Author Topic: Why is there so much hostility within the investor alley section when asking?  (Read 4917 times)

bthewalls

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When Pete set this up I believe the purpose was to pass on knowledge of how to show others ways to invest to achieve FIRE easier?. To work together....

I'm aware that within any organisation/forum/cult, members stratify in a pyramid structure of gurus vs newbies, and the associated power dynamic commences...

Can't help but notice when genuine questions are ask here some guru type twat(s) generally tries pull a power dynamic on newbies.

I'm wondering can this be changed and the purpose of the investor alley section be improved?...only a thought.

walkwalkwalk

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A lot of this would be stopped by people reading the investment order & any of the very often recommended books before posting inane questions that have already been answered. They could search the forum and find an answer.

FreelanceToFreedom

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Can't help but notice when genuine questions are ask here some guru type twat(s) generally tries pull a power dynamic on newbies.

Calling people twats is a surefire way to reduce hostility

terran

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I'm not sure what part of a face punching "cult leader" would lead anyone to believe that the forum was started so people would be treated with kids gloves. It's usually more directed at the frugality (or lack thereof) aspects of the forum, but some people think the forum has become much softer than what it started out as.

RJC

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I'm new to the forum and every time I've asked a question folks have been helpful. Maybe it's how the OP comes across when asking the question?

nereo

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A lot of this would be stopped by people reading the investment order & any of the very often recommended books before posting inane questions that have already been answered. They could search the forum and find an answer.
Can't help but notice when genuine questions are ask here some guru type twat(s) generally tries pull a power dynamic on newbies.

Calling people twats is a surefire way to reduce hostility

Both of these are good responses.
As a 'senior' member around here I'll say that it gets very tiresome when people come into the forum bringing up some topic like they are the first to ever think of it, when even there's a blog post, and a stickie, and a multi-page thread on the subject.

It's one thing when someone asks politely and seems to genuinely want to better understand something. The majority of the time these posters are responded to in a respectful manner and pointed to a wealth of information (e.g. investment order, jlcollins, a particular thread). Example: "I'm a low wage earner and I don't get a tax benefit from putting money in my 401(k) - can someone explain why its still recommended to invest there?" (this is a synopsis of a recent, actual question)

However, many posters come in wanting to throw stones, call people twats, and show that there's some great crack in the foundation of ideas here, which we've literally spent hundreds of thousands of pages debating en minutiae.   Example:  "You people keep talking about buy and hold, but if you just used this MA strategy I read about but don't understand you could literally double your returns over the next twenty years.  Everything you are doing seems stupid and bound to be just below average if you ask me, lulz" (paraphrasing another real-life example)
- such a question isn't likely to garner as polite a discussion, because the poster is rude and condescending and above all doesn't seem particularly interested in the exchange of knowledge.

Then there's the people who post things that go against the very nature of this blog - brags about paying full-retail on luxury items "because I can afford it" or climate-denialist posts or
comments about how it's just too hard to do a simple task so ya'gotta outsource it- those get shut down pretty fast because we are a forum about being slightly less ridiculous with our material spending because we do care about the impact we have on our planet and we believe that there's lifelong value in learning how to do things yourself.

Blueberries

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I have a few theories, but as I'm not the type to respond unkindly, I can't speak with any authority.

A lot of this would be stopped by people reading the investment order & any of the very often recommended books before posting inane questions that have already been answered. They could search the forum and find an answer.

This never made sense to me on a forum and it often comes up in threads like this (no matter the board).  If you don't want to respond to a thread, you don't have to respond.  And, if people stopped asking questions that were already asked, most forums would cease to exist. 

bthewalls

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Sorry guys. I was curious and wanted to test a theory.

Ta anyway

marty998

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A lot of this would be stopped by people reading the investment order & any of the very often recommended books before posting inane questions that have already been answered. They could search the forum and find an answer.
Can't help but notice when genuine questions are ask here some guru type twat(s) generally tries pull a power dynamic on newbies.

Calling people twats is a surefire way to reduce hostility

Both of these are good responses.
As a 'senior' member around here I'll say that it gets very tiresome when people come into the forum bringing up some topic like they are the first to ever think of it, when even there's a blog post, and a stickie, and a multi-page thread on the subject.

