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:
Almost any investing strategy has given better results than what you have had, Rob. To use your words, has it been a “purely rational experience” to stop woking a job at the age of 43 and then to put all of your financial hopes on some fantasy that you will get an imaginary $500 million windfall.
Yes, it has been a 100 percent rational experience and a 100 percent life-affirming experience, Sammy.
It took a lot of courage for me to stand up to Greaney back in May 2002. He had a reputation even then as the most abusive poster in the history of the internet. But I loved that community. I saw that he was destroying the lives of lots of people who I cared about with his error-filled retirement study and I felt a need to do what I could to help those people out. So I did what I had to do to live with myself.
Look at the many blessings that I have experienced as a result!
In the 14 years since, I have had thousands of average middle-class people tell me that they see Valuation-Informed Indexing as the answer, that for the first time in their lives they know what they need to do to be able to invest effectively for the long-term. It’s extremely gratifying to hear people say that. I certainly never anticipated in the days before May 13, 2002, that I would ever be capable of helping so many people with my work. So that alone is a huge plus. But that really is just the beginning.
I have had numerous college professors tell me that they have incorporated stuff they learned by reading my web site into their courses on stock investing. That’s amazing. I have had numerous academic researchers tell me that they have done research to check out whether I am on track or not and that they found that all of my work is A+++. I co-authored research with one of those researchers (Wade Pfau) that was published in a peer-reviewed journal and that I believe can fairly be described as the most important piece of research published in this field in the past 30 years. Wade and I showed that stock investors can reduce their risk by 70 percent just by being willing to abandon Buy-and-Hold and begin adjusting their stock allocations in response to big valuation shifts. Again, that’s something that’s so far beyond anything that I ever hoped to achieve in my career that I cannot describe how far beyond it goes. It’s just an amazing reality.
You Goons have of course done a lot of damage. Not just to me. To the world. To every investor alive. I obviously get that. I obviously do not disagree. So what, you know? We have laws against financial fraud in this country. I am 100 percent certain that those laws will be enforced following the next price crash. So you Goons are going down. Was it worth it for you to do what you did? It sure does not seem so to me.
The results that I have achieved have been amazing. I couldn’t be happier. I am not happy with the bans and all that sort of thing. But it’s not as if I could do anything about that side of things. I have contacted the appropriate authorities and as of today they have not taken effective action. I did my part. Should I cry into my pillow over the one unfortunate aspect of all this? I have a hard time seeing how that would help. I think that the thing to do is to focus on the good, which is 50 times more good than the bad here is bad, and just keep moving forward step by step and day by day.
I am humbled to have played an important role in the process by which we all are discovering how stock investing works in the real world. I only wish that circumstances were different for you Goons and that you could work with the rest of us as we make the world better and better and better. I certainly intend to do everything in my power to help you out. Short of violating any laws myself, to be sure. And we will just have to wait to see how it all plays out.
I hope that helps a bit.
I naturally wish you the best of luck in all your future life endeavors, my good friend.