. It is a logical impossibility that a majority could support a new idea on the day it is introduced to the world. For us all to benefit from new ideas, we must be willing to let those advocating new ideas to have their say. Then the new idea starts with one supporter and that grows over time to 100 and then to 100 thousand and then to 100 million. New ideas BECOME majority-supported ideas by being heard even though they are not yet majority ideas.
Our economic system generates enough economic growth to provide an average annual return of 6.5 percent real to stockholders. That’s because we have a long record in this country of PERMITTING and even ENCOURAGING the expression of the new ideas that help us all to live richer lives than we could ever hope to live if we lived in the kind of society that permitted only old, long-discredited majority-supported ideas to be expressed. The Buy-and-Holders want us to become that sort of society. They hate the idea that new research has been done that discredits their old understanding of how stock investing works and that lets us all invest in a way that is far safer and that offers us all far higher long-term returns.
I love my country. I REJECT this sick idea that we can never learn anything new about how stock investing works.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Deep in his heart, my good friend Jack Bogle is not so crazy about that idea either. He lends support to the Linduaeheads. I see that. But he ALSO has put forward a good number of statements showing that he suspects that Buy-and-Hold is a big pile of smelly garbage. So what do you think is going to happen following the next price crash? I think that Old Saint Jack is going to see all the human misery he has caused and his heart is going to melt and then he is going to give that “I Was Wrong” speech and then we are all off to the races.
My problems don’t matter to too many people outside my immediate family, Anonymous. You Goons don’t have to worry too much about my problems. But I am not the only one experiencing problems as a result of the Buy-and-Hold Crisis. MILLIONS of middle-class people are experiencing problems. And those problems will be much worse following the next price crash. Those millions are going to turn on you following the next crash. And then it will be YOU suffering very, very big problems. Problems like being sent off to serve a long prison sentence. Yikes!
My problems are small compared to that, my man. Do you see?
Would endorsing the Buy-and-Hold garbage make me more popular? No doubt.
For a time.
But I believe in the original Buy-and-Hold vision. The original idea was to encourage people to root their strategies in the peer-reviewed research. There is now 33 years of peer-reviewed research showing that there is precisely zero chance that a Buy-and-Hold strategy could ever work for a single long-term investor. If I endorse what Buy-and-Hold is today, I am rejecting what I loved about it back in the days when I was a proud Buy-and-Holder myself. If I endorse what Buy-and-Hold is today, I am rejecting everything that I and the country that I love stands for. Yucko! You know?
I love my country. If my country were perfect, we would have spit out the Buy-and-Hold garbage a long, long time ago. So I guess it would be fair to say that my country is something less than perfect.
I still find it lovable. I still believe that we are eventually going to figure out how to turn this thing around. We messed up in the Civil War and yet we survived that one, did we not? We messed up during the Watergate thing and during the Clinton impeachment thing and we survived those two, did we not? We messed up during the Great Depression and we survived that one, did we not?
Some of those events were pretty darn scary. But something in us caused us to pull though in the end. I think that is what is going to happen this time. I don’t even think that we are going to remain on opposite sides in the end. I believe that the next price crash is going to be scary enough that it is going to cause us to pull together and to together bring on the greatest period of economic growth in our history.
It’s not always about being popular. Rosa Parks didn’t refuse to go to the back of the bus because she wanted to win a popularity contest. A lot of whites thought she was a troublemaker. Heck, a lot of blacks thought that. You don’t hear too many blacks OR whites saying that today.
She was the GOOD kind of troublemaker. That’s the kind that I try to be. A lot of people want me to shut up. But a lot of others very, very much want me to be able to post honestly about investing issues themselves and would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see me get away with it because me getting away with it would open the door to them getting away with it. Within a short time of the day when I get away with posting honestly at some big site, you are going to see THOUSANDS of good and smart people rushing forward to post honestly on ALL KINDS OF INVESTMENT-RELATED TOPICS.
My good friend Jack Bogle will be posting honestly one of these days.
My good friend Wade Pfau will be posting honestly one of these days.
My good friend Mike Piper will be posting honestly one of these days.
My good friend Robert Shiller will be posting honestly one of these days.
And on and on and on and on and on.
And, when all those people are posting honestly and when everybody sees how much earlier they will be able to retire as a result, POSTING HONESTLY WILL EVEN BECOME THE POPULAR THING TO DO. Then what will you Goons say?
Popularity isn’t everything. Caring about your friends is something. I have refused to post dishonestly about the numbers that my friends use to plan their retirements because I care about them. You know what? I bet that I will become a very, very rich man somewhere down the road a piece as a result. What will you say then when your last argument is kicked out from under you?
We allow honest posting on hundreds of different subjects today. We are going to allow honest posting on the last 33 years of peer-reviewed research in this field sometime in the not too distant future. I am sure.
Do you see?
It’s not all about being the most popular guy in the world at every moment of time. Sometimes you have to do something a little unpopular to change the world in a way that makes life better for every single person who lives in it. That’s what this 12-year-long saga is all about.
If I do the right thing here, I will be plenty popular when as a society we work up the courage to move to the place where deep in our hearts we all want to be. Right now I need to be HONEST. Being popular will follow from that once we all get out heads screwed on straight re this stuff.
Or at least that’s my sincere take on these terribly important matters.
My best and warmest wishes to you and yours. Don’t let the bad guys get you down, my long-time Goon pal.