It's one thing when someone asks politely and seems to genuinely want to better understand something. The majority of the time these posters are responded to in a respectful manner and pointed to a wealth of information (e.g. investment order, jlcollins, a particular thread). Example: "I'm a low wage earner and I don't get a tax benefit from putting money in my 401(k) - can someone explain why its still recommended to invest there?" (this is a synopsis of a recent, actual question)

However, many posters come in wanting to throw stones, call people twats, and show that there's some great crack in the foundation of ideas here, which we've literally spent hundreds of thousands of pages debating en minutiae.   Example:  "You people keep talking about buy and hold, but if you just used this MA strategy I read about but don't understand you could literally double your returns over the next twenty years.  Everything you are doing seems stupid and bound to be just below average if you ask me, lulz" (paraphrasing another real-life example)
- such a question isn't likely to garner as polite a discussion, because the poster is rude and condescending and above all doesn't seem particularly interested in the exchange of knowledge.

Then there's the people who post things that go against the very nature of this blog - brags about paying full-retail on luxury items "because I can afford it" or climate-denialist posts or
comments about how it's just too hard to do a simple task so ya'gotta outsource it- those get shut down pretty fast because we are a forum about being slightly less ridiculous with our material spending because we do care about the impact we have on our planet and we believe that there's lifelong value in learning how to do things yourself.

Yes yes, this is all true, but personally I think the level of hostility and smugness could be reduced. My two biggest bugbears are:

1) "Your property fails the 1% test, sell immediately", when a poster who owns property in a high-growth market and has seen several hundred thousand in appreciation is asking for advice. Should they really give up (lower taxed) capital growth of $60-$100k a year for a (higher taxed) income stream of $10-15k a year?

2) Telling a brand new wet-behind-the-ears investor "What does your IPS say?" knowing full well the questioner has no idea what that is, what it means, and why is it important. It's really disingenuous. Especially because even before you write an IPS, you should figure out structuring, and even before that you need to figure out why you are investing in the first place.

No one ever understood any of this on their first go. No one was born with investing experience. We'll all acquired it over many years. And perhaps we should be a bit nicer to people who are just starting out or need their eyes opened.

bthewalls

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Nicely said marty

fattest_foot

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I've been here a few years and I don't think I've really seen any hostility.

At worst, people get reprimanded for trying to disguise market timing as anything but market timing.

nereo

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Yes yes, this is all true, but personally I think the level of hostility and smugness could be reduced.

I think at times it can be hard to tell if the responder is being smug, or hostile, or just writes in a certain manner.  The nature of online forums is that, absent any facial expression or tonality it's easy to incorrectly assume the emotion behind a particular post.  So I try to take posts at face value, unless there is something obvious like foul language or shouting or ad homenim attacks.  By and large I find this forum to be among the more welcoming and courteous ones on the internet, particularly for finance.

My two biggest bugbears are:
1) "Your property fails the 1% test, sell immediately", when a poster who owns property in a high-growth market and has seen several hundred thousand in appreciation is asking for advice. Should they really give up (lower taxed) capital growth of $60-$100k a year for a (higher taxed) income stream of $10-15k a year?


I believe they should, even in such an appreciation market because a bad rental property is a bad rental property (even when it is a good home for living in). The key here is that one could take the money from the sale of one house and purchase another property which is much better for rentals.  I was involved in just such a topic today, where the potential rent was just 0.6% of the selling price (which perhaps you are referring to). Such a property is not likely to be a good investment, and very easily could have a net cashflow for years should a single large issue come to pass.

Quote
2) Telling a brand new wet-behind-the-ears investor "What does your IPS say?" knowing full well the questioner has no idea what that is, what it means, and why is it important. It's really disingenuous. Especially because even before you write an IPS, you should figure out structuring, and even before that you need to figure out why you are investing in the first place.

I'll admit I've frequently asked people what their IPS says, but I try to include a link to one in my post.  As a financial concept I think it's a very rudimentary one, but I have notice that some new investors seem to know exactly what I'm talking about while others haven't a clue. It was part of my high-school econ class, but I guess not every school system requires econ anymore. 

