Medium-Risk Portfolios

The Perfect middle road portfolios between risk and return
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This page displays medium-risk portfolios available on

Some words on risk

Risk comes in many shapes and forms. In academia and in much of the investing industry, risk in investing is measured by standard deviation (a measure of how much the price of an asset bounces around).

Now, a standard deviation is, well – academic. This is because, for you and me, the risk is the pain we go through when we lose money.  That pain is called draw-down. The draw-down of a portfolio is the amount of money the portfolio will lose in a  given year. So, for example, a portfolio with a draw-down of -20% has at some point lost 20% of its value. That’s a good indication of what could happen in the future.

Now, that’s pretty actionable information that we can plan around and relate to.

A rough rule of thumb is that for each 20% of stocks a portfolio has it has a draw-down of -10%. So a 100% stock portfolio has potentially a draw-down of -50%. A 60% stock portfolio has a potential draw-down of -30%.

There are other forms of risk however but the draw-down is what we will focus on when dividing the portfolios into the various risk levels. You should also look at standard deviation as well as the stock to bond ratio.

How the risk levels are determined

We have given the portfolios a risk level from one to three. = 1 – 3.

1 is the least risky but also offers the least reward.

3 is the riskiest but offers the most rewards.

The portfolios have been divided into tertiles. In the first tertile, the first 33.3% represent the portfolios that have the lowest draw-downs. The last 33.3% are the ones with the highest draw-downs.

You can find the other 2 risk portfolios here

High-Risk Portfolios

Low-Risk Portfolios

This page displays the medium-risk portfolios. They are suited for medium-term savings or when you simply cannot see yourself going through a large draw-down that the high risk portfolios potentially will expose you to.

