Author Topic: Efficient Markets, RIP  (Read 93667 times)

JohnGalt

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #300 on: August 15, 2012, 03:36:38 PM »
I think the difference is that we see that of all of the people that "understand" market timing (TA, psychological forces, etc.), there hasn't been any evidence that this understanding has helped them beat the market at all, and indeed, a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

Thus it's a promise of false knowledge, an illusion, a mirage, at best.

In that case, here's some more peddlers of false knowledge:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/168895-shiller-s-cyclically-adjusted-price-earning-ratio-as-long-term-timing-indicator

A timing method that achieves slightly greater gains over index investing at nearly half the level of volatility. 

Schiller, of course, is the father of behavioral economics who argues that emotions and valuations have a much greater impact on asset prices than rational expectations do.  He correctly forecast the market implosion of 2000 and was all over the housing bubble in 2006.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_J._Shiller
 
In 1981 Shiller published an article in the American Economic Review titled "Do stock prices move too much to be justified by subsequent changes in dividends?" He challenged the efficient markets model, which at that time was the dominant view in the economics profession. Shiller argued that in a rational stock market, investors would base stock prices on the expected receipt of future dividends, discounted to a present value. He examined the performance of the U.S. stock market since the 1920s, and considered the kinds of expectations of future dividends and discount rates that could justify the wide range of variation experienced in the stock market. Shiller concluded that the volatility of the stock market was greater than could plausibly be explained by any rational view of the future.

I'm not saying anybody is right or wrong.  I'm simply saying that these "illusions" and "mirages" you claim I possess are pretty widespread in both academia, and especially -- most definitely -- on Wall Street. 

In other words, stop shooting the messenger.

I was actually meaning to ask you if you follow any of Shiller's work.

I'm 100% in arebelspy's camp on short term market timing.  I think that's very difficult to do consistently, if it all.  However long-term market timing makes all the sense in the world to me.  Hold less equities when they're over-valued (compared to long-term historical trends) and more when they're under-valued.  I can also easily get into a simple strategy that just has me checking the P/E10 ratio at the beginning of the year and setting my asset allocation based on that and then not visiting it again until the following year (or have reminders set up if the P/E10 crosses some threshold to go change the allocation).

That said... let's be honest here - the long-term timing aspect may be mixed in there - but the majority of what you're talking about here is the short-term timing that makes most of the MMM community uncomfortable.   

To everyone else... Yes those warnings need to be there - but, at this point, it's very obvious to anyone reading through the entire thread that this is not the recommended approach for most people.  Do we really need to keep posting these warnings?  If someone is dumb enough to open up the last entry of a thread and just follow whatever is in there - I think they kind of deserve it if they get fucked over.  Stupidity should have it's price...


smedleyb

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #301 on: August 15, 2012, 03:36:57 PM »
Or more false knowledge contained in this paper by economist Wade Pfau:

Abstract:     
Valuation-based market timing demonstrates greater potential to improve risk-adjusted returns for conservative long-term investors than given credit by Fisher and Statman (2006). On a risk-adjusted basis, market-timing strategies provide comparable returns as a 100 percent stocks buy-and-hold strategy but with substantially less risk. Meanwhile, market timing provides comparable risks and the same average asset allocation as a 50/50 fixed allocation strategy, but with much higher returns. Also, defining market timing as either 100 percent stocks or 100 percent Treasury bills does not provide a hedge against the possibility that valuations may depart from their historical averages for extended periods.


http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1876225

Pfau's work is given positive mention in this article by MMM on the 4% rule:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/05/29/how-much-do-i-need-for-retirement/

smedleyb

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #302 on: August 15, 2012, 03:46:33 PM »
That said... let's be honest here - the long-term timing aspect may be mixed in there - but the majority of what you're talking about here is the short-term timing that makes most of the MMM community uncomfortable.

Trust me John, it makes me uncomfortable too given the audience.  But let's be honest, it was suggested that I attempt a kind of trading diary in order to illustrate some of these TA and psychological concepts at work.  It's what I attempted to do for a few weeks.  But alas, the conversation always turns back into the same old theoretical back and forth. 

If the illustration of real time TA is not useful for anybody, I understand that too and will happily shut it down.  I keep a running journal of all my trades so it's not like I'm going above and beyond to express my trading ideas in this forum.   

       

JohnGalt

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #303 on: August 15, 2012, 03:55:09 PM »
That said... let's be honest here - the long-term timing aspect may be mixed in there - but the majority of what you're talking about here is the short-term timing that makes most of the MMM community uncomfortable.

