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February 12, 2007


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I don't think the other comments were out-of-line, and I feel compelled to say, they did highlight what appears to be a hypocritical stance.

You justly rail against the high fees mutual fund managers charge to manage money. You also correctly point out such fees eat into returns, and thus into your retirement, greatly impacting one's financial security. All well and good.

But then in the same breath, you have links and recommendations to charities and programs that even the casual observer will recognize do not practice this philosophy of low fees and putting the money to work. More troubling, some individuals running those charities have been exposed as enormous spendthrifts who's personal extravagance is seriously at odds with their publicly stated mission. (I haven't mentioned names, so there's no libel here.)

Frankly, that's a valid thing to note and comment ont: condemnation of the high-fee money managers, yet praise for a "high fee" charity.

You may not like the point, but if honest criticism and pointed debate is going to be stifled, please let us know now so we can decide whether we wish to continue participating in a one-way conversation.

Alex --

The comments I believe you're referreing to (likely yours) were rude in nature and vile in tone. I will not have them. See the statement in green above if you're wondering why.

Now if you want to say THE SAME THING in meaning but do it in a tone that is at least close to passing as civilized, then those comments are acceptable -- and I may let them pass. Then again, I may not. See the statement in green above if you're wondering why.

The bottom line is that this is my blog -- not yours. Feel free to start your own blog and say whatever you like. Otherwise, you need to play by the rules or you get deleted.

Not sure what you're referring to, as I haven't written about this until now, nor have I posted "talkbacks" or linked a pf blog.

Now maybe the tone of the other posters was harsh, but I'd rather see you address the meat of the issue: it is somewhat hypocritical to harshly condemn fee-hungry money managers, yet at the same time recommend donations to an organization that is guilty of the same fee-abuse excess (which is true, I too have seen the expose of unbelievable wealth from some of the charity members -- planes, mansions, etc.).

And I think you're right to condemn the money managers -- "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" confirms you are correct. But to condemn one, yet recommend the other -- surely you see the disconnect.

Alex --

I think you don't have all the facts -- which is a part of what I'm talking about here. If you're interested in the evaluations of specific charities, check out They independently rank charities.

Besides, what does it matter to you what charity I give to? Here's what I'd suggest -- go start your own blog, write posts for several hours a day every day for two years, and give all the proceeds away while doing so. Then come back to me and talk about the value of any one charity or another.

Again, you're free to discuss whatever you want on YOUR blog. Not on mine -- and especially not in the tone that others have used recently.

>>> Besides, what does it matter to you what charity I give to?

You are exactly right -- it doesn't matter. But you made a *public* recommendation to your *readers.* That changes the game entirely. You put it in issue -- and others commented on it (and I wrote to say I thought the commentary was fair).

So I utterly fail to grasp the logic here. It's not to whom YOU personally give, it's your recommendation to US that matters -- and as I said, when you make a recommendation to US, your readers, that is fair game for comment.

>>> Again, you're free to discuss whatever you want on YOUR blog. Not on mine.

Respectfully, you miss the crux of the matter. The other posters were discussing YOUR recommendation, and the dichotomy between criticizing fee-based money managers and recommending a charity which engages in the very practices you publicly condemn.

That's not discussing "whatever." It's commentary on the very things you put in issue, repeatedly, right here on your blog. It's not "whatever," it's directly on point. (And that's why I posted here.)

But the impression I'm getting is, you only want comments that you agree with. You take issue with posters criticizing what you define as personal charity decisions, but that's wildly off the mark -- you made a *public* recommendation to us, your readers.

To conclude, I respectfully submit I don't understand your logic or your responses, and my takeaway is this: if you don't agree with it, you don't want it.

Alas, looks like it's time for me to shove off. These "my way or the highway" responses are antithetical to what blogs are about, and I thought FMF was above this sort of rhetoric. Thank you for the stark, and disappointing, clarification.

Good luck to all FMF readers.

Alex --

1. If you think all I have are comments that agree with me, you obviously haven't read many of my posts. Maybe that's the problem here.

2. I think you can understand the difference between a comment that's meant to contribute to the conversation/disagree/spur debate and one that's hateful, vile, and toxic. My ten-year-old can tell the difference, so you should be able to. And it's this latter type of comment that I will not allow. You know this, yet are avoiding the issue to advance your "agenda" (whatever that may be.)

3. Yes, I think it's best you move on as well.

I was surprised that you took down a comment of mine. It was just a couple links explaining how you can lose money by dollar-cost-averaging in money that was already in the market, when transferring it. (Because the market is up more often than it is down.)

See the notes above about linking to your own site. I almost always take down any sort of self-linking no matter how good the comment is.

If you have some good posts and want them to get linked to, email me the links and ask me to look them over. If I think my readers will like the posts, I'll include them in my Friday round-up.

I can't do this all the time and can't include everyone, but I will certainly look over anything submitted.

Also, you can always leave a comment without any links in it.

This wasn't a link to my own site, but to a research paper and a periodical article.

If it's not clear that the link is not yours (i.e. it doesn't go to Money, Kiplinger's etc.) it gets deleted. It's best to make the comment/point yourself without a link OR, if you want me to consider the link, emailing it to me.

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