It’s all in how you look at it. You look at the 14 years of Goon attacks and say “hey, we really taught that Rob Bennett fellow not to mess with Buy-and-Hold, huh?” I look at the same 14 years of abuse and observe that that abuse is what has kept lots of other smart and good people from walking the path that I have walked and thereby has left a mountain of high-dollar opportunities open to me.
It is not possible that Fama and Shiller are both right. The came to opposite conclusions about how stock investing works. Both were awarded Nobel prizes. But one of the two got things terribly, terribly wrong. We need as a society to figure out which one of the two it was who got things right and which one of the two it was who got things wrong. We all need to pull together and get down to the job of resolving the differences between these two Nobel prize winners. We need to begin doing that by the close of business today.
The historical return data shows that that strategy (Valuation-Informed Indexing) has worked for 145 years running now. Buy-and-Hold has not yet worked for a single long-term investor.
And yet the (marketing) experts in this field continue to push it relentlessly. I wonder why.
I feel this so strongly. This is what drives me. I believe that God put me on earth to make the case for opening up this field to honest research because it is so important that we all get on the same page re this one. This is not a case where the Buy-and-Holders have to win or lose and the Valuation-Informed Indexers need to win or lose. Everybody wins when this kind of research goes forward. Learning Together is the proverbial free lunch. It is because I believe so strongly in the Learning Together concept that I built that Retire Early board into the #1 most successful board in the history of the Motley Fool site. This stuff matters. Big time.
The entire site tells the story, Anonymous. Close your eyes and pick a page at random. Then just follow the links from there. If your mind is open to learning things about stock investing that we did not know at the close of 1980, you will be stunned and amazed. We’re talking “revolutionary” (Shiller’s word) stuff.
When you talk about successful Buy-and-Hold outcomes, you are talking about portfolio balances that exist today that you did not divide by two. Stocks are today priced at two times their real value. Why don’t you divide by two?
Do you think that a $100,000 portfolio that exists at a time when the P/E10 level is 8 (1982) has the same value as a $100,000 portfolio at a time when the P/E10 level is 44 (2000)?
I say that the first portfolio is more than five times more valuable. There is now 35 years of peer-reviewed research (based on 145 years of historical return data) showing that this is so. I say that anyone who thinks those two portfolios are equal in value is living in a fantasy world.
Now that I have written these words, I am thinking that I might have my fresh angle for the Ritholtz column. I am now leaning in the direction of writing that one up. So we are looking at four or five articles re the research paper and one re the Ritholtz article, both of which were brought to my attention by you Goons.
People ask me all the time why I even bother to talk with you given your obvious hate for the last 35 years of peer-reviewed research and all discussions of the implications that follow from it.
It’s a process. We are a long ways away from the state of confusion that caused us to tolerate Bogle’s unwillingness to come clean back in 1981. We know more all the time. We understand more all the time. We are well on out way to experiencing the biggest surge in economic growth in U.S. history. It is happening, Anonymous, and there is nothing that you and your Goon pals can do to hold us back. The people of the United States possess more power than a band of internet Goons backed by a band of Wall Street Con Men. It’s not a close call. There has always been only one way that this thing could turn out in the long run.
The people of the United States will win this one. The day that your prison sentence is announced will be declared a national holiday and children will sing special songs and play special games in honor of that importance advance for many years to come. I am 100 percent sure.
PinkUnicorn wrote:The people of the United States will win this one. The day that your prison sentence is announced will be declared a national holiday and children will sing special songs and play special games in honor of that importance advance for many years to come. I am 100 percent sure.
Looks like Rob wants to become the financial community's version of Kim Jong-un. I guess we can all refer to him as our "Dear Leader" as we march off to the prison camps, to the sounds of children singing Rob's praises.
I see her reaction as being similar to the reactions of lots of others. Wade Pfau’s reaction is similar in many respects. He gets it that the Buy-and-Hold retirement studies are dangerous; they do not tell the people planning retirements what they need to know. Wade has said that on many occasions. He even wrote to the authors of the Trinity study asking that they correct their study. So Wade gets it.
But then again he doesn’t. Wade is no longer contacting the authors of Buy-and-Hold retirement studies seeking corrections. He is not even asking that the Bogleheads Forum be opened to honest posting. He is not seeking to get the research paper that he co-authored with me written up on the front page of the New York Times. So — Wade DOESN’T get it.
I forgot that I was still saying things like this even 2 weeks after the initial incident.
This was more than a year ago now, but I am thinking that I was just trying to explain politely to you that I’d rather have you quit writing about me, or at least stop using my name. I suppose that I figured the only way you might understand why is if I explained it in terms of your favorite conspiracy theories.
I will make one more attempt at a reality check for you. You go on and on about how I allegedly lack personal integrity because I allowed the Goons to threaten me into silence.
The reality is that though I may have for a brief moment got a bit too caught up in YOUR drama, I do not have any fears about the Goons.
The reality is that you are causing me 1000x more career damage than the Goons ever could have by filling Google with so much nonsense about me, and sharing embarrassing private details such as my overly ambitious journal submission strategies, etc. Those in particular are highly private. People don’t publicly share where they submit articles to unless those articles are accepted. You’ve violated my trust in so many countless ways and yet you still proclaim to be my friend.
And the further reality is that if I *did* lack personal integrity, I could have made this all stop just by saying the meaningless sentence you want so desperately to hear: “I think the errors in the traditional safe withdrawal rate studies must be corrected by using Rob’s analytically valid method.”
But I don’t believe that. I do not believe you have offered a valid correction to the safe withdrawal rate question. And I believe that retirement income strategies go much further than the question of a safe withdrawal rate. And so that is why I’ve had to endure your ongoing harassment for months on end now.
Usually I can figure out the Rob-logic behind what you are thinking, but I really don’t know how you think you come out of this whole episode looking like the good guy. I guess it is because you think you are saving my soul and putting me back on the path of righteousness, or something, huh? If only you had the power to do a little bit of self reflection…
Now that the whole email history is on display, we have the reminder of how angry you got at the very beginning when I referred to you as dogmatic. Yet, look at the way you’ve treated me for disagreeing with you on something which you don’t even understand. You quote numbers from JWR’s statistical work, but I’m not sure if you can even distinguish a mean from a median. So how can you be sure his work is right? I don’t know either, as I never did get around to digging into it, and I doubt I ever will now. But I’m not sure how a properly calculated lower confidence bound for a 2000 retiree could have been higher than zero.
Rob, suppose the stock market does drop 65% as you are expecting. It might happen, who knows.
Step 1: Stock Market Drops 65%
Step 2: ??
Step 3: Rob wins $500 million settlement from the Goons, the Goons are sent to prison, the investing public learns about and adopts VII.
What is Step 2? There isn’t one. You will still be in the same position as you’ve been in for the last 10 years. Why didn’t something happen for you after the 2008 financial crisis? You are like the guy who keeps predicting new ends for the world as each previous prediction date passes by.
That is why I’m telling you, from one human being to another, that it is time to move on. You are a smart guy, and you could use your talents for something productive. While warning people about the 4% rule is helpful, the way that you go about doing it is rather “catastrophically unproductive” as one wise fellow said to you years ago. I provide a loud voice that is critical of the 4% rule, and so spending your days assassinating my character is counterproductive to your underlying cause. So perhaps you can start fresh with a new issue of social import that carries less baggage for you. What happened in the past is a sunk cost, but you still have a chance to turn things around and start afresh today. And you can do all of this while still being honest and true to yourself.
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