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:
And there goes the hocomania we see on a daily basis over at your website, complete with the whole fraud and prison insanity.
I find your first line to be hilarious as you give a you speak it, but don’t follow it.
I don’t see it the way you do, Sammy.
Your view is that my 14-year effort to get every investing site on the internet discussing the far-reaching implications of Shiller’s “revolutionary” (his word) findings has been a failure because I have not been able to make a dime in those 14 years and because I have been banned at so many sites and because you Goons are the only ones posting comments at my own site. I view the 14-year effort as a huge success.
Making money and being popular are not the only things that matter. I like making money and I expect to make tons of it once the internet is opened up to honest posting on the last 35 years of peer-reviewed research in this field. And while I would not describe myself as popular today, I have had hundreds of people praise me to the skies, saying that my site is the most important investing site on the internet; even a good number of the site owners who banned me wrote me e-mails when they did so apologizing for it and telling me that they personally believe that my work has huge value and that the only reason why they banned me is that they would lose money themselves if they continued to permit someone to tell the research-based realities at their sites (as it upsets investors who have bought into the Buy-and-Hold Model to learn that the numbers on their portfolio statements do not reflect the long-term realities).
I also want to help people. I want to make money and be popular and also help people. I want it all! I think that I am going to be able to get it all in the days following the next price crash. I believe that Buy-and-Hold is the past and that Valuation-Informed Indexing is the future. I know that millions of investors want to know more about what Shiller’s research teaches us because thousands have told me so and those thousands came from only the sites that I have visited and translate into millions once you open up discussion of these ideas to the full universe of investors. So I will in days to come be paid millions while also doing a lot of good for a lot of people. If that’s failure, please bring on more failure for this guy!
We all want the same thing, Sammy. I want to know what works in investing and you want to know what works in investing. Jack Bogle wants to know what works in investing and Robert Shiller wants to know what works in investing. Millions of investors want to know what works in investing. Some are able to ask for what they want today — that’s why I have been gratified to hear thousands of investors tell me that they love my stuff. Others are in pain because they have planned their futures around the Buy-and-Hold claims and cannot bear to hear that they are not in as good shape as they were led to believe they were in. We all come at things from our own perspectives. But we all deep down inside want the same thing.
If Shiller is right (the guy was awarded a Nobel prize for his work so I believe that there is a darn good chance that he is on to something), we are going to see another price crash in the next year or two or three. At that time, the disincentive that exists today for investors to listen to Shiller’s message — that he is telling them that they need to divide their stated portfolio value by two to know the true long-term value of their holdings — goes away. At that time, I believe that we will all be united in wanting to achieve the huge advance in our understanding of how stock investing works that Shiller’s research and the mountain of amazing follow-up research that has been done over the past 35 years provides us. All of the nastiness that we have seen from the Buy-and-Holders over the past 35 years is properly seen as part of a process that over time is taking us to a much, much better place.
I have been exploring those advances in this column for six years now. And I have over 200 podcasts exploring those advances available at my web site. And I have five unique calculators there. And I have hundreds of in-depth articles there exploring every aspect of this new model for understanding how stock investing works. And I have thousands of blog entries. And I have hundreds of thousands of discussion-board posts placed all over the internet and available for retrieval at any time. And I have videos of the speeches that I have given at the financial bloggers conferences. And on and on and on.
Someone in my circumstances (I never studied investing in a formal way and I never managed a big fund) should not be able to produce such a wealth of extremely valuable material. Shiller is the leader of this movement. But you know what? Even Shiller holds back from addressing the how-to aspects of investing according to the new model; there is not one word about how to invest in his book — it’s all theory. I have been advancing the world’s knowledge re the how-to aspects of Valuation-Informed Indexing for 14 years now. In this sense, I am 14 years ahead of Shiller himself! Holy moly! Like I said above, please bring on more failures for this boy!
I obviously would not be 14 years ahead of Shiller if circumstances were different. If the normal order of things applied in this context, thousands of people smarter than me would have jumped in 35 years ago and all of the insights that I developed and wrote about over the past 14 years ago would have been thoroughly explored long before I came on the scene. You Goons started destroying my reputation on the morning when I put up my famous post pointing out the errors in the Old School safe withdrawal rate studies. I didn’t like it. But I didn’t back down in the face of the intimidation. I saw that intimidation as creating an opportunity for someone like me. You were able to pummel me because no one else had explored the implications of Shiller’s research in depth and communicated them effectively to the millions of investors who need to know about them. Okay, then, I would do it!
So I did.
You can call me a failure if you like. I cannot stop you. And you are entitled to your opinion.
But the story isn’t over until the next price crash arrives and we see how millions of investors respond to seeing most of their life savings washed away in the economic crisis that always follows a time-period in which the Wall Street Con Men are successful in persuading large numbers to follow a Buy-and-Hold strategy. I am humbled by the opportunity that was presented to me when I learned that no one had explored these ideas in depth and by the success that I have had in doing so for 14 years now. I love my country. I love the feedback that I have gotten from those who have read my words, both from the kind-hearted normals and from the not-so-kind-hearted Goons who have taught me many important things about how investing works despite their lack of charity.
You think you have won. I think that the American people have won and that I will be richly rewarded for having played a big role in helping to bring their victory to fruition. I believe that the materials available at my site will help us to recover from the economic and political crisis that we will all be enduring following the next price crash.
And I believe that my chronicles of the process by which we over time lost confidence in the long-discredited Buy-and-Hold Model and gained confidence in the somewhat counter-intutive but highly promising and highly exciting Valuation-Informed Indexing Model will help us all out too. We are going to need to put all this nastiness in perspective to be able to move on as a nation to a far better understanding of how stock investing works in the real world. I believe that the kindness that I have shown toward you Goons (in trying to understand what drives you and how your inner demons really live in a less intense form within all of us, including yours truly) will make a difference.
The game isn’t over, Sammy. It’s too early to be declaring winners and losers re this matter. I believe that we are living through a very important transition in humankind’s understanding of how stock investing works. My most important job is to bring us all together so that we all see the benefits that follow from permitting honest and open and frank and respectful discussions. The motto that I consider before pushing the “Submit” button on every post that I advance is: Be as honest as you can possibly be without crossing the line and becoming uncharitable while also being as charitable as you can possibly be without crossing the line and becoming dishonest.” I sincerely and strongly believe that that is the formulation that is going to win the day in the end because that is the formulation that is most in tune with the beliefs that made this country so dynamic and enriching for so many people for so many years.
But I don’t know it all. I could be wrong. We are both just going to have to exercise a wee bit of patience and watch to see how it all plays out in the days to come. While we are waiting for the final curtain to fall on this amazing saga, please know that I wish you all the best that this life has to offer a person regardless of any differences that we have re how stock investing works in the real world.
Hang in there, man. Don’t let the bad guys get you down.