Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
“And why haven’t you Goons DEMANDED such a statement from Shiller?”
Lots of reasons.
1. Shiller has no idea who you are.
2. If he did know who you are, he would say you’re a nut.
3. When he called you a nut, you would just say he’s being intimidated. Only difference would be the rush you got from him acknowledging your existence. You’d probably send out 30,000 emails bragging about that.
4. Nothing Shiller could possibly say would change my mind about how to invest anyway.
5. Civilized people don’t DEMAND statements from other people
1. Shiller knows what safe withdrawal rates are and Shiller knows what valuations are. That’s what matters.
2) I don’t think Shiller would say that I am a nut. Wade Pfau sure didn’t say that. He researched the issue for a long time and came to the conclusion that “Yes, Virginia, Valuation-Informed Indexing works!” Rob Arnott sure didn’t say that I am a nut. He said that my site is right on. He said that he has seen the same intimidation tactics that I have run into and that he finds them deplorable. Bill Shultheis sure didn’t say that I am a nut. He said that he found my site amazing, that he had never seen a site that offered so much great information in one place. Michael Kitces sure didn’t say that I am a nut. We exchanged scores of e-mails and he made clear that he enjoyed the interactions and learned a lot from them. I think that, if you Goons thought that there was anything more than a zero chance that Shiller would say that I was a nut, you would have asked for his comments re these matters a long, long time ago. I mean, come on.
3) If Shiller said that I was a nut, I would report on that here at the blog. If he gave reasons why he thought that, I would explore those. If I found some of his reasoning weak, I would point that out. But I would certainly report what he said. What Shiller says re these matters is news.
4) “Nothing Shiller could possibly say would change my mind about how to invest anyway.” — Um….
5) I think it would be reasonable to demand a statement in this case. There are millions of middle-class retirements at risk. If it really is so that the Buy-and-Hold retirement studies do not contain valuation adjustments, we are going to experience the biggest social catastrophe in U.S. history. There were thousands upon thousands of newspaper articles and web site articles that offered retirement planning advice rooted in the infamous “4 percent rule.” Millions of retirees relied on that Buy-and-Hold retirement advice to their detriment. These people did nothing wrong. They tried to do the responsible thing by checking out what the experts said. They of course had no way of knowing that there were people who knew that the studies were in error but feared saying anything because of what they knew you Goons would do to them if they offered honest comments. If Shiller can do something to help get those studies corrected 15 years after the errors in them became public knowledge, it sure seems to me that he should be doing it.
If you want to just ask rather than to demand, then please ask. You haven’t done that much for 15 years now.
I wonder why.