On the show today we welcome Dave Butler, who is now the co-CEO of Dimensional Fund Advisors. We have a great conversation about a wide range of topics from the beginnings of the firm, to his earliest involvement, how he was nearly in the NBA and the importance of trust and family. Dave takes us on a personal and professional journey in science-based investing, who his biggest influences and mentors are and how he found the path of fiducial advice after a few different careers early on. We discuss leadership, small cap stocks, efficient portfolios and the building of trust with clients as we scan through the last 40 years or so with our guest. Dave shares history and memories on some of the landmark events in the field and Dimensional’s story, spilling the beans on his experiences with industry giants such as Gene Fama and Merton Miller. For a great conversation with an open, honest and inspiring person, be sure to tune in today!


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Key Points From This Episode:

  • How Dave describes Dimensional. [0:02:32.2]
  • Dave’s basketball career before finance. [0:03:05.8]
  • A 24 hour transition from sports to business. [0:06:46.7]
  • Leadership, drive and team mentality. [0:09:38.6]
  • The founding of Dimensional and the evolution of index funds. [0:11:32.5]
  • The early days of small cap stocks. [0:17:40.1]
  • Acting in the best interests of the clients and the rise of the fiduciary. [0:21:05.6]
  • The first financial advisor at Dimensional! [0:23:59.0]
  • Dave’s own ‘aha moment’ and joining Dimensional. [0:25:42.6]
  • Independent advice and always acting in the best interests of the client. [0:31:52.1]
  • Building efficient investment portfolios for advisors. [0:35:51.1]
  • Access to Dimensional funds and the indispensability of advisors. [0:37:33.5]
  • Developing the essential element of trust. [0:38:51.1]
  • The expansion of the advisor role over the last 25 years. [0:42:29.9]
  • Dave’s relationship with co-CEO Gerard O’Reilly. [0:45:22.4]
  • The incredible experience of working with leading minds in finance. [0:47:50.8]
  • Dave’s definition of success. [0:51:38.0]
  • And much more!


“I would describe Dimensional as a firm that’s really in the pursuit of delivering a really great client experience. When I joined the firm 25 years ago, that was really what stuck out to me.” — Dave Butler  [0:02:32]

“My view as you know has always been it’s all about team, it’s not about me, it’s about the group and how the group functions in totality. That’s the goal.” — Dave Butler [0:10:26]

Links From Today’s Episode:

Rational Reminder Website — https://rationalreminder.ca/

Dave Butler — https://www.linkedin.com/in/dave-butler-0918a7a

David Booth — https://us.dimensional.com/perspectives/david-booth-on-the-power-of-professional-advice

Rex Sinquefield — https://www.rexsinquefield.com/about-rex-sinquefield/

Gene Fama — https://www.chicagobooth.edu/faculty/directory/f/eugene-f-fama

John Bogle — https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/16/obituaries/john-bogle-vanguard-dead.html

Mac McQuown — https://us.dimensional.com/about-us/media-center/mac-mcquown-innovation-award

Merton Miller — https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/merton-miller.asp

Bob Merton — https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/robert-c-merton.asp


Download the transcript of this episode:  The Rational Reminder Podcast Ep.43 – Transcript