Lindauer/Greaney Goons – A Rich Life The Old Ideas on Saving & Investing Don't Work -- Here's What Does Thu, 27 Jul 2017 11:22:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2004-2008 (A Rich Life) (A Rich Life) 1440 A Rich Life 144 144 The Old Ideas on Saving & Investing Don't Work -- Here's What Does A Rich Life A Rich Life no no Buy-and-Hold Goon to Rob: “Your Response Is Just More Verbal Diarrhea, Consisting of the Same Repetitive Nonsense.” Rob: “I Wish That You Could Find It In Yourself to Add the Words ‘In My Opinion'”. Fri, 07 Jul 2017 11:10:13 +0000 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:


You response is just more verbal diarrhea, consisting of the same repetitive nonsense.

I wish that you could find it in yourself to add the words “in my opinion,” Sammy.

Thousands of our fellow community members have had a very different reaction to my work. They have told me that my words changed their lives, that they learned from me things about how stock investing works that they never learned by reading anyone else.

Those people matter. My intent is to continue giving them my best efforts.

While also wishing you all the best that this life has to offer a person, to be sure.


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“I Do NOT Blame the 15-Year Cover-Up Solely on You Goons. You Couldn’t Get Away With What You Get Away With Without a Lot of Help From a Lot of Normals and a Lot of People in Positions of Responsibility (Like Site Owners). A Big Part of This Story Is How So Many Good and Smart People Permitted the Goon Phenomenon to Continue for So Long.” Wed, 28 Jun 2017 11:31:49 +0000 Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:

It’s ironic that so many of your blog posts are replies to comments that you would have certainly deleted if you could. Without Sammy Soda, the well would dried up by now.

I understand the point you are making and I half agree, Anonymous. But I also half disagree.

You are right that, if I were king of the world, I would delete the pure Goon stuff. I would not delete the posts in which you Goons put forward legitimate questions. I learn from those and those provide others the opportunity to learn; so those are a plus. But, yes, you are right that I would delete a good percentage of the Sammy posts at the Value Walk site if I were the site administrator there. They waste people’s time and they scare away people who would otherwise engage in interesting discussions. So I see those as a pure negative that should be deleted.

The reality is that I am not king of the world. Perhaps you’ve noticed! So Sammy gets to put his posts up at the Value Walk site whether I like the idea or not.

I could ignore them, right? I could just not respond.

I ignore some of them. When they get to be ridiculously repetitive or pointless, I ignore them. That happens.

I don’t like to ignore intimidation posts. The entire problem that we are facing developed because Normals got into the habit of ignoring intimidation posts put forward by you Goons. The idea is “this is ugly stuff and I would rather not get involved, I’ll let someone else deal with it.” There’s no one else here but us chickens, you know? When we don’t call people out on their intimidation tactics, those using intimidation tactics enjoy tactical victories. That encourages them to rely more heavily on intimidation tactics. So things get worse and worse over time instead of better and better. I see this as a “a stitch in time saves nine” sort of thing. Putting forth a little extra effort on the front end spares us needing to put forward a whole big bunch on the back end. I want to set a good example by responding in an appropriate way to intimidation posts. So I usually do that.

Sammy also puts forward a lot of posts that refer to incredible things like the threats directed to Wade Pfau. We need to get the word out about things like that. So I don’t favor the idea of ignoring those. If there are too many in a row, they get monotonous and I do ignore them. But my general feeling is that the people who opposed those tactics have nothing to be ashamed of and so we shouldn’t act like we are ashamed when the subject comes up. The fact that those seeking to defend Buy-and-Hold feel that they need to resort to such tactics says something about the level of confidence they feel re their strategy. I think we all should be trying to bring that out. So again I am reluctant to ignore too many of those when they pop up.

Sammy is just out to cause trouble. I suppose that he could be called a “troll.” So I wouldn’t object if most of his comments were deleted and, if I were in charge, I would indeed delete a good number of them myself. But, given that they appear, I think that it usually makes sense to respond to them. The fact that they appear and that lots of others don’t jump in and demand that they be removed tells us something about where we stand as a society re the Buy-and-Hold question. Buy-and-Hold was discredited by the peer-reviewed research 36 years ago. Why are we so tolerant of nasty posts aimed at “defending” it?

That’s not a Goon matter. It’s you Goons bringing the question to the surface. But it is the tolerance of the Normals for Goon behavior that really is the root cause of why we are in an economic crisis today. You Goons couldn’t get away with the tactics that you employ in any field of human endeavor other than investing analysis. Why are our collective standards so low in this one field that this sort of thing can continue to go on for so long?

