Build Andrew Tobias’ Portfolio With ETFs

Learn how to build Andrew Tobias' Portfolios with ETFs. How does it compare against other portfolios?
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What is Andrew Tobias’ portfolio?

Andrew Tobias’ portfolio is exposed to 66.6% stocks and 33.3% bonds. It can be built with just 3 ETFs. It is a medium-risk portfolio.

For the past 10 years, Andrew Tobias’ portfolio has returned 7.66 with a standard deviation of 11.85. The current dividend yield is 1.48%.

The 30-year return is 7.86%. Year to date Andrew Tobias portfolio has returned 8.54%%.

Last year it returned 12.45%.

What is the historical return of Andrew Tobias portfolio?

Below you can see the historical return of Andrew Tobias’ portfolios.

NameAsset class countYear to dateReturn in 202010 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Risk levelExpense ratio
The Andrew Tobias Portfolio38.54%12.457.667.8620.05%

How does Andrew Tobias’ portfolio compare to the best portfolios?

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

NameSee PortfolioYear to dateReturn in 202010 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Draw Down
Premium Portfolio15.92%18.2913.8410.77-37.63%
Premium Portfolio8.30%18.118.6311.14-44.87%
Premium Portfolio13.48%19.712.8410.49-32.77%
Premium Portfolio20.78%3.198.5210.59-36.46%
Premium Portfolio20.17%3.668.6210.48-36.35%
Premium Portfolio15.18%21.0313.7810.83-37.00%
Premium Portfolio19.24%8.711.5610.65-35.26%
Premium Portfolio15.41%7.488.3910.64-37.91%
Premium Portfolio16.16%5.3610.8811.23-35.43%
Premium Portfolio20.81%3.4210.2110.47-40.85%

How do you build Andrew Tobias’ portfolios with ETFs?

Here is how you build Andrew Tobias’ portfolio.  

  • 33.33%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 33.33%  International Developed (VEA)
  • 33.33%  Short-term treasuries (SHY)

Who is Andrew Tobias?

Andrew Tobias is a lot of things. He is the author of 12 books. His most successful and most well-known book is The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need.

The book was first published in 1978 and has been updated ever since. Don’t let the age of the book scare you. It is filled with ages-less wisdom and good money practices. It is also filled with investing tips.

The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need

His writing style is witty and self-deprecating which you can’t help to notice just by visiting his personal website at andrewtobias.com.

Andrew Tobias also served as the Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee for 18 years. 

What is the Andrew Tobias portfolio?

The portfolio by Andrew Tobias is much like the 3-fund-portfolio by Taylor Larimore and the bogleheads. The portfolio appears in his book The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need.

The portfolio is split equally among US stocks, international stocks, and bonds. It is a conservative portfolio because of the large bond allocation.

Andrew Tobias recommends you use VTI (total stock market), VEA (international developed), and SHY (treasuries). You are not going to get blow-out returns with this portfolio but you will sleep well – very well.

I couldn’t help to think of JL Collins (see his video) when I read the following in The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need.

Here is an excerpt from Andrew Tobias’ book:

1. Go out for a very nice dinner.
2. Put about a year of normal living expenses someplace liquid, like a bank or money-market fund . . .
3. . . . and roughly equal sums into U.S. Treasury securities maturing in one, two, three, and four years.
4. Put the bulk of the remaining money into stock-index funds, split between domestic and foreign investments.
5. Buy a vacation home or bigger house, if you want one—but not so big that the cost of carrying it will in any way strain you.
a. Do not buy a boat.
6. Be sure your will is in order.
7. Now relax and forget the whole thing. Review it once a year, mainly to roll over your Treasury securities as they come due. Don’t spend any of the investment principal, but enjoy the extra income it throws off

–  Andrew Tobias – The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need.

Resources for the Andrew Tobias portfolio

Here is Andrew Tobias in a short interview on what you can do with your finances, and what the greatest money pitfalls are for young people

Here is Andrew Tobias’ website 

His book The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need is very good.

Suggestions for your next steps

Finding the correct portfolio is hard. Maintaining your portfolio is also daunting. If you are still in doubt about which portfolio to choose, we suggest you read our article How To Invest Money: 5 Simple Steps That Work For Anyone

If you have already committed to a portfolio – good for you! If you need help maintaining the portfolio 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.

Rebalancing lowers your portfolio risk and may increase your returns.


If you want access to our high-performing portfolios then you need to take a look at the premium portfolios. This is a paid product that gives you the 59 best-performing portfolios since 1989. The portfolios represent a great opportunity for you to have a shot at increasing the returns of your portfolio.

Portfolioeinstein Premium Portfolios
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