Featured Articles

What Do Low Interest Rates Mean for Stock Returns?

Interest rates are one of the key tools that the Federal Reserve has to manage the economy. Changing how much it costs to borrow money can slow down an economy or give a the economy a nudge.

Unpacking Today’s Market Returns

Today, March 9th, 2020, was a bad day for the financial markets. There are four main elements to this story that I want to pick apart…

The Coronavirus and Your Investments

The Coronavirus is scary. When it’s possible to make reasonable comparisons with the Spanish Flu, that should make you sit up and take notice. Aside from the reasonable precautions that you should be taking, what should you be doing to protect your investments from the disruptions that the Coronavirus may cause? We’ve already seen significant…

The Coronavirus and Its Effects on the Market and Your Retirement

Just like many other areas of life, the novel Coronavirus is having a significant impact on the financial markets.

Introduction

I’m Bob French, the investments guy at Retirement Researcher. I’m also the Director of Investment Analysis at McLean Asset Management. My goal here is to help you use your investments to meet your retirement  goals.

Prior to joining Retirement Researcher and McLean Asset Management, I was in charge of designing the analytical engine for instream – a financial planning tool that financial advisors use with their clients. I became a CFA Charterholder in 2010.

Before instream, I was at Dimensional Fund Advisors, and I was in charge of a data analysis tool that they provided to their financial advisor clients. Aside from helping people with the mechanics of the tool, most of my time was spent helping them understand how to interpret and explain the results to their clients. And it’s this piece – just writ a little larger – that I’m excited to have the opportunity to do here at Retirement Researcher. All of the information that you need to invest well is out there (somewhere), but I want to help give you the context and understanding to use that information to reach the retirement that you deserve.

The Art of Disciplined Investing

By Bob French, CFA

Often the least sexy advice is the right advice. It’s not exciting, but it will accomplish your goals. This goes for investing, too. Think of your portfolio as a farm. You’ll have good years and bad years, but if you focus on…

Are Municipal Bonds Right for You?

By Bob French, CFA

We all want to minimize the amount of taxes that we owe. Municipal bonds, or munis, often seem like a great solution since they’re billed as being tax free (which we’ll talk about in a bit), but everyone else thinks so, too, which means that their prices reflect their tax advantages. This doesn’t disqualify munis as a great tool for retirement investors, but you do need to be careful about how you use them.

What Makes the Markets Move

By Bob French, CFA

Financial markets are constantly on the move, and those moves can have serious implications for what your retirement will look like. Still, most people don’t really have any clue as to why the markets move the way they do.

Are Republicans or Democrats Better for the Stock Market?

By Bob French, CFA

WHAT IS OCCAM’S RAZOR? Occam’s Razor is a principle attributed to William Occam, a 14th century philosopher. He stressed that explanations must not be multiplied beyond what is necessary. Thus, Occam’s Razor is a term used to “shave off” or dismiss superfluous explanations for…

What Risks Are Worth Taking

By Bob French, CFA

Risk drives everything about your investments, but all risk is not created equal. For most investors (and most of the financial industry) dealing with risk is a lot like making sausage. People want what it gets them, the investment returns, but they…

Rebalancing Frequency for your Portfolio

Rebalancing Frequency

By Bob French, CFA

The market is going to drag your portfolio through every mud puddle it finds. It’s your job to pick your portfolio up, dust it off, and point it back in the right direction. Rebalancing brings your portfolio back into line, and ensures that you are taking the right amount of risk through time.

Why You Make Profit From Investing

By Bob French, CFA

Why have markets been good to investors over the long-term? Why should you get those returns for simply investing your money? The reason: the market is paying you to take on risk.

Preparing for Retirement When You’re Starting Late

By Bob French, CFA

Everyone knows that you’re supposed to start saving for retirement early, but that doesn’t always happen. In fact, if you look at the numbers, it’s actually pretty rare. Most people are woefully unprepared for retirement, but you can change that.

The Importance of Your Savings Rate

By Bob French, CFA

How much you save for retirement goes a long way to determining how much you can spend in retirement. There are many factors to your success in retirement, but they all pale in comparison to your savings rate. Put simply, this is the most important number in financial planning.

Should You Own Bonds in a Rising Rate Environment?

By Bob French, CFA

Most people don’t think too much about their bonds. They really are the boring foundation for your portfolio. However, occasionally they spring to the surface, and this is one of those times. Lately, a number of people have been wondering why they…

How Are You Different From The Average Investor?

By Bob French, CFA

Taking distributions from an investment portfolio amplifies the impacts of portfolio volatility, making retirement income planning particularly tricky as distributions tend to be the primary income source for retirees. We can use Monte Carlo simulations to show the increase of money-weighted investment returns in retirement, which has important implications about the choice for a fixed portfolio return assumption.

What are Market Valuations? (Part 2)

By Bob French, CFA

Taking distributions from an investment portfolio amplifies the impacts of portfolio volatility, making retirement income planning particularly tricky as distributions tend to be the primary income source for retirees. We can use Monte Carlo simulations to show the increase of money-weighted investment returns in retirement, which has important implications about the choice for a fixed portfolio return assumption.