Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
How do you know Shiller is not saying what he wants to say? Are you a mind reader?
Shiller wrote a book on how stock investing works called “Irrational Exuberance.” The subtitle promises a “revolutionary” new approach. And the book lives up to its billing. Shiller has been awarded a Nobel prize for the research described in the book. This book is the most important book ever published on stock investing, in my view.
Why do people buy investing books? They want to know what to do with their money. What does Shiller say about that subject in the book? Nothing. Not one word. Zilch.
You don’t need to possess an I.Q. of 140 to know that there’s some funny business going on, Anonymous.
Shiller wants to help people. But he of course does not want to be exposed to the sort of abusiveness that you Goons have been dishing out for 15 years now to every poster who has dared to “cross” you by posting honestly re their views on stock investing. So he talks about the things that he believes he can get away with talking about. And he keeps it zipped re the rest.
A good solution?
I am glad that Shiller had told us what he has told us, that’s for sure.
But I want to take things to the next step. I want to hear what he believes we should do with our money given his “revolutionary” (his word) research findings. I want Buy-and-Holders to challenge him. And I want to hear his responses to their challenges. And I want Valuation-Informed Indexers to ask him for more detail. And I want him to provide as much detail as he is able to provide in response. In short, I want things in the investing advice field to proceed just as they do in every other field of human endeavor.
I know that Shiller is not telling us everything that he believes because he doesn’t even address the how-to aspects of stock investing in his book. That’s what sells, Anonymous. That’s the first thing that an editor would look for in assessing the first draft that Shiller turned in. Yet it’s not there in the finished product. Odd, no?
It’s not there because Shiller and his editors have seen the same sorts of things that all of us in the Retire Early and Indexing communities have seen over the past 15 years. We have all seen insane levels of emotion on the part of Buy-and-Holders when they hear the practical implications of Shiller’s research findings discussed.
We are going to have to deal with this matter as a society. Millions of middle-class people need and desire access to honest and accurate information on how to invest for their retirements. We are going to have to find a way to work around you Goons and get it to them.
These are my sincere thoughts re these terribly important matters, in any event.
My best wishes to you, Anonymous.