Does Mel Lindauer Run Vanguard?

I’ve been pleased to see a number of posts at The New Vanguard Diehards Board in recent days (this article was posted in April 2008) addressing the Mel Lindauer matter in blunt terms.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #1 re Mel Lindauer

Mel Lindauer Matter

Wrighton14: Does Mel run Vanguard? Does Mel run this board? Is Mel unhappy? This board is more like a police state than a place to share ideas.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #2 re Mel Lindauer

NorbertC: Don’t be put off by a few bad apples. I saw what a certain “Mel” had written….I think the fellow owes you an apology. But in fact he often responds to people with an arrogant “My Way or the Highway” tone.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #3 re Mel Lindauer

StatsGuy: We the forum members come here to share information, learn, and help others. I think this conversation shows the worst of the Vanguard Diehards Forum. It is one thing to tell the original poster that his/her post was probably deleted by Morningstar… but to call the poster a “shill” and say “this is the wrong place for you” is rude and condescending.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #4 re Mel Lindauer

Uphaus: I would like to officially confirm Mel’s recognition that I am definitely out the loop, depending on the “loop” one has in mind.However, as I pointed out, I am very much in (for 27 years) the Vanguard loop, and very much committed to all Vanguard investors, whatever their investment practice.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #5 re Mel Lindauer

Lili: Looks like the Morningstar anti-free speech nazis have banned jerryx. Oh lord, get a life, people. These are just words that get posted here. Stop quivering in your boots when someone disagrees with you. This sort of nonsense is enough to kill a forum.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #6 re Mel Lindauer

Mase Redux: The board suffers when…certain posters… try to run other posters they disagree with off this board. It’s particularly outrageous when such posters are part of the small cadre of self-annointed “founders” of this board, who should be leading by example, and not doing one thing while saying another.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #7 re Mel Lindauer

Anger Is Not a Sound Long-Term Investing Strategy

MommaD: I will stay here as long as I feel like it (and as long as Morningstar puts up with me, lol!) and I will speak my mind as I see fit and won’t be intimidated by the likes of you.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #8 re Mel Lindauer

MommaD: I am a newbie and I am appalled at the way these people act. They are not just zealous, the cult of personality they have going on here is just plain old creepy.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #9 re Mel Lindauer

JerryC: The problem as I see it is that “Diehards” have become very dogmatic and political. The dogma is evident from the absolute rules that they preach and their belief that each of these rules are supported by “scientific” proof. The politics arise because a few want to maintain the authority and power as “the” spokesmen for Diehard dogma. As with any good politician, they want to “reward their friends and punish their enemies”. Needless to say, that attitude does hinder an open exchange of ideas…. It is interesting that major conflicts arise not as a result of polar views, but when more subtle aspects of passive investing are challenged…. The big conflicts arise out of any suggestion that Mel, Taylor or other key Diehard spokesmen are mistaken in their interpretation of Jack Bogle’s philosophy, or that they simply go much too far when they attempt to apply absolutes to something that requires individual choice and analysis. When such conflicts arise, politics raises its ugly head and the call is sent to loyal Diehards to join in on punishing the enemies and rewarding their Diehard friends.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #10 re Mel Lindauer

MommaD: There is no need for two separate forums. What there is on this forum is a need for common decency and civility and to let people who have different views from you speak. Then if you don’t agree with them, state why, back it up with facts and logic and let others figure out for themselves who to believe all without launching into ad hominem attacks.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #11 re Mel Lindauer

JerryC: Take Mel’s 8-10 posts in this thread. Not one post discusses anything substantive or anything concerning market timing or its variations. Instead, the subject matter of his posts has been: 1) the johndcraig game; 2) suggesting that everyone should put jerryc on the ignore list: 3) calling this thread BS and bad investing information; 4) coming to the defense of the loyal supporters; 5) stating that opposing views are harmful, vague, damaging, misleading, and not the proper subject of “real” investors; 6) suggesting a conspiracy of “spoiled kids”; and 7) generally making sure that all loyal supporters get the praise that is due them.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #12 re Mel Lindauer

NorbertC: It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee!I’ve been a Vanguard Voyager client for 10 years. I want the Morningstar Vanguard forum to represent all current and potential Vanguard clients, not just a narrow-minded club. Vanguard deserves better. It’s a solid, customer-oriented company. Your statement that “going outside of Vanguard is performance chasing” is typical. During my years of communication with Vanguard, no one has ever stated or implied such an absurd opinion. To the contrary. This is the only M* forum where I’ve ever encountered similar attitudes – excepting the Politics Forum. I am forwarding your comments to Mr. John Brennan, the Vanguard chairman. I fear that you are driving away potential clients – and that’s bad for existing clients like myself.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #13 re Mel Lindauer

Scary Abusive Posting on the Internet

SpringChange: Warning about Ethics- the idea that passive indexing is largely an academic pursuit without reliance of studies of the past that are projected into the future, do not involve paid advisory advocates and general philosophical projections of non-deductionist reasoning, is shamefully deceptive, enough is enough, overselling is overselling, period. Trust for the very intelligent novice comes from simple explanations, a thorough examination of pros and cons, and a rigorous analysis of simple facts, and the type of discussion here from our diehard brethren is a red flag whether pragmatic explanations are true or not. This thread is an example of how the politics and Vanguard forums have failed us- zealous, sloppy, and overwhelming trivial pursuit of a nature that is divisive, upsetting, and distracting. There, I said it, I’ve never recommended anything but this forum to any novice who has ever asked for several years, and none of them has thanked me- bad sign.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #14 re Mel Lindauer