Regardless, suggesting a person should have an IPS can can spur the obvious question "what is an IPS / how do I do that?".  Then dialog ensues. In many ways posters assume that there's some level of financial acumen here, as the forum itself has been advertised as one for 'advanced finances'.   Often there's no way of knowing how much financial knowledge the person asking the question truly has. 

Brother Esau

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At worst, people get reprimanded for trying to disguise market timing as anything but market timing.

Top Is In !!!.....sorry, I couldn't help it

sol

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Sorry guys. I was curious and wanted to test a theory.

Ta anyway

Wait, this thread was started as a troll job?  The new guy literally wasted everyone's time just to ask "why aren't you nicer to new people?" just to prove that we're not nicer to new people?

That is some next level meta-bullshit right there. 

In tomorrow's episode, our new poster goes on an obscenity-laced rant about how unfair it is that people get banned from the forum.

Eric

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Sorry guys. I was curious and wanted to test a theory.

Ta anyway

Wait, this thread was started as a troll job?  The new guy literally wasted everyone's time just to ask "why aren't you nicer to new people?" just to prove that we're not nicer to new people?

That is some next level meta-bullshit right there. 

In tomorrow's episode, our new poster goes on an obscenity-laced rant about how unfair it is that people get banned from the forum.

He posted this thread wanting to know how far the S&P would drop.  A few answers in, he claimed that he was receiving "irate" responses.  When I read all of the first responses, there's like one snarky reply and the rest seem perfectly neutral to me.  Which is pretty good for a often repeated question that is generally asked by market timers.  So I'm guessing this "hostility" is simply a lack of tone conveyed through the internet and the OP specifically choosing to perceive harshness where there is none.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/sp-500-closes-at-2-637-what-could-it-drop-to!/

OP, lighten up a bit, would ya?


popcornflying

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Can't help but notice when genuine questions are ask here some guru type twat(s) generally tries pull a power dynamic on newbies.

I'm wondering can this be changed and the purpose of the investor alley section be improved?...only a thought.

Don't forget the high correlation between FIREy INTP types and the spectrum! The twats are unaware how they're coming off. Because who would be a twat on purpose.

It's like, no point getting worked up over a screaming baby on a plane, right? Shrug and continue the day.

FWIW the early-retirement.org forums have overlapping topics and are moderated to have more respectful exchanges, but they can be sensitive to people retiring earlier than them. Just pretend you're 10 years older than you really are and you'll fit right in.

ILikeDividends

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Can't help but notice when genuine questions are ask here some guru type twat(s) generally tries pull a power dynamic on newbies.
It's possible that the "guru type twats", as you call them, are merely incorrectly assuming that the newbie is wearing his big boy pants when posting a question.

A counter assertion with a different point of view isn't invalidated by a lack of polish in the delivery of that point of view.

If you expect warm and fuzzy feelings in responses, you are likely to miss the gold nuggets that can often be found wrapped up by unvarnished opinions.

If you regard this as a hostile post, too, then you are missing the point.

I'm wondering can this be changed and the purpose of the investor alley section be improved?...only a thought.
Why fix it if it ain't broke?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 06:55:38 PM by ILikeDividends »

bacchi

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FWIW the early-retirement.org forums have overlapping topics and are moderated to have more respectful exchanges, but they can be sensitive to people retiring earlier than them. Just pretend you're 10 years older than you really are and you'll fit right in.

20 years, at least.

bacchi

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2) Telling a brand new wet-behind-the-ears investor "What does your IPS say?" knowing full well the questioner has no idea what that is, what it means, and why is it important. It's really disingenuous. Especially because even before you write an IPS, you should figure out structuring, and even before that you need to figure out why you are investing in the first place.

That's me. I assume that an OP can use a search engine for "Investor Policy Statement" but, agreed, a link to the bogleheads wiki would be better. MDM is good at that. I'm unclear as to why that would be a "power dynamic" or disingenuous because it is essential to investing and people learn by being exposed to new things.

I also don't know what "structuring" means. Can you elaborate? I have no idea what that is, what it means, and why is it important. ;)

markbike528CBX

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I did apologize!

I think the thing that set me off was the "I'm not market timing" BUT "how far down will the S+P go" (implying timing anyway, via the assumption of down).

