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:
“We will have to see how it all plays out following the next crash.”
Why wait? You could rejoin every single board that banned you TODAY. Just pick a new user name and tone down the crazy. You’ve been talking about writing another book for years. And talking about joining political boards. But you throw up your hands and say absolutely none of it can be done until after the next crash. Honestly, you act as helpless as a newborn baby. Take some control of your life, man.
We need to have everyone feeling free to say precisely what they believe about stock investing, Dan. Hiding under new user names and “toning down” is exactly the OPPOSITE of what we need to see. We need to see people working up the courage to stand up to you Goons.
Take Bill Bernstein. In May 2002 I put forward my famous post saying that the safe withdrawal rate was really 2 percent because of valuations That’s the one that brought on all the commotion. Bernstein published a book in the SAME MONTH in which he said that you need to subtract two percentage points from the 4 percent SWR to account for the high valuations. That’s the same thing, isn’t it? Subtract two from four and you get two — Bernstein, a guy that all Buy-and-Holders love — was saying the exact same thing as the hated Rob Bennett going back to the first day!
So why doesn’t Bernstein get harassed? He doesn’t say anything that hurts Buy-and-Hold from a marketing perspective. He doesn’t say “the Buy-and-Holders got the numbers wrong” or “the Buy-and-Holders need to correct theirs studies” or anything like that. So the Buy-and-Holders just ignore the comment buried deep in his book and continue to push the same garbage studies. The money keeps rolling in!
I tell people that we need to figure out the realities. If the Buy-and-Hold numbers are really as wildly off as Bernstein says they are, we need to get those darn studies corrected before they cause even more failed retirements. It makes it hard to work a con on millions of people when someone says something like that. So I am Public Enemy #1.
I wouldn’t want to get the numbers wrong in my retirement plan. So I try to help out the people who to this day are being taken in by the Buy-and-Hold studies. There are millions of people who have been taken in by these studies. So this is a big deal.
That’s what is meant by the term “bad behavior.” I am exposing the great Buy-and-Hold con. I want to do that, Dan! I don’t want to post under some phony name and I don’t want to “tone down the crazy.” I want to expose the con. Not because I don’t care about my Buy-and-Hold friends. I want to expose the con because I want us all to move on to better things. I don’t want to see my Buy-and-Hold friends continue to waste their energies covering up all the time.
Bernstein should have said things in the way that I said them. If he had, we would have seen that article in the New York Times years ago and we all would be living far richer (in every sense of the word) lives today.
We don’t need to see Rob Bennett tone down, Dan. We need to see everyone else tone UP. This affects each and every one of us. We need to get this stuff right. It’s important. We don’t get there by toning down. We get there by toning UP. Either Buy-and-Hold can meet the challenge we put to it or it cannot. If it cannot, we all need to move on to better things.