Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
If you had confidence in VII, you wouldn’t need to call people goons. You can dish out criticism, but you can’t take it.
I am a journalist, Anonymous. It is my job to tell this story fairly and completely and honestly. I am not telling the story honestly if I do not use the word “Goons.”
There was a time when the peer-reviewed research really did seem to support Buy-and-Hold. That was from 1965 to 1981. The Buy-and-Holders are heroes for telling us so many important things about how stock investing works. In 1981, those following the peer-reviewed research learned that the Buy-and-Holders had messed up re the valuations matter. In an ideal world, John Bogle would have come clean on the day that Shiller published his “revolutionary” (his word) research. Bogle did not come clean on that day. I believe that he was suffering cognitive dissonance. He truly believed in Buy-and-Hold and Shiller’s research findings really were revolutionary. It would be asking a lot to expect him instantly to appreciate all of the far-reaching implications of that amazing advance in our understanding.
The reality remains that we are now 36 years down the road. Our economic system will collapse if we do not find a way to get accurate and honest investing advice out to millions of middle-class people. This is not a joke. This is public policy concern #1 in the United States today. I am going to get the word out re what has happened over the past 15 years.
If I could wave a magic wand and take us back to the morning of May 13, 2002, I would be happy to do so. I am 100 percent sure that Mel Linduaer and John Greaney and Jack Bogle would sign on to the idea in about two seconds. I don’t have a magic wand. Neither do you. We are going to have to find another way.
The only thing that I have been able to come up with is just to continue reaching out to people and asking for their help. I am 100 percent confident that we will see different results following the next price crash. There are millions of good and smart people living in the United States, people who love their country and who will be happy to do what they need to do to help us all out. We will get to where we need to go. I wish that it would have happened sooner. But the full reality remains that the good news here is 50 times more good than the bad news here is bad.
When I explain to people following the crash that those who follow the peer-reviewed research have known for 36 years that it is not possible to perform any investing-related calculation without making an adjustment for the valuation level that applies on the day the calculation is made, most are going to ask an obvious question — Why didn’t I hear about this back when I could have saved my retirement by knowing it? What would you have me tell those people?
They didn’t hear about it because you Goons blocked my efforts to spread the word. Your efforts are documented at this site. Only Goons inject death threats into discussions of stock investing strategies. Only Goons inject demands for unjustified board bannings into discussions of stock investing strategies. Only Goons inject tens of thousands of acts of defamation into discussions of stock investing strategies. Only Goons inject threats to get academic researchers fired from their jobs into discussions of stock investing strategies.
People need to hear about the role that you Goons played in causing the economic crisis. The Goon aspect of the story is an important element of the story. This story doesn’t make sense without an explanation of the role played by you Goons. But for you Goons word would have gotten out 15 years ago. And there obviously had to be other Goons that blocked efforts to get the word out in the years from 1981 through 2002. No? What else could explain the fact that most people have never considered the far-reaching implications of Shiller’s revolutionary research findings?
I have sympathy for you Goons. You are hurting. You believe in Buy-and-Hold. You have told your friends about it. You were embarrassed to have your friends learn that you got the numbers wrong in the studies they used to plan their retirements. I wish that hadn’t happened to you. But you have no beef with me. Your beef is with Bogle and the other Wall Street Con Men. They should have come clean years ago. Had they come clean, you would have been spared that embarrassment. I did what I had to do to protect my friends at the Motley Fool site from suffering failed retirements. There were many people at the Retire Early board there who believed that Greaney’s study was legitimate research. Someone had to speak up. I was just the first community member to work up the courage to do something that very much needed to be done.
I am happy to bend over backwards to help you Goons in any way that I can. I don’t ask for anything in return. I will do that because I think it is the right thing to do.
I won’t say that Greaney’s study contains an adjustment for the valuation level that applies on the day the retirement begins. That’s fraud. That’s a felony. That’s a prison sentence. For me! Not freakin’ interested, you know?
I won’t say that there is not 36 years of peer-reviewed research showing that a valuation adjustment is required in any honest and accurate calculation of the safe withdrawal rate. Again, a felony. Again, not freakin’ interested.
You do the math.
Tell me what you want me to do for you and, if it is on the right side of the felony line, I will do it.
I won’t cross the felony line. Not in 15 years. Not in 15 billion years. Not for any amount of money.
You know the score. Be a tiny bit realistic in your requests and I will do anything that I can to help out. Ask me for things that I cannot possibly even consider doing for you and I obviously will say that I wish you all good things and be on my way. I don’t exactly have any other options open to me, do I?
Your move, old friend.