The Advocate Celebrates 50 Posts of "How To Invest" with Extensive Interview with its Creator
The Investor's Advocate: This is a bit belated since you've already passed 50 posts at the time of this writing, but the number is quite a milestone. Did you ever imagine that you'd still be covering this subject for as long as you have?
Anthony Rhodes: The great thing about investing is that its universe is so incredibly vast that there's always material to cover. To say nothing about new products and rules which come into play on a regular basis. So, I'm not all that surprised to still be at it today. The difficulty lies in which direction to move within. Should I cover products, strategies or current events? And how to make it all relatable to the average person. This is the motivation and challenge which keeps me going.
The Investor's Advocate: To that point, one of the hallmarks of your blog is how it tends to weave subjects which aren't normally associated with investing into it. There's heavy influences of science, philosophy and psychology which can be detected within your writings. Is this by design or mere coincidence?
Anthony Rhodes: A bit of both. I believe that the best way to explain something is to relate it to something else. Investing tends to be an intimidating subject to most people, so I've decided to incorporate topics and themes which they may be more comfortable or familiar with within my posts to further advance my point. But at the same time, those are also areas which are particularly important to me as an individual, and naturally emerge within my writings.
The Investor's Advocate: This is quite different, because in most instances, articles written about investing often seem to be written by and for a particular niche audience. Yet most investors, when you consider retirement plans and accounts, are average, everyday people. Your posts tend to be relatable to the average person, but doesn't speak down to them in the process. How are you consistently able to strike this delicate balance?
Anthony Rhodes: By having respect for my readers. I've never been partial to using esoteric words or eccentric concepts to convey my messages in How To Invest. That being said, there's a bit of intellectual heft which must accompany the reader in order to be completely understood. My readers understand that. The balance is simply to be authentic and not attempt to be all things to all people. I don't expect the blog to be accepted by everyone, but those who identify with my authenticity will continue to read and utilize it.
The Investor's Advocate: Now, regarding the posts, are there any ones in particular which hold significant interest to you? And are there favorites amongst your readers?
Anthony Rhodes: In order to stay sharp, I can't allow myself to have favorites. Once that happens, you can find your self consciously or subconsciously comparing all subsequent works to that one, which can distract from your original purpose, become counterproductive, and ultimately diminish your capacity to naturally produce quality material. But I must admit that I really enjoy writing about the intersection between philosophy and investing. "Nothing In Excess" was such a treat to write, and I really wanted to explore more of Nietzsche's thought processes in "Superman" but I couldn't find the right mix to keep it within the 800 word maximum which I've established as protocol. If I naturally exceed that limit, which I've done on a few occasions, that's fine. But it felt like I'd be forcing the issue with that post, so I decided not to extend it. "The Chain Game", "Profit Motive" and "Catalyst Analysis" also fall within that grouping, and was so much fun to create. But each post tends to have their own personality, and all represent my thinking at the time of production. So all hold a particular interest to me. As for my readers, the most read overall is "Forced Feeding", but "Formal Nonconformity" is currently the most popular, and is definitely moving up.
The Investor's Advocate: It's interesting that "Formal Nonconformity" would be so popular, considering its message. Why do you think your readers are gravitating towards that post?
Anthony Rhodes: I think it's because we're living in a period in which the bulwark of many of our institutions are beginning to fray as a result of growing questions regarding the motives of leadership. These queries are causing many people to feel uncertain about the trustworthiness of leaders of all types, and this uneasiness has spawned an attraction towards the philosophy of nonconformity. I believe that my experiences within the article taps into these concerns, and that its results highlights the contrasts that exist between individuality and the establishment, something that many people can relate to.
The Investor's Advocate: To that point, and I know this is a touchy subject, but how has your personal experiences with confronting established powers effected your nonconformists views?
Anthony Rhodes: You're speaking about the "A Tale of Two Cities" article?
The Investor's Advocate: Yes. And has being a nonconformist helped you in maintaining hope with all that has happened?
