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.

What are Market Valuations? (Part 1)

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.

Socially Responsible Investing Doesn't Make Sense - Except When it Does

Socially Responsible Investing Doesn’t Make Sense – Except When It Does

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.

Does Dollar Cost Averaging Make Sense?

By Bob French, CFA

The appeal of market timing is obvious. Who wouldn’t want to get in and out of the market at the best time every time? We’ve talked a lot about market timing in the past – timing risk premiums, trying to time the markets on a daily basis, and the importance of staying disciplined even when it seems obvious the markets are going to go down.

Putting Monday's Drop in Perspective

Putting Monday’s Drop in Perspective

By Bob French, CFA

The appeal of market timing is obvious. Who wouldn’t want to get in and out of the market at the best time every time? We’ve talked a lot about market timing in the past – timing risk premiums, trying to time the markets on a daily basis, and the importance of staying disciplined even when it seems obvious the markets are going to go down.

How Much Income Do I Need in Retirement?

By Bob French, CFA

Most people are focused on saving for retirement so they’ll have the money they need to fund their income in retirement. However, ask most people how much they’re going to spend in retirement and they have no idea. To plan for retirement effectively, you need to have some sense of what your spending needs are actually going to be.

Are Bitcoins a Good Tool for Retirement Investors

Are Bitcoins a Good Tool For Retirement Investors?

By Bob French, CFA

The appeal of market timing is obvious. Who wouldn’t want to get in and out of the market at the best time every time? We’ve talked a lot about market timing in the past – timing risk premiums, trying to time the markets on a daily basis, and the importance of staying disciplined even when it seems obvious the markets are going to go down.

On the Power of Disciplined Investing

By Bob French, CFA

The appeal of market timing is obvious. Who wouldn’t want to get in and out of the market at the best time every time? We’ve talked a lot about market timing in the past – timing risk premiums, trying to time the markets on a daily basis, and the importance of staying disciplined even when it seems obvious the markets are going to go down.

How Can You Prepare for a Bad Market

How Can You Prepare for the Next 2008?

By Bob French, CFA

Because financial markets are habitually unpredictable in the short run, it’s challenging to draw useful conclusions based on extreme observations. However, there are important lessons investors would be well-served to remember: Capital markets generally reward long-term investors, and having a resolute investing approach may better prepare you for the next crisis and its aftermath.

How Good Is the VIX Index at Predicting Market Volatility?

By Bob French, CFA

Here is a summary of the VIX Index.

A Boring Market is a Happy Market, so Why Can’t People Leave Their Portfolios Alone?

By Bob French, CFA

People use a lot of adjectives to describe the market, but we’re excited to say we are currently experiencing what we would call a “boring market.”

Are Bitcoins a Good Tool for Retirement Investors

Should You Invest in Cryptocurrencies? (And What Are They Anyway?)

By Bob French, CFA

We’ve recently gotten some questions about investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, so I want to take this chance to talk about them. To avoid burying the lede, let me just say this up front: they really aren’t viable investment options.

The Problem with Indexing

The Problems with Indexing

By Bob French, CFA

Index funds dominate the passive management landscape (though they are not the entirety). But just because there’s no way to guess which active managers will do well in the future doesn’t mean index funds don’t have problems themselves.