First time for everything (being called a twat).  Lots of other nouns adjectives and verbs, not that one.

Edit: 3d line.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 07:59:32 PM by markbike528CBX »

use2betrix

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I believe that reading every blog post should be a pre requisite before joining the forum. I didnít even know the forum existed til I had probably read every blog post a couple times if not more.

Many of these questions asked are already explained in great detail if people would simply read the blog.

nsmall

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I am very new here.  But you guys helped me rethink my whole retirement plan and I am very thankful for you all.  Some responses come across as cocky, but you seem to know way more than me so I will listen.   

Could some responses be more humble, yes.  Should new people read more...ABSOLUTELY!!!. 

I have been reading hard for 4 weeks and feel like I am only 2% caught up.

One last thought, I have read countless threads where an OP has some "new idea" and is asked to prove a point that goes against some fundamentals around here and they provide NOTHING, then lash out when they are called out.  Why even post a question when you dont want to learn or think about something in a new way?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 10:41:00 PM by nsmall »

JAYSLOL

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One last thought, I have read countless threads where an OP has some "new idea" and is asked to prove a point that goes against some fundamentals around here and they provide NOTHING, then lash out when they are called out.  Why even post a question when you dont want to learn or think about something in a new way?

Yeah, lots of examples of those.  I find it common for a new forum member to post a question and get 20+ polite, detailed and helpful replies and never respond. 

grettman

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The Bogleheads.org website is able to maintain civility.

Strong moderation plus very strict rules helps maintain that civility.

When a rule is broken over there it doesn't take long for a post to me removed and the offender being punished with a strike or whatever...

terran

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The Bogleheads.org website is able to maintain civility.

Strong moderation plus very strict rules helps maintain that civility.

When a rule is broken over there it doesn't take long for a post to me removed and the offender being punished with a strike or whatever...

Part of that is that they don't allow some of the more contentious topics like politics or proposed regulations. They also regularly lock any thread that  "has run its course" meaning the moderators believe the question has been answered. That eliminates a lot of strife as you've pointed out, but also means that there's less freedom. Kind of a balancing act I suppose, but I'm happy to participate in both forums, and sometimes turn to one or the other depending on the topic.

nereo

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The Bogleheads.org website is able to maintain civility.

Strong moderation plus very strict rules helps maintain that civility.

When a rule is broken over there it doesn't take long for a post to me removed and the offender being punished with a strike or whatever...

Hmm.... While I agree that bogleheads.org has strict rules,  I don't extend that to a higher level of civility.  Bogleheads in general are very hostile to early retirement, particularly if one is planning on using 'only' a 4% WR, and I've observed multiple people be shut shut down by suggesting they could live a happy, productive life on less than $40k/year.  There is an extremely conservative, high-income mindset there.  But they certainly don't let posters obliquely call others 'twats'.

Speaking of moderators, we have them too, and we have forum rules, and people who frequently break them get banned.  But as @terran said, we have a 'vibrant' off-topic forum that permits discussion of politics and other hot-topic issues, which gets contentious due to people's strong disagreements.  I actually applaud the moderators for their even-handedness - discussions are allowed to continue and I've learned a great deal about opposing positions because of it. When too many posters within a thread break forum rules it gets locked up and the violating forum member(s) are either banned or warned, depending on its severity.

Here are the forum rules:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/forum-information-faqs/forum-rules/



 

RJC

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Is there a reason to be on both forums? The topics seem to be similar but I'm new so it's hard to tell the difference.

I do like how that forum is mobile friendly though.

MrOnyx

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I don't have THAT much to add that the kind and learned folks here haven't already provided, but as someone who hasn't been around here all that long, I have to say that I had the opposite experience.

Sure, I asked a question that had no doubt been asked countless times before, but I got a very helpful answer from a very welcoming 'senior' member of the forum. They didn't wrap me up in cotton wool or treat me like a kid, they just give me the facts straight, and I took it, thanked them and left.

