Long-Term Returns website down?

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Riprap
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Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Riprap » Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:27 pm

Does anybody know what happened to the very Bogleheadish website http://www.longtermreturns.com/ ?

I haven't been able to access it for a couple of days now.

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Blues
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Blues » Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:29 pm

I wrote Mike the other day about it but I haven't gotten either a reply or a "could not deliver" message.
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pascalwager
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby pascalwager » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:05 pm

Same question here. I get a message that the site URL is not on the server.

Frank2012
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Frank2012 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:55 am

Yes, very weird...it's not even n a server? Hope the blog gets up and running again soon!

pascalwager
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby pascalwager » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:14 pm

I think he just had to pull the plug. New full-time job plus blog was just too much.

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kwyjibo
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby kwyjibo » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:29 pm

The twitter account has been deleted as well. Perhaps he got that dream hedge fund job he wanted?

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Blues
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Blues » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:34 pm

Seems a bit odd that he wouldn't put up a farewell message instead of just pulling the plug. Regardless, I wish him only the best. :beer
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tzu | "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

gnav
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby gnav » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:09 am

I do hope he returns.
Meanwhile, you can access many of his prior posts through web.archive.org
Or google search and click the down arrow to right of the link for a cached copy.

For example: Selecting Investment Strategy (including favorable mention of Bogleheads.org)
http://tinyurl.com/oxl55fq

pascalwager
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby pascalwager » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:47 am

Also, he may have wanted to adopt an even lower profile due to personal liability concerns, considering the recent losses in the bond market.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Gauntlet » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:39 pm

I really enjoyed the long-term return blog too. The person seemed to give good financial advice. I did a little searching with good ol' google and came across this forum over at Mr. Money Mustache. They seem to think that the person that runs LTR is getting sued. Scroll down and they start talking about it.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/in ... m-returns/

I guess we will never know. The Inter web is an interesting place.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby KyleAAA » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:47 pm

I certainly hope he didn't get sued. That seems the most likely reason somebody would completely remove a site from the internet, though. If you didn't want to blog anymore you could just leave the site up and continue to earn income from residual search referrals, so that's probably not it.

2retire
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby 2retire » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:14 pm

I just read (on The Finance Buff's site) that he got a job with a hedge fund, like he wanted. It is sad that he didn't leave the site up for archival purposes. He could have just stopped answering people's questions and making new posts.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby NightOwl » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:32 pm

2retire wrote:I just read (on The Finance Buff's site) that he got a job with a hedge fund, like he wanted. It is sad that he didn't leave the site up for archival purposes. He could have just stopped answering people's questions and making new posts.

The likely answer then is that the hedge fund made him take it down as a condition of employment.
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby soar » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:43 pm

deleted
Last edited by soar on Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

2retire
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby 2retire » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:24 am

orre wrote:Do you have a reference to that statement? All I can find is speculation that Mike may have taken a hedge fund job.

When I went to get you the link, I read the post again. I guess he was also speculating about why he terminated the blog. So, no one knows for sure yet.

http://thefinancebuff.com/friday-readin ... e-ltr.html

DontKnowJack
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby DontKnowJack » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:53 am

Registered just to say Big Thank You to Mike for running the LTR site & for being instrumental in converting me to Bogleheads way of thinking.
( btw. Today, last of my assets was transferred to Vanguard from ML)

Thanks again Mike & best of luck with your new endeavors....

notsure
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby notsure » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:20 pm

LTR was a fantastic resource and its author was extremely helpful about answering reader queries. I sincerely hope he or she isn't being sued and simply got a great job that required the website to go down! From now on, I'll just be reading bogleheads and Oblivious Investor for investment advice.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby scone » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:26 pm

Bummer. If you are reading this, Mike, thank you very much for your site and all your hard work! :beer
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Scamp » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:57 pm

Does anyone have any more detail on LTR being done? I sure miss that site.