NorbertC: There are forums at M* with a terrific, constructive atmosphere. We see qualities such as: (1) curiosity and openness; (2) self-questioning modesty; (3) tolerance and appreciation for multiple points of view; (4) respect and mutual support; (5) humor; and (6) integrity. You never feel like you’re dealing with a know-it-all Scientology salesman: disingenuous, preaching, defensive, and arrogant.It’s sad, really. Being a long-time Vanguard client I’d like to see this forum welcome any serious investor regardless of his or her investing style.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #15 re Mel Lindauer

Mase Redux: It’s my personal belief that they shouldn’t try to enforce their rules on the rest of us that are trying to use, learn from and enjoy this board which was set up by the grace of Morningstar. Especially since most of the rest of us appreciate Morningstar hosting these various boards and did not abandon the Vanguard Diehards board, while welcoming and encouraging polite discussion of investment topics, pot shots by some of those self-annointed “founders” have no place here.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #16 re Mel Lindauer

Mase Redux: Mel, as one of the self-annointed “founders” of this board, you should be ashamed of yourself. That post was totally uncalled for and you should apologize to Santa Cruz.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #17 re Mel Lindauer

Super Snark: It is a sad day in hell when investors are told they can’t discuss investment strategies on an investment forum.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #18 re Mel Lindauer

MommaD: If someone wants to dictate what can and can’t be posted on an Internet bulletin board, they should start their own.

Intimdation Tactics

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #19 re Mel Lindauer

Satori: I had offered up a concrete, specific, example in the hope that it might encourage other concrete, specific examples of how market timing might or might not work — whether other anecdotes or quantitative data. Perhaps you view this effort as unbearably obtuse, and epistemologically unsound, but I think it is far preferable than all the posturing and hit and run pithy, snide comments and generalizing we are being treated to.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #20 re Mel Lindauer

Tar42: The DHs start their own forum (Bogleheads) and most had no well wishes for the forum, but yet advise posters on this forum to go elsewhere if the don’t completely tune into the Boglehead thinking. I get a real kick out of some that can’t see that they time markets by moving from from one investment TIPS, bonds, REITS, midcaps, Small caps, LC, etc., and tell the world they are reallocating and those active investors that pull money off the table and place it in the money market are timing.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #21 re Mel Lindauer

NorbertC: Mel, you might want to think about what “hubris” really means. You are reacting much like the Church reacted to Galileo in the 16th Century. You will recall that he claimed the world is not flat and was threatened with death by the Church. IMHO, much of the “investing advice” I read on this forum is a formula for financial disaster. It would appear that your theories were developed during the “good times” by people who forget that markets don’t always go up. I consider it vital opposing viewpoints be expressed so that novice investors can make informed decisions.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #22 re Mel Lindauer

Pete Elm: Lindauer threatened bodily harm to more than one poster on the Morningstar forum. [This comment was posted at IndexUniverse.com. Pete Elm was at an earlier time a regular poster at the Vanguard Diehards board.]

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #23 re Mel Lindauer

Herman: I think the definition of a troll are those posters from the other board who roam on all of the boards here starting personal attacks and telling people over here, particularly newbies on the investing basics and personal finance board that they need to go to the other board to get good advice. Not to stay here. As Taylor says, there are many roads to Dublin but too many don’t believe that and in their ignorance and pigheadedness make things unpleasant for everyone and it is carried to an extreme.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #24 re Mel Lindauer

Censorship of New Investing Ideas JohnCraig: Yes Morningstar, I agree; it is time for you to decide what is and is not approved activity on this forum. If you read my posts and decide that I should be banned then do so. Otherwise I suggest that you make it clear that unsubstantiated group attacks won’t be tolerated regardless of who are the perpetrators.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #25 re Mel Lindauer

Avilynn: Mel, do you crave to be a moderator here too?

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #26 re Mel Lindauer

Herman: Jerry is right on and the finger points right at you. Your statement was a personal attack and you opened the floodgates and unleashed the real nastiness. You abandoned this site in a snit because they wouldn’t moderate your way and then the people came here to every board and said go over to that other site where you’ll get the good and true advice. Now it looks like this is coming back and you return and claim 10 years of building it. Yes you did, but you left in a huff and now you’re making sure if you can’t have it your way, no one can have it. Haven’t seen that kind of taking your ball and going home and then coming back when some one came up with another ball since I was a kid. You need to stop the game playing.

Vanguard Diehards Board Comment #27 re Mel Lindauer

Pride Comes Before a Stock Crash

mth5221: Actually it’s more of an economic necessity. It’s necessary for them to come back in order to direct new recruits to their forum. You can’t really expect people to find that new-and-improved, remote diehard forum on their own. So, I can’t blame them for coming back and trying to steal additional M* readers… afterall, there are many souls to save, and many books to sell. :) Perhaps Morningstar will eventually recognize that the Diehard cult has in fact left, and the forum needs to now be known as “Vanguard Funds”.

We’ve begun the process of winning our self-respect back!

When will John Bogle pick up the telephone?