Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
You have posted everything you have had to say, thousands of times. It is basically a decade+ of repeats. If you were allowed to post whatever you wanted on any site, which just be more repeats, what makes you think anything would be different? Don’t you think people would just respond the same way?
The Buy-and-Holders say the same things over again too. If I have heard the phrase “timing doesn’t work” one time, I have heard it 10,000 times. I don’t mean that as a dig. They believe it is true and they believe it is important. My point is that it is not at all unusual for the advocates of an investing strategy to make similar points over and over again. If you truly believe that timing doesn’t work, you are quite properly going to say that again and again. And, if you truly believe that exercising price discipline (that is, engaging in long-term timing) is essential, you are quite properly going to say that again and again. I believe that exercising price discipline (that is, engaging in long-term timing) is essential.
I absolutely believe that people would continue to respond the same way that they have responded for 15 years now if I were permitted to post honestly at every investing discussion board and blog on the internet. It would be very good news for Valuation-Informed Indexing if that were to happen.
What we have seen from the first day is that 10 percent of the population already believes in Valuation-Informed Indexing and that another 10 percent of the population has an interest in learning more about it while 20 percent of the population feels so strongly about Buy-and-Hold that they engage in criminally abusive behavior to stop others from hearing about Valuation-Informed Indexing and 60 percent of the population is generally sympathetic to Buy-and-Hold but not so intense that they are willing to engage in abusive behavior. If we enforced the laws on our boards and blogs, the 10 percent that wants to learn more would be able to ask the questions that they need to have answered to become converts. That doubles the number of people who believe in Valuation-Informed Indexing. Then that 20 percent would in time become 40 percent and then the 40 percent would become 80 percent.
No new idea takes over the world in 24 hours. Buy-and-Hold is backed by research done by a Nobel prize winning economist and the basic idea strikes people as being rooted in common sense and millions of good and smart people feel that they have enjoyed good results with Buy-and-Hold for a long period of time. This strategy is not going to pass from the scene because some fellow puts up a post saying that he does not think that it adds up. It is going to take years of effort put forward by THOUSANDS of people all coming at the question from different perspectives to cause people to gradually over time come to lose confidence in Buy-and-Hold and to gain confidence in Valuation-Informed Indexing.
I want to see that process get started. If the process had gotten started in 1981, as I believe it would have in an ideal world, I believe that 90 percent of the population of investors would today be Valuation-Informed Indexers. We are obviously not today in that magical place. How are we going to get there? We need to put one foot in front of the other and just make gradual progress day by day by day. We cannot get to first base without first reassuring the 10 percent who already believe in Valuation-Informed Indexing that their views are warmly welcomed at every investing discussion board and blog on the internet. That’s what I want to change. I want everyone who has doubts about Buy-and-Hold to feel comfortable expressing those doubts publicly. I don’t want anyone to say anything negative about Buy-and-Hold that he or she does not sincerely feel. But I want every last community member who sincerely feel doubts to express those doubts with as much strength of conviction as he or she feels about them.
I want to follow the process envisioned in the published posting rules of every site on the internet and indeed in the laws of the United States. I want Buy-and-Hold to be subjected to sincere and polite and respectful criticism just as every other idea advanced in the United States is subjected to sincere and polite and respectful criticism. That’s all that I have ever wanted. It’s a very, very, very, very, very big thing, in my eyes. I find it shocking that there is even a tiny bit of controversy over this matter. It is my take that every Buy-and-Holder alive should want what I want. I am not able to imagine any scenario in which there could be any negative arising out of what I want becoming the reality. I see what I want as being a 100 percent positive for every single person affected by it. But I do very much want this thing.
I do not see it as something that can be compromised away or negotiated away or ignored or forgotten about or whatever. This process-oriented concern is of huge importance to me. It would not be overstating things to say that the pursuit of this process-oriented thing has become the focus of my life for 15 years now. But it is only this one small (in my eyes!) thing that I care about. There is nothing else on my agenda.
I see it as making all the difference in the world if I am permitted to post honestly re safe withdrawal rates and scores of other critically important investment-related topics. To me this is very, very, very much a biggie.
Perhaps it’s not that way for you. Perhaps for you it is no biggie so long as most people continue to have confidence in Buy-and-Hold, as I am certain they would if I were permitted to post honestly. Perhaps for you, there would effectively be no change so long as most people remained Buy-and-Holders.
But for me, that one small change would represent all the change in the world. I think that I am different than most people re the intensity of feeling that I have re this matter. I strongly suspect that this is why I became a journalist in the first place. I made journalism my life’s work because this process-oriented concern means the world to me. Others don’t react the same way because each of us is different in some ways and others just don’t see this aspect of things in the way that I see this aspect of things.
I hope that that helps you understand just a little bit better where I am coming from re this matter, Anonymous.
I naturally wish you the best of luck in all your future life endeavors.