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:
And your “unique” interpretation of events, research, etc have all led to your conclusion that you will be given $500 million and we should also just take your word for it regarding death threats, etc.
My interpretation is not unique. Shiller was awarded a Nobel prize for his work. His book was a best-seller. There have been thousands of people who have expressed a desire that open discussion of Shiller’s work be permitted at every site on the internet. The Valuation-Informed Indexers are a minority. We are about 10 percent of the population of investors and Buy-and-Holders are about 90 percent. But 10 percent of the population of investors is millions of people.
There are things that I have said that have not been said by others. Shiller doesn’t talk about what his “revolutionary” (his word) findings mean in a practical how-to context. He just sticks to theory. I address the how-to-invest aspects of the question. I feel that it would be silly of me to address how-to questions pursuant to the Buy-and-Hold theory since I believe that theory to be in error. I saw a huge opportunity to address questions that have never been addressed before, so I acted on it. I’d like to see lots and lots of others doing the same. The more who get involved, the more we all will learn.
I of course acknowledge that $500 million is a lot of money. But when you consider what is at stake here, it is not a large number at all. I have spoken to numerous academic researchers who are afraid to do the work they think they should be doing because their findings will upset the Buy-and-Holders. I have spoken to numerous professors who told me that they would be using my web site as a teaching tool because they see how important it is to get these ideas out. We all benefit when researchers and teachers do good work. I think it would be fair to say that we stand to benefit to the tune of a whole bunch more than $500 by me getting the word out re this stuff and bringing more people in to explore and write about the Valuation-Informed Indexing concept.
No one has to take my word re death threats or anything else. A simple test that people can run is to go to the Bogleheads Forum, point out that there are no valuation adjustments in the Buy-and-Hold retirement studies and see what sort of reaction follows. I had a friend of mine who used to argue with me about this stuff notice an article in the Wall Street Journal saying that the Buy-and-Hold retirement studies get the numbers wrong because they don’t include valuations adjustments. So he called me and asked how it felt to be vindicated. I said that it felt fine. He asked me if all the boards that had banned me in earlier days had now welcomed me back with open arms. I said not by a long shot. He said that he couldn’t believe that. I suggested that he try going to the Bogleheads Forum and mentioning the Wall Street Journal article and see what happened. He was banned in about two minutes.
Those who want to believe in Buy-and-Hold can tell themselves all sorts of stories and continue to believe. The human is the rationalizing animal. Those who want to figure out what is really going on can easily confirm what I have said.
I wish you all good things, Sammy.