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Occam’s – How Are You Different From the Average Investor?

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 a given event. This concept is largely ignored within the investment management landscape. This newsletter will…

What Does the GameStop Kerfuffle Mean?

It’s been a pretty wild ride with GameStop. But while there has been a lot happening, does it actually mean much? We’ve examined the details of what happened elsewhere, so I’m going to focus on some of the bigger questions that this whole affair raises, and specifically how this all impacts long-term investors. So let’s…

What Happened With GameStop?

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that GameStop has been in the news lately. There are a lot of people opining about what is going on, but we want to cut through that and look at what actually happened (we look at what it all means in another article). So what actually happened, and…

Is the Value Premium Pining for the Fjords?

There’s no magic formula for investing. The financial markets seem to take some sort of cosmic joy in bringing people back down to Earth. And it’s value investing’s turn – in fact, it’s been value investing’s turn for a while now. To put it mildly, this has been a rough decade and a half for value stocks.


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.

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.

Why Can’t ‘Winning’ Active Managers Keep on Winning?

By Bob French, CFA

The numbers show that active management simply doesn’t work. There are several arguments against active fund managers, but one of the most damning is that winners don’t seem to repeat.

5 Companies Comprise One-Third of S&P 500 Returns – Is This the Death of Diversification?

By Bob French, CFA

Everyone is always eager to declare the death of diversification. They say it fails in a crisis, that correlations are going up throughout the markets, or that building a diversified portfolio is just too dang time-consuming and expensive (seriously). Now people are…

Heads My Stocks Win, Tails Yours Lose: The Difference Between Daily Returns and a Coin Flip

By Bob French, CFA

We all wonder how the markets did today. Whether it’s actually useful information or not doesn’t seem to matter. Daily returns present an easy, attention-grabbing story the media can fill a couple minutes with every day.

Some People Are Saying Bonds Don’t Provide Diversification Benefits, and They Couldn’t Be More Wrong

By Bob French, CFA

Diversification is a good thing. It’s the only free lunch in finance.

role of risk in investing retirement researcher

What is Risk?

By Bob French, CFA

Risk is one of those complicated concepts that you can’t really pin down to one definition, but it’s the single most important factor for investors.

The Dangers of Putting Our Faith in Statistics

By Bob French, CFA

Statistics are great and all, but just because the numbers say something will happen doesn’t make it the gospel truth.

index investing retirement researcher

How Index Investing Became What It Is Today

By Bob French, CFA

Index investing came from humble beginnings to become one of the most widely used strategies in use today.

What Is the Stock Market and How Does It Work?

By Bob French, CFA

Before you go investing your life savings in the stock market, you should have a basic understanding of what the market is and how it works.