Build JL Collins Portfolios With ETFs

Learn how to build JL Collins' portfolios with ETFs. How do they compare against other portfolios?
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What are JL Collins portfolios?

JL Collins portfolios can be built with one to two ETFs. They are exposed to between 90% and 100% equities and 0% to 10% bonds. They are high-risk portfolios.

For the past 10 years, the JL Collins Portfolio has returned 13.78 with a standard deviation of 17.13. The dividend yield is 1.38. The 30-year return is 10.83%. Year to date the JL Collins portfolio has returned 22.88%%.

What is the historical return of JL Collins portfolios?

Below you can see the historical return of JL Collins Portfolios.

NameAsset class countYear to dateReturn in 202010 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Risk levelExpense ratio
JL Collins, Simple Path To Wealth, Wealth Building Portfolio122.88%21.0313.7810.8330.03%
JL Collins, Simple Path To Wealth, Wealth Preservation Portfolio216.72%17.711.49.9320.03%

How does the JL Collins 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 202010 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Draw Down
Premium Portfolio24.08%18.2913.8410.77-37.63%
Premium Portfolio12.81%18.118.6311.14-44.87%
Premium Portfolio20.42%19.712.8410.49-32.77%
Premium Portfolio23.66%3.198.5210.59-36.46%
Premium Portfolio23.23%3.668.6210.48-36.35%
Premium Portfolio22.88%21.0313.7810.83-37.00%
Premium Portfolio24.73%8.711.5610.65-35.26%
Premium Portfolio18.96%7.488.3910.64-37.91%
Premium Portfolio24.34%5.3610.8811.23-35.43%
Premium Portfolio26.10%3.4210.2110.47-40.85%

Who is JL Collins?

JL Collins is a personal finance writer and author of the wonderful book The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life. 

It is highly recommended – also as an audiobook.

simple-path-to-wealth-jl-collins

JL Collins is often interviewed on blogs and in the media. Almost everything that he says is grounded, logical, and just makes sense. He often uses his dry humor to great effect.

And it is all done in that tremendous raspy voice of his.

He gave a talk at the Google campus on how to manage your retirement. It is excellent. Here’s is an example of his sharp wit and what you can expect.

Moderator (Rachel Smith): You’re in a room of above average intelligent people.
JL Collins: Perhaps, but not in investing.

In a talk and interview at Google, he discusses money and investing. He covers how to think about money and build wealth. He talks about how to approach 401(k), 403(b), TSP, IRA and Roth accounts, TRFs (Target Retirement Funds), HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) and RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions).  And of course, he discusses how the stock market works.

Here is JL Collins’s tribute to John Goodman from the movie The Gambler.

He sums up all the world’s investing and money advice in only 1 minute and 36 seconds. It is glorious.

Description of JL Collins portfolios

JL Collins’ basic portfolio consists of one fund, while his preservation portfolio adds a bond fund to the mix.

That fund is the total stock market.

So, what is unique about that?

Well, it is immensely hard to beat the total stock market. Read Meet Susan: The Most Important Question In Investing if you want to know why. Besides, it makes investing simple and very straightforward.

JL Collins is very much inspired by John Bogle, so asset allocation is no surprise. John Bogle also recommends a two fund solution. See John Bogle’s portfolios in our article on John Bogle’s portfolio.

Asset Allocation of JL Collins portfolios

JL Collins, Simple Path to Wealth, Wealth Building Portfolio

This portfolio is part of Portfolio Einstein Gold, Premium Portfolios. 

JL Collins, Simple Path to Wealth, Wealth Preservation Portfolio

This portfolio is part of Portfolio Einstein Gold, Premium Portfolios. 

Resources for JL Collins portfolios

His how-to-invest series on his blog is worth your time.

There are many other videos on youtube where you can JL Collins being interviewed. He also has a page on his site displaying where he has been interviewed.

JL Collins website.

And of course, the fantastic book that he self-published. It is beautiful and the kind of book you can hand out to family and friends knowing they will be better off.

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

Related Questions

What is VTSAX?

VTSAX is the ticker symbol for the Vanguard Total Stocks Market Mutual Fund.

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