Medium-risk portfolios

NameSee PortfolioAsset class countYear to dateReturn in 202010 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)STDEVDraw DownRisk levelExpense ratio
60/40 Portfolio213.02%15.79.949.2910.75-20.13%20.03%
Rick Ferri Core 4 fund Portfolio (60/40)411.02%12.388.148.3510.01-21.41%20.05%
7Twelve Portfolio1212.96%8.215.547.9610.03-23.15%20.15%
David Swensen Portfolio614.86%
Bill Schultheis Coffeehouse Portfolio713.19%7.217.768.649.76-20.14%20.07%
Index Fund Advisors, Portfolio 601612.20%5.646.498.1710.33-22.03%20.13%
Index Fund Advisors, Portfolio 50169.95%5.475.757.538.64-17.64%20.12%
The Andrew Tobias Portfolio312.36%12.457.667.8611.85-28.05%20.05%
The Talmud PortfolioComing soon317.39%
Ted Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio1111.43%13.128.458.9912.69-26.33%20.11%
Allan Roth Second Grader Medium Risk Portfolio310.27%13.728.258.2510.4-21.56%20.04%
Allan Roth Second Grader Five-Fund Medium Risk Portfolio410.59%12.698.078.2510.13-21.56%20.05%
Allan Roth Second Grader Medium Risk with CDs Portfolio310.94%10.86.956.9610.12-22.77%20.08%
Frank Armstrong Ideal Index Portfolio712.59%6.86.517.4711.0-25.75%20.08%
Scott Burns Couch Potato213.83%12.998.688.869.57-19.88%20.04%
Scott Burns Margaritaville312.36%12.457.667.8611.85-28.05%20.05%
Scott Burns Four Square48.54%10.446.847.449.13-19.56%20.06%
Scott Burns Five Fold513.01%7.417.298.19.73-23.04%20.07%
Scott Burns Six Ways from Sunday620.29%0.775.728.3610.81-26.35%20.08%
Scott Burns Seven Value Portfolio720.54%1.026.548.6211.29-27.73%20.08%
Scott Burns Seven Value 2 Portfolio821.56%1.26.958.9311.82-28.25%20.09%
Larry Swedroe Simple Portfolio614.31%4.456.78.5110.8-23.80%20.12%
Larry Swedroe Big Rocks Portfolio1112.50%4.996.217.829.59-20.56%20.11%
William Bernstein No Brainer Portfolio414.24%10.988.058.1512.48-27.62%20.07%
William Bernstein Cowards Portfolio912.41%6.676.678.059.51-19.94%20.07%
William Bernstein Four Pillars High Risk Portfolio1112.95%6.76.548.2111.98-27.41%20.11%
William Bernstein Four Pillars Medium Portfolio613.10%7.867.27.959.33-19.66%20.06%
The Global Market Portfolio, Financial Engines 20071510.62%11.528.148.5510.97-22.97%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 60109.56%9.777.288.4810.79-22.52%20.07%
Robo Advisor Wealthfront 40710.21%
Rick Ferri Early Saver Moderate Basic Portfolio413.53%12.488.778.6811.32-25.77%20.05%
Rick Ferri Early Saver Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio1114.71%9.938.439.1911.97-26.97%20.14%
Rick Ferri Midlife Moderate Basic Portfolio411.32%11.968.138.49.9-21.34%20.05%
Rick Ferri Midlifer Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio1113.10%9.077.898.8710.95-24.26%20.16%
Rick Ferri Transitional Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio1211.23%8.577.358.489.61-20.61%20.16%
Premium Portfolio215.49%17.0310.929.7312.31-24.35%20.03%
Index Fund Advisors, Portfolio 701613.64%6.537.238.7611.92-25.91%20.14%
The Jack Bogle Portfolio213.02%15.79.949.2910.75-20.13%20.03%
Paul Merriman Best-in-Class ETFs Portfolio (Moderate)1510.65%6.646.268.139.72-19.51%20.13%
Paul Merriman Target Date Portfolio (55 year old)1416.22%5.617.629.2212.48-25.97%20.15%
Premium Portfolio216.72%17.711.49.9313.1-26.45%20.03%
Paul Merriman FundAdvice Ultimate Buy and Hold1310.66%
Fidelity Freedom Index 2030 (55 year old)614.00%
TD Ameritrade Core Portfolio Growth511.76%14.198.628.2711.97-26.28%20.05%
Morningstar Conservative Retirement Saver Portfolio710.29%11.887.628.49.28-18.42%20.05%
Vanguard Target Retirement 2030 (55 year old)411.61%14.018.628.2312.02-26.38%20.05%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately128.90%13.878.018.6810.06-20.21%20.09%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately Aggressive1211.92%15.949.049.212.55-27.27%20.08%
David Booth (DFA) Normal Portfolio1511.98%6.246.918.229.78-21.24%20.12%
Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (60/40)49.66%12.987.998.010.44-21.87%20.05%
William Bernstein Sheltered Sam Portfolio1213.03%5.96.728.199.48-21.03%20.09%
Tim Maurer Simple Money Portfolio710.27%7.036.317.819.79-18.84%20.12%
T. Rowe Price ActivePlus Portfolio, Model 5049.46%12.557.628.069.1-22.11%20.04%
T. Rowe Price ActivePlus Portfolio, Model 60411.62%13.738.398.3610.51-26.22%20.04%
T. Rowe Price ActivePlus Portfolio, Model 70413.80%14.879.138.6411.94-30.16%20.04%
Schwab Target Date Index Fund 2030812.95%11.818.518.5111.11-24.29%20.05%
Schwab Managed Portfolio, Balanced With Growth1113.46%9.046.617.8910.53-25.01%20.11%
Time.Inc Money Portfolio 1, Simple and Cheap510.99%10.847.848.199.81-21.51%20.06%
Time.Inc Money Portfolio 2, Tilt Toward Value711.92%9.497.958.419.67-20.85%20.06%
Meb Faber GTAA Conservative1114.62%6.575.448.49.49-21.62%20.22%
Morningstar Lifetime Allocation Index Aggressive, Income1810.37%8.896.748.138.61-18.40%20.09%
Morningstar Lifetime Allocation Index Moderate, 20301813.25%10.397.868.8411.61-26.61%20.10%
Morningstar Lifetime Allocation Index Conservative, 20401812.67%10.547.868.8711.73-26.55%20.09%
Burton Malkiel Portfolio, Late Sixties and Beyond813.14%9.988.289.2911.37-26.51%20.08%
Dimensional 2030 Target Date Retirement Income Fund811.48%11.547.48.1810.18-22.61%20.05%
7-Twelve Portfolio Age Based 50-60 by Craig Israelsen1210.35%6.644.577.028.07-18.09%20.15%
Dan Solin SuperSmart Portfolio, Medium812.67%4.416.028.149.86-21.07%20.12%
Dan Solin The Smartest ETF Portfolio, Medium Risk210.05%
Dan Solin The Smartest Index Portfolio, Medium Risk310.55%13.928.428.3610.41-21.41%20.04%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2030612.67%14.819.098.9512.02-25.50%20.04%
William Bernstein Taxable Ted 70/30514.98%10.458.718.5711.29-25.76%20.06%
William Bernstein Taxable Ted 60/40512.75%9.798.028.29.82-21.73%20.06%
William Bernstein Taxable Ted 50/50510.53%9.127.327.818.4-17.70%20.06%
William Bernstein Sheltered Sam 70/301214.90%6.627.738.7611.31-27.03%20.09%
William Bernstein Sheltered Sam 60/401213.01%
William Bernstein Sheltered Sam 50/501211.11%6.176.427.948.78-20.42%20.08%
William Bernstein Young Yvonne Portfolio1111.65%7.467.438.629.64-20.11%20.08%
William Bernstein Wendy Wonk Portfolio1112.95%6.76.548.2111.98-27.41%20.11%
William Bernstein Between Charlie and Wendy Portfolio613.42%7.727.287.939.28-19.38%20.06%
Goldman Sachs Target Date 2035 Portfolio1512.07%3.97.818.811.8-27.51%20.15%
Goldman Sachs Target Date 2025 Portfolio158.82%5.347.148.469.44-20.51%20.13%
Robo Advisor Betterment 701011.48%10.387.918.9612.76-28.06%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 50107.64%9.056.928.4910.06-20.24%20.09%
Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Moderate411.73%10.117.388.19.81-21.79%20.07%
Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Moderate411.03%13.368.618.2810.32-20.86%20.04%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Conservative48.27%10.576.637.68.47-19.65%20.09%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Moderate411.64%11.877.67.910.89-27.04%20.09%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Conservative47.44%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Moderate411.06%4.037.938.210.82-26.00%20.18%
Rick Ferri Socially Conscious ESG Core-4 Portfolio Moderate410.94%14.328.888.5510.53-21.43%20.06%
3 Fund Portfolio 60/40311.11%13.678.568.3210.32-20.90%20.04%
3 Fund Portfolio Equal Weight311.24%12.918.087.7911.37-24.50%20.04%
Paul Merriman Ultimate Buy & Hold Strategy 20101210.21%8.066.828.4210.84-23.15%20.17%
FPL Capital Management Portfolio 60911.82%5.17.579.0210.06-21.58%20.13%
FPL Capital Management Portfolio 70914.08%4.678.169.4211.56-26.03%20.15%
Fundamentum Enhanced Index Focus Moderate512.33%14.699.198.8210.67-21.57%20.04% Portfolio 8149.85% Portfolio 91412.15%7.256.618.8811.11-22.64%20.20% Portfolio 101214.73%6.877.189.4913.07-28.00%20.22%