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kwyjibo
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby kwyjibo » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:37 pm

just read this:

http://www.virginiadefamationlawyer.com ... gement.pdf

so it seems the lawsuit rumor had it right (if you believe things posted on the internet)

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ALEX - legal: Split from: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby pusher62 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:27 pm

It will be interesting to find out who Mike is (if we ever do). I tried to find the referenced ads where Everest quotes a 7% ROI without success. Best that I could find was a comment with someone talking about them being on Baltimore TV. From looking at their website, they push indexed annuities.

If anyone has/managed to save the entries from LTR before the caches were cleared, please PM me. It was a trove of information that I hadn't completely read.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby KyleAAA » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:41 pm

The plaintiff's argument doesn't seem at all convincing to me. Nowhere does Mike accuse them of operating illegally, not even in the full quoted bolded excerpt. His other statements are all reasonable.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Riprap
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Riprap » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:48 pm

kwyjibo,

Thanks for the update.

I hope the Everest Wealth Management folks never figure out who Mike is. What a shame that his blog had to end this way.

Mike, if you're reading this, thanks for your work. It was much appreciated. :beer

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby KyleAAA » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:55 pm

Riprap wrote:
I hope the Everest Wealth Management folks never figure out who Mike is.


Oh, they know who Mike is. The privacy services just act as an intermediary but they have to give up their data when subpoenaed just like every other company.

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matjen
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby matjen » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:56 pm

This is a real shame. Very, very sad. :annoyed
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Riprap
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Riprap » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:07 pm

KyleAAA wrote:Oh, they know who Mike is. The privacy services just act as an intermediary but they have to give up their data when subpoenaed just like every other company.


Let's hope the judge is a Boglehead and tells the good folks at Everest that Mike's opinion is very reasonable.

For the lawyers out there...how does Everest prove damage from Mike's blog?

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby nirvines88 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:11 pm

kwyjibo wrote:just read this:

http://www.virginiadefamationlawyer.com ... gement.pdf

so it seems the lawsuit rumor had it right (if you believe things posted on the internet)


What a joke. No good deed goes unpunished. I enjoyed reading his blog, and he clearly helped a lot of readers.
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby dad2000 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:15 pm

(In response to RipRap's last question)

Disclosure: I'm not a lawyer

I don't think they have to prove anything, since this almost certainly won't go to court. Mike has probably already hired representation, and they will settle because it would be too expensive for him to drag this out, even if he is right.

It's a damn shame.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby femtoman » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:26 pm

This makes me sick to my stomach. He never even put up ad's to make money or anything.. it seemed to be a side hobby that he did just to help others. It was an excellent resource. I always liked how he would do such a deep analysis of an investment or an investing strategy, then come back and say something like,"Well, I stick to my asset allocation through think and thin (and you should too!). So this kind of analysis is just something to do instead of active trading."

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby pusher62 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:27 pm

For those who are interested in archiving (now that it's clear that it won't be around forever), someone posted on MMM that some of the pages are still available via Bing caches.

Mike, when the dust settles, you should publish your website as a book. I'd buy it for sure. Just don't make it a newsletter... :D

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby manwithnoname » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:36 pm

Financial institutions guard their reputations very aggressively since any inference that they are not beyond reproach could result in customers leaving and the company falling into bankruptcy (MF Global). Even prominent media outlets will be be besieged by an army of lawyers if anything said in print or on screen is not 100% accurate and verifiable. (NBC shortening a recording of George Zimmerman talking to a police dispatcher to fit within a 2 minute news segment). In the case referred in the OP the side with the most lawyers wins.

Making a bald face unequivocal statement that no one legally operating in the US can guarantee a 7% return is begging for self immolation. Why? because it is possible.I have seen materials from reputable insurance companies that offered fixed retail investors a fixed 7% return on annuities. Of course it was simple interest but it literally was 7% per annum. Later statements in the article referred to compounded the defamation. There are other ways to guarantee 7%.