Part of it comes from the fact that you've got to have thick skin when you post anything online, and as already mentioned, you have no point of reference for the emotion behind someone's message, so you can't assume it. Things do occasionally come across harsh, but that doesn't mean they were intended as such. We tend to write like we talk, which can have mixed results in the perceived emotion behind our typed words depending on our mannerisms.

nereo paraphrased a quote from another thread that I was also recently involved with (moving average investing), and I admit that I made one or two sarcastic remarks in there - but these came after several carefully-worded, softly spoken replies from myself and others. The dude just wasn't listening, and assumed that he was more correct than the collective wisdom of not just those who participated in that given thread, but of the ideology of the entire forum. If you're going to be that arrogant, then as far as I'm concerned, you're inviting criticism to say the least.

caracarn

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I agree with a lot of what has been said, and have been around here about three years at this point, so not sure if I'm still new or one of those who might be called out by OP.  I tend to get more direct on the Off-Topic posts.

My reason for posting was to second the suggestion that people spend a lot of time reading the blog posts.  I spent the better part of my first three months pouring over each post from the beginning.  Certainly as I got well into things I may have skipped a post that I felt was not as relevant to me (I am very unlikely at this stage in my life to purchase a foreclosure and fix it up to flip it, for example) but I did look at every post so that I knew what was there.  As I share ideas with family and friends I regularly look up old posts to send them a link so it keeps me fresh on what was written and at times gets me to re-read an article.  I believe it has kept me from posting too many inane questions (thought some may certainly disagree), and I will admit I struggle with searching the forum as the search takes a long time and it can be difficult to hone things down. As an example, I have asked a couple times about financial coaching as a side gig after searching and finding some mention but not much.  No one responded rudely, IMO, and I was pointed to a few threads and it was a great help.  I was also very passively asking and so I think posters should be aware that that likely comes through so when we get a few direct responses, it is not always because they are being negative, it is just that it is hard to invest a lot of time in a response when you might perceive the poster will not do much with it at the moment.  As a counter example, I got much most action on my investigation of the Amazon transportation opportunity , I think because it was clear I had done a good amount of work and that led to deeper questions.  Think if it as a "you get out what you put in" type of thing.  Perhaps is an analysis or other work had been done by OP to flesh out their feelings about how far the S&P will fall, it may have garnered responses equal to the effort but in.

nereo

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Is there a reason to be on both forums? The topics seem to be similar but I'm new so it's hard to tell the difference.

I do like how that forum is mobile friendly though.

The focus of each forum is different.  Topics in the bogleheads forum tend to be laser-focused on investing, and there's some great and detailed analyses of all things financial there (e.g. taxes, sequence of returns risk, etc).  While MMM is certainly financially-minded, the focus on this forum has a lot more to do with leading a lifestyle that is financially responsible and enviornmentally sane. 
Bogelheads tends to favor an extremely conservative financial approach; i've seen posters argue for a WR of 2.5% if you are planning a retirement of > 30 years.  MMM focuses more on 'layers of safety', and many think a >4% WR is fine as long as you are willing to do things like cut spending or get a job or rent out a room in your home.

As an example, if I have a specific and unique tax question, I would likely post it in bogleheads (and recieve great feedback).  If I wanted to run a life case-study and get feedback on ways I could minimize spending on 'X' - MMM is the place I'll go.

UnleashHell

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Sorry guys. I was curious and wanted to test a theory.

Ta anyway

Wait, this thread was started as a troll job?  The new guy literally wasted everyone's time just to ask "why aren't you nicer to new people?" just to prove that we're not nicer to new people?

That is some next level meta-bullshit right there. 

In tomorrow's episode, our new poster goes on an obscenity-laced rant about how unfair it is that people get banned from the forum.


Post 2 thread on views that have been covered before. doesn't like the answers in those thread so decides its the people responding, not the OP that the issue.
Posts a trollish attention whore post about how he's treated badly (disguised as "you people are bad to newbies").

flounces and exits stage left.


Try doing some reading folks. It'll save you looking like a fool when you flounce.


sol

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Try doing some reading folks. It'll save you looking like a fool when you flounce.

I looked at barry's post history, and decided this was an unfortunate case of forum immaturity, rather than a deliberate attempt to offend.  He seems like he's genuinely interested in learning and recognizes that he's just getting started, and just hasn't quite picked up on the subtleties of public forum discussions yet. 

