Featured Articles

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.

One of the Most Successful Active Managers of all Time Shows Why Active Management Doesn’t Work

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.

Why so many indexes

Indexes 101, Part 2: Why So Many Indexes?

By Bob French, CFA

Everyone has heard of the S&P 500 and Dow Jones, but what’s the difference between the two? And which one should you trust?

What Does It Mean When People Say the Trump Rally Has Created an ‘Overvalued’ Market?

By Bob French, CFA

A number of people are suggesting that the Trump Rally, along with the longer-term bull market, has pushed prices beyond justification. Therefore, the markets must be on the verge of a downturn. Are they right?

Indexes 101, Part 1: What Is Index Investing?

By Bob French, CFA

Everyone has heard of investing in an index, but not many people understand what that really means, so we decided to break it down for you.

What Is Style Drift and Can It Be Avoided?

By Bob French, CFA

All too often, the funds you use end up sabotaging your asset allocation. What if the funds you select don’t do what you think they will? When you use actively managed funds, you have to watch out for something called “style drift” – when a fund’s style (what the fund actually owns) moves over time.

how the fed affects your investments

How the Fed Impacts Your Investments

By Bob French, CFA

The financial media loves talking about changes in the target for the Federal Funds Rate. What the financial media want to talk about and what actually matters don’t overlap much. Let’s take a look at how changes in the Federal Funds Rate actually impact your investments.

Understanding the Funded Ratio

By Bob French, CFA

Everyone wants to know where they stand with their finances – Will I be able to have the retirement I want? Do I have enough? Roughly how far do I have to go? Am I overfunded (believe me, it happens)?

What’s So Great About Fiduciary Advisors?

By Bob French, CFA

Working with a financial advisor requires trust that goes both ways. But can you fully trust them if they’re motivated by commissions and quotas?

What Are Annuities?

By Bob French, CFA

Annuities are like power tools. In the right hands, they can help you considerably, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could cut your fingers off.

How Far Should You Trust Market Models?

By Bob French, CFA

We use models all the time. We are constantly making decisions based on them – everything from simple heuristics (nachos taste good), all the way up to (and including) quantum mechanics. They’re great tools for helping us understand and make sense of…

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

By Bob French, CFA

Reverse mortgages have gotten a bad rap. Admittedly, a lot of it was deserved. A bad rap doesn’t just happen without something to base it on. But a lot has changed since Fred Thompson was selling them on daytime TV. Now, reverse…

Your Retirement Number Is Meaningless

By Bob French, CFA

Retirement is this big unknown for so many folks, that when someone offers to nail it down to a concrete number, of course people will line up. The only problem is, it’s meaningless.