Note: I am not offering comments on the merits of the suit or the positions of either party but only rendering an observation of what happens if statements are made that a person or business considers defamatory.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby donall » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:28 am

Not a lawyer here, but usage of principle for principal on page 1 of the filing does not inspire confidence, "Everest is a Florida corporation, qualified to do business in Maryland,with a principle place of business at 100 West Road, Suite 300, Towson, Maryland 21204."

I've talked to others and they seem to think the real purpose of the filing was to intimidate and get the posting and all links off the web, because:
- It would be a real stretch to interpret the blog post as being anything other than good advice. If you think about it, numerous posts on this blog and many other financial blogs can be looked at as hurting reputations that are in fact great advice. In addition, one would have to prove intent to harm, and that is difficult under the best of circumstances, probably impossible with a website that is chock full of great investment advice.
- Free speech!!!
- Most lawsuits that claim damages, list them specifically, client XXX removed 1 million dollars due to this posting or business decreased XX amount due to this posting. This filing has nothing that defines the losses. Also, how can you directly prove a correlation with the blog and the firm? There are just too many factors that influence a choice of where one invests.
- This filing asks for attorney fees which are not recoverable in a civil case without a contract specifying this.
- There are no citations in case law, state law, or federal law. So this was a low cost filing that did not spend money on research.
- The ad (brochure, etc.) in question is not included.

Kinda doubt that the case can even move forward with the website off line.
Last edited by donall on Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby donall » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:09 am

manwithnoname wrote:Financial institutions guard their reputations very aggressively since any inference that they are not beyond reproach could result in customers leaving and the company falling into bankruptcy (MF Global). Even prominent media outlets will be be besieged by an army of lawyers if anything said in print or on screen is not 100% accurate and verifiable. (NBC shortening a recording of George Zimmerman talking to a police dispatcher to fit within a 2 minute news segment). In the case referred in the OP the side with the most lawyers wins.

Making a bald face unequivocal statement that no one legally operating in the US can guarantee a 7% return is begging for self immolation. Why? because it is possible.I have seen materials from reputable insurance companies that offered fixed retail investors a fixed 7% return on annuities. Of course it was simple interest but it literally was 7% per annum. Later statements in the article referred to compounded the defamation. There are other ways to guarantee 7%.

Note: I am not offering comments on the merits of the suit or the positions of either party but only rendering an observation of what happens if statements are made that a person or business considers defamatory.


Really, did you read the filing? Mike's comments were quite extensive and covered all the bases. There may be annuities available that have a 7% distribution, but you have to be about 85 years old, in other words, special circumstances. And yes the insurance company can go belly up so no guarantee there either. Or perhaps you are referencing other types of investments that pay out principal and interest? That disclaimer in fine print that most financial firms have is there for a reason. The point of his posting was for readers to question claims of high returns, not to defame a company.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Bradley » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:02 am

Hopefully he has home owners insurance and/or an umbrella policy to cover any legal expenses. His best course of action at this point is to get the name of a First Amendment and Communications Law attorney. Rather than using the yellow pages he should get the name the firm that handles slander/defamation suits for a large newspaper. After reading the complaint, it is my opinion that this suit will go no place. Truth is an absolute defense to defamation: if what you say is true, it cannot be defamatory. Best of luck to Mike.
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby stan1 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:30 am

The desired result of the suit was achieved: the site is gone. Mike seemed like a pretty smart guy, so I'm guessing he did a quick analysis of the cost to comply vs. the cost to fight, and as a hobbyist the answer to comply came back quickly. I hope his legal expenses were kept to the low four digits -- not higher -- and that the issue is closed with the removal of the site.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby donall » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:42 pm

stan1 wrote:The desired result of the suit was achieved: the site is gone. Mike seemed like a pretty smart guy, so I'm guessing he did a quick analysis of the cost to comply vs. the cost to fight, and as a hobbyist the answer to comply came back quickly. I hope his legal expenses were kept to the low four digits -- not higher -- and that the issue is closed with the removal of the site.


