Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
“I said on the morning of May 13, 2002, that the numbers in the Old School safe-withdrawal-rate studies were wildly wrong. “You Goons said that I must have forgotten to take my meds.” Here is a link to the thread in question. http://boards.fool.com/price-adjusted-safe-withdrawal-rates-17209214.aspx?sort=whole and a juicy excerpt or two ” As I read the data, it appeared to me that had I made an 80 percent stock allocation in 1969, I would now (31 years later) have lost all of my investment and be bankrupt. Is that true? It’s possible that I don’t understand how the calculator works, but that result was disturbing to me. The actual portflio figure that the calculator gave was that I would now have a negative $31,035. I don’t understand the concept of a negative portfolio value. That’s what makes me a little uncertain as to whether I am reading the results correctly.” and “I was wrong and intercst was right. Please read my apology to him and to the board in general at this link: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17225279 “
And yet the Wall Street Journal and the Economist magazine and Smart Money magazine and the Financial Mentor site and even Vanguard said 10 years later that I was right afterall. Doesn’t that tell the entire story, Evidence? I really was right in my May 13, 2002, post in saying that Greaney’s study (and in fact all of the Old School studies) lacked a valuation adjustment. That was a big deal. That was a big advance. But I am human like all the others and social pressure caused me to doubt myself. Just as Bogle has doubted himself when his common sense has told him that Buy-and-Hold is a big pile of smelly garbage. And as Bernstein has doubted himself. And as Piper has doubted himself. And as Pfau has doubted himself. And as Shiller has doubted himself.
We achieved the greatest intellectual breakthrough in the history of investing analysis 33 years ago. And we have spent 33 years doubting whether what we learned was really so and therefore denying ourselves the ability to explore all of the many wonderful implications of what we learned by denying ourselves the freedom to talk about what we learned and thereby THINK THROUGH TOGETHER what we learned.
Well, it stops here and it stops now and it stops with me. No offense. But we need to get this right. I am not going to settle for anything less. Following the next crash, there are going to be a lot of good and smart people who are going to work up the courage to stand with me. That’s that. You can bet against us if you want, Evidence. That’s betting against your country. That’s betting against science. That’s betting against the future. Given that you have committed felonies as part of your effort to make sure that we don’t learn what we need to learn, that choice will be putting you in prison following the next crash. I ain’t betting against us. No way, no how.
I am leading the charge forward. That’s where things stand.
I naturally wish you all good things.