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Guest post: The risks of buy-and-hold investing — Pop Economics

Guest post: The risks of buy-and-hold investing

by Pop on May 3, 2010

Post image for Guest post: The risks of buy-and-hold investing

Or, “How Pop enraged some of his readers.”

This is a guest post by Rob Bennett, who writes about value investing at PassionSaving.com. But let’s get real, that kind of standard introduction isn’t enough for somebody the likes of Rob. In fact, I’m fairly sure a certain number of you spit out your morning coffee when you saw that badly colored avatar at the top of the post (colored by me, by the way).
 
For those of you unfamiliar with Rob, he’s a regular on pretty much every personal finance blog that mentions investing and hasn’t banned him. He’s made it his crusade to up end buy-and-hold investing in favor of value-oriented strategies. But so far, it’s been done in such an odd way (blog comments that are longer than articles, a conspiratorial tone, oddly capitalized words as if he were writing in the Bible) that many bloggers, commenters, and passive readers simply hate the guy.
 
It’s reached the point that he has at least one discussion board devoted entirely to making fun of him. Ironically, his detractors, who have spent hours writing posts about Rob, don’t seem to see that their zeal has made them seem equally insane. Rob keeps giving them material. They keep giving him attention. And the fire burns on.
 
But lest I discredit Rob before he’s begun, let me back up by saying that many of Rob’s arguments in favor of value investing actually make a lot of sense—in a way that should make any rational buy-and-holder uncomfortable. This is Rob, edited. Only what I see as his best arguments against buy-and-hold made it in here. And in the end, I’m sticking with my original argument, for all the behavioral reasons I listed in that post.
 
Enjoy. Or claw your eyes out. But trust me, it’s worth questioning your assumptions every once in a while.

Buy-and-hold masks investing risk

When I argue that investors need to change their stock allocations in response to changes in valuations, people often say it’s not possible with the tools we have today to know precisely how much of an allocation shift is best. This is so. The tools we have today are far more effective than most people realize. But they’re not perfect. It’s entirely possible that investors following valuation-informed strategies will make mistakes.

But what of it?

There are no perfect investing strategies available to us. And we need to do something with our money. So we simply have to accept that, whatever path we choose, there’s going to be some risk of making mistakes.

I believe that the reason why this concern evidences itself so often is that the popularity of buy-and-hold causes many investors to hold it to a lower standard than alternative strategies. Human psychology is such that things that are popular seem safe (this is why “As Seen on TV!” is an effective marketing slogan). Logic, however, doesn’t support the idea that sticking to the same stock allocation at all times is somehow safer than making reasonable efforts to shift your allocation effectively in response to dramatic price swings.

To understand why, I think it might help to consider how safe driving an automobile down the highway would be if we decided on the speed we were going to travel in the way in which many investors decide on their stock allocations. Say that you read a book entitled “Driving for the Long Run” and became convinced as a result of the arguments set forth in it that the thing to do is always to remain at a single speed regardless of the driving conditions you faced in various circumstances.

Perhaps you would decide on a driving speed of 65 miles per hour. That would work well on sunny days. But what would happen the first time you happened to be out on the highway during a snowstorm? The rational drivers would slow down to 10 or 20 miles per hour, but you would stick defiantly to 65, likely killing yourself and a good number of others. Staying the course at the other extreme, or even picking a middle ground, would be just as insane.

The same can be said of going with the same stock allocation at all stock valuation levels. You can tell whether stocks are expensive or a bargain by looking at the market’s price divided by the average of the past 10 years of earnings (P/E10). Using 10 year’s worth of earnings for the P/E rather than the usual one year smooths out unusual drops or bubbles in earnings.

Stock returns for the subsequent 10 years show a strong correlation to where the P/E10 was in year one. In 1982, for example, an analysis of the historical stock-return data shows that the most likely annualized 10-year return for stocks would have been 15 percent after inflation.

The same analysis would have estimated that stocks purchased in the year 2000 would lose one percent per year after inflation.

What one stock allocation percentage makes sense both when the long-term return is likely going to be 15 percent real and when the long-term return is likely going to be a negative 1 percent real? There is none. Elect a Buy-and-Hold strategy and you insure that sooner or later you will be going with a stock allocation that is wildly wrong for you.

