Set forth below is the text of a comment that I posted recently to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
If I asked Mike Piper why he considered banning you, do you think he would tell me the truth?
I do not.
Most likely he would mix partial truths with partial falsehoods.
I’ve seen a lot of that sort of thing over the past 14 years, both from Mike and from others.
To get full truths from the flawed humans, you need to impose negative consequences on those who advance either full falsehoods or partial falsehoods. That’s the norm in the vast majority of life endeavors. We all frequently experience temptations to advance either full or partial falsehoods but the vast majority of us generally resist those temptations because we know about the negative consequences that follow from giving in to them.
It doesn’t work that way in the investing advice field during out-of-control bull markets. Bull Markets are Liars Market. The two terms are synonymous. If stock prices are going up by the amount justified by economic growth (6.5 percent real per year), we don’t call that market a bull market. It’s only when we are collectively telling ourselves big lies about the size of our portfolios that we push stock prices up enough to support the use of the term “bull market.” The P/E10 metric shows the extent of overvaluation present in the market at any given time. Another way of saying it is that the P/E10 metric shows the extent of dishonesty present among market participants at any given point in time.
It is the humans who make markets. It is the humans who tell the lies that support bull markets. Who else could it be? When we are in a bull market, the investing experts are telling lies. So are the investing journalists. So are the investing bloggers. So are the economists. So are the policymakers. So are the researchers. So are the authors. So are the professors. You can’t have a bull market without lots of people telling lots of lies.
All humans are tempted to lie from time to time. During bull markets, the payoff for telling lies is huge and the penalty for being caught in lies is small or non-existent. The bigger the bull market, the bigger the lies. We are today living through the tail end of the biggest bull market in U.S. history.
The more lies that are told about how stock investing works, the more human misery there is that is experienced by the humans affected (which includes even non-investors living in the nation of people permitting the bull market to continue).
We are all subject to the pressure to lie during a bull market. And we all suffer the results of those lies. Those two realities cause me to feel sympathy for those who promote or tolerate the promotion of Buy-and-Hold strategies.
The human misery caused by the Buy-and-Hold Crisis has grown very large indeed. That reality strengthens my resolve to open up the possibility for those of us who care about our readers or clients to speak honestly about the implications of the last 35 years of peer-reviewed research in this field.
Buy-and-Hold is a lie. I don’t approve.
Mike Piper promotes Buy-and-Hold. It follows that Mike Piper is a liar. I don’t approve.
Mike Piper has caused huge amounts of human misery with his lies. I don’t approve.
Mike Piper lied to himself about Buy-and-Hold before he lied to anyone else about Buy-and-Hold. That’s a mitigating factor that needs to be taken into consideration by anyone assessing how bad a fellow Mike Piper really is.
Mike Piper is in very good company with his promotion of Buy-and-Hold. The smartest and best people in the field do the same. That’s another mitigating factor.
Mike Piper cares about his readers. He is in all other respects a good guy. That’s another mitigating factor.
Mike Piper would not be able to make a living in this field if he told the truth about what the last 35 years of peer-reviewed research says. That’s a well-estbablished, well-documented fact. That’s another mitigating factor.
There are lots of mitigating factors to consider when assessing how good or bad a fellow Mike Piper is.
That’s my sincere take re these terribly important matters in any event, my good friend.
I naturally wish you all good things.