I agree with what you wrote. If Everest pursues this further they will lose far more than they can gain. The discovery process itself would place a great deal of Everest information into the public purview. If Mike was a LLC, then he would be further protected.

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Riprap
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Riprap » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:01 pm

donall wrote:If Mike was a LLC, then he would be further protected.


How so? And from what?

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby livesoft » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:19 pm

Thanks for the link to the PDF lawsuit document. Hmmm, I wonder if maybe some comments on this forum will have to be toned down?
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby CantPassAgain » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:55 pm

donall wrote:
manwithnoname wrote:Financial institutions guard their reputations very aggressively since any inference that they are not beyond reproach could result in customers leaving and the company falling into bankruptcy (MF Global). Even prominent media outlets will be be besieged by an army of lawyers if anything said in print or on screen is not 100% accurate and verifiable. (NBC shortening a recording of George Zimmerman talking to a police dispatcher to fit within a 2 minute news segment). In the case referred in the OP the side with the most lawyers wins.

Making a bald face unequivocal statement that no one legally operating in the US can guarantee a 7% return is begging for self immolation. Why? because it is possible.I have seen materials from reputable insurance companies that offered fixed retail investors a fixed 7% return on annuities. Of course it was simple interest but it literally was 7% per annum. Later statements in the article referred to compounded the defamation. There are other ways to guarantee 7%.

Note: I am not offering comments on the merits of the suit or the positions of either party but only rendering an observation of what happens if statements are made that a person or business considers defamatory.


Really, did you read the filing? Mike's comments were quite extensive and covered all the bases. There may be annuities available that have a 7% distribution, but you have to be about 85 years old, in other words, special circumstances. And yes the insurance company can go belly up so no guarantee there either. Or perhaps you are referencing other types of investments that pay out principal and interest? That disclaimer in fine print that most financial firms have is there for a reason. The point of his posting was for readers to question claims of high returns, not to defame a company.


Yeah, please share with us manwithnoname, where can we get these guaranteed 7% ROIs in the US?

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Ranger » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:58 pm

livesoft wrote:Thanks for the link to the PDF lawsuit document. Hmmm, I wonder if maybe some comments on this forum will have to be toned down?


I wondered about the same when i read that lawsuit. If DFA, PIMCO or Bill Miller want to pursue defamation suit, they can find plenty of material in this website.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Khuzud » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:31 pm

I wonder if one of the moderators might post a reply to this thread.

I think that the mods here do an amazing job, and their hard work—most of it behind the scenes—has built one of the friendliest and most useful communities on the Internet.

But, do they have a plan or policy in place to handle an event like this? What if a company like Everest Financial Group were to send a nastygram demanding one of the posts here be censored? Considering that Everest's operations are largely antithetical to Bogleheads philosophy, it seems a concerted effort on their part could shut down this forum, or at least put a rather large crimp in things.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby donall » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:56 pm

There's a lot of stuff on the Internet concerning online defamation.

I've added this link, as it seems to have some major cases that are well summarized:
http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~ero ... cases.html

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby tipswatcher » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:28 am

I personally think this situation is a dangerous limitation of free speech.

In my town, on weekend mornings, I hear the infomercial half-hour broadcasts on AM radio from the predators selling 'guaranteed returns.' Capture the stock market gains without any risks. What would have happened if you retired in 2008 with all your money in the stock market? Get totally tax-free income. Blah, blah, blah.

The only guaranteed returns are for the guys selling this stuff. Beyond that, it's possible some have decent products, some are way less than decent, all of them depend on the financial strength of the underlying insurance company, which cannot be 'guaranteed.'

The business relies on a campaign of misinformation and scare tactics.