Many of today’s investors think of Buy-and-Hold as a neutral choice. The thought is — I really am not sure of precisely how much I need to change my allocation, so perhaps I had better just stick with the neutral choice of leaving it where it is. No! The neutral choice is to remain at the same risk level at all times. Since the risk associated with stock investing is greater at times of high valuations, you must lower your stock allocation at such times to Stay the Course in a meaningful way. It is better to make the effort to change your allocation properly and get it a little wrong than to fail to make the effort and end up with a stock allocation wildly off the mark of what is proper for someone with your risk tolerance.

Part of the reason for the popularity of Buy-and-Hold is that many think of it as a safe choice. The apparent safety of this choice is illusory. You don’t want to be driving 65 miles per hour during a heavy snowfall. And you don’t want to be going with a 65 percent stock allocation when valuations are such that someone with your risk tolerance should not be going with a stock allocation of any more than 10 percent or 2o percent.

Buy-and-Hold does not diminish risk. It masks risks. That’s why I view Buy-and-Hold as the most dangerous investing strategy of them all.

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob Bennett May 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm

you said that an overvalued stock may provide wonderful returns going forward due to innovations and changes that are unforeseen at the time. Of course that’s true. If that’s true for an individual stock, why could it not be true for the market overall? A market that looks overvalued when interest rates, for instance, are 8% takes on a decidedly different look when rates are 1%. How does your system account for such externalities?

This is another outstanding question. I got hot with you when you were calling middle-class investors “foolish.” These good questions are causing me to settle down and like you a bit more. I have to say that I take it a bit personally when you call my fellow middle-class investors “foolish.” Those are my people. Those are the people for whom I do all this work.

Every externality (except valuations) is accounted for in the price of the index.

I believe that this is the thing that people have a hard time seeing. If you could focus on this, I think you might experience a breakthrough moment.

Bogle’s genius stroke was to make it unnecessary for middle-class investors to worry about about hundreds of these externalities. Buffett worries about all that stuff. It would be great to do that. But most of us do not have the time or background needed to do it right. So we are better off not trying.

Bogle solved the problem for us with his promotion of indexes. This is why he is a hero of mine.

But he missed something.

Bogle thought that buying indexes saved you from having to deal with any of the externalities. The reality is that indexing saves you from dealing with any of the externalities but one.

Price is different.

Everything else is built in to the price. But mispricing cannot be built into the price. It would be absurd to believe that mispricing could be built into the price.

The extent of overvaluation cannot be built into the price. By definition. If it is overvaluation, it cannot be built in, can it?

Valuations are different from every other factor. Buffett needs to consider every factor. Bogle came up with a way to invest effectively without looking at all the factors. And it works. Except that you can never fail to deal with valuations. Because the only justification for not dealing with the externalities is that their effect is built in to the price of the index. And overvaluation by definition can never be built in.

Overvaluation must be considered separately.

Bogle’s approach is a much-needed simplification of the Buffett approach. But the first draft version doesn’t work. Buffett can stick with his choices for the long term because he knows that he only invests in strong long-term value propositions and that the odds are with him in the long term. With the Bogle approach, you stick with your choices for the long term but you have no way of knowing whether they represent strong long-term value propositions or not. To know that, you need to factor in valuations.

Great, great, great question. I am feeling a lot better about you at this moment than I was a few questions back, Syd. Grrrr….

Rob

Rob Bennett May 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm

regarding your statement that asset managers today do not take price into consideration when buying and selling stocks because they learned buy and hold in investment school: the market’s turnover is nearly 300% annually. Is that what you call buy and hold investing?

The irrational decision to ignore price is rooted in a belief in the Buy-and-Hold principle that the market sets the price properly, Syd.

It might be that these people do lots of other things and that these other things have nothing to do with their belief in Buy-and-Hold. They might all wear blue socks; Buy-and-Hold does not say anything about wearing blue socks. You asked why they ignore price in doing their analysis. That obviously comes from a belief in (or at least deference to) the primary Buy-and-Hold principle.

Do you attribute it to something else? Do you have some better explanation of this irrational behavior?

This belief that the market is efficient is tragic. It is The Biggest Mistake Ever Made in the History of Personal Finance. Take that away, and Buy-and-Hold would be the greatest investment strategy ever developed. All that Valuation-Informed Indexing is is Buy-and-Hold minus the insane belief (I am calling the belief insane, I am not calling the people who hold it insane) that there is no need to change one’s allocation when prices go to dangerous levels.