Robo Advisor Wealthsimple Portfolio Balanced910.33%12.368.268.9511.42-24.89%20.08%
Robo Advisor WiseBanyan 70% stocks913.01%13.438.778.7112.38-28.22%20.07%
Robo Advisor WiseBanyan 60% stocks911.40%
Robo Advisor WiseBanyan 50% stocks99.61%11.127.528.229.5-20.70%20.09%
PWL Capital Toronto (CA) 70% Stocks511.57%
PWL Capital Toronto (CA) 60% Stocks59.11%10.826.858.4410.22-20.07%20.07%
PWL Capital Toronto (US) 70% Stocks412.47%14.769.018.9112.2-26.02%20.04%
PWL Capital Toronto (US) 60% Stocks410.42%13.728.298.5710.61-21.56%20.04%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (CA) 50/50 Balanced78.17%9.926.727.899.31-19.19%20.07%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (CA) 60/40 Assertive710.45%10.497.28.1410.8-23.60%20.06%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (CA) 70/30 Aggressive712.72%11.067.678.3612.33-28.00%20.06%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (US) 50/50 Balanced69.34%11.257.367.839.42-20.18%20.05%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (US) 60/40 Assertive611.31%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (CA), Balanced79.52%7.755.716.498.18-19.87%20.06%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (CA), Assertive711.69%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (CA), Aggressive713.87%8.576.827.3310.96-26.91%20.06%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (US), Balanced69.38%10.186.966.888.59-20.45%20.05%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (US), Assertive611.52%11.087.777.3810.05-24.09%20.05%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (US), Aggressive613.66%11.988.567.8611.54-27.73%20.05%
PWL Capital Passmore & Felix (CA), 60/40611.23%9.346.837.319.43-20.90%20.05%
PWL Capital Passmore & Felix (CA), 70/30613.45%9.837.327.6910.89-24.84%20.05%
PWL Capital Passmore & Felix (US), 60/40511.05%12.398.397.7810.05-21.63%20.05%
PWL Capital Passmore & Felix (US), 70/30513.24%
Coffeehouse Three ETFComing soon311.14%8.717.197.7811.42-25.37%20.15%
Bob Clyatt The Sandwich PortfolioComing soon99.79%9.867.068.229.8-20.55%20.07%
Bob Clyatt The Sandwich Portfolio Value TiltComing soon99.38%6.666.558.019.67-20.34%20.07%
Bob Clyatt Rational Investing PortfolioComing soon1513.05%8.06.528.4310.86-24.26%20.13%
Canadian Portfolio Manager Model Portfolios (CA) 60% StocksComing soon59.33%11.347.178.5710.21-20.03%20.07%
Canadian Portfolio Manager Model Portfolios (CA) 70% StocksComing soon511.80%
Canadian Portfolio Manager Model Portfolios (US) 60% StocksComing soon410.66%13.918.448.6510.6-21.44%20.04%
Canadian Portfolio Manager Model Portfolios (US) 70% StocksComing soon412.72%14.939.168.9712.17-25.88%20.04%
Canadian Couch Potato Model Portfolios (CA) BalancedComing soon39.36%11.046.778.0210.02-20.78%20.08%
Canadian Couch Potato Model Portfolios (CA) AssertiveComing soon313.08%11.667.38.112.22-27.71%20.08%
Canadian Couch Potato Model Portfolios (US) BalancedComing soon310.67%13.938.28.1510.41-22.28%20.05%
Canadian Couch Potato The Über–Tuber PortfolioComing soon911.11%4.275.377.7510.13-22.29%20.13%
Canadian Couch Potato The Über–Tuber Portfolio (US)Coming soon810.84%4.226.548.1210.29-22.85%20.13%
Premium Portfolio510.46%14.459.299.5913.38-26.56%20.09%
Robo Advisor Wealthsimple Risk Level 0769.64%
Robo Advisor Wealthsimple Risk Level 0668.02%13.818.749.2611.02-19.49%20.09%
The Global Couch Potato Portfolio (CA Edition)Coming soon49.59%10.556.988.099.8-19.50%20.06%
The Global Couch Potato Portfolio (US Edition)Coming soon310.90%13.448.418.2110.3-20.99%20.04%
Ram Balakrishnan Sleepy Portfolio (CA Edition)Coming soon814.52%9.456.857.9612.0-27.92%20.06%
The Canonical Portfolio (CA) 80% StocksComing soon414.62%11.217.758.2212.62-28.31%20.06%
The Canonical Portfolio (CA) 70% StocksComing soon412.11%10.877.378.1711.18-23.90%20.06%
