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One of our users, Victor, constantly makes comments implying that it returns of 30% or 40% per year are reasonable using trailing stops and careful picking. Victor is a valuable poster with good reputation and a significant number of great answers and comments.

His advice often leads to back-and-forth debates in comments. For example, here and here.

My question is whether this community views such back-and-forth debates as a good thing or a bad thing. If good, how could the debate be improved? If bad, is there a way we could point questioners to the theories without arguing in the comments?

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    I'm not sure how to inform Victor about this thread; could someone do so, if appropriate? Also, to be clear, this question is in NO way a personal attack. I like the back-and-forth, just not sure if it is appropriate for the site. If it isn't, I'm at least as much to blame as Victor is. – ChrisInEdmonton Apr 6 '13 at 13:19
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    FWIW, such back-and-forth discussion is why the chat room exists. – Chris W. Rea Apr 6 '13 at 14:23
  • I pointed this meta question out to Victor on one of the comment threads. – Chris W. Rea Apr 6 '13 at 14:25
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Comments are comment on the question / answer. While there are exceptions to everything, once comments get meta (commenting about comments) I view them negatively. Two people having a discussion or argument below a question only dilutes the value of what they are "commenting" on.

I wouldn't suggest automatically deleting comments on other comments, but I would suggest that 4 or more back and forth exchanges get seriously considered for deletion. Once each person as said something twice, off to the chat it should go.

  • Comments on the answer or question are valuable, especially if they offer dissent
  • Comments aimed at other comments should be discouraged. (Comment on the main content)
  • More than four rounds of back and fourth, comments are in big danger of being deleted

We want to encourage clarification, criticism and dissent. We don't want to encourage chatting.

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    Also, @Victor and other passionate people should understand strong positions will elicit strong responses. Speaking for myself, I value everybody's opinions and the passionate ones especially. Don't be discouraged, I learn a lot from y'all. – MrChrister Apr 6 '13 at 23:32
  • I rather like this rule of thumb. Definitely gets a +1 from me. – ChrisInEdmonton Apr 7 '13 at 2:17
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Chris - I am guilty of engaging in comment-chat with Victor. I feel compelled to point out to the casual reader the the expectations of such returns are not reasonable. The back and forth comments are a distraction, and should be kept to a minimum. I think it's for the user to know when to stop, and that failing, the mods are doing a good job cleaning things up. In most cases, trying to keep this general, there's a line where those going on should just 'agree to disagree.'

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