That belief has been entirely discredited by the academic research for 30 years now. The only problem is — there are still people saying that Buy-and-Hold can work despite this! Have these people ever examined where the idea that you don’t need to change your allocation came from? It came from this discredited theory.

If Shiller had done his research in 1971, before The Stock-Selling Industry spent millions promoting Buy-and-Hold, we would all be Valuation-Informed Indexers today. There would not be one Buy-and-Holder today if only history had not played this funny, funny trick on us by causing us to believe for a time in the opposite of what works.

Now it’s just a question of figuring out how to make the transition from promoting the opposite of what works to promoting what really works without causing a mass freakout among all the big egos in The Stock Selling Industry. I am open to all constructive suggestions re this one.

Rob

Rob Bennett May 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm

You’ve made a number of very counter-intuitive claims

No. I have made no counter-intuitive claims. Syd.

There is nothing even a tiny bit counter-intuitive about the idea that the price you pay for stocks affects the value proposition you obtain from stocks. The price you pay affects the value proposition of every other thing you buy on this planet.

These claims sound strange to you only because you have heard the Buy-and-Hold marketing slogans repeated over and over and over and over again. Repetition works. That’s why television commercials are repeated so often. You have heard these claims so many times that you have come to believe that there must be something to them.

Got milk?

Is there some great intellectual significance to that one? It’s just a marketing slogan. It is repeated at you over and over again to get you to buy something. So it is with the claim that you don’t need to change your stock allocation when prices get to insanely dangerous levels. You believe it. But not because there is something of intellectual significance in the claim. You believe it because you have heard it so many times that a part of your brain has come to think that there just must be something to it.

You have come to believe that the most intuitive thing in the world is counter-intuitive. In eight years of discussion no one has ever put forward even a sliver of logic or data arguing in support of the claim that there is no need to change your stock allocation when prices go to insanely dangerous levels. That’s because there is nothing to put forward.

Logic and emotions are different sorts of things. That’s why it is hard for Valuation-Informed Indexers even to communicate with Buy-and-Holders. We are speaking different languages. To me it is counter-intuitive to think that I would not want to do something to protect myself when stock prices go to insanely dangerous levels. Why the heck would I not want to do that? I mean, come on.

Rob

Sid the Kid May 8, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Hi again, Rob.

First, it’s Sid, not Syd.

My use of the word “guaranteed” was not an attempt at word games. It was my interpretation of your statement: “My belief is that the future is known. I believe that U.S. stocks will continue to provide an average long-term return of something in the neighborhood of 6.5 percent real.” That sounded to me as if you view that as a guaranteed result.

Second, here’s the definition of a zero-sum game: A situation in which one person’s gain must be matched by another person’s loss. Regardless of your personal beliefs, the fact is that the stock market (before expenses, of course) is precisely that. And my statement regarding a foolish sale was not, as you apparently took it, a disparagement of middle-class investors. Investors of all stripes make foolish decisions every day. I have myself made plenty of them.

I’m less interested in reading about conspiracy theories about posting bans and efforts to fleece broad swaths of investors than I am in trying to figure out just what it is you are proposing. Which is why I’ve tried — numerous times — to get you to provide specifics about the alternative approach to investing that you propose, and to get you to address what seem to be rather fundamental discrepancies between the way you view the markets and the way I do. (You can quote Shiller from now until kingdom come, but I daresay that he’d never claim that the future is known in the stock markets, or that if we could only somehow to convince all investors to behave a certain way that stocks would somehow provide smooth and steady returns year after year.)

Frustratingly, you’ve declined time and again to answer those questions, which leaves me wondering why that is. The most obvious answer is that you can’t. I’d find that hard to believe, simply because it would be odd for someone to invest so much in something without a base level knowledge. But you can surely see how someone would find it strange to read an article denouncing the status quo only to find the author stubbornly unforthcoming about very basic details of their proposed alternative.

I keep trying to scratch the surface of what you’re putting forth, but each time I do, I’m finding, like Gertrude Stein, that there’s no there there.

Should you change your mind and decide to provide substantive answers to my questions, I’d be happy to continue the dialogue. But to continue the current roundabout is akin to trying to nail Jello to the wall, and I’m not interested in that sort of unproductive activity.

Your call, and thanks.

