Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
“I’m not shutting up, Anonymous.”
But we’ve already shut you up, Rob! You’ve been removed from the conversation.
You can squawk here, but it will only be for the entertainment of us goons. You can publish vanity books, but no one will buy them. You can send out 50,000 emails, but you won’t make any buddies. Etc etc.
I don’t like being shut up.
And I don’t like seeing others shut up.
It goes against the basic principles of the nation that I love. I want to see everyone working together in a great learning experience. I see that as more positive and life-affirming than any of this Goon stuff. I see that as the future of the investing advice field.
I don’t believe that even the Wall Street Con Men want this stuff anymore. Or even you Goons. I think that, if we could go back to 1981, Bogle would give an “I Was Wrong” speech or perhaps an “I’m Not Sure” speech and everything would be great from that point forward. I think that, if we could go back to the morning of May 13, 2002, Greaney would correct his study or at the very least add some language noting that there are two schools of academic thought re how stock investing works and then link to the materials that people would need to see to know what the Valuation-Informed Indexers believe the safe withdrawal rate to be.
Nobody has a magic wand. So we have to do it this other way.
It’s a pain. It’s stupid. We’re seeing lots of human suffering and we all want to take steps and we feel trapped. Yuck!
We have to get to the other side of The Big Black Mountain. That one is not optional. It’s imperative.
The good news here is 50 times more good than the bad news here is bad.
So I think the sensible thing is to build a record and then step up and let millions of people put it to use following the next price crash, when the case for us all pulling together to follow the laws of the United States and to see that even the wealthy and powerful Wall Street Con Men follow them will be even stronger than it is today. I can’t see any other way to go.
The thought of joining in on the massive act of financial fraud is horrifying to me. I told my good friend Wade Pfau that I thought he was “insane” to do that. That’s strong language. I used that language because my repulsion for that idea is that strong. I cannot imagine taking a path that I told my friend Wade he would be “insane” to take.
Anyway, we have as a nation gotten ourselves out of tight spots in the past. We survived the Civil War. We survived 911. We survived the Nixon resignation and the Clinton impeachment/non-conviction. We survived Disco. And on and on and on. We are a strong people and a good people. I believe that somehow we will survive John Greaney’s unwillingness to correct an important number that he got wrong on the retirement study posted at his web site. Call me madcap.
There are things that people cannot do. I cannot post dishonestly re the numbers that my friends use to plan their retirements. It’s not in me. A cat can’t bark, a dog can’t meow and Rob Bennett cannot post dishonestly re what the last 34 years of peer-reviewed research tells us about safe withdrawal rates.
It doesn’t follow that I don’t care about you Goons. I care.
I wish you all good things.