Now we know they will attack those who criticize them, possibly savagely.
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby manwithnoname » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:01 am

Strevlac wrote:
donall wrote:
manwithnoname wrote:Financial institutions guard their reputations very aggressively since any inference that they are not beyond reproach could result in customers leaving and the company falling into bankruptcy (MF Global). Even prominent media outlets will be be besieged by an army of lawyers if anything said in print or on screen is not 100% accurate and verifiable. (NBC shortening a recording of George Zimmerman talking to a police dispatcher to fit within a 2 minute news segment). In the case referred in the OP the side with the most lawyers wins.

Making a bald face unequivocal statement that no one legally operating in the US can guarantee a 7% return is begging for self immolation. Why? because it is possible.I have seen materials from reputable insurance companies that offered fixed retail investors a fixed 7% return on annuities. Of course it was simple interest but it literally was 7% per annum. Later statements in the article referred to compounded the defamation. There are other ways to guarantee 7%.

Note: I am not offering comments on the merits of the suit or the positions of either party but only rendering an observation of what happens if statements are made that a person or business considers defamatory.


Really, did you read the filing? Mike's comments were quite extensive and covered all the bases. There may be annuities available that have a 7% distribution, but you have to be about 85 years old, in other words, special circumstances. And yes the insurance company can go belly up so no guarantee there either. Or perhaps you are referencing other types of investments that pay out principal and interest? That disclaimer in fine print that most financial firms have is there for a reason. The point of his posting was for readers to question claims of high returns, not to defame a company.


Yeah, please share with us manwithnoname, where can we get these guaranteed 7% ROIs in the US?


Try here for a start

http://guaranteedreturnsfl.weebly.com/

You can get a guaranteed 8.25% return on your 403b annuity if you are a NYC public school teacher.

http://serfcity.wordpress.com/2009/02/2 ... 03b-plans/

So the premise than no one legally operating in the US can guarantee a 7% return is false.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby stevewolfe » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:11 am

manwithnoname wrote:Try here for a start

http://guaranteedreturnsfl.weebly.com/

You can get a guaranteed 8.25% return on your 403b annuity if you are a NYC public school teacher.

http://serfcity.wordpress.com/2009/02/2 ... 03b-plans/

So the premise than no one legally operating in the US can guarantee a 7% return is false.


I'd say tell that to the folks in Rhode Island who just had the courts cut their "guarantee"...

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby KyleAAA » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:13 am

manwithnoname wrote:
Try here for a start

http://guaranteedreturnsfl.weebly.com/

You can get a guaranteed 8.25% return on your 403b annuity if you are a NYC public school teacher.

http://serfcity.wordpress.com/2009/02/2 ... 03b-plans/

So the premise than no one legally operating in the US can guarantee a 7% return is false.


None of those actually guarantee a 7% return. In finance, the ONLY guaranteed investment are US Treasuries, and even that is debatable. The instruments mentioned above aren't guaranteed because the entities behind them don't have unlimited ability to print money to meet their obligations. Nobody in finance would consider either of those to be guaranteed in any way, and that's the point: this is finance. Context matters. In finance, guaranteed means "no or negligible risk of loss." None of the investments above come close to meeting that definition.

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Oicuryy » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:22 am

Here is a frame from an Everest Wealth Management commercial. Is this what all the fuss is about? Too bad longtermreturns did not just explain what a Benefit Base is.

Image
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luYL2AKjV7s

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby stevewolfe » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:32 am

Love how comments are disabled for their videos...

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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby LadyGeek » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:44 am

The response is that I've removed comments pertaining to the lawsuit and will consult with the site owners on the topic.

In the mean, time this thread is locked to avoid further comments.
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Re: Long-Term Returns website down?

Postby Alex Frakt » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:19 pm

Thread restored and reopened. Please keep responses on topic. Note that discussions of the American legal system are not on-topic here. OTOH, discussions on investing issues, such as the availability of a guaranteed 7% return, certainly are.


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