What is the Larry Swedroe Portfolio? Build It With ETFs

This article displays Larry Swedroe portfolios. They are low volatility and high returning portfolios. In other words: They are awesome.

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

For the past 10 years, the Larry Swedroe Simple Portfolio has returned 7.57% with a standard deviation of 11.12%. The dividend yield is 1.59. The 30-year return is 8.64%. Year to date the Larry Swedroe Simple Portfolio has returned -7.97%.

What is the Larry Swedroe Portfolio?

Here is the Larry Swedroe Simple portfolio built 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 return of Larry Swedroe’s portfolios?

NameAsset class countYear to dateReturn in 201910 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Risk levelExpense ratio
Larry Swedroe Simple Portfolio6-7.9717.07.57%8.6420.12%
Larry Swedroe, The Larry Portfolio 170.5212.895.76%7.3610.10%
Larry Swedroe, The Larry Portfolio 231.5610.325.22%7.2710.13%
Larry Swedroe, Eliminate Fat Tails Portfolio (value tilt)4-1.0810.754.05%6.9710.10%
Larry Swedroe Big Rocks Portfolio11-5.116.346.94%7.9220.11%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Conservative12-2.2212.055.02%6.7610.08%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Moderate5-4.8316.326.87%7.8520.09%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Moderately Aggressive10-7.4420.598.68%8.830.11%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Highly Aggressive10-10.0524.8610.43%9.6130.12%

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 put 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!

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

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

Building the portfolio(s)

Below you can see the asset allocations for the portfolio(s). You can also see if the portfolio(s) 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(s) 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 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)

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 portfolioeinstein.com 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?

If you are a European investor you need to buy European ETFs. We list 47 best ETFs in our article What Are The Best ETFs For European Investors? (Here Is 47).

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.

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 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 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

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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