Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
It sounds like it is all one big conspiracy and only you have it completely figured out and exposed.
I have gone farther than anyone else in two departments:
1) Exploring the implications of Shiller’s “revolutionary” (his word) findings; and
2) Using plain, easy-to-understand language re the massive act of financial fraud used to achieve the 34-year cover-up.
Thousands of people have commented on flaws in the Buy-and-Hold Model but not often enough or with enough detail to persuade most investors that they need to abandon it before it destroys them.
I see no evidence of a literal “conspiracy.” I have not seen any evidence that people got together in a room and decided to do this to us. I cannot say that there is zero chance that that happened. But I do not believe that that happened. The evidence that I have seen points away from that conclusion. Specifically, I get the same reactions at different sites. It is not possible that every site owner is in on a conspiracy. Yet owners of different sites and community members at different sites respond in very similar ways.
People DO respond in similar ways. That to me is the biggest clue to understanding what is really going on.
I wrote a column just a few weeks ago at the Value Walk site that I think does the best job of explaining what is really going on. I wrote about the famous literature in the psychology field from the 1950s (I believe it was — it could have been the 1940s, I didn’t check) in which those conducting the study showed study participants two cards, one with a line of 12 inches (again, I didn’t recheck the precise details, I am describing generally what was tested) and another with three lines of 12 inches, 18 inches and 24 inches. When asked to identify which line on the second card matched the length of the line on the first card, 95 percent of the test subjects did so successfully. But when four fake test subjects gave the same wrong answer, only one in three genuine test subjects were able to give the right answer. When asked why, they said that they wanted to be “polite.”
That’s the story here. Peer pressure is a huge influence on the human mind. Bull markets are the product of peer pressure. And Buy-and-Hold is the product of peer pressure.
No one believes in Buy-and-Hold. Not in a deep sense. Not Bogle. Not you Goons. Not anyone.
Yet the Buy-and-Holders really do follow the dictates of the strategy. The Buy-and-Holders lie about every subject under the sun. But they don’t lie about that. They “eat their own cooking.”
We know intellectually what works today. But we have not yet given ourselves permission to make use of the huge advances that we have achieved over the past 34 years.
If the last 34 years of peer-reviewed research is valid, this will end in an economic collapse. I believe that, when that becomes apparent to everyone involved, we will all join together to rebuild our broken economy. I should be working WITH Bogle. My work makes his good ideas (of which there are many) workable in the real world. I am his biggest supporter, his best friend, his partner in realization of his vision. He doesn’t see it today. But I believe he will see it tomorrow. I sure hope so.
I will be there for my friend when he is ready to do positive work, Anonymous. And I will be there for you Goons when you are able to say the words “I” and “Was” and “Wrong.”
You give the impression of wanting something else from me. But I have nothing else in me to give. I love my country and I do not want to see her done harm in this way. I believe that there is a part of you buried down deep where you don’t want to see her done harm in this way either. But that part is not dominant in you or in Bogle or in lots of others today. I don’t like that reality. But I have to accept it, like it or not.
That’s where things stand.
I don’t call this a conspiracy, I call it a weakness in human nature. It’s done a lot of people a lot of harm, regardless of what one calls it. I want to get us back on the right track and I will do anything short of committing a felony myself to make that happen. But I won’t be crossing The Felony Line. Not in 13 years and not in 13 billion years.
I wish you all good things. If that counts for anything, you’ve got that much from me.
I don’t have any more to give unless you come back to the right side of The Felony Line yourself, you nasty, dumb Conspirator!