Anthony Rhodes: That's more of a 'chicken and egg' explanation. The situation kind of forces you to become a nonconformist, but being a nonconformist is what created the situation in the first place. Civilization has a long, horrendous record regarding its treatment of nonconformists. Jesus and Socrates were both put to death because of it, and Galileo and many others were silenced because of their adherence to it. So my treatment pretty much falls in line with the historical record. But in each instance, the actions of these moral agitators were a reactionary response to something which they knew was wrong, and could not, in good conscience, refuse to stand up against it. I know in my heart that I'm doing the same thing. So being a practicing nonconformist places me in pretty good company. As for hope, I have to continue to believe that goodness will eventually prevail, though that hope is increasingly being diminished domestically. When a citizen of a country can't expect fairness through its legal system, it's impossible to have faith that any other function within that country will conduct itself any differently. I'm therefore not surprised that every regulatory agency which I've contacted regarding my case has refused to act. Even though they've been provided with overwhelming evidence of misconduct, injustice, and to be completely honest, incompetence by the presiding judges. At some point, you have to logically conclude that the courage to confront those individuals simply does not exist here. And that our foundational principles of freedom, liberty and equality has been replaced by an America in which fear, intimidation and inaction governs all aspects of societal life.
The Investor's Advocate: When you speak of regulatory bodies, to whom are you referring?
Anthony Rhodes: Let's see, there's the DC Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the DC Bar, the Joint Committee on Judicial Affairs, the American Bar Association, the Committee On The Judiciary; which was particularly interesting, because after receiving paperwork I mailed to their chairman at the time, Bob Goodlatte. outlining the court's obvious mishandling of my case, he retired shortly thereafter, and I've heard nothing back from them since. I also contacted the Bar Associations of just about every state in the country, government judicial oversight organizations and the politicians that comprise their membership. All were provided with proof of abuse by the court, and no actions were taken by any of them. In fact, and to the contrary, all judges involved in my case are still judges, and one of the politicians I contacted is now the Vice-President of the United States! Apparently, not only is inaction unpunished within this country, but is actually rewarded.
The Investor's Advocate: Is there anything more you'd like to add regarding your case?
Anthony Rhodes: Where do I begin? First of all, I would suggest that your readers open up a free account at www.pacer.gov and research case 16-1111 for themselves. No legal education is required to see the miscarriage of justice which took place within that so-called trial. But one of the many nuggets which won't be seen in the docket report, is that after experiencing the complete bias by the court in favor of the FBI, I actually contacted Attorney General Racine of the District of Columbia, and provided him with documentation of their abuses. But in a twist which was so indicative of the corruption of the DC Court, not only did he not investigate the matter, but he actually joined counsel for the defense!
The Investor's Advocate: Wasn't that a conflict of interest?
Anthony Rhodes: Absolutely. But the brazenness of his actions showed the complete lack of fear that he had of receiving reprisals of any kind from the DC Bar, or any other regulatory authority, and of just how far we've fallen. I honestly don't understand why they are not directing their acolytes to go into banks and demand money from the vaults. It's not as if anything would happen to them if they did. My case shows us all that the FBI can do whatever they want, to whomever they want, whenever they want. With complete confidence that their criminal acts will be protected by a corrupt judiciary, craven politicians, and spineless regulatory authorities. Unfortunately, that's just the reality that we live in today. But even worse, is that whenever an American president speaks out against human rights violations taking place in other parts of the world, they will be seen as complete hypocrites for allowing the exact same thing to happen here. And in the name of the government, no less. Every day that this injustice remains uncorrected is another day of America losing its moral credibility in the eyes of the world.
The Investor's Advocate: Have you ever wondered why you were targeted for this treatment, and how it all began?
Anthony Rhodes: I think that there were parties that did not wish to see me establish my firm, The Planning Perspective (www.theplanningperspective.com), and in a bid to destroy it, worked in concert with corrupt elements within law enforcement and other institutions to assassinate my character and attempt to orchestrate its demise. I find it less than coincidental that all these things occurred around the same time. In order to conceal their misconduct, and prevent it from being exposed, the Department of Justice has supposedly placed any documents on my person within the E7 exclusion of the Freedom of Information Act, and won't provide any explanation as to why they've done so. Which within itself proves their guilt. I'm no threat to the public, have never consulted with anyone who was, and have been a law abiding citizen for the entirety of my life. Why would information on me be placed within that exclusion? I couldn't find an attorney with the courage to fight them on it or any of the other nefarious acts which they are perpetrating against me, so I did so on my own.
The Investor's Advocate: Do you have a record of any kind?
Anthony Rhodes: No. I've never been in trouble with the law aside from a few driving tickets from my youth which were all paid for.
The Investor's Advocate: How do you maintain hope through all of this?
