What is a Lazy Portfolio?

What are lazy portfolios?

Lazy portfolios are easy to build and maintain investment portfolios. They consist of just a few ETFs and the usually have great performance. They are available at various risk levels.

Article contents

How do you build lazy portfolios with ETFs?

Here is an example asset allocation of a Lazy Portfolios built with ETFs

This one is for the Coffeehouse portfolio.

Bill Schultheis’ Coffeehouse Portfolio

  • 10.00% US Large Cap Value (VTV)
  • 10.00% US Large Cap (VV)
  • 10.00% US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 10.00% US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 10.00% REITs (VNQ)
  • 10.00% International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 40.00% Total US Bond Market (BND)

You can find all Lazy portfolios further below. There you will also find out how the Lazy portfolio have performed.

A lazy portfolio is simple and easy to maintain. They typically only require a few ETFs to implement.

What is the return of the lazy portfolios?

Below you can see the performance of the lazy portfolios.

NameYear to dateReturn in 202210 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Draw DownExpense ratioYield
David Swensen Portfolio6.75-16.366.278.4-25.960.07%3.18
Merrimans Ultimate Portfolio6.72-
Bill Schultheis Coffeehouse Portfolio4.22-
Ted Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio7.12-15.966.378.26-26.330.11%3.12
Allan Roth Second Grader High Risk Portfolio12.46-17.698.688.27-34.910.05%2.11
Scott Burns Margaritaville8.94-12.756.157.34-28.050.05%3.78
William Bernstein No Brainer Portfolio8.6-13.487.117.66-27.620.07%1.84
William Bernstein Cowards Portfolio5.24-
Performance of the Lazy portfolios

You can find all the extended data, such as risk measurements and additional return periods of the portfolios here.

How do the lazy portfolios compare to the best portfolios?

Below you can see the returns of the best portfolios that we have benchmarked.

NameSee PortfolioYear to dateReturn in 202210 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Draw Down
Ben Stein RetirementComing soon!4.05-18.039.4610.8-35.42
Paul Merriman 4-Fund-PortfolioComing soon!9.22-11.9811.2510.38-35.26
S&P 500Coming soon!17.09-18.1912.5210.28-37.63
Paul Merriman Target Date Portfolio (25 year old)Coming soon!6.63-13.088.2810.2-36.46
Scott Adams Dilbert PortfolioComing soon!10.87-18.757.010.19-44.88
JL Collins, Simple Path To Wealth, Wealth Building PortfolioComing soon!16.6-19.5112.0810.19-37.0
American Institute of Individual Investors (AAII) PortfolioComing soon!3.74-13.919.710.16-40.85
Paul Merriman Target Date Portfolio (35 year old)Coming soon!6.57-13.228.3110.08-36.35
Assetbuilder.com Portfolio 14Coming soon!6.95-16.947.599.99-37.91
Balanced Portfolio 90/10Coming soon!14.83-18.8711.039.84-32.78
The 10 Best Performing Portfolios That We Have Benchmarked

How do you build the lazy portfolios with ETFs?

Below you can see the portfolio asset allocation for all the lazy portfolios. You can also see which ETFs we suggest for the asset allocations.

David Swensen’s Portfolio

  • 30.00% US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 20.00% REITs (VNQ)
  • 5.00% Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 15.00% International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 15.00% Intermediate-Term Treasuries (VGIT)
  • 15.00% TIPS (VTIP)

Check out the article David Swensen Portfolio: Asset Allocation With A Punch to get a closer look.

Bill Schultheis’ “Coffeehouse” Portfolio

  • 10.00% US Large Cap Value (VTV)
  • 10.00% US Large Cap (VV)
  • 10.00% US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 10.00% US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 10.00% REITs (VNQ)
  • 10.00% International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 40.00% Total US Bond Market (BND)

Our article Bill Schultheis: Coffeehouse Portfolio: Relax And Get On With Your Life Portfolio? explains why this is a great portfolio.