Rob Bennett May 9, 2010 at 4:49 am

It was my interpretation of your statement: “My belief is that the future is known. I believe that U.S. stocks will continue to provide an average long-term return of something in the neighborhood of 6.5 percent real.” That sounded to me as if you view that as a guaranteed result.

Okay. It’s not guaranteed.

We all need to make a decision as to what we think the long-term return for stocks is going to be. If you fail to do that, you are failing to engage in an essential step of the process of investing rationally.

Buy-and-Hold makes a call on this but the call is hidden and not rooted in a rational assessment (it was rooted in a rational assessment in the days when serious people believed in the Efficient Market Theory, but those days are long gone). The Buy-and-Hold call is that this is going to be the first time in history when valuations have zero effect on long-term returns. That call is so far-fetched that I reject it out of hand.

My personal call is that stocks are likely to perform in the future at least somewhat as they always have in the past. All of the calculators were built pursuant to that assumption. But it’ easy to make adjustments to reflect other calls. If you think things are going to be worse than ever before, subtract something from the numbers. If you think better, add something.

Those who add something or subtract something are investing rationally. They are not agreeing with Rob Bennett, but they are making a different rational choice. Those who follow Buy-and-Hold are failing to even think through the question. This is my objection to the Buy-and-Hold approach. Investors cannot duck this one. They are going to need to live with the results of their call. So they should be willing to spend at least a few moments thinking it through.

If you don’t want to spend much time thinking it through, it seems to me that the natural default is the one I have chosen, to assume that the future will be at least somewhat like the past. The Buy-and-Hold call, that the future will be radically unlike anything we have ever seen in the past (that this will be the first time in history when valuations will have zero effect) makes zero sense to me. I believe that this call is rooted more in marketing considerations than it is in an effort to help investors invest effectively.

Rob

Rob Bennett May 9, 2010 at 5:12 am

here’s the definition of a zero-sum game: A situation in which one person’s gain must be matched by another person’s loss. Regardless of your personal beliefs, the fact is that the stock market (before expenses, of course) is precisely that.

We disagree strongly re this one, Sid.

There’s this one sense in which stock investing is a zero-sum game. If one person earns less than 6.5 percent real, someone else earns more than 6.5 percent real. We agree on that much.

But the volatility caused by Buy-and-Hold hurts every investor alive in very serious ways. There’s nothing zero-sum about that, in my assessment. In that regard, Buy-and-Hold is an extremely destructive force in our society (because it encourages volatility while the alternative, Valuation-Informed Indexing, protects us all from the negative effects of volatility).

I’ll give you an example that has personal significance to me. I did everything right in the insane bull market. I went to a zero stock allocation when the data said that was the right thing to do. I am now ahead in a personal financial sense and will be moving further ahead as the compounding returns phenomenon works it magic. Buy you know what? There’s a good chance that I am not going to be able to enjoy the benefits of all these good calls I have made as an investor.

The 1929 crash caused The Great Depression. The Great Depression led to a world war. We went far, far beyond the valuations levels of the 1920s in the 1990s. In the event that the internet is not opened up to honest posting on important investment topics sometime within the next few years, I think it is fair to say that we will be entering The Second Great Depression. Say that The Second Great Depression leads to another world war. Am I big winners in that event?

There is more to investing than earning a nice return on your money. To care only about your personal return is a mistake. Our decisions as a society to permit only the reckless promotion of Get Rich Quick approaches and to prohibit the discussion of realistic long-term investing strategies has put our economic and political systems under great stress. You can’t destroy the lives of millions of middle-class investors and not also do damage to the social fabric of the society in which they live.

It is going to take years or perhaps decades to rebuild our society from what has been done to it through the promotion of Buy-and-Hold for so many years now. Pollution is not a zero-sum game; pollution is all downside and no upside. Running huge deficits is not a zero-sum game; running huge deficits is all downside and no upside. I put Buy-and-Hold in that category. I don’t view it as a zero-sum game; I view it as all downside and no upside.

If Buy-and-Hold had good in it, we would be able to talk about it in warm and friendly tones at every investing board and personal finance blog on the internet. Why can’t we? It’s because even allowing the conversation puts Buy-and-Holders at such a disadvantage that they feel compelled to seek a prohibition of further discussions. As a journalist, this rubs my fur very, very much the wrong way. I see this as being a very bad sign.