Anthony Rhodes: Hope lies in the international community. I have readers from all over the world, and I'm sure that my foreign readers are familiar with that article, and it serves as a warning to them of just how easily the descent into lawlessness can transpire. All it takes is for leaders to sit by and allow unscrupulous individuals to infiltrate and propagate their membership throughout their law enforcement apparatus. Such concerns are wasted here, since the die has already been cast. But the hope that they can learn from our mistakes and not repeat them is encouraging.
The Investor's Advocate: Why haven't you discussed your case within the blog? You have a significant readership, why not use it to deliver your message?
Anthony Rhodes: That's not the forum for such a message. It's the job of the press to address these issues. And they are fully aware of them because I've contacted the most prominent names in the country about the case. My readers come to How To Invest to learn how to become better investors, and I would never disrespect their time by providing them with anything less than that objective.
The Investor's Advocate: But there are posts in which you express some personal views which fall beyond the scope of investing.
Anthony Rhodes: Not singularly. In "Eden Anew" I did express my concerns with technological advancements, but only as it related to the subject matter delivered within the post. The same goes for "Fool's Gold", "Class Pass" and a few others, but I generally stay away from my soapbox when writing.
The Investor's Advocate: Through all of this, you are amazingly still able to produce material with a positive message for your readers. How has this happened, and why hasn't the frustration regarding your treatment not trickled into your writing?
Anthony Rhodes: Remaining positive is the greatest weapon you have when dealing with its polar opposite. The most insidious portion of the strategy of those behind this scheme, is for me, and all others being subjected to this horror, to abandon hope and react to their malevolence with the same vitriol which they are using against us. They despise the persons that they've become as a result of decisions that they've made in life, and instead of internalizing, owning up to their errors, and using them as a basis to improve themselves, they've decided instead to use the Internet and other vehicles of mass surveillance, to mobilize their numbers and collectively direct their hatred towards all who have not followed a similar path. They'd like nothing more than to see such hatred materialize in my writings, and even further, for me to respond by force to their sinister deeds. It really makes you think about many of these "homegrown terrorist" acts which have taken place in recent years. Perhaps some of those individuals were subjected to the same treatment, reached their boiling point, and lashed out at others as a result. And in doing so, all parties behind the plot would escape justice by the public being told that they were suffering from "mental health issues" of some sort. It's hard to imagine something so incredibly diabolical happening in this country, but after all that I've experienced, I certainly can't rule out the possibility. Sadly, we'll never know, because all attempts to receive documentation on FBI abuse will be railroaded by the judiciary--as has happened with my case--and any expectations of an internal investigation is nothing short of sheer folly. This situation can't be overcome by fighting fire with fire. Ultimately, you have to continue to believe in the power of righteousness and fervently cling to its principles ever day. Which is what I've been doing now for 15 years.
The Investor's Advocate: Another touchy subject, I'm sure, is the "influence" which your posts tend to have. How do you deal with imitators copying your style and content?
Anthony Rhodes: Imitation is the highest form of flattery.
The Investor's Advocate: Right.
Anthony Rhodes: You kind of get used to it. Just about as far back as I can remember people have been copying or imitating my concepts and writings, so I guess it's something that will always be with me. It does get frustrating sometimes when you spend your time creating something, only to see it written or even spoken verbatim by someone else without crediting the original source. I personally can't speak to the mentality of someone who would do such a thing. Writing is such a personalized medium, that I just can't wrap my mind around the desire to imitate or plagiarize. The reason why my blog has experienced success is because I don't attempt to sound like, or imitate anyone else; my readers get to view the world exclusively through my eyes. When you copy someone else, you rob both yourself and your readers from having that same experience. I just can't imagine why someone would do that.
The Investor's Advocate: Getting back to investing. Where do you see it going in the future? There are many uncertainties on the horizon with cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence becoming more widespread. Are many of the tools we use today on the verge of becoming obsolete? And are financial advisors soon to go the way of the dinosaurs?
Anthony Rhodes: I've addressed a great deal about some of this with "To Bot, or Not", and most of my opinions on the subject has not changed much. And I've also discussed my views on predicting the future with "Cold Fusion is Just Ten Years Away". That being said, the investment profession has always encountered change, and its tools have constantly evolved. But its ending objective will always be the same: to create capital. As long as individuals exist with the ability to accomplish that goal, regardless of the tools involved, he or she will never lack clients to employ their services.