Lazy Portfolios

A lazy portfolio is just a portfolio that gives you a hands-off approach to investing for long periods of time. We have benchmarked all lazy portfolios.

Here are the lazy portfolios that track. A lazy portfolio is a portfolio that gives you a hands-off approach to investing for long periods of time. At most, they require a yearly rebalancing and nothing else.

Lazy Portfolios

Lazy Portfolios Performance

Portfolio NameNumber of asset classes1 year return 2019YTD (incl. December 2019)10 year returnCAGR since 1989DrawdownRisk Level
S&P 500 (Benchmark)
131.25%31.25%12.97%9.84%-37.71%5 - very high risk
David Swensen's Portfolio620.95%20.95%8.86%8.55%-26.20%3 - medium risk
Bill Schultheis Coffeehouse Portfolio719.01%19.01%8.48%8.29%-20.21%2 - low risk
Frank Armstrong Ideal Index Portfolio718.03%18.03%7.48%7.19%-25.74%3 - medium risk
Scott Burns Margaritaville319.23%19.23%7.95%7.24%-28.09%4 - high risk
William Bernstein No Brainer Portfolio419.82%19.82%8.68%7.68%-27.63%4 - high risk
William Bernstein Cowards Portfolio916.87%16.87%7.38%7.88%-19.93%2 - low risk
Paul Merriman FundAdvice Ultimate Buy and Hold1316.14%16.14%7.37%7.95%-21.68%3 - medium risk

You can find all the extended data, such as risk measurements and additional return periods of the portfolios over here.

Asset allocation for lazy portfolios


David Swensen’s Portfolio 

  • 30.00%  US Total Stock Market   (VTI)
  • 20.00%  REITs     (VNQ)
  • 5.00%    Emerging Markets           (VWO)
  • 15.00%  International All-World ex-US     (VEU)
  • 15.00%  Intermediate-Term Treasuries       (VGIT)
  • 15.00%  TIPS       (VTIP)

Check out the article David Swensen Portfolio: Asset Allocation With A Punch to get a closer look.

Bill Schultheis’ “Coffeehouse” Portfolio               

  • 10.00%  US Large Cap Value         (VTV)
  • 10.00%  US Large Cap      (VV)
  • 10.00%  US Small Cap Value         (VIOV)
  • 10.00%  US Small Cap      (VIOO)
  • 10.00%  REITs     (VNQ)
  • 10.00%  International All-World ex-US     (VEU)
  • 40.00%  Total US Bond Market    (BND)

Our article Bill Schultheis: Coffeehouse Portfolio: Relax And Get On With Your Life Portfolio? explains why this is a great portfolio.

Ted Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio                  

  • 5.00%    US Total Stock Market   (VTI)
  • 15.00%  US Large Cap      (VV)
  • 5.00%    US Small Cap Value         (VIOV)
  • 10.00%  US Small Cap      (VIOO)
  • 5.00%    US Small Cap Growth     (IJT)
  • 10.00%  Emerging Markets           (VWO)
  • 15.00%  Pacific Stocks     (VPL)
  • 5.00%    European Stocks               (VGK)
  • 10.00%  Long Term Treasuries        (TLT)
  • 5.00%    High Yield Corporate Bonds         (HYG / JNK)
  • 15.00%  TIPS       (VTIP)

Ted Aronson and his AJO Partners manage about $25 billion of institutional assets. Aronson puts his family’s taxable money in this well-diversified portfolio of no-load index funds.

Allan Roth Second Grader High-Risk Portfolio                   

  • 60.00%  US Total Stock Market   (VTI)
  • 30.00%  International All-World ex-US     (VEU)
  • 10.00%  Total US Bond Market    (BND)

We have profiled all of Allan Roth’s portfolios over at Allan Roth Second Grader Portfolio: Beating The Hell Outa Wall Street?

Scott Burns Margaritaville                          

  • 33.33%  US Total Stock Market   (VTI)
  • 33.33%  International All-World ex-US     (VEU)
  • 33.33%  TIPS       (VTIP)

Be sure to check out our page on Scott Burns’ portfolios over at The Couch Potato Portfolio: Two Fund Supremacy?

William Bernstein’s No Brainer Portfolio                             

  • 25.00%  US Large Cap      (VV)
  • 25.00%  US Small Cap      (VIOO)
  • 25.00%  International All-World ex-US     (VEU)
  • 25.00%  Short Term Treasuries       (VGSH)

William Bernstein, a former doctor, investment consultant and an all-around good guy in the investing world has presented a host of portfolios through his career. His book, The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio is required reading on investing. His investing philosophy is broad diversification, common sense and a realistic expectation of future returns. Other books that come highly recommended are Rational Expectations: Asset Allocation for Investing Adults and The Intelligent Asset Allocator: How to Build Your Portfolio to Maximize Returns and Minimize Risk.

William Bernstein’s Cowards Portfolio                 

  • 10.00%  US Large Cap Value         (VTV)
  • 15.00%  US Large Cap      (VV)
  • 10.00%  US Small Cap Value         (VIOV)
  • 5.00%    US Small Cap      (VIOO)
  • 5.00%    REITs     (VNQ)
  • 5.00%    Emerging Markets           (VWO)
  • 5.00%    Pacific Stocks     (VPL)
  • 5.00%    European Stocks               (VGK)
  • 40.00%  Short Term Treasuries       (VGSH)

Paul Merriman’s FundAdvice Ultimate Buy and Hold                     

  • 6.00%    US Large Cap Value         (VTV)
  • 6.00%    US Large Cap      (VV)
  • 6.00%    US Small Cap Value         (VIOV)
  • 6.00%    US Small Cap      (VIOO)
  • 6.00%    REITs     (VNQ)
  • 6.00%    Emerging Markets           (VWO)
  • 6.00%    International All-World ex-US     (VEU)
  • 6.00%    International Large Cap Value     (EFV)
  • 6.00%    International Small Cap Blend             (VSS)
  • 20.00%  Intermediate-Term Treasuries       (VGIT)
  • 12.00%  Short Term Treasuries       (VGSH)
  • 8.00%    TIPS       (VTIP)
  • 6.00%    International Small Cap Value             (DLS)

We also have a specific page for all of Paul Merriman’s portfolio. Check it out at Paul Merriman Portfolios: Unbiased Outperformance.

If you need a primer on what lazy portfolios are you can read our post on lazy portfolios 5 Reasons Why A Lazy Portfolio Is Right For You.

Alternatives to lazy portfolios

The lazy portfolios are a varied bunch but if you want some great performance coupled with ease then be sure to also include 2 more groups of portfolios into your consideration. The first group is the 3 fund portfolio. The second is the many 4-fund portfolios by Rick Ferri.


Which portfolio do you use?

After having read up on the lazy portfolios I encourage you to find other great portfolios right here on

If you have suggestions for new portfolios be sure to add them in comments or reach out to me.

I would love hearing from you!

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