How it Works

"Hope for the best, plan for the worst"

The Big Picture® is web-based software that helps financial advisors build trust with investors by evaluating their down-market preparedness.

The software reconstructs the investment experience of nearly one thousand retirees, each retiring on the first of the month from January 1926 onward.

Would their portfolio have survived history’s worst conditions, such as 1970s “stagflation”? If so, it may survive whatever downturns yet await. Or did it fall short, even in the stock market booms of the 80s and 90s?

The software then lets you illustrate the tradeoffs associated with different asset allocations, withdrawal rates, fees, and lengths of retirement.

While many advisors use the Big Picture for planning, its central purpose is education and engagement. It adds an evidence-based, “real-life” perspective to conventional software’s hypothetical projections.

By providing a new angle on the retirement income question, the Big Picture will boost your credibility and foster trust.

The cost? Just $30 a month. Start your free trial now!


The software simulates portfolios over every rolling period that has come to pass since 1926. It assumes a tax-deferred environment.

Withdrawals are constant in real terms; they are grown at the actual rate of inflation (CPI) that prevailed in each historical month over which the simulations are performed.

Technical documentation available here.