The term “lazy portfolio” refers to a portfolio designed to perform well in most market conditions, that can be held for an extended period without changing the asset allocation leading up to retirement. Popular examples are the traditional 60/40 Portfolio and the Bogleheads 3 Fund Portfolio.
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Lazy portfolios are usually simple, diversified collections of low-cost index funds; no active management, market timing, or stock picking here. Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard and considered the father of index investing, advocated for the “majesty of simplicity.” In this case, “lazy” isn’t a bad thing.
Lazy portfolios arguably take index investing even further, taking the guesswork and complexity out of investing, allowing the investor to truly be “lazy” in their investing approach by eliminating the need to choose funds and the allocations thereof; the investor need only occasionally rebalance their lazy portfolio. This saves the investor time and alleviates potential stress and cognitive dissonance related to investing strategies. As such, they’re perfect for the long-term buy-and-hold investor who wants to be hands-off.
Below is an ever-evolving list of popular lazy portfolios, with links to my usually-brief analysis/review of each. On each respective page is a link to a pie of ETFs for use with M1 Finance. Whenever possible, I’m usually using low-cost Vanguard funds, or whichever provider has the lowest fees with sufficient AUM. Similarly, when a particular risk factor is targeted, I’ve selected the fund with a favorable balance of factor loading, fees, and volume. I try to review and update these regularly as new funds emerge that may be a superior choice.
A lot of people email me asking which is the best lazy portfolio. That’s subjective and highly personal; there’s no single correct answer. “Best” for one person could mean greatest expected return. “Best” for someone else may mean the lowest volatility. More advanced investors may prefer a lazy portfolio that heavily utilizes factor tilts; others prefer simplicity. Start by assessing your personal goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon, and choose an appropriate asset allocation. The “best lazy portfolio” is the one that allows you to sleep easy at night, ignore the short-term noise, avoid tinkering, and stay the course.
In most cases of US-only equities, I’ve also created a global version to capture international stocks for those understandably wanting more diversification.
Comment or email to request a lazy portfolio that I may have missed or haven’t seen yet. List of lazy portfolios below is in no particular order.
List of Lazy Portfolios
- Ginger Ale Portfolio (my own portfolio)
- Vigorous Value Portfolio (my design)
- Ray Dalio All Weather Portfolio
- Golden Butterfly Portfolio
- Harry Browne’s Permanent Portfolio
- Bogleheads 3 Fund Portfolio
- Bogleheads 4 Fund Portfolio
- Warren Buffett ETF Portfolio
- Paul Merriman Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio
- Paul Merriman 4 Fund Portfolio
- Ben Felix Model Portfolio
- 60/40 Portfolio
- David Swensen Portfolio
- Meb Faber Ivy Portfolio
- Bernstein No Brainer Portfolio
- Bernstein Coward’s Portfolio
- Frank Armstrong Ideal Index Portfolio
- Bob Clyatt Sandwich Portfolio
- Pinwheel Portfolio
- Bill Schultheis Coffeehouse Portfolio
- John’s High Dividend Pie
- Second Grader’s Starter Portfolio
- Larry Swedroe Portfolio
- Tim Maurer Simple Money Portfolio
- Rick Ferri Core 4 Portfolio
- JL Collins Simple Path to Wealth Portfolio
- Rob Arnott Portfolio
- Research Affiliates Model Portfolios
- Craig Israelsen 7Twelve Portfolio
- Roger Gibson 5 Asset Portfolio
- Roger Gibson Talmud Portfolio
- Gyroscopic Investing Desert Portfolio
- Scott Burns Couch Potato Portfolio
- Scott Burns Margarita Portfolio
- Alexander Green’s Gone Fishin’ Portfolio
- Hedgefundie’s Excellent Adventure (not “lazy,” I know)
- NTSX with Diversification
- PSLDX Replication
- RPAR Replication
- Custom Emergency Fund Replacement
Disclaimer: While I love diving into investing-related data and playing around with backtests, I am in no way a certified expert. I have no formal financial education. I am not a financial advisor, portfolio manager, or accountant. This is not financial advice, investing advice, or tax advice. The information on this website is for informational and recreational purposes only. Investment products discussed (ETFs, mutual funds, etc.) are for illustrative purposes only. It is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or otherwise transact in any of the products mentioned. Do your own due diligence. Past performance does not guarantee future returns. Read my lengthier disclaimer here.