If Buy-and-Hold were a zero-sum game, we could all talk about the pros and cons. What Buy-and-Hold is is a mistake. We have uncovered two amazingly powerful insights over the past 50 years through the academic research. The Buy-and-Hold Model was developed after the discovery of the first and before the discovery of the second. We didn’t know it all when this model was developed. So we made a mistake.

The thing to do when you make a mistake is to correct it as quickly as possible and move on to better things. It is not the mistake that is the problem. It is the cover-up of the mistake that is the problem. The longer the cover-up continues, the worse it is for every single person involved, including all of the good and smart people who developed Buy-and-Hold. Those people are humans. Humans make mistakes. It shouldn’t be such a “controversial” thing to point that out.

It’s not zero-sum to fail to correct a mistake when it is brought to your attention, in my assessment. It is pure destruction. Failing to correct a mistake can lead to all sorts of dark roads. I believe that that is what we are seeing re the Buy-and-Hold matter. The entire “controversy” is a national tragedy. It makes us all look just awful.

Rob

Rob Bennett May 9, 2010 at 5:29 am

Investors of all stripes make foolish decisions every day.

The question is — Should we be promoting a model that causes investors to make horrible mistakes or should we be promoting a model that helps investors avoid horrible mistakes?

At the top of the bull, stocks were priced at three times fair value. That means that an investor who had $100,000 of real value in his portfolio was being led to believe by his portfolio statement that he had $300,000 in his portfolio. Say that this person had an aim of saving $200,000 by the age he was at at that time. Going by the portfolio statement, he was $100,00 ahead of his goal. He could afford to buy a bigger house or take a super-nice vacation or buy a second car. If we were shooting straight with him, he would know that he was in reality $100,000 short of his goal and that he needed to buckle down and get serious about saving.

We are now 10 years down the road. The fellow has been spending far more than he would have been spending had he known the realities for that entire 10-year period. Now the market is taking back the money that never existed in the first place. So now he gets to see where he really stands. But he has lost 10 years in which he could have been making more responsible spending decisions. You don’t expect the guy to panic?

He’s right to panic. He’s got something to panic about. Buy-and-Hold caused that panic. Under the Valuation-Informed Indexing model, we would have been telling him all along the true value of his portfolio. He would have been making sound money decisions all those years. He would be in better financial circumstances. And there wouldn’t have been any stock crash. So there wouldn’t have been any economic crisis. The fellow wouldn’t be worried today about losing his job.

Panic is an emotion. It is the reverse side of the Irrational Exuberance coin. Lie to people about how good it is during the supposed good times and you cause them to panic in the supposed bad times. There is nothing good in an investing model that causes both the exuberance and panic emotions to be stretched to the limit. The idea behind VII is to encourage people to root their investing choices in the reality principle.

The only downside of VII is in the marketing department. Emotion sells. But too much emotion destroys entire economies. We are paying a price today for having put marketing considerations in first place during the Buy-and-Hold Era, in my assessment.

Rob

Rob Bennett May 9, 2010 at 5:43 am

I’m less interested in reading about conspiracy theories about posting bans and efforts to fleece broad swaths of investors than I am in trying to figure out just what it is you are proposing.

All of your “confusion” is a direct consequence of the Ban on Honest Posting on Important Investment Topics, Sid. I have had several bloggers write me and tell me that they are afraid to write about this topic because of what the Goons will do to them and their sites in the event that they “cross” them. If I have heard this from several, then there’s a whole big bunch out there who are feeling the heat but not saying anything. Once we lift the ban, all of these people will be speaking out.

We have had hundreds of people participate in a constructive way in our discussions and we have had thousand express a desire for honest posting. When we lift the ban, you won’t be hearing this just from Rob Bennett, but from thousands of people all offering their own particular take. None of it will sound “counter-intuitive” to you then. When you are hearing the same basic message from so many people, you will come to understand that it is the most natural thing in the world to take into consideration the price you are paying for stocks before spending your money on them.

Humans don’t learn solely through following logic chains. One of the things that marketers have learned is that we learn through repetition. of a message. We have heard the Buy-and-Hold marketing slogans repeated so many thousands of times that many of us have come to believe that there just must be something to them. To get over that, we are going to need to hear the contrary message also repeated many thousands of times. That will happen once we lift the ban. Once we let people know that we want them to offer their sincere thoughts on investing, we will have thousands of people doing just that on all our boards and blogs.It will all work out just fine.