That’s the real question at play. I respond to a lot of the comments because I am trying to become clearer in my head about all of the various aspects of that question and because I am trying to help others listening in both now and in future days to become clearer in their heads re these matters.

As distasteful as I find the pure Goon comments, I do sometimes learn from them. For so long as that is true, my guess is that I will continue to feel drawn to respond to them. We need to know with great clarity how we got into this situation so that we can be sure that we never in the future get into a similar situation. We all have a Get Rich Quick urge residing within us. It is just more dominant in you Goons. So I think that we all can learn by looking at the tactics you employ and by noting our own reluctance to respond to those tactics how our Get Rich Quick urge does us harm and what we need to do to overcome its pull.

I do NOT blame the 15-year cover-up solely on you Goons. You are the instigators of the bad stuff. You serve on the front lines. But you couldn’t get away with what you get away with without a lot of help from a lot of Normals and a lot of people in positions of responsibility (like site owners). A big part of this story is how so many good and smart people permitted the Goon phenomenon to continue for so long. I cannot tell this story completely and fairly and honestly without exploring that aspect of the question. So when it comes up, I make an effort to engage.

I hope that helps you to understand a little bit better what’s going on from my end of the table, Anonymous. You are right that I would delete a good percentage of Sammy’s posts. But the fact that they are not deleted by others tells us something important about why we are in an economic crisis today. We need to know everything we can know about what caused the economic crisis and about why as a society we permit it to continue to do so much damage. So I see it as my job not to duck those questions when they appear before me but to struggle to make some sense out of what is happening when your nasty work is permitted to disrupt conversations that good and smart people would like to be having amongst themselves.

Also, after 15 years of this, I have my doubts as to whether the well will ever dry up. If it wasn’t Sammy, it would be something else. Probably something better. But perhaps not, you know? Perhaps the Sammy question is the one that I should be focused on because it is so distasteful that no one else wants to deal with it. Perhaps figuring out what makes a Sammy or an Anonymous tick is the most important question on the table.

I don’t see it as my place to make a decision re that one way or the other. I let the world decide it for me. I aim to put up solid column entries and, if the world presents me with comments by Sammy, I do my best to respond to them in a way that helps us all understand a tiny bit better the stuff we need to understand to become better long-term investors. That’s my thing. So that’s what I do. I cannot help but speculate about the big picture at times. But I try to keep my eyes focused on what is in front on me and to trust the process (which is ultimately rooted in our economic and legal systems and culture) to bring things to a successful conclusion over time.

My best and warmest wishes to you and yours, my old friend.


Buy-and-Hold Goon to Rob: “It Is All Just a Silly Story You Have Made Up. You Made All This Up AFTER You Stopped Working. It Is Only AFTER Your Plan Failed That You Started Down This Road of Delusion.” Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:33:00 +0000 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:


It is all just a silly story you have made up. You made all of this up AFTER you stopped working. It was only AFTER your plan failed that you started down this road of delusion in what appears to be a way to explain away your failures as well as what seems to be an attempt to avoid going back into the working world to support your family. Instead, you keep telling them that you will be receiving a big $500 million windfall from people that have doubted your story.

I wish you all the best in any event, Sammy.

Please take good care, my old friend.


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Buy-and-Hold Goon to Rob: “Over at, They Are Celebrating the 10-Year Anniversary of the Site’s Founding. As You Know, Your Behavior at Played a Major Part in Creation of the Board.” Wed, 31 May 2017 10:55:06 +0000 Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:

Over at they are celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the site’s founding. As you know, your behavior at played a major part in the creation of the board.

Feb. 19, 2017 is a very special day. It marks the 10th birthday of this forum.

Born out of frustration over the lack of moderation at our previous home, this moderated forum has been a remarkable success. Over the past 10 years, we’ve had over 3,000,000 posts on more than 200,000 topics. We now have nearly 57,000 members and about 10 times that number of guests (affectionately known as “lurkers”). Our viewer numbers are off the charts. We get more than 70,000 unique visitors per day from all around the world. The forum averages around 4,000,000 hits per day.

I’m grateful to you for providing us the link, Observer.

I am sure you understand that I do not agree with the thrust of the words quoted. I would say that there is great POTENTIAL value because of the 57,000 members and 570,000 (estimated) lurkers. Those people COULD be adding to the world’s knowledge of how investing works in a big way and it is certainly their intent and their desire to do so. But so long as fully honest posting on the implications of the last 36 years of peer-reviewed research is prohibited at the board, that potential cannot be realized.