Trust me John, it makes me uncomfortable too given the audience.  But let's be honest, it was suggested that I attempt a kind of trading diary in order to illustrate some of these TA and psychological concepts at work.  It's what I attempted to do for a few weeks.  But alas, the conversation always turns back into the same old theoretical back and forth. 

If the illustration of real time TA is not useful for anybody, I understand that too and will happily shut it down.  I keep a running journal of all my trades so it's not like I'm going above and beyond to express my trading ideas in this forum.   

       

Oh I'm completely on board with the trading diary - I'm pretty sure I was one of the one's making the suggestion.  I was just trying to point out that Shiller and Pfau's work (I've read a few works from each and think there is a lot to what they've found) argue for long-term timing while most of the trading you've posted here is short-term timing.  Two very different things - in my opinion.


smedleyb

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #304 on: August 15, 2012, 04:00:58 PM »
Oh I'm completely on board with the trading diary - I'm pretty sure I was one of the one's making the suggestion.  I was just trying to point out that Shiller and Pfau's work (I've read a few works from each and think there is a lot to what they've found) argue for long-term timing while most of the trading you've posted here is short-term timing.  Two very different things - in my opinion.

No disagreement here.

I would add that in order to cope with the shorter term volatility of swing trading, sound money management principles are required to make sure one is around to profit from tomorrow's opportunities.  It's what separates the speculator from the gambler, IMO.

arebelspy

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #305 on: August 15, 2012, 04:46:05 PM »
You're telling me Shiller and Pfau day trade?  I'll take that bet.

Long term market trends are different than what you are touting here.  I highly doubt Shiller concerns himself with head and shoulders, knees and toes signals, or support and resistance points, etc.

Oh I'm completely on board with the trading diary - I'm pretty sure I was one of the one's making the suggestion.  I was just trying to point out that Shiller and Pfau's work (I've read a few works from each and think there is a lot to what they've found) argue for long-term timing while most of the trading you've posted here is short-term timing.  Two very different things - in my opinion.

No disagreement here.

If you agree what they do is different than what you are claiming works, why bring them up as examples of what you do working?

That's disingenuous, at best.


I would add that in order to cope with the shorter term volatility of swing trading, sound money management principles are required to make sure one is around to profit from tomorrow's opportunities.  It's what separates the speculator from the gambler, IMO.

I've heard plenty of gamblers say the same thing, how what they are doing suddenly isn't gambling due to their money management.

You're still gambling on short term randomness, just using money management to make your bankroll (portfolio) last longer.

There is no proof that it is a successful strategy.  There is no reason to believe it is +EV, so all you are doing is losing your money slower than if you were risking a larger percentage of your portfolio.

Once again, I say: "I think the difference is that we see that of all of the people that "understand" market timing (TA, psychological forces, etc.), there hasn't been any evidence that this understanding has helped them beat the market at all, and indeed, a mountain of evidence to the contrary."

Your response was that there's a widespread belief on Wall Street that it works, and I won't argue that.  It doesn't suddenly make it work though, just because people believe it.

And your two cited things, long term trends versus short term trading, are two very different things.  I'm betting you Shiller and Pfau's timeframe on most trades isn't measured in minutes, or hours, days, or even weeks, but years.
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smedleyb

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #306 on: August 15, 2012, 08:18:31 PM »
You're telling me Shiller and Pfau day trade?  I'll take that bet.

Long term market trends are different than what you are touting here.  I highly doubt Shiller concerns himself with head and shoulders, knees and toes signals, or support and resistance points, etc. (A)

Oh I'm completely on board with the trading diary - I'm pretty sure I was one of the one's making the suggestion.  I was just trying to point out that Shiller and Pfau's work (I've read a few works from each and think there is a lot to what they've found) argue for long-term timing while most of the trading you've posted here is short-term timing.  Two very different things - in my opinion.

No disagreement here.

If you agree what they do is different than what you are claiming works, why bring them up as examples of what you do working?

That's disingenuous, at best.


I would add that in order to cope with the shorter term volatility of swing trading, sound money management principles are required to make sure one is around to profit from tomorrow's opportunities.  It's what separates the speculator from the gambler, IMO.

I've heard plenty of gamblers say the same thing, how what they are doing suddenly isn't gambling due to their money management.

You're still gambling on short term randomness, just using money management to make your bankroll (portfolio) last longer.

