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 8.04 with a standard deviation of 10.8.

The dividend yield is 1.53. The 30-year return is 8.72%.

Year to date the Larry Swedroe Simple Portfolio has returned -4.85%.

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

Here is how you build Larry Swedroe’s Simple portfolio 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 Portfolio6-4.854.458.048.7220.12%
Larry Swedroe, The Larry Portfolio 17-8.397.255.787.3310.10%
Larry Swedroe, The Larry Portfolio 23-8.15.974.567.1110.13%
Larry Swedroe, Eliminate Fat Tails Portfolio (value tilt)4-3.925.874.186.9110.10%
Larry Swedroe Big Rocks Portfolio11-7.034.997.828.0120.11%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Conservative12-5.744.615.596.7610.08%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Moderate5-7.115.397.87.9520.09%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Moderately Aggressive10-8.486.179.969.0230.11%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Highly Aggressive10-9.846.9612.089.9430.12%

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 Portfolio-12.9718.2916.5211.28-37.63%
Premium Portfolio-12.9818.1111.0311.21-44.87%
Premium Portfolio-13.619.714.9910.85-32.77%
Premium Portfolio-8.983.1911.8510.99-36.46%
Premium Portfolio-9.173.6611.8710.88-36.35%
Premium Portfolio-14.0421.0316.2911.25-37.00%
Premium Portfolio-9.458.714.4711.14-35.26%
Premium Portfolio-11.17.4811.4510.93-37.91%
Premium Portfolio-9.975.3613.211.81-35.43%
Premium Portfolio-8.763.4213.1510.99-40.85%

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 ETF.com, Forbes, finance.yahoo.com.

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.

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!

complete-guide-to-factor-investing
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

Asset Allocation of the Larry Swedroe portfolios

larry-swedroe-portfolio-asset-allocation

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 Model Portfolios Highly Aggressive

  • 15.00%    US Large Cap Value (VTV)
  • 15.00%    US Large Cap Blend (VV)
  • 15.00%    US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 15.00%    US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 10.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 5.00%     Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 10.00%    International Value (EFV)
  • 10.00%    International Small Cap Blend (VSS)
  • 5.00% International All-World ex-US (VEU)

Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Moderately Aggressive

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

Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Moderate

  • 9.00%    US Large Cap Value (VTV)
  • 9.00%    US Large Cap Blend (VV)
  • 9.00%    US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 9.00%    US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 4.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 2.00%    Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 6.00%    International Value (EFV)
  • 6.00%    International Small Cap Blend (VSS)
  • 3.00% International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 40.00%  Short Term Treasuries (VGSH)

Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Conservative

  • 6.00%    US Large Cap Value (VTV)
  • 6.00%    US Large Cap Blend (VV)
  • 6.00%    US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 6.00%    US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 3.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 2.00%    Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 4.00%    International Value (EFV)
  • 4.00%    International Small Cap Blend (VSS)
  • 2.00% International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 60.00%  Short Term Treasuries (VGSH)

Larry Swedroe resources

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

You can find his articles on ETF.com, 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 can increase your returns.


If you want access to our high-performing portfolios then you want to take a look at the premium portfolios. This is a paid product that gives you the 20 best-performing portfolios since 1989. The portfolios represent a great opportunity for you to get more money from your investment portfolios. We think it’s a “no-brainer”.

You stand to gain literally thousands more dollars EACH YEAR for the price of a few months of Netflix. (Haven’t you watched enough Netflix?).

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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