In fact, the reality is just the opposite of the promised potential. So long as honest posting re the last 36 years of peer-reviewed research is prohibited, the board has a NEGATIVE influence. It does not help people learn how to invest effectively. It encourages them in the pursuit of their Get Rich Quick fantasies. The bigger the Bogleheads Forum is, the more harm it does, the more lives it destroys. And that will remain so for so long as fully honest posting re safe withdrawal rates and scores of other critically important investment-related topics remains prohibited.

This is as clear as anything could be clear to me, Observer. If the people running the Bogleheads Forum were thinking clearly, they would agree with me. If you asked them when they started the Vanguard Diehards board whether they believed that honest posting re the peer-reviewed research should be permitted, they would have said with zero hesitation that of course it should be permitted, that the question is an absurd one. They justified in their minds an exception to that belief when they were faced with my claim that it is not possible to calculate the safe withdrawal rate accurately without considering the valuation level that applies on the day the retirement begins and all of the ugliness that followed took place because they could not bear to live up to their own ideals. It was just too hard for them even to admit the possibility that their hero Jack Bogle had made a mistake when he failed to acknowledge the “revolutionary” (Shiller’s words) implications of Shiller’s finding that valuations affect long-term returns back when those findings became public back in 1981.

I believe that I possess a right and a responsibility to post honestly that must be respected at the Bogleheads Forum and at every other investing discussion board and blog on the internet. I believe that every one of my fellow community members, both my Valuation-Informed Indexing friends and my Buy-and-Hold friends, possess that same right and responsibility. I believe that it is a criminal act for me to fail to exercise that responsibility and for the site owners of the Bogleheads Forum to fail to respect that right.

I don’t believe that this one is a close call. I don’t believe that every act of financial fraud that has been revealed over the 15 years will be prosecuted because that would not be practical and because there is a mitigating factor of cognitive dissonance that applies (Bogle and the others who advocate Buy-and-Hold personally believe that it works). But still, in an objective sense it is a felony to insist that posters lie about the numbers that their friends are using to plan their retirements. I love my country and the relentless promotion of this dangerous and irresponsible lie has caused an economic crisis that has caused millions to begin to question their confidence in our system of government. So I don’t want to go there. Not in 15 years, not in 15 billion years. Re that one, my Boglehead friends are going to have to find someone else to participate at their board discussions (it appears from the words quoted above that they have been successful at finding quite a few someone elses).

I love my Boglehead friends, Observer. I wish them all good things. I agree with them on all issues other than the valuations issue and I believe that it is at least their intent to do good. But I cannot in good conscience participate in their discussions for so long as the Ban on Honest Posting re safe withdrawal rates and scores of other critically important investment-related topics remains in place. I believe with my heart , mind and soul that valuations affect long-term returns and that that reality (which has been known to those who follow the peer-reviewed research in this field for 36 years now) affects every issue considered at that board.

I cannot in good conscience put my name up in support of an enterprise that is in the process of destroying millions of middle-class lives and in an ultimate sense threatening the continued viability of the country that I love. I don’t believe that even a single one of my Bogleheads friends would participate in discussions held at that board if he or she were able to see clearly the things that I am able to see clearly because I have worked so hard for 15 years now to overcome the veil of cognitive dissonance that limits their vision today.

I love you guys, Observer. I wish you well. But we can not work together under the conditions that you insist on. I am not able to imagine any circumstance in which that could change.

I personally believe that conditions WILL change in a dramatic way following the next price crash. I believe that at that time we will come to be good friends. But I understand that there is nothing that I can say today that will persuade you that what I foresee happening will ever take place in the real world. So my only realistic option is to continue to do my best to get the word out re the implications of the last 36 years of peer-reviewed research at all places other than the Bogleheads Forum and to hope and pray that doing that successfully will in time generate pressure among responsible people in that board community to demand changes in the operation of that board My personal assessment at this stage of the proceedings is that my efforts will not bear good fruit until the days following the next price crash. But I will continue to give it my best shot. I can obviously do no more and I can obviously do no less.

I hope that all that helps a tiny bit, my long-time Goon friend. My best and warmest wishes to you and yours.


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Buy-and-Hold Goon re Rob: “Take a Look at His Website Today and You Will See Him Talk About Made-Up Death Threats (That He Refuses to Back Up With Facts) and Fairy Tales of People Going to Prison (Those That Dare to Question Him)” Thu, 25 May 2017 11:24:58 +0000 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:

In summary, what we have learned is that Rob Bennett has been wrong about market timing and made a big mistake when he decided many years ago to sit the stock market. As documented on this website and on Rob’s blog, he has been predicting a crash year after year, that has been proven to be false. What is the bigger question is whether this mistake as harmful as his mistake of ceasing to work at the age of 43 with only $400k in savings.

