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:
In short, you can’t point to even one person, including you, that has ever been successful with VII.
Shiller knows this and that is why he says not to use his work to time the market as well as he recommendation to stay in stocks.
The only way that we will ever all know what Shiller really thinks is when we act as a society to rein in you Goons. Shiller woild be happy to tell you all kinds of things if you persuaded him that it is safe to do so. The same is so of Bogle. And of Bernstein. And of Swedroe. And of Pfau. And of thousands of others.
I didn’t say what I believed about safe withdrawal rates prior to May 13, 2002. It’s not that I didn’t want to share. It’s that I was afraid of what you Goons would do to me. And you weren’t even Goons in those days! You were my friends in those days. But I sensed that bad things would happen if I told you that your stock portfolio was worth one-half of what you had been led to believe it was worth. Eventually, I did work up the courage and then of course bad things did indeed happen.
It’s that fear of seeing bad things happen that holds Shiller and all the others back today. Shiller said very different things in the wake of the 2008 crash from what he says today. Why? Because people were disgusted with Buy-and-Hold at that time and so he felt it would be safe to do so. Then prices got pushed back up and he became more cagey in his statements.
Everyone will be telling you about the dangers of Buy-and-Hold following the next price crash. It will be a safe thing to do then. But a lot of good it will do you! I’m telling you know when you can still take action to protect your assets. I think that’s the way to do it.
Ease up on the abusive stuff and you will hear very different stories about how stock investing works. There’s a sense in which you get what you want when you intimidate people. But you don’t get what you need. You hurt yourself with your abusiveness when you make people afraid to tell you the straight story.
My sincere take.