There is no proof that it is a successful strategy.  There is no reason to believe it is +EV, so all you are doing is losing your money slower than if you were risking a larger percentage of your portfolio.

Once again, I say: "I think the difference is that we see that of all of the people that "understand" market timing (TA, psychological forces, etc.), there hasn't been any evidence that this understanding has helped them beat the market at all, and indeed, a mountain of evidence to the contrary." (B)

Your response was that there's a widespread belief on Wall Street that it works, and I won't argue that.  It doesn't suddenly make it work though, just because people believe it.

And your two cited things, long term trends versus short term trading, are two very different things.  I'm betting you Shiller and Pfau's timeframe on most trades isn't measured in minutes, or hours, days, or even weeks, but years.

I love it when posters stop being diplomatic and let it all hang out.  I mean, I never doubted Arebelspy had nothing but disdain for TA, but his constant belittling of TA formations (knees and toes?) reveals his true appreciation of the endeavor.

As far as what Shiller thinks about hard work, technical, fundamental, and psychological analysis, in the pursuit of successful stock investing:

(A):

Skousen: Traders say that Wall Street is not a stock market but a market of stocks, and that you can still make good money investing in individual stocks by using sound fundamental and technical analysis. You agree?
Shiller: That’s right. Warren Buffett is an example, and here at Yale, David Swenson. [Swenson manages the Yale pension fund, which has overperformed the market for 20 years.] I don’t want to exaggerate the possibility of making a lot of money in the stock market. It is a competitive business, and most money managers can’t beat the market. But there is a reward to sound, intelligent research.


http://www.investmentu.com/2006/September/20060921.html

(B)

In a paper published in the Journal of Finance, Dr. Andrew W. Lo, director MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering, working with Harry Mamaysky and Jiang Wang found that "
Technical analysis, also known as "charting," has been a part of financial practice for many decades, but this discipline has not received the same level of academic scrutiny and acceptance as more traditional approaches such as fundamental analysis. One of the main obstacles is the highly subjective nature of technical analysis – the presence of geometric shapes in historical price charts is often in the eyes of the beholder. In this paper, we propose a systematic and automatic approach to technical pattern recognition using nonparametric kernel regression, and apply this method to a large number of U.S. stocks from 1962 to 1996 to evaluate the effectiveness of technical analysis. By comparing the unconditional empirical distribution of daily stock returns to the conditional distribution – conditioned on specific technical indicators such as head-and-shoulders or double-bottoms – we find that over the 31-year sample period, several technical indicators do provide incremental information and may have some practical value.[78]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_analysis#cite_note-77

Now granted, from this observation it does not follow that a person armed with some charts, indicators, and moving averages can successfully kick the market's ass.  Hardly.  But it does lend credence to the notion that there is useful information revealed through technical analysis that an investor can use in approaching the question of when to buy or sell. 

(Oh, and BTW Arebelspy, the fact that you've heard gamblers use the concept "money management" does not invalidate its use in the field of active stock trading.  Your own personal anecdotes, while interesting, hardly offer conclusive proof one way or the other.)

Remember, the point of this thread is not to argue for the usefulness of day trading -- I think I've said many times over it's a loser's game for the vast majority who attempt it.  The point is to demonstrate that through hard work, research, and analysis, one can gain an edge on the market, anticipate it's next move, and potentially profit from it.  It's to explode the idea that markets are always efficient and rational mechanisms that don't allow the investor the space to reap the rewards of great investment ideas.

Nobody said it was easy, but let's also stop pretending it's impossible either, or a statistical anomaly when it does happen.   

There's an entire world out there that looks at markets the way I do.  That doesn't make my (or their) ideas right or unimpeachable, but it does show that this is not some personal financial mythology I've constructed to hoodwink the mustachian community, or get them to day trade their 'stache, or to avoid index funds, etc.  It's simply offered as a counterpoint to your (and others') deeply held belief that market inefficiencies, if they exist at all, are unexploitable by a diligent investor.   

 

HowMuchCanAKoalaBear

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #307 on: August 15, 2012, 08:31:43 PM »
We doing quotes now? cool...

Warren Buffett openly recognizes the problem with technical analysis as evidenced by his statement, “I realized technical analysis didn’t work when I turned the charts upside down and didn’t get a different answer.” Legendary fund manager Peter Lynch adds, “Charts are great for predicting the past.” Most indicators are about as helpful as astrology

arebelspy

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #308 on: August 15, 2012, 08:42:48 PM »
I don't see your quotes as helping your case, at all.

