Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for one of my columns at the Value Walk site:
What you are doing is not “work”. It is just way of avoiding work by creating some imaginary world. You then come up with unrelated examples and try to use the to justify your position when they have zero relatability to what you are doing. all of this is in an effort to try and convince your family and others that you haven’t been wasting your time and that there is some big payoff coming down the road. What you really have become is an internet troll, speeding hours on end making up stories about people and events.
I think that what I am doing is important work, Sammy.
I wish that someone had done what I am doing years before I came on the scene. Shiller published his “revolutionary” (his word) findings in 1981. Say that someone had done what I am doing today at that time. If that had happened, we would all be free today to post about the hundreds of amazing insights that we had developed together over the past 34 years. We would all be better off.
I’ve talked about how many sites have banned me even though I have never once violated any posting rule. The site owners that have done this often feel a need to justify their behavior. They sometimes say that my posts are “Disruptive.” That’s true in a way. Buy-and-Holders get upset by what I have to say. That’s a stone cold fact. It is disruptive for people to learn that the investing strategies they have been using to finance their retirements are in fact not supported by the last 34 years of peer-reviewed research.
I have a catch-phrase that I use in response to this argument. I say: “Let’s Disrupt!” People think of disruption as a bad thing. That’s why some sites use that word to justify bannings in cases where no posting rules have been violated. Disruption certainly can be a bad thing. Behavior that violates the common posting rules certainly is disruptive and certainly should be banned. If you engage in personal attacks or something like that, that is the form of disruption that is bad and that properly should be banned.
But what if you tell people about the implications of the last 34 years of peer-reviewed research in this field? That’s hugely disruptive. But in a powerfully positive way. That’s a learning experience. All learning experiences are disruptive. Good for learning experiences! Good for disruption!
The Wright Brothers were disruptive when they invented the airplane. Steve Jobs was disruptive when he created the IPhone. The Beatles were disruptive when they released “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Rosa Parks was disruptive when she refused to move to the back of the bus. Good for the Wright Brothers and for Steve Jobs and for the Beatles and for Rosa Parks! Good for Disruption! Let’s Disrupt!
We are working our way through a process. I wish that it could be done in a different way. Obviously. I don’t like having to serve as a punching bag for you Goons. Who would?
But I want everyone to feel free to post honestly about the implications of Shiller’s research findings without feeling any sense of hesitation whatsoever. I have learned a huge amount from my friend Jack Bogle. I want to learn more from him. I will be learning more from him once he comes to feel free to acknowledge that he got some things wrong and that there might be better strategies than the ones he endorsed in the days before Shiller published his revolutionary research findings.
No one can do good work when he feels intimidated. Not one person in this field is doing his best work today. Because we are all afraid to hurt the feelings of the Buy-and-Holders by saying exactly what we believe about how stock investing works in the real world. We are hurting ourselves by letting the intimidation tactics of the Buy-and-Holders cause us to engage in self-censorship. We have an obligation to ourselves and to our friends and to our professions and to our country to shoot 100 percent straight re every question that comes up. I am 100 percent sure that that is so.
Shiller did something huge. He changed the history of investing analysis. But, if I may say so, I think that I am in the process of doing something equally huge. Shiller’s findings have done only 10 percent of the good that they will do once they are being openly explored at every investing board and blog on the internet. There is HUGE leverage in opening the internet up to honest posting on the implications of Shiller’s findings. In days to come, we are going to learn and then learn some more and then learn some more. It is going to be amazing.
Someone has to get the ball rolling. That’s my aim. I want to get everyone posting his or her honest beliefs. Is achieving that end not every bit as important as what Shiller did? He advanced the ball intellectually. I am seeking to advance it in a practical sense. Shiller’s findings don’t really do us any good if we don’t know how to change our stock allocations as a result of what he found. If we gain recognition of our right to post honestly, we will come to know that. Each day, we will gain more and more knowledge. What’s the downside?
I love the work that I am doing. Re the content side, I couldn’t be happier. Re the process side, this has been an ugly path. I obviously don’t like the abusive stuff that I have seen. But that side of things is just a reality that we all have to cope with, in my assessment. I wish that it weren’t there. But it is there. We can ignore it and remain in ignorance. Or we can struggle to overcome it and in time bring on a second Independence Day for U.S. investors.
I am proud to be leading the effort to help us all achieve a second Independence Day. You don’t approve as of today. I venture to guess that you will have a different opinion of things following the next price crash, when you will be able to see in stark terms just how important Shiller’s findings have turned out to be. The 1981 finding that valuations affect long-term returns is the biggest advance in our understanding of how stock investing works ever achieved in our history. We all need to be exploring these matters on a daily basis. We all will be living better lives once we make it together to the other side of The Big Black Mountain.
That’s my sincere take re these terribly important matters, in any event. I could be wrong. I don’t say different. But I am not able to see how I could not try my hardest to help us all out given how important an advance I believe this will turn out to be. I certainly want to give it my best shot. I can do no more and I can do no less, you know?
I hope that helps a bit, my good friend.
I naturally wish you the best of luck in all your future life endeavors.