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:
Scan back the last two years on your boards. Nothing about savings. Scan this site. Ditto. You continue to classify buy and hold as the biggest cause of failed retirements (a lie).
Also, to set the record straight, it was not you that made the motley fool board successful. Saw the old history on that claim and where you were set straight. The prison crap is just your fantasy.
I have focused my writing efforts on investing issues in recent years. But I wrote extensively about saving in earlier days.
I don’t want to see Buy-and-Hold cause even a single failed retirement. If it is true that the Buy-and-Hold retirement studies do not contain valuation adjustments, I think it is fair to say that the number is going to end up being a lot bigger than “one.” How is that a good thing? The studies should be corrected.
Let’s say that the authors of the studies are suffering so much cognitive dissonance that they cannot bear to acknowledge that their studies are in error. I believe that cognitive dissonance is a real thing. So I believe that it is possible that the authors of the studies are able to rationalize to themselves not including valuation adjustments in them. What then?
In that case, the authors of the studies should at a bare minimum point out in the studies that there is 36 years of peer-reviewed research showing that valuations affect the result and let people know that there are people who have calculated what the safe withdrawal rate is in the event that valuations affect the result. Then the people reading the studies can decide for themselves whether they want to follow the Buy-and-Hold numbers of the Valuation-Informed Indexing numbers. It seems to me that it is a lot better to let the readers of the studies decide which sort of study they are going to follow or whether they want to adopt some middle-ground position.
It seems to me that it is the worst of all worlds not to even let study readers know that there is an academically respected alternative to the Buy-and-Hold numbers. If the retirements really do fail, the people who used the studies to plan their retirements are going to be upset. They are going to be doubly upset when they learn that there were people who warned the authors of the Buy-and-Hold studies that valuation adjustments were needed and that the authors of the studies didn’t even bother to let the readers of their studies know about the issue.
These are my sincere thoughts re this terribly important matter in any event, old friend.
- “If Greaney Included Language Describing the Retirement Risk Evaluator, No One Could Accuse Him of Deception, Could He? Greaney Would Be Shifting the Burden from Himself to the Person Reading the Study. It’s Very Different When Greaney Does Everything in His Power to Block People from Learning What the Last 34 Years of Peer-Reviewed Research Says. That’s the Sort of Thing That Will Sway a Jury to Vote to Put You Away.”
- “At the Very Bare Minimum, We Need to Make It a Practice to Tell Both Sides of the Story. Reasonable People Need to Absolutely Insist on That Much.”
- “The Entire Problem Was Caused By People Being Afraid to Call Out the Buy-and-Holders Because the Strategy Has So Much Money Behind It. Is Any of That My Doing? Did I Spend Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Promoting Buy-and-Hold?”
- “I Used to Believe in the Buy-and-Hold Garbage. I Know How It Feels to Be Tricked Re This Stuff. Legitimate Strategies Can Be Defended Without Death Threats. I Earned My Retirement Money. I Expect to Be Able to Find Accurate and Honest Reports re What the Peer-Reviewed Research Says About How to Invest It. I Deserve That. We All Do. We All Should Demand It.”
- Bogle Goon to Rob: “It Is Just Hurting Your Family.” Rob: “There Were People Using Greaney’s Study to Plan Their Retirements. These People Became My Friends. I Felt Bad to See Them Tricked.”
- Buy-and-Hold Goon to Rob: “It Is Far More Likely That Bogle Does Not Respond to Aggressive and Unhinged Letters.”