Rob would like everyone to ignore these facts, so he diverts to other topics. Take a look at his website today and you will see him talk about made up death threats (that he refuses to back up with facts) and fairy tales of people going to prison (those that dare to question him).

Thanks for taking time out of your day to share your thoughts with us, Sammy.

My best and warmest wishes to you and yours.


Buy-and-Hold Goon to Rob “It’s Easy to See Why You Have Been Banned from Boards. Take Bogleheads, for Example. It Bans Conspiracy Theories.” Mon, 22 May 2017 11:06:36 +0000 Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:

“The only thing that should be banned are violations of the published posting rules.”

Well then, it is easy to see why you have been banned from boards. Take Bogleheads, for example. It bans conspiracy theories.

We’ll have to wait and see how things play out, Anonymous.

I naturally wish you all the best that this life has to offer a person.


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Buy-and-Hold Goon to Rob: “What Is YOUR Definition of ‘Honest Posting’?” Fri, 19 May 2017 10:59:52 +0000 Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:

What is YOUR definition of “honest posting”. Is there some measure as to the posting being truthful and, if not, it is to be banned?

Honest posting takes place when the poster says what he believes.

You believe in Buy-and-Hold. So you should say “I follow Buy-and-Hold and I urge others to follow Buy-and-Hold.”

I believe in Valuation-Informed Indexing. So I should say “I follow Valuation-Informed Indexing and I urge others to follow Valuation-Informed Indexing.”

The only thing that should be banned are violations of the published posting rules.


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“You Goons Don’t Feel That You Can Give an Inch. And I Think It Would Be Fair to Say That Jack Bogle and the Other Wall Street Con Men Feel That They Cannot Afford to Give an Inch Either. Is That My Doing? I Am Trying to Help Everyone Out, to Bring Us All to a Better Place. But I Obviously Cannot Do It By Myself.” Wed, 17 May 2017 11:58:10 +0000 Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:

Clearly your responsibility to the world (as you see it) is equal or higher priority than your family responsibility. This is a point of view that we ordinary family guys just cannot grasp. If people in Syria are suffering, that’s a shame. But I can’t help them and it doesn’t directly affect me. If my wife is suffering (for an hour, let alone 15 years) that is my immediate top priority.

Could you try to explain your position in terms that we simpletons can understand?

There’s no conflict between meeting my responsibilities to the world and meeting my responsibilities to my family. To be able to meet my responsibilities to my family, I need to do good work. To do good work, I need to be honest. When I am honest, I am meeting my responsibilities to the world.

The reason why people get paid for their work is that they are contributing something of value to the world. If I lie about the numbers that my friends are using to plan their retirements, I am subtracting rather than adding. I would not be earning any pay in that case and in all likelihood I would not earn much. It is by adding to the world’s knowledge that I earn what my family needs.

The stock investing world was turned upside when Shiller showed in 1981 that Buy-and-Hold cannot work and yet Bogle continued promoting the strategy, ignoring what Shiller had done. Today everyone working in this field faces a question — Do dishonest work and make a temporary killing with the possibility of going to prison at a later date or do honest work and see your career destroyed by Bogle’s various Goon squads. It would not help my family for me to go to prison. So I intend to avoid committing felonies. I have never even given the matter two seconds of my consideration.

I didn’t begin doing this work with the idea of saving the world. I expected that Greaney would be abusive when I put forward my May 13, 2002, post. But I also expected that the community would support me once they looked seriously at the historical return data and saw that I was right. No one could have anticipated what happened. Once it happened, I was stuck. I obviously cannot agree to commit felonies. And you Goons do not feel that you can permit me to post honestly because it would mean prison sentences for you for the word to get out re this massive act of financial fraud.

I have always offered to work out any deal with you Goons that does not involve me committing a felony under the laws of the United States. I continue to make that offer today. You Goons don’t feel that you can give an inch. And I think it would be fair to say that Jack Bogle and the other Wall Street Con Men feel that they cannot afford to give an inch either. Is that my doing? I am trying to help everyone out, to bring us all to a better place. But I obviously cannot do it by myself. I have always offered to do anything of a positive nature that I can possibly do. It’s not even a tiny bit reasonable to expect me to commit crimes that might well get me sent to prison in days to come.

I love my family and I want to do right by the people in my family. And I love my country and I want to do right by the people of this country. There should be no conflict in serving both goals. And there should be no conflict with Wade Pfau wanting to serve his country and his family or with Jack Bogle doing so or with Robert Shiller doing so or whoever. We ALL need to serve both our families AND our country. The fact that this has even become a controversy shows how messed up the investing realm has become in the Buy-and-Hold Era.

