Set forth below is the text of a recent comment that I put to the discussion thread for one of my columns at the Value Walk site:
First of all, you were banned from those boards because of your poor behavior. I can provide links if needed, but a simple google search will show this to be true.
Secondly, your post in 2002 is famous only in your mind. In fact, you should be embarrassed to bring it up. As Wade Pfau stated on his blog, you were given the answer to your question within 84 minutes. Wade has also stated that you do not understand the SWR issue.
The “poor behavior” that I engaged in was to point out the errors in the Old School safe-withdrawal rate studies. That’s it. Those studies do not contain an adjustment for the valuation level that applies on the day the retirement begins. There’s 34 years of peer-reviewed research showing that such an adjustment is required to get the numbers even roughly right. Buy-and-Hollders consider it “poor behavior” to point this out because they have been covering up this reality for 34 years now and they have destroyed millions of lives by doing so.
You are right that Wade said that I do not understand the safe-withdrawal-rate issue. But he said that only once after saying the opposite hundreds of times. I didn’t go to Wade and ask that he work with me. Wade came to me and asked that I work with him. He said that he had been thinking about my work on SWRs for a long time and wanted to co-author research with me settling the matter once and for all. When we were doing the research, he said that he was so excited that he could not sleep at night. He said that the implications of the research were so far-reaching that he believed that he might win a Nobel prize for it.
It was only when you Goons threatened to send defamatory e-mails to his employer in an effort to get him fired from his job that he changed his tune. I don’t think he should have changed his tune. I think he should have continued doing honest work. I think he would have been awarded the Nobel prize if he had.
Last night I watched the movie “The Insider.” It is about how the tobacco industry set about destroying a scientist who told the truth about the lies that seven tobacco company CEOS told under oath when they testified that cigarettes are not addictive. That man lost his job, he lost his wife, he was threatened with civil damages, he was threatened with imprisonment. CBS was threatened with a multi-billion-dollar lawsuit when they made plans to air his story on “60 Minutes.” The tobacco industry had a lot of money riding on keeping people in the dark about what the research showed. And they used their financial resources to keep people in the dark.
In the end, it was the tobacco industry that was defeated. Word had to get out sooner or later. There were too many people who had come to know that cigarettes are addictive for them to keep the truth bottled up forever. We live in a free society. These cover-ups just cannot last indefinitely. Trying to keep them going is a doomed enterprise.
I think that the truth about the last 34 years of peer-reviewed research is going to get out following the next price crash. If valuations truly affect long-term returns, that stands everything that we once though we knew about how stock investing works on its head. We’re going to see 34 years of progress in our effort to learn how stock investing works come about in a small amount of time. It’s going to be very exciting and it is going to show once again why our system of government is so great in its ability to overcome the mountains of money that vested interests sometimes put into keeping important truths from the rest of us.
That’s my sincere take re these terribly important matters, in any event. I guess we’ll see how things go following the next crash.
I naturally wish you all the best that this life had to offer a person, Sammy.