Set forth below is the text of a conversation that recently took place at the FinCon Community on Facebook:
Miranda Marquit: Also, I’m looking for a legit Boglehead. Any of you been (or still are) a Boglehead? Would like to know what it’s like to be on the “inside” as well as if there are some issues with being too fervent about it.
Doug Nordman: I’ve been a member of the Bogleheads forum since 2007, if that helps. I was also at the Vanguard Diehards forum with Morningstar when the first Bogleheads broke free to build a better forum. But I’ve never had any accounts with Vanguard or been to a Bogleheads’ meetup. Years ago I remember that Mike Piper had been to one.
The Bogleheads forum, like every forum, has its share of passionate zealots. It’s heavily moderated to stay on topic and avoid self-promotion, which its (remaining) members seem to prefer. Its wiki is also exceptional, and I’ve helped build out the military part of that.
It has a forum’s usual share of drama. It’s also produced several very good investing books and become a tremendous educational resource.
Tom Drake: Rob Bennett
Doug Nordman: Tom, I wouldn’t do that to Miranda.
Rob Bennett: Miranda knows me. We are friends. I am friends with Tom as well. And it has always been my hope to be friends with all Bogleheads (including you, Doug). The fact that some of my Boglhead friends do not view me as a friend is an unfortunate and sad reality.
Tom Drake: Miranda is looking for any issues, so I thought Rob would be a good addition to her post.
Rob Bennett: If I were asked by Miranda or anyone else about the Bogleheads Forum, I would say that it is an amazing resource populated by lots of smart and good people that has unfortunately suppressed discussion of the far-reaching implications of the 36 years of peer-reviewed research in this field showing that valuations affect long-term returns. I greatly enjoyed the time that I spent at the forum and learned a lot from the experience and made lots of good friends. But I was not willing to say either that the Buy-and-Hold retirement studies contain valuation adjustments or that such adjustments are not needed to get the numbers right. So I am no longer permitted to post there. It is my belief that I am not the only one who lost out as a result of that decision. Everyone who participates at the board lost out on a great learning experience. We all learn more when we permit our beliefs to be challenged in civil and reasoned discussions.