A Ban on Honest Posting is an unnatural phenomenon in a free society. The reason why it makes you feel uncomfortable is that it just sounds so awful to hear that there is a group of people who have insisted on a Ban on Honest Posting on Important Investing Topics. The best way to respond to the discomfort is not to say “Oh, please don’t mention this horrible thing, it makes me feel so awful to know that I am part of a community that has permitted such a thing.” The better response is to take steps to have the ban lifted before the close of business today. Once the ban is lifted, there is no need to make reference to it anymore. Once the ban is lifted, it is all downhill sledding, all upside and zero possible downside.

That’s when the real fireworks (the good kind!) begin!

Rob

Rob Bennett May 9, 2010 at 5:57 am

You can quote Shiller from now until kingdom come, but I daresay that he’d never claim that the future is known in the stock markets, or that if we could only somehow to convince all investors to behave a certain way that stocks would somehow provide smooth and steady returns year after year.)

There’s only one way to find out, Sid.

I offered to appear at the Bogleheads annual convention in 2007 so that I could present my questions to John Bogle and we all could hear his responses. That would have advanced the ball in a big way. Mel Lindauer’s reaction was to change the rules for who could attend the meeting. He said that he felt a need to “protect” Bogle from my questions. I think it would be fair to say that that was not an expression of confidence in Bogle or in Bogle’s publicly stated beliefs.

I don’t know precisely what Bogle would say if we launched a national debate on these matters and I don’t know precisely what Shiller would say. I know for certain that it is important for all of us that we find out as soon as possible and I know for certain that there is only one way to find out. We need to put an end to The Debate About Having a Debate and launch the actual gosh-darned debate.

Is there any reason to believe that it is not necessary for middle-class investors to lower their stock allocations when stock prices go to insanely dangerous levels? I say there is no reason to believe this. The Buy-and-Holders say otherwise.

People are allowed to have different points of view. But in this case the issue is not that the Buy-and-Holders have a different point of view. It is that the Buy-and-Holders object in the strongest possible terms to anyone even asking the question. I am a journalist by trade. Excuse me if that reaction sets off my Spidey Sense.

We need to launch a national debate, Sid. We need to hear from thousands of people, including Bogle and Shiller but also including lots and lots of others. This is a proposition with all upside and zero possible downside.

It is theoretically possible that my ideas would not stand up to informed scrutiny and that a national debate would bring that out. Is that not so?

Rob

Rob Bennett May 9, 2010 at 6:00 am

But to continue the current roundabout is akin to trying to nail Jello to the wall, and I’m not interested in that sort of unproductive activity.

I understand, Sid.

and thanks.

Backatcha.

Rob

Sid the Kid May 9, 2010 at 8:10 am

Rob, regardless of how often you repeat the above, and how many different voices enlist to do the same, I can assure you that what you’re putting forth will never make sense, to me at least. You refuse to answer basic questions, and seem to demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of how markets work. Frankly, given our back and forth here, I don’t put a lot of faith in what I would learn with your calculators, how they were built, or in your ability or willingness to answer any questions I had.

You acknowledge that it is “possible that my ideas would not stand up to informed scrutiny,” yet for some reason are asking for a national debate to determine that. Why can’t you gain that enlightenment here on Pop’s blog? The notion that the Shillers and Bogles of the world would spend their time trying to point out to you the clear flaws in your beliefs is a bit of a stretch, I’m afraid.

You make outrageous claims, offer precisely zero evidence in support of them, and refuse to answer fundamental questions about your strategy. And you wonder why more people aren’t talking about your message? Really? If you think about that a bit more Rob, I’m sure an answer that doesn’t involve conspiracies will come to you.

You seem to have left yourself in the rather peculiar position in which even an investor who bought your thesis hook line and sinker would find themselves incapable of applying it to their portfolio due to your inability or unwillingness to answer questions about doing so. Do you not find that strange?

Thanks again.

Bob September 10, 2011 at 10:30 am

Sid, I use mostly index funds and ETFs along with some individual stocks and try to get the best values on a world wide basis, lightening up on equity when it seems expensive on a historical basis. This all seems consistent with Rob’s thinking at some level. I also can’t make out what exactly he is proposing. It seems like he might answer questions later but won’t now for some reason. For someone who’s views are supposedly being suppressed, he seems reluctant to give the facts when offered an opportunity.

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