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 attended the first five FinCon events. I did not attend last year. There was a mini-Fin Con event in New York City in May (a one-night event). I attended that.
I attended a number of the events because there is huge potential power in meeting people in person rather than just writing guest blog entries or commenting at a blog. The leaders at the FinCon events could turn our story around in a day. If one of the leaders writes about the 36-year cover-up of Shiller’s “revolutionary” (his word) findings, that changes everything. Other bloggers would follow the lead set by one of the leaders and we would all learn more and more and more. All the bad stuff would be behind us. My job of persuading these leaders to get involved is much more likely to bear fruit when I meet them in person and they get to ask me questions one-on-one and all that sort of thing. So there are very good reasons to attend the events.
The reason why I didn’t attend last year and will not attend this year is that these efforts have not paid off in the way that they need to pay off to get Valuation-Informed Indexing discussed at every discussion board and blog on the internet. There is a Social Taboo against speaking out on the mistakes made by the Buy-and-Holders. It sounds horrible to say “the Buy-and-Holders got the numbers wildly wrong in their retirement studies and there are likely going to be millions of failed retirements as a result.” We all have friends who are Buy-and-Holders. Bloggers have friends who recommend Buy-and-Hold at their sites. None of us like to make our friends look bad. There is no way to talk in an in-depth way about what the last 36 years of peer-reviewed research in this field teaches us about how stock investing works in the real world without making our Buy-and-Hold blogger friends look very, very bad. So most of the leading bloggers in this field are highly reluctant to do this.
The best example of the phenomenon was when Carl Richards gave the keynote address to the last FinCon event that I attended (other than the mini one in New York). Carl was speaking to perhaps 2,000 people. He loves my site. He told me that the work that I am doing has “huge value” in his eyes. If Carl recommended my site during his talk, I would be king of the personal finance blogger world the next morning. But I knew darn well that he was not going to recommend me. He banned me from his freakin’ site! He said that his Buy-and-Hold readers got upset when I posted there and threatened to abandon his site if he did not ban me. So what SHOULD have happened did NOT happen.
The same story repeats over and over and over again. Buy-and-Hold is wrong but it is perceived as a safe thing to endorse. Hundreds of bloggers endorse Buy-and-Hold, right? What’s one more? Valuation-Informed Indexing is right but is perceived as a dangerous thing to endorse. People who endorse Valuation-Informed Indexing get ostracized from the community and can’t get links and can’t make money. Most bloggers want to make money. So most keep quiet about doubts they have re Buy-and-Hold and re any enthusiasms they have re Valuation-Informed Indexing. That’s the reality in October 2017.
I think things will change following the next price crash. I think those who have doubts about Buy-and-Hold will speak up about them more after they see the millions of lives that have been destroyed by it. And I think that lots of Buy-and-Holders will start entertaining doubts themselves when they lose most of their life savings and see the same thing happen to many of their friends. So they will become more open to giving serious consideration to the 36 years of peer-reviewed research showing that there is precisely zero chance that a Buy-and-Hold strategy could ever work for even a single long-term investor. I believe that everything will change following the crash and that I will myself be the keynote speaker at one of the FinCon events held following the crash.
I don’t believe that there is a good chance that I will achieve the breakout that I am seeking if I attend this year’s FinCon event. I might. If the cost were zero, I would give it a chance. But it costs me several thousand dollars to attend a FinCon event and it takes me away from my family for four days or so and it is stressful to try to push a message that many of the people who I am speaking to very much do not want to hear. So I reached a point last year where I decided that I just don’t want to go through that anymore until I see a change in the odds that I will achieve the breakout that I am seeking. I expect that we will see that change with the arrival of the next crash but not before that.
Does that help?