Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
Rob aren’t you afraid of the buy and hold mafia ruining your career too? Oh wait thats right you are just an internet troll nevermind carry on….
One of my primary goals is to save the careers of as many of my Buy-and-Hold friends as possible, Anonymous. Just about all of them want to come clean. People forget that I learned about the errors in the Old School retirement studies from reading Jack Bogle’s book. And he is obviously not the only one who understands that Buy-and-Hold is a big pile of smelly garbage. Bernstein has shown that he sees that. So has Swedroe. So has Burns. So has Richards. So has Schultheis. So has Kitces. So has Pfau. So has Ferri. So has Tresidder. So has Piper. And on and on and on.
They all feel trapped. The money that comes with pushing a pure Get Rich Quick strategy was just too good to pass up. But what do you do when the market collapse you brought on actually takes place and you have caused millions of people to lose most of their retirement money? Saying “oopsie, I guess I should have stayed more up to date re the peer-reviewed research” doesn’t cut it in the eyes of the millions of people who have seen their hopes for a decent retirement crushed by you, does it?
Given that we all have to come clean sooner or later, it seems to me that it makes all the sense in the world to do it sooner. That way the prison sentences are shorter and the financial liabilities are smaller. It’s a win/win/win/win/win.
This site gives people the ammunition they need to fight back when the Buy-and-Hold Mafia goes after them. There are billions to be made giving accurate and honest and research-backed investment advice. There are thousands and thousands of people in this field who would like to get in on that gravy train. Now they have a site that they can use to protect themselves from the tactics of the Buy-and-Holders. I think that it would be fair to say that the Wall Street Con Men don’t want the materials at this site getting any publicity.
I acknowledge that I possess no particular expertise in this field. My take is that that ended up being my biggest edge. Those who have been in on the corruption for years have had to rationalize their failure to speak out and have come to believe those rationalizations on at least one layer of consciousness. I never had to rationalize anything because I never have made a penny doing work in this field. You Goons can threaten me from morning until night. But you can’t get me fired from my job in the way that you threatened to get Wade Pfau fired from his, right? That’s my edge. That’s been my edge going back to the first day.
In the end, all of us who aren’t in prison will be working together. The Buy-and-Holders have to win every day just to stay alive to push their smelly Get Rich Quick garbage one more day. Those of us advocating the first true research-based strategy only need to win once to win forever. There have been lots of people who have made the switch from Buy-and-Hold to Valuation-Informed Indexing. There has never been one person who has switched from Valuation-Informed Indexing to Buy-and-Hold. I think it would be fair to say that there never will be one any more than there ever has been anyone seeking to sign up with the Madoff fund once that con was exposed.
The good news here is 50 times more good than the bad news is bad. The history books are not going to write about you Goons except perhaps in footnotes. What matters is the hundreds of research-backed insights that we have developed over the course of the first 13 years of Our Debate About Having a Debate. Once we enter the debate proper, look out world! We live in a great country. The Buy-and-Holders were right in the days when they were saying that it is a good idea to be willing to look at the peer-reviewed research. This stuff gets better and better and better with each passing day. I sure don’t see any reason to think that that will ever change.
Hang in there, my long-time Goon friend. It gets better. A LOT better.