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:
We have already seen it played out. You posted a retirement plan and it failed.
You pulled out of the stock market because of your lucky VII vesting scheme and you missed out on one of the biggest bull markets we have seen in our life time.
You thought you could get Wade Pfau to be your patsy and now he won’t speak with you.
You have predicted time and again that the market would crash, with each prediction failing.
You thought you could threaten people with made up prison sentences, but it just added to people treating you as a nut case.
You have been banned from every major financial investment community.
You can’t get anyone to respond favorably on your website.
An internet board was created to catalogue your lies.
Rob, I dont think we need to wait anymore as to how things will turn out.
Everything that you are describing is the sort of thing that you would expect to see when the P/E10 level is where it is today in the event that Shiller is right and stock investing really is a highly emotional endeavor.
For me to be persuaded that Shiller is wrong, I would need to see evidence that stock investing is NOT a highly emotional endeavor, that there are Buy-and-Holders who are able to engage in civil and reasoned debate re the last 36 years of peer-reviewed research. I have seen some of that. There were a number of professors with whom I engaged in extended e-mail conversations which were always warm and edifying on both sides of the table. I was grateful for the time and effort those professors put into making the case for the stock investing strategy that they believe in.
But even those professors ducked the question of why we see so much abusiveness from you Goons. If the tables were turned and there were Valuation-Informed Indexing Goons behaving as you do, I would be horrified and would want to separate myself from them in every possible way. Those professors never mentioned any of the Goon stuff although I detailed it in the e-mail that I sent to them that kicked off our discussions. Why? We see the same thing on the boards. I have had site owners tell me that they believe that my site is the most valuable investing site on the internet and then ban me because they say that being exposed to discussions of the last 36 years of peer-reviewed research upsets their readers too much.
Why do challenges to Buy-and-Hold upset Buy-and-Holders so much? The non-Goon Buy-and-Hold defenders should be thinking this one over. I think it is because these questions are so important that even people who possess a strong and serious belief in Buy-and-Hold cannot justify the fact that there has not been a national debate re these matters for 36 years now. They like the strategy but they cannot even begin to formulate a defense of what we have seen from the Buy-and-Hold Goons. And of course the fact that a good percentage of Buy-and-Holders become goonish is part of the story. It is not a coincidence that the abusive behavior always comes from the same side of the table.
The longer we hold off launching the national debate that we should have launched 36 years ago, the harder it becomes for good people to make the case for Buy-and-Hold. Things just get worse and worse because it is such an unnatural state of affairs for debate on so important a matter to be silenced in our society. I am not able to think of any other field of endeavor in which something like this has happened in the United States. The closest parallel that I can come up with is the situation that we had re race relations in the days before the civil rights revolution of the 1960s. Lots of good people saw stuff going on that was very wrong but were afraid to speak up solely because no one else had the courage to speak up at the time.
I don’t believe in Buy-and-Hold, Sammy. I cannot put my name to endorsements of it. I acknowledge that you Goons have enjoyed some temporary victories. But the tactics that you have had to employ to achieve those victories have caused me to feel less confidence in the Buy-and-Hold project, not more. If I am right that the only reason why Buy-and-Hold survives today is that Shiller was 100 right when he put forward his revolutionary (and Nobel-prize-winning!) claim that stock investing is not 100 percent rational at all but in fact a highly emotional endeavor, then we will see the emotion-filled “defenses” of the idea that you Goons have advanced collapse once price collapse and the emotions turn in a different direction. So I am going to have to see how things play out following the next crash before I count any of your victories as real.
That’s my sincere take, my good friend. I do wish you all good things in any event.