Ted Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio

  • 5.00% US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 15.00% US Large Cap (VV)
  • 5.00% US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 10.00% US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 5.00% US Small Cap Growth (IJT)
  • 10.00% Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 15.00%Pacific Stocks (VPL)
  • 5.00% European Stocks (VGK)
  • 10.00%Long-Term Treasuries (TLT)
  • 5.00%High Yield Corporate Bonds (HYG / JNK)
  • 15.00% TIPS (VTIP)

Ted Aronson and his AJO Partners manage about $25 billion of institutional assets. Aronson puts his family’s taxable money in this well-diversified portfolio of no-load index funds.

Allan Roth Second Grader High-Risk Portfolio

  • 60.00% US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 30.00% International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 10.00% Total US Bond Market (BND)

We have profiled all of Allan Roth’s portfolios over at Allan Roth Second Grader Portfolio: Beating The Hell Outa Wall Street?

Scott Burns Margaritaville

  • 33.33% US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 33.33% International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 33.33% TIPS (VTIP)

Be sure to check out our page on Scott Burns’ portfolios over at The Couch Potato Portfolio: Two Fund Supremacy?

William Bernstein’s No-Brainer Portfolio

  • 25.00% US Large Cap (VV)
  • 25.00% US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 25.00% International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 25.00% Short-Term Treasuries (VGSH)

William Bernstein, a former doctor, investment consultant, and an all-around good guy in the investing world, has presented a host of portfolios throughout his career. His book,The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio, is required reading on investing.

William Bernstein: The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio

His investing philosophy is broad diversification, common sense, and a realistic expectation of future returns. Other books that come highly recommended are Rational Expectations: Asset Allocation for Investing Adults and The Intelligent Asset Allocator: How to Build Your Portfolio to Maximize Returns and Minimize Risk.

William Bernstein’s Cowards Portfolio

  • 10.00% US Large Cap Value (VTV)
  • 15.00% US Large Cap (VV)
  • 10.00% US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 5.00% US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 5.00% REITs (VNQ)
  • 5.00% Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 5.00% Pacific Stocks (VPL)
  • 5.00% European Stocks (VGK)
  • 40.00% Short-Term Treasuries (VGSH)

You can find all of William Bernstein’s portfolios in our article William Bernstein Portfolios: The Portfolio Giant.

Paul Merriman’s FundAdvice Ultimate Buy and Hold

  • 6.00% US Large Cap Value (VTV)
  • 6.00% US Large Cap (VV)
  • 6.00% US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 6.00% US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 6.00% REITs (VNQ)
  • 6.00% Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 6.00% International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 6.00% International Large Cap Value (EFV)
  • 6.00% International Small Cap Blend (VSS)
  • 20.00% Intermediate-Term Treasuries (VGIT)
  • 12.00% Short-Term Treasuries (VGSH)
  • 8.00% TIPS (VTIP)
  • 6.00% International Small Cap Value (DLS)

We also have a specific page for all of Paul Merriman’s portfolio. Check it out at Paul Merriman Portfolios: Unbiased Outperformance.

If you need a primer on what lazy portfolios are, you can read our post on lazy portfolios 5 Reasons Why A Lazy Portfolio Is Right For You.

Alternatives to lazy portfolios

The lazy portfolios are a varied bunch, but if you want some excellent performance coupled with ease, then be sure also to include two more groups of portfolios into your consideration. The first group is the three-fund portfolio.

The second is the many 4-fund portfolios by Rick Ferri.

Lazy portfolios are just a small selection of the many kinds of portfolios that portfolioeinstin.com track and document. You can view all the portfolios on this page.

Suggestions for your next steps

If you have already committed to a portfolio then maybe you need help maintaining the portfolio. In this case you will find our rebalance worksheet useful.

Rebalancing your portfolio lowers your risk and may provide higher returns in the long run. It is completely FREE.

You can find the rebalance worksheet in our article Here Is The Most Easy To Use Portfolio Rebalance Tool.

What is the Ray Dalio portfolio?

The Ray Dalio portfolio is also called the All-Weather portfolio. You can find it here.

What is the Permanent portfolio?

The Permanent portfolio is the portfolio made by Harry Browne. You can find it here.