Build Larry Swedroe’s Portfolio With ETFs

Learn to build Larry Swedroe's portfolios with ETFs. How do they compare against other portfolios?
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What is Larry Swedroe’s Portfolio?

Larry Swedroe Portfolios can be built with 3-8 ETFs. They are exposed to between 40% and 100% equities. They are low-risk to high-risk portfolios.

For the past 10 years, the Larry Swedroe Simple Portfolio has returned 6.7 with a standard deviation of 10.8. The dividend yield is 1.53. The 30-year return is 8.51%. Year to date the Larry Swedroe Simple Portfolio has returned 11.66%%.

How do you build Larry Swedroe’s portfolio with ETFs?

Here is how you build Larry Swedroe with ETFs

  • 15.00%  US Large Cap Value (VTV)
  • 15.00%  US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 13.00%  US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 4.00%    Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 13.00%  International Large Cap Value (EFV)
  • 40.00%  TIPS (VTIP)

Below you can find many more Larry Swedroe portfolios along with which ETFs you need to use.

What is the historical return of Larry Swedroe’s portfolios?

NameAsset class countYear to dateReturn in 202010 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Risk levelExpense ratio
Larry Swedroe Simple Portfolio611.66%4.456.78.5120.12%
Larry Swedroe, The Larry Portfolio 174.69%7.255.387.3610.10%
Larry Swedroe, The Larry Portfolio 233.14%5.974.757.2310.13%
Larry Swedroe, Eliminate Fat Tails Portfolio (value tilt)44.62%5.873.726.9310.10%
Larry Swedroe Big Rocks Portfolio119.70%4.996.217.8220.11%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Conservative126.43%4.614.576.6910.08%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Moderate59.67%5.396.177.7720.09%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Moderately Aggressive1012.91%6.177.718.7230.11%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Highly Aggressive1016.16%6.969.219.5330.12%

How does Larry Swedroe’s 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 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%

Who is Larry Swedroe?

Larry Swedroe is a prolific author and director of research at the wealth management firm Buckingham Strategic Wealth. He often visits the Bogleheads Forum, where he shares insights, knowledge, and answers questions. He is easily one of our favorite authors on investing. He is also a clear runner-up for one of the three good guys in investing.

He has written many articles all over the web as well. Examples include articles on, Forbes,

They also include articles and research on the Bam Alliance website. The BAM Alliance is a “community of independent advisors” that puts the client first. They hold their fiduciary responsibility to a very high standard.

Larry Swedroe favors a data-driven approach to investing. The approach means that in all his books, he has plenty of evidence why he suggests a specific portfolio. In that regard, he is very much like Paul Merriman, who is also an evidence-based investor.

Below is an excellent video on how BAM and Swedroe approach investing. It is clear, concise, and just makes a lot of sense! Larry Swedroe hosts the video.

Larry Swedroe is a prolific writer. The outstanding books include The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You’ll Ever Need (co-written),  and Your Complete Guide to Factor-Based Investing: The Way Smart Money Invests Today. You may not think that you need to do any factor-based investing (smart beta), but the first 30 pages in this book are like a 500$ course on investing! It teaches you everything about what asset classes are and how to think about them. It shows you what “the market” really is. And it teaches you that not all asset classes are asset classes!

This is an excellent introduction to asset classes, the market, and why small-caps have outperformed.

What is unique about Larry Swedroe’s portfolios?

Larry Swedroe has designed some exciting portfolios that look like no-one else’s. The one theme that runs through all of his portfolios is to keep the portfolios low on volatility. Larry Swedroe favors safety over high-risk returns. This doesn’t mean that Larry Swedroe’s portfolios are lackluster!

On the contrary.

The first component of Larry Swedrowe’s portfolios is designed in such a way that they are heavy on low volatility asset classes like bonds.

The second component of Larry Swedroe’s portfolios is to add high performing, high-risk asset classes like small caps to make the portfolio offer high returns.

The results of this portfolio jiu-jitsu are portfolios that have very low volatility and high returns in comparison to other portfolios with the same amount of bond allocation.

This makes the portfolios suited for typical savings situations or for clients that simply cannot stomach the high volatility of a 100% stock portfolio.

If you want to get inside of Larry Swedroe’s head to see how he thinks, I recommend his book The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You’ll Ever Need.

The results of this portfolio jiu-jitsu are portfolios that have very low volatility and high returns

Let’s see how Larry Swedroe’s portfolios do. That’s up next.

Asset Allocation of the Larry Swedroe portfolios


Larry Swedroe Simple Portfolio

  • 15.00%  US Large Cap Value (VTV)
  • 15.00%  US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 13.00%  US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 4.00%    Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 13.00%  International Large Cap Value (EFV)
  • 40.00%  TIPS (VTIP)

Larry Swedroe, “The Larry” Portfolio 1

  • 5.00%    US Large Cap Value (VTV)
  • 5.00%    US Large Cap (VV)
  • 5.00%    US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 5.00%    US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 10.00%  International Large Cap Value (EFV)
  • 10.00%  International Small Cap Blend (VSS)
  • 60.00%  Intermediate-Term Treasuries (VGIT)

Larry Swedroe, “The Larry” Portfolio 2

  • 12.50%  US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 75.00%  Intermediate-Term Treasuries (VGIT)
  • 12.50%  International Small Cap Value (DLS)

Larry Swedroe, Eliminate Fat Tails Portfolio

  • 15.00%  US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 15.00%  Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 35.00%  Cash (money market fund) (BIL)
  • 35.00%  TIPS (VTIP)

Larry Swedroe’s Big Rocks Portfolio

  • 9.00%    US Large Cap Value (VTV)
  • 9.00%    US Large Cap (VV)
  • 9.00%    US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 9.00%    US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 6.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 3.00%    Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 3.00%    International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 6.00%    International Large Cap Value (EFV)
  • 3.00%    International Small Cap Blend (VSS)
  • 40.00%  Short Term Treasuries (VGSH)
  • 3.00%    International Small Cap Value (DLS)

Larry Swedroe resources

Larry Swedroe is a prolific writer – here is an overview of all of his books an Amazon.

You can find his articles on, where he is a frequent contributor.

Larry Swedroe is the director of research at Buckingham Wealth Advisors.

Larry Swedroe also visits the Bogleheads forum, where he helps out answering questions and cutting through the F.U.D.

Here is an excellent youtube playlist of some extremely educational from Larry Swedroe

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 the “Larry Portfolio”
The Larry portfolio is made by Larry Swedroe and has a significant allocation to bonds and a smaller allocation to small-cap stocks. It does this to capture more of the small-cap risk premia (higher returns) but retains stability through the heavy allocation to bonds.

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