When I am free to serve both my family and my country, everyone else is too. When everyone else is free to serve his or her family and his or her country, I will be too. We need to apply the laws of the United States to the investing realm. That’s the only way to put the nasty stuff behind us and move on to better days.

I did not volunteer for this. It’s not like I said on the morning of May 13, 2002, “Oh, I know what I will do, I will start a revolution in our understanding of how stock investing works!” I pointed out that Greaney’s study does not contain a valuations adjustment and that perhaps the people in that community needed to consider what the SWR would be if valuations were considered. I received a very, very strong positive reaction from my fellow community members. Then you Goons stepped in and caused all the problems.

I am not seeking to be a hero. I believe that I will be perceived as a hero when we all make it together to the other side. Millions of people’s lives will be saved. That’s going to be viewed as hero stuff. But that’s not happening because I made a decision to sacrifice my family to make it happen. I put up a post relating to retirement planning at a retirement planning board and a bunch of Buy-and-Holders went freakin’nuts. I was faced with circumstances in which I had to either agree to commit financial fraud or develop the understanding of how stock investing works to the degree necessary for me to overcome you Goons. It turned out that doing that meant revolutionizing the field and me becoming a hero. I can live with that. But I certainly didn’t go into this with the intent of making that happen.

I believe that my wife will come through this just fine. But I wouldn’t agree to commit financial fraud even if someone could go into the future and tell me that me refusing to do so would cause her to not end up just fine. I cannot post dishonestly re the numbers that my friends use to plan their retirements. It is not in me. Asking me to do that is like asking me to flap my arms and fly over traffic jams. It’s an absurdity. It is something that can never happen.

If my wife gets hit by a meteor, I cannot do anything about it. I would’t like it. But there’s nothing I can do about it. If InvestoWorld has gotten so messed up that a man cannot post honestly on safe withdrawal rates without his wife being forced to pay some sort of penalty, that’s the equivalent of getting hit by a meteor. It is something that no one could expect or even understand. You are asking me to buy into something that cannot be understood. I don’t live my life that way. I try to stay rooted in the realities of life.

It is a reality of life that Shiller showed in 1981 that valuations affect long-term returns and that Greaney’s retirement study does not contain a valuations adjustment and that financial fraud is a felony publishable by a prison sentence. I of course acknowledge that some weird things have played out re this matter. But it is more than a little hard for me to believe that there is not going to be a day when the laws of this country are enforced and you Goons are placed in prison cells. On that day, I will be freed to help out the thousands of my fellow community members who have said that they want to be able to hear my message and the millions more like them out there in the real world who did not happen to participate at the discussion boards and blogs to which I have taken this matter over the first 15 years of our discussions. So I cannot imagine that this will not eventually be brought to a successful conclusion.

I love BOTH my family AND my country. I don’t see a need to choose one and sell the other out. I am working to serve both very effectively. And I have reason to believe that that plan will work out more than fine for all concerned. We know that there are millions of people who want access to a better way to invest, the first true research-backed approach. And we know that most of the people who work in this field are anxious to be able to do honest work again — those people are going to be thrilled when we make it to the other side and will be friends of mine for life. Even you Goons end up better off when I overcome you. The fewer lives you destroy, the shorter your prison sentences will be. Shorter prison sentences are better than longer prison sentences.

So I just don’t buy into your premise that there is some sort of conflict here between serving my family and serving my country. Doing good, honest work serves both. That’s my plan and that has been my plan going back to the first day.

I hope that helps a small bit.


Buy-and-Hold Goon to Rob: “It Is Your Poor Family That Suffers” Tue, 16 May 2017 11:30:12 +0000 Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:

I really don’t know what good you think you are doing living in a dream world. In the end, it is your poor family that suffers.

Everyone on the planet suffers for so long as the Campaign of Terror against our board and blog communities continues, Anonymous.

I am going to bring it to an end. Count it.

I am 100 percent confident that I will be extremely well-compensated for doing so. That will make my long-sufering wife happy!

It will all work out in the end. We live in a great country that was smart enough to put laws in place to cover these sorts of situations long before I even came on the scene.

Anyway, I do wish you all good things. While ALSO wanting the American people to win this one, you know?


“No One Fights This Hard to Block a Non-Story From Getting Out” Fri, 12 May 2017 11:18:01 +0000 Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:

I don’t even think there is a story to begin with.

Your behavior tells a different story. No one fights this hard to block a non-story from getting out.


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