Your A quote does nothing to add to day trading, or refute anything I've said.  In fact, I agree with it.    Now let's ask this question: in that quote, was Shiller talking about trading ith a timeframe of a day or two, or of a year or two?  I'd wager the latter.

As for your quote B, a whole paper devoted to trying to help TA, and the best they come up with is it can offerr "incremental information" and "some practical value"?  One can always look backwards and fit something, and that's the best they got.

Show me the records where all those TA day traders have had so much success.
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smedleyb

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #309 on: August 15, 2012, 09:17:25 PM »
Arebelspy, while I do enjoy our back and forth banter, it's clear to me that we're both just talking past each other at this point.  That's not meant as a criticism against you, but it does suggest that this particular conversational well has run dry.  Let's just chalk it up to the complexity of the issues at hand, and nothing more.

KoalaBear, I would like to thank you as well for triggering a Eureka moment in my life. 

Seriously dude, thank you.










arebelspy

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #310 on: August 15, 2012, 09:33:38 PM »
Arebelspy, while I do enjoy our back and forth banter, it's clear to me that we're both just talking past each other at this point. 

I agree, and thanks for the discussion, I enjoy it.
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Mr Mark

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #311 on: August 15, 2012, 10:30:17 PM »
That said... let's be honest here - the long-term timing aspect may be mixed in there - but the majority of what you're talking about here is the short-term timing that makes most of the MMM community uncomfortable.

Trust me John, it makes me uncomfortable too given the audience.  But let's be honest, it was suggested that I attempt a kind of trading diary in order to illustrate some of these TA and psychological concepts at work.  It's what I attempted to do for a few weeks.  But alas, the conversation always turns back into the same old theoretical back and forth. 

If the illustration of real time TA is not useful for anybody, I understand that too and will happily shut it down.  I keep a running journal of all my trades so it's not like I'm going above and beyond to express my trading ideas in this forum.   

       

John,
Asset allocation would force you to 'sell' stocks and 'buy' bonds to rebalance to your allocations.

That's what's so nice - it automatically, over time, tends to make you sell on up trends and buy on down trends. Effectively long term market timing.

SmedleyB
OK. 100% cash is NOT an asset allocation. It's speculation.

Yes, the original AA paper had 25% cash. Not for me now, but at least it's a method. I guess I'll start a thread on how you can actually learn to make the dice in craps tend to fall away from random. No, really, you can! 

arebelspy

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #312 on: August 15, 2012, 11:28:08 PM »
100% cash is NOT an asset allocation. It's speculation.

I actually don't have a problem being mostly (or all cash).  Yes, it's speculation.  But if it's done on a larger scale based on long term trends and value investing (and you think everything is overvalued?), I'm okay with one speculating.

If they're then putting that cash to use in day trading, and just gambling, obviously I'm not a fan of that.

I think going to cash should be a very, very rare event (like.. once or twice in a lifetime.. every few decades maybe).  The problem with people who go 100% cash, in general, is they're such permabears (whether or not they're willing to admit it, usually not), they never actually change from that 100% cash position.  And they miss the upswings and such while waiting for the sky to fall.
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unitsinc

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #313 on: August 16, 2012, 08:11:13 AM »
Did Smedley delete his account, or was he always posting on a guest account?

grantmeaname

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #314 on: August 16, 2012, 08:41:13 AM »
He wasn't always a guest. Hopefully he's not gone for good, but that's what it looks like.

arebelspy

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #315 on: August 16, 2012, 11:01:06 AM »
That's unfortunate.  I hope he comes back at some point.  I don't agree with many of his investing philosophies, but I respect his willingness to defend them, and appreciate the different viewpoint.

Maybe his leaving had something to do with the eureka moment he posted about in his last post, above.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 11:02:52 AM by arebelspy »
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unitsinc

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #316 on: August 16, 2012, 05:11:09 PM »
It's possible, but I read that with sarcasm when mentioned the eureka moment.

I will say that I found this all very interesting, but I'm not surprised if he really did leave. He was essentially told that he didn't belong here.

arebelspy

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #317 on: August 16, 2012, 06:12:31 PM »
He was essentially told that he didn't belong here.

I don't think that at all, and had a private discussion with him that leads me to believe otherwise as well.

