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JL Collins Portfolios, Learn Money In 1 minute 36 secs

JL COLLINS Portfolio - Simple Path to Wealth

This is the article displaying the portfolios by JL Collins. Here you will find a description, performance, and resources for the portfolios as well as detailed information on how to implement them yourself.

JL Collins portfolios, learn money in 1 minute 36 secs

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.


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 the talk and interview, 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

His 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 straight forward.

JL Collins is very much inspired by John Bogle, so asset allocation is no surprise. John Bogle also recommends a two fund solution.

Let’s see how the portfolios of JL Collins perform.

Performance of JL Collins portfolios

Portfolio nameAsset class count1 year return (2019)Year to date10 year returnCAGR since 1989DrawdownRisk LevelExpense ratioYield
JL Collins, Simple Path To Wealth, Wealth Building Portfolio130.80%3.42%13.42%10.51%-37.00%5 - very high risk0.03%1.77%
JL Collins, Simple Path To Wealth, Wealth Preservation Portfolio225.28%2.91%11.10%9.69%-26.45%3 - medium risk0.03%1.86%

Building the portfolio

Below you can see the asset allocations for the portfolio. You can also see if the portfolio has a socially responsible investing (ESG) variant portfolio. You can read more about socially responsible investing (ESG) investment portfolios in this post.
To build the portfolio yourself, go to our best in class ETF page to see which ETF you should choose for a particular asset class. There you can also see which socially responsible investing ESG ETFs you should select.

Asset Allocation of JL Collins portfolios

JL Collins, Simple Path to Wealth, Wealth Building Portfolio                      

  • 100.00% US Total Stock Market   (VTI)

JL Collins, Simple Path to Wealth, Wealth Preservation Portfolio                             

  • 75.00%  US Total Stock Market   (VTI)
  • 25.00%  Total US Bond Market    (BND)

Check the best mutual funds and ETFs here.

How we select the right ETFs

There are a lot of ETFs out there. Most of them can be discarded because:

  • They are too expensive
  • They hold too few assets and are therefore too illiquid
  • They do not meet the criteria for representing the asset class they are supposed to mirror.

We have carefully selected an ETF for each asset class that the portfolios on use. If you want to read more about our selection process and see what we consider the best ETFs please visit our article What Is The Best ETF?

As of 2020 we also track socially responsible investing ESG portfolios. Socially responsible investing (ESG) portfolios prioritize investing that puts an emphasis on environmental, social and corporate governance issues.

You can find the socially responsible investing ESG ETFs in the same article.

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 even provide higher returns in the long run.

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


There is no doubt that JL Collins’ investing advice makes sense. He is a no-nonsense (well almost) kind of guy with sound opinions about money and investing.

But what of his portfolio – is it too simple?

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