Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted as a comment to another blog entry at this site:
No one is going to send you an engraved invitation. That just doesn’t happen. Which of course you know. Apparently the real reason for your withdrawing from the board community, where you once were so vibrantly active, will remain a mystery.
I am willing to help out at any blog or board that is looking for the help that I am able to provide, X. I love what Buy-and-Hold used to stand for. I believe that the game changed when Shiller published his “revolutionary” (his word) research. I now promote Valuation-Informed Indexing because VII is now what Buy-and-Hold used to be in earlier days.
There is huge interest in the exploration of the implications of the new research. I know that because I have seen it with my own eyes at every board and blog to which I have posted. Every site owner should want to tap into that huge interest. Firstly, because it is the ethical thing to do — it’s financial fraud to mislead investors into thinking that the pre-1981 research is the last word on what we know about how stock investing works. Secondly, because there is a lot of money to be made in developing and promoting the first true research-based strategy. And, thirdly, because its fun to see debate re new ideas play out.
Even Buy-and-Holders should be encouraging The Great Debate. If Buy-and-Hold is the real thing, it will prevail in the debate. That makes the case for Buy-and-Hold look stronger while blocking the debate makes the case for Buy-and-Hold look very weak indeed. Also, having to respond to challenges from Valuation-Informed Indexers helps Buy-and-Holders sharpen their arguments and their thinking. And overcoming those challenges would enhance the confidence that the Buy-and-Holders feel for their strategy. That will turn out to be a big plus if ever there are times when things do not appear to be going well for Buy-and-Hold. Investors need confidence to “Stay the Course” in such times. Confidence is developed by being willing to partake in the give-and-take that is a natural part of the discussions held in all field of human endeavor with the exception of investing analysis.
I don’t with your “that doesn’t happen” comment. Unjustified board bannings should not happen. In cases in which they do, it makes all the sense in the world for a site offer to send a message letting the person who was improperly banned that a mistake was made and that the banning has been retracted. It doesn’t make much sense for a poster who has been improperly banned to return to a board where he was banned without him having heard any indication that attitudes have changed. What constructive purpose would be served by doing such a thing?
The site owners would need to make an explanation to the entire community in any event, no? If I were to return to the Bogleheads Forum or to Morningstar or to the Early Retirement Forum and I were not re-banned, do you believe that other posters would not ask me what was going on? It sure seems likely to me that many would do that. What would you have me say? We would need a statement from the site owner.
I don’t have a problem with the idea of having the statement from the site owner not address every detail of what has gone on. I of course understand that this is a delicate matter. But it does seem to me that there needs to be some sort of recognition that a change has occurred. Some issues can be finessed. But the core issue — whether all boards and blogs are going to begin permitting exploration of the implications of the post-1981 research — must be addressed. If it is not, there is just going to be more confusion and more ill will generated in the future. No one wants that. It makes sense to be diplomatic. But an effective diplomacy puts the ugly stuff truly behind us. To achieve that goal, we need to be at least a tiny bit clear on the core question.
These things can be worked out. I feel a great respect and affection for my many Buy-and-Hold friends. I have zero hard feelings towards anyone. If that attitude is shared on your side of the table, people can sit down together and work things out in a way acceptable to all. And we have great opportunities here. The Buy-and-Hold Pioneers are heroes — no one believes that more strongly than I do. They are greater heroes in my eyes than they are today in their own eyes because I see clearly how good things look on the other side of The Big Black Mountain. None of what I have done is anti-Buy-and-Hold. VII is the FULFILLMENT of the Buy-and-Hold promise. It is what Buy-and-Hold was intended to be going back to its first days.
So what we need is an acceptance of the reality that we need to do things that perhaps in ordinary circumstances “just don’t happen.” On the day when you want to work together for the good of every human being on the planet, I am here for you. That will never change. There’s no dirty name that you can call me that will cause me to question my conviction that that is the way to play this thing.
I hope that those words help a tiny bit, X.
My best and warmest wishes to you and yours.