I think, to phrase it more accurately, he was told that most of us disagree with his opinions.  But that he was more than welcome to share them and defend them, though it may require a thick skin sometimes.  He also got feedback about how several posters liked hearing his positions

KittyWrestler had a similar backlash, though for different reasons/beliefs.  If you're going on and disagreeing with the majority of people in a location, you'll need to be prepared to face some resistance, but that doesn't mean you aren't welcome.

IMO, you may have seen it differently.

I hope it is not the case that he felt unwelcome personally (rather than just feeling that we disagreed with his investing philosophy).  Either way, best of luck to him.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
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unitsinc

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #318 on: August 16, 2012, 06:23:20 PM »
I really hope all the readers understand that this sort of market timing 'investing' is speculation and is NOT Mustachian.

When I read this initially it seemed much more venomous. After re-reading it, it seemed much less of a jab towards Smedley. I stand corrected.

I hope he really did have some amazing epiphany and if off to become the next Warren Buffett.

grantmeaname

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #319 on: August 17, 2012, 06:44:42 AM »
It's possible, but I read that with sarcasm when mentioned the eureka moment.
I did too. Rereading it I see it could've been taken either way.

Maybe he's off to be the next Jack Bogle. He could have an automatically managed mutual fund based on TA, maybe. Or maybe now he's a fundamental analysis kind of guy, idk.

There was a little venom (mea culpa), but I thought that we had an absolutely fantastic conversation throughout and I for one really learned a lot from it. Maybe he'll be back someday...

mechanic baird

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #320 on: August 20, 2012, 12:26:56 PM »
It's possible, but I read that with sarcasm when mentioned the eureka moment.

I will say that I found this all very interesting, but I'm not surprised if he really did leave. He was essentially told that he didn't belong here.

I have seen a few people being pushed out because they were told they are better of somewhere else..He is not the first one.

grantmeaname

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #321 on: August 20, 2012, 03:06:14 PM »
He's only the second one to leave, and the first left because she was an obvious troll and nobody was playing along anymore.

unitsinc

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #322 on: August 20, 2012, 06:27:48 PM »
He's only the second one to leave, and the first left because she was an obvious troll and nobody was playing along anymore.

I wondered what happened to her. I know she was getting torn up pretty badly. Never actually saw her saying she was leaving.

arebelspy

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #323 on: August 20, 2012, 08:33:39 PM »
He's only the second one to leave, and the first left because she was an obvious troll and nobody was playing along anymore.

I wondered what happened to her. I know she was getting torn up pretty badly. Never actually saw her saying she was leaving.

No, and that was the type of flameout that I'd have expected a big exit from.  Always suspected Mr. or Mrs. MM had nuked the account, but idk either way.
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James

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #324 on: August 20, 2012, 11:59:24 PM »
It's possible, but I read that with sarcasm when mentioned the eureka moment.

I will say that I found this all very interesting, but I'm not surprised if he really did leave. He was essentially told that he didn't belong here.


I disagree, he was repeatedly told by the vast majority of those he interacted with that he was welcome here, and welcome to share his thoughts, plans, activities, etc.   I feel he was held the the same standard as anyone else here, and was treated fairly.  It's very possible that his eureka moment was realizing he didn't belong here because of what he needed/wanted from a forum he participated in, and I hope he can find a forum where his opinions are truly appreciated and debated at the level he wants.


I think the overall message from the forum was clear, he was welcome but greatly disagreed with.  That is a very hard place to be day after day.  If he were to come back I would welcome that, I certainly believe him to be knowledgeable and honest in his beliefs and opinions.

mechanic baird

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #325 on: August 27, 2012, 10:41:30 AM »
He's only the second one to leave, and the first left because she was an obvious troll and nobody was playing along anymore.

I wondered what happened to her. I know she was getting torn up pretty badly. Never actually saw her saying she was leaving.

No, and that was the type of flameout that I'd have expected a big exit from.  Always suspected Mr. or Mrs. MM had nuked the account, but idk either way.

Mr. and Mrs. MM didn't nuke the account. She closed it.
We work together and she educated me about this website actually.
She just felt she has gone down the wrong path with folks here and there is no way to reverse it anymore. So she quit...
Since then, her savings rate has gone through the roof like 75% of so... I think she can pull the trigger anytime now with her size of investment. but she likes working with us so she is still here.. Great gal. I learned a lot from her...

arebelspy

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Re: Efficient Markets, RIP
« Reply #326 on: August 27, 2012, 07:35:00 PM »
Glad to hear it mechanic, and good for her.

I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.