Featured Articles

Occam’s – How Buffer Assets Might Be Able to Help Your Retirement 

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…

Occam’s – Inflation and Your Retirement Plan

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…

Occam’s – Your Plan is Wrong (And That’s OK)

Planning for retirement is vitally important. And with something this important, many of us want a sense of control. We want to know that our retirement income plan covers all the bases, and that it will smoothly take us through to a successful retirement. But, for most of us, that’s not how it’s going to play out. 

Occam’s – When Does a Separately Managed Account Make Sense?

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…

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.

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.

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.