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:
Again, stop trying to blame Someone else (in this case, Jack), for YOUR failures. You are the one that decided to retire with inadequate savings and you are the one that made poor investing decisions. Making up stories about Jack will not help you and has only resulted in making you look like a lunatic.
Jack Bogle offers investing advice and there are responsibilities that follow from that. Jack knows about Shiller’s research. He should have acknowledged back in 1981 that peer-reviewed research had been published showing that his investing strategy can never work in the long run. His failure to do that has caused millions of people to suffer serious financial setbacks. So I certainly do say that Jack has failed to honor his responsibilities.
In fairness, I certainly do NOT say that Jack is alone in this regard. The personal finance journalists have failed to honor their responsibilities. They should be asking Jack in every interview why he has not updated the Buy-and-Hold strategy to reflect the last 34 years of peer-reviewed research. The policymakers have failed to honor their responsibilities. They should have attributed the economic crisis that began in 2008 to the heavy promotion of Buy-and-Hold strategies. The academic researchers have failed to honor their responsibilities. Rob Arnott told me that he has seen academic researchers trying to do important work on Valuation-Informed Indexing threatened with career destruction if they make the Buy-and-Holders “look bad.” That sort of thing should never happen. The researchers need to expose such intimidation tactics when they learn of them. We need to see articles published on the front page of the New York Times when things like this happen.
Rob Bennett too failed his responsibilities for a time. I knew about the errors in the Old School retirement studies in May 1999, when I first began posting at the Motley Fool board. I held back from saying anything for three years because I knew that the Buy-and-Holders would attack me if I posted honestly about what the research shows. I was a coward. I was irresponsible. I was wrong.
We all need to do better, Sammy. Bogle needs to do better. Shiller needs to do better. I need to do better. You need to do better. Every site owner needs to do better.
We will all reap the rewards of what we learned from the last 34 years of peer-reviewed research when we all work up the courage to talk openly about the far-reaching and very exciting and positive and life-affirming implications of that research. We’re almost there. We are on the one-yard line today. We need to pull together and reassure ourselves that we will all look out for each other until we work up the courage to give it that one final push to get us to the place where deep in our hearts we all very much want to go.
That’s my sincere take re these terribly important matters in any event.
I wish you all the best things that this life has to offer a person, my good friend.