Featured Articles

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…

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…

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 Most Important Investment Decision You’ll Ever Make

By Bob French, CFA

When most people think about investing, they’re thinking about stuff that doesn’t really matter. They’re caught up in the minutiae: What fund should I own? How fast did the iPhone 7 sell out (and are people really going to be okay with no headphone jack)? What sector is going to take off this fall? But that’s not really what determines your portfolio’s fate. What really matters is your ratio between stocks and bonds.

Can You Time Risk Premiums?

By Bob French, CFA

No one really likes risk. We all can deal with it, but that doesn’t mean we want to. Yes, there are people who live to jump out of airplanes and walk on tight ropes with no net, but I’m talking about financial…

Should You Keep International Stocks in Your Portfolio?

By Bob French, CFA

There will always be some asset class that does poorly. Over the last few years, one of those asset classes has been international stocks. They have underperformed US stocks each of the previous three years, and it’s looking like they’ll do it…

Should You Add Real Estate to Your Portfolio?

By Bob French, CFA

We talk a lot about stocks and bonds, but we spend less time on hard assets like commodities or real estate. Investing in real estate is very similar to investing in stocks, so it requires many of the same principles as any other asset class, just with a little twist.

Should Your Portfolio Include Commodities?

By Bob French, CFA

When it comes to investing, a whole bunch of magical investment solutions seem to be floating around out there, but should you really do anything differently?

What Can We Learn from the Market Disasters of the 1970s?

By Bob French, CFA

Throughout history, when bad news and events touched the daily lives of investors and caused nest eggs to shrink, it’s been natural to ask, “Is this the end of investing as we know it? Have new developments changed things so much that…

The Hidden High Costs of Index Funds

By Bob French, CFA

Here we cover the basics of index funds. Today, many investors use index funds because they provide an easy way to gain cheap, diversified exposure to specific areas of the market. The question is this: Is an index a precise representation of the sector of the market it describes?

A Diversified Portfolio is a Healthy Portfolio

By Bob French, CFA

The following excerpt is from our ebook “12 Principles of Intelligent Investors,” which you can download here. Want to get better at investing? Are you looking for simple, approachable ways to deepen your knowledge of the keys that create financial success? Using…

Consistently Successful Active Managers Are 'Rarer Than Rare'

By Bob French, CFA

The following excerpt is from our ebook “12 Principles of Intelligent Investors,” which you can download here. Want to get better at investing? Are you looking for simple, approachable ways to deepen your knowledge of the keys that create financial success? Using…

How Do Presidential Elections Affect The Markets?

By Bob French, CFA

With the presidential election coming up, people are naturally curious about what the elections mean for the stock market – and, more importantly, for their investments (and everything those investments represent).

A World of Opportunities: The Benefits of Global Diversification

By Bob French, CFA

It’s obvious why a U.S.‑based investor may think it’s better to stay away from international investing, but you don’t get the full story by just looking at the short-term returns of different asset classes in isolation. You need to take a long-term perspective and think about how everything affects your total portfolio.

Are Oil Prices Lower Because of the Stock Market?

By Bob French, CFA

Is the volatility of oil a result of the volatility of the markets? Or vice versa? Or neither?