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:
“the e-mails in which he expresses his fears of you Goons are posted at my web site.”
Not true, as you well know. http://arichlife.passionsaving…
“I wouldn’t lose my job even if people did complain about me, and as far as I know, no one ever did email or call my employer. My research has not been impacted by any alleged threats, and it is really insulting and disgusting all of the times you’ve suggested otherwise.”
“You will just spin my comment as proof that I’m really afraid to speak truthfully. You will do this all in a very long series of comments which may approach 10,000 words in total. But it’s all so tiring and implausible. Please don’t spend your day doing this. Go play with your kids. It’s time to move on.”
But of course, it’s never time to move on.
Wade said those words. You are quoting him accurately.
But of course he said those words AFTER being threatened. You are quoting words from a hostage video. He offered very different sorts of words on numerous occasions PRIOR to the time when you threatened him with career destruction if he continued to say publicly what he really believes about safe withdrawal rates.
I have a category for “Wade Pfau” at my blog. There are lots of entries listed under that category. Interested parties can read as many of them as they like to learn the full realities for themselves. You quoted from one above. Please note that I did not fail to include that one in the mix. Things Wade said after the threats were made are indeed part of the story. Wade is not the only person in this field who has been intimidated. LOTS of people in this field have been intimidated, some in direct ways like Wade and many others in indirect ways (such as by seeing what happens to people like Wade and me when they express their sincere beliefs re safe withdrawal rates and other important investing topics.
Things Wade said before the threats were made are ALSO an important part of the story. Interested parties need to read both sorts of comments. And then they need to reflect on how far out of the norms of our society this sort of thing is. Why are people who work in this field AFRAID to say what they believe about Buy-and-Hold?
They are afraid because Shiller’s 1981 finding that valuations affect long-term returns DISCREDITED the Buy-and-Hold strategy and yet advocates of the strategy to his day continue to claim that it is a research-backed strategy. Those people have a responsibility to let people know that there are two schools of thought as to how stock investing works, not one. Every investor alive should know that, if it is Shiller who is right and not Fama, that Buy-and-Hold is very dangerous stuff.
I had not thought that through at one point in time. Wade had not thought that through at one point in time. Lots of others have not thought it through even today. We all need to be thinking this through. If Shiller is right, Buy-and-Hold is dangerous. If people really believe in Buy-and-Hold (millions of good and smart people do), they need to continue to advocate it. But there is no excuse for those people not to let investors know that there is another school of thought and that the lead advocate of that other school of thought has been awarded a Nobel prize for his work in this field.
No one should ever feel afraid that his career will be damaged in even a tiny way because he shares his true beliefs re how stock investing works. All of us, Buy-and-Holders and Valuation-Informed Indexers alike, should be making it our top priority to insure that the days when something like what we saw happen with Wade Pfau can never, ever, ever happen again.
Those are my sincere thoughts re this terribly important matter, in any event.