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Intercst writes:

<<Perhaps the only thing we can agree on is that "lower is safer" when it comes to retirement withdrawals.>>

On that we definitely agree. I just disagree when you say, "Replace the S&P500 index fund with the Foolish Four and the safe withdrawal rate drops to about 3%."

Your study in no way proves that. In fact, it proves absolutely nothing about the Foolish Four. It only reflects what holding four Dow stocks that qualified as the Foolish Four in one particular year will do over time. Why you say in your writings it reflects a Foolish Four methodology when you fail to make annual trades escapes me. Unless you trade annually, it is NOT the Foolish Four, only four stocks, so presenting your data as representing the Foolish Four is simply not factual. You might just as well use a randomly selected four stocks from the S&P 500 and hold those for 5, 10, 15, 30, 40 year periods and call that a Foolish Four method. It makes as much sense.

It's true my data only covers the years back to 1961. That's as far back as it goes, and I point out that fact quite clearly in the study. Also note that it trounced the S&P over the same period, which rather nullifies your argument for those years.

But who knows what the future holds? Neither you nor I do. Therefore, I'll agree that a lower withdrawal rate is always safer. I'll also agree in advance that for many the Foolish Four may be particularly risky. I view it as a value strategy, and am comfortable with it. I understand fully what I am doing, and am satisfied with the risk I am taking. Others have to decide that for themselves.

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