So I retract my former accusation of "troll job".  I expect bthewalls will fit right in here, in a week or two.

UnleashHell

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Try doing some reading folks. It'll save you looking like a fool when you flounce.

I looked at barry's post history, and decided this was an unfortunate case of forum immaturity, rather than a deliberate attempt to offend.  He seems like he's genuinely interested in learning and recognizes that he's just getting started, and just hasn't quite picked up on the subtleties of public forum discussions yet. 

So I retract my former accusation of "troll job".  I expect bthewalls will fit right in here, in a week or two.

Very mellow of you. I'm impressed.


nereo

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Post 2 thread on views that have been covered before. doesn't like the answers in those thread so decides its the people responding, not the OP that the issue.
Posts a trollish attention whore post about how he's treated badly (disguised as "you people are bad to newbies").

flounces and exits stage left.


Try doing some reading folks. It'll save you looking like a fool when you flounce.

As often as not, my posts are drafted for the 3rd-party reader, the one that may not know or understand the history of postings, and just 'stumbles' into a thread without that context.  I hope my responses are informative, and if other posters have questions, that htey will ask.  Discussion, after all, is how we all learn something from one another.

MustacheAndaHalf

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Can't help but notice when genuine questions are ask here some guru type twat(s) generally tries pull a power dynamic on newbies.
Someone got mad at you in one thread and apologied.  How is that a forum wide problem?

OurTown

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Q.  Should I try to time the market?
A.  No

Q.  Should I speculate on individual stocks?
A.  No

Q.  Can I have some Bitcoin and gold and Dutch tulip bulbs!?
A.  No

Q.  Why are you so mean?

bthewalls

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hey, i have a really good idea. 

when general conversation is on-going and one of the gurus starts pontificating again from their ivory tower, why doing we have a group 'safe word', that gently reminds them to chill out, its a forum, were here to help, and if it annoys you you really dont need to reply, just have calmness and patience and oneness with yourself (LOL).

safe word suggestions any one?.  I'll start the ball rolling.  obviously it hard to resist suggesting...'WOLFEEE WOLFEEE'...

I see ECB has announced they are stopping quantitative easing. I would think this with brexit will have a bit of an impact within the EU realm?  would any of you kind thoughtful intelligent people have an opinion on that?

Eric

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What's wrong with "uncle"?  No reason to re-invent the wheel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2l6RnWM2tU

bthewalls

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'uncle'...i like that.  sounds good!

Brother Esau

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Does this mean face punches aren't allowed anymore?

bthewalls

  • Bristles
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well maybe the odd time.

ECB ending QE anyone? surely prices will lower a bit not in the future.  its nice to buy at lower times.

terran

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hey, i have a really good idea. 

when general conversation is on-going and one of the gurus starts pontificating again from their ivory tower, why doing we have a group 'safe word', that gently reminds them to chill out, its a forum, were here to help, and if it annoys you you really dont need to reply, just have calmness and patience and oneness with yourself (LOL).

How about you say "Ok, you've convinced me. I know realize and understand the error of my ways. I may have come here to post my grand new idea, but now I realize you've all thought of this long ago, carefully considered it, and have passed on the knowledge you gained through hard work and research to me free of charge. I appreciate your wisdom, hard as it may have been for me to accept, and I'm now ready to help explain these truths to other new forum visitors who come along with this question in the future -- even if they are full of themselves and think they have come up with a revolutionary idea. Furthermore, promise to do a small bit of research before posting things in the future so that I present a cogent argument and we can all have a thoughtful discussion as equals without resorting to personal attacks and name calling and without getting upset when our ideas are challenged. Oh, and I promise never to call anyone a 'twat' ever again." Or is that longer than what you had in mind?

Davnasty

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Does this mean face punches aren't allowed anymore?

No, it means get as many hits in as you can before you hear "uncle"

FIRE@50

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The Bogleheads.org website is able to maintain civility.

Strong moderation plus very strict rules helps maintain that civility.

When a rule is broken over there it doesn't take long for a post to me removed and the offender being punished with a strike or whatever...
This sounds like a terrible place. Like catholic elementary school or something.

bthewalls

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  • Location: ireland/northern ireland
  • gods own prototype....
uncle uncle uncle!!

very funny.