Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
Some dads work to support their families. Others wait around for something to happen.
Others still accept the call to serve their country when their country is in greater immediate need of their services.
This country provides great opportunities for families that work hard, as does mine. But if this country collapses, my family will be hurt in a very serious way. My mother lived through the Great Depression. She had to leave school to work to put food on the table when she was in eight grade and she never got over that pain; it is the reason why she pushed me so hard to succeed in school that I was one of few in my neighborhood who went to college much less law school.
There are millions of citizens of this country who today are putting their money aside to provide for their retirements, having no idea that the investing “strategy” they are following is a con designed to take as much money as possible out of their pockets and into the pockets of a small number of Wall Street Con Men. If those of us who are aware of the massive con do not put an end to it shortly after the onset of the next price crash, we will be likely be heading into the Second Great Depression. If stocks continue to perform in the future anything at all as they have always performed in the past, the Second Great Depression will be deeper and will last longer than the First Great Depression (the P/E10 level of the Buy-and-Hold bull market was FAR worse than the one that caused the First Great Depression).
The people of this country are tough and the people of this country are kind. They can overcome a lot. But they are entitled to honesty re what the last 35 years of peer-reviewed research says about what works in stock investing. They need to hear some honest voices if there is ever to be healing re the biggest (by a factor of 50) act of financial fraud in U.S. history.
It’s not even just the millions of middle-class families who need honesty. The Wall Street Con Men want out of the trap in which they today find themselves. Freakin’ Jack Bogle himself wants out. It was one of Jack’s honest statements that helped me understand why the numbers in Gtreaney’s study are so wildly off the mark. I myself would not have seen through the con had Jack Bogle not had a desire for honesty within him that found expression in his books and in his speeches.
The need for personal integrity is a widely felt need. You Goons feel it. You have been pretending that you do not in the hundreds of thousands of abusive posts that you have put forward over the first 14 years of our discussions over whether or not to permit honest posting on the last 35 years of peer-reviewed research. But it is clear to anyone paying close attention that you are lying. You are hurting because of your relentless abusiveness and your relentless criminality. There was a day when you aspired to something better. Each day that goes by in which those who live in fear of you fail to speak up to stop you, you feel a little worse about yourselves.
Not this boy.
I am there for my wife. I am there for my children. I am there for my fellow middle-class workers. I am there for the many good and smart people who work in this field and who long to feel free to do honest work again. I am there for the Wall Street Con Men. I am there for you Goons.
There is no conflict between my duty to support my family and my duty to serve my country. I support my family BY serving my country.
I have zero intention of using that $500 million check to buy rare Bob Dylan albums, Anonymous. That money is the fruit of the blood, sweat and tears that I have devoted to overcoming this massive act of financial fraud for 14 years now. And that money goes to my family. I have a funny hunch that that will be enough for them to somehow struggle by for a few years. It might even supply the slack needed for them to take in an extra week at the beach one or two times. We’ll see. I can imagine something like that happening.
Yes, I have a duty to support my family financially. I will fulfill that duty. Count it.
I also have a duty to serve my country by seeing that you Goons are placed in prison cells, where you belong. That duty is equally clear and even more important. There will be no middle-class families for anyone to support unless you Goons are placed in prison cells shortly following the onset of the next price crash (if not before!). That’s the primary duty. That’s the one that comes first.
I take my responsibilities seriously. I have said that I will do the work needed to insure that those who have posted in “defense” of Mel Lindauer and John Greaney and Jack Bogle spend a long time in prison cells so that those who live in the same country as they do and who have a natural desire to craft effective retirement plans can learn what they need to learn to do so without being intimidated into silence by the types of individuals who have long enjoyed the blessings of this country but who have given in to feelings of hate for the millions of middle-class workers who did the work that provides for those blessings.
I am no Numbers Guy, Anonymous. I have from time to time had to ask for help re the numbers-related stuff that has come up over the course of the past 14 years. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I think it would be fair to say that my strength is that I understood the responsibilities that fell to those of us who have taken a look at the last 35 years of peer-reviewed research in this field long before most others who work in this field.
I am 100 percent confident that all the others were aware of those responsibilities on one level of consciousness. I have either been blessed or cursed with a keen awareness of how important it is that those responsibilities be fulfilled REGARDLESS of the level of abusiveness directed at those seeking to fulfill them. I think it would be fair to say that I have proven myself “special” in that regard, may God have mercy on my soul for whatever sins I have committed that caused Him in his great wisdom to bestow that “honor” on me.
Please don’t devote any further moments of your precious last few days of freedom worrying whether Old Farmer Hocus will satisfy his obligation to provide for his family. He’s doing it. This is how it is done. Wade Pfau’s family needed money. He did what he had to do to get it for them. Don’t think for two seconds that Wade isn’t aware somewhere in his heart that he did the wrong thing by getting the money his family legitimately needs by betraying his country.
Not one of us should ever have to make that choice. In a world in which the laws against financial fraud are being properly enforced, not one of us will ever again have to do so. In a world in which it is in all the papers how you Goons have been taken away in handcuffs, no one in this field is going to feel afraid to report honestly on what the last 35 years of peer-reviewed research tells us about safe withdrawal rates or about any other critically important investment-related topics.
I am going to do what I can to insure that I fulfill ALL my responsibilities. Count it.
And that’s all I can do. If my best efforts are not enough to get the job done, that’s God’s plan and I will have to accept it whether my feeble brain is capable of understanding it or not.
When my boys were small, I read to them before they went to sleep each night. Usually, we voted for adventure stories. But there were a few times when I felt obligated to read Bible stories. One time I read them the story of Abraham and Issac (God asks Abraham to put a stake through Issac’s heart). I was horrified by the story that I was telling as I was hearing the words come out of my mouth. At the end, I told my boys that this was the Bible and that it was the word of God and that they needed to learn its lessons to live their lives properly. And I added: “But your dad would never do that!”
I sometimes wonder if God was playing a little joke on me (if so, it’s not funny, God!) by placing me in circumstances in which I would be asked to place stakes in both of my boys’ hearts SLOWLY AND GRADUALLY over the course of the following 14 years since I was such a smarty pants as to question the way Abraham was asked to show his obedience.
Who knows? Maybe it’s all just coincidence. Maybe there is no God. Maybe it’s all just in my head.
Whether it is all just in my head or not, there are things that a person can do and there are things that a person cannot do. I had 40 binders in my basement in the days when I was putting together my retirement plan because we didn’t have clouds on which to store our stuff in those days and getting those darn numbers right mattered to me. The thought of deliberately telling lies about those numbers because some group of internet Goons intimidated me into doing so horrifies me. I can never become that person. It is not remotely possible that I will ever become that person even if I live as long as Abraham lived (Google tells me it was 175 years).
It’s not going to happen.
Nice try, though.
Take care, man.