Tip of the Week

A Primer on Finding Finance and Economics Research Relevant

The use of SSRN and Google Scholar can help you stay in touch with cutting-edge research in two ways. First, doing a quick search can provide insights into what researchers have been working on in relation to what you may be interested in learning more about. Second, the use of SSRN and Google Scholar can provide insights into who is doing important research in the field. As an example, those interested in following developments in safe withdrawal strategies will find the work of Michael Finke and Wade Pfau, among others, to be of interest.

If you spend even one hour searching through Google Scholar one thing will stand out: research exists on almost all topics of interest to financial service professionals. There really is very little that is new or novel in terms of an unanswered research question. What one typically discovers is that current research is focused on nuances within larger questions. Consider again the issue of safe withdrawal rates. Much of the research that exists points back to what many practitioners refer to as the “4 percent rule.” Nearly all subsequent safe withdrawal studies have attempted to validate the notion that it is safe to withdraw 4 percent of assets on an annual basis or to describe investment alternatives that can enhance a baseline withdrawal strategy. The use of SSRN and Google Scholar can ensure that you are incorporating the most recent research into your practice and client-centered recommendations.