The Canonical Portfolio (CA) 60% StocksComing soon49.59%10.556.988.099.8-19.50%20.06%
The Canonical Portfolio (US) 70% StocksComing soon313.01%
The Canonical Portfolio (US) 60% StocksComing soon310.90%13.448.418.2110.3-20.99%20.04%
Charles Ellis Portfolio 60 - 70 Years Old29.49%13.057.327.5410.56-23.35%20.06%
Charles Ellis Portfolio 70 - 80 Years Old27.62%12.166.777.388.96-18.60%20.06%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Taxable Balanced79.87%10.027.497.468.75-19.31%20.06%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Taxable Growth With Income711.81%11.178.317.9610.3-23.43%20.06%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Taxable Growth713.73%12.198.968.3111.82-27.35%20.05%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Tax-advantaged Growth With Income711.08%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Tax-advantaged Growth713.20%12.828.858.5211.75-26.05%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 10710.04%13.267.668.8712.2-25.68%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 0979.85%13.177.658.8311.79-24.63%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 0879.73%13.057.638.7911.4-23.67%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 0779.16%12.87.498.7110.72-21.74%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 0678.69%12.437.298.5510.2-20.40%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 0578.32%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 10810.09%11.827.38.9813.13-28.39%20.07%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 0989.70%11.667.188.9612.83-27.51%20.07%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 0889.22%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 0788.84%11.126.888.8212.09-25.48%20.07%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 0687.97%10.586.588.6711.37-23.45%20.07%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 0587.18%10.096.348.4810.3-20.60%20.07%
Ellevest Wealthbuilding Portfolio 1138.92%9.466.847.589.31-20.29%20.07%
Ellevest Wealthbuilding Portfolio 2149.89%9.757.177.8210.05-22.36%20.07%
Ellevest Wealthbuilding Portfolio 31510.64%9.957.468.1310.87-24.55%20.07%
Axos Invest 70% StocksComing soon913.00%13.468.788.7112.38-28.22%20.07%
Axos Invest 60% StocksComing soon911.37%
Axos Invest 50% StocksComing soon99.63%11.137.538.239.51-20.74%20.09%
The Rip Van Winkle Portfolio William Bernstein TaxableComing soon512.92%10.728.848.2410.5-23.66%20.10%
Mark Hebner Portfolio 50% StocksComing soon911.54%5.756.548.289.57-19.23%20.10%
Fidelity Target Allocation Index-Focused Model Portfolios 60% StocksComing soon711.07%
Fidelity Target Allocation Index-Focused Model Portfolios 70% StocksComing soon713.19%12.868.868.5711.76-26.03%20.05%
SoFi Model Portfolios Taxable Moderate69.62%11.517.267.7510.89-24.64%20.05%
SoFi Model Portfolios Retirement Moderate68.96%12.337.328.1911.27-24.64%20.06%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Taxable 70% StocksComing soon1011.03%8.917.68.2112.29-27.68%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Taxable 60% StocksComing soon109.34%8.637.38.1210.82-23.54%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Taxable 50% StocksComing soon117.71%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Retirement 70% StocksComing soon1011.42%8.477.598.0512.27-28.17%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Retirement 60% StocksComing soon109.87%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Retirement 50% StocksComing soon118.36%7.556.897.689.3-20.24%20.08%
Dimensional Fund Advisors Model Portfolios 60% Stocks Normal1510.87%7.116.737.9110.05-21.50%20.12%
Bogleheads Guide to Investing - A Middle-Aged Investor’s Asset AllocationComing soon513.67%12.748.848.7610.21-22.15%20.04%
Quit Like A Millionaire (CA) PortfolioComing soon411.09%10.26.757.719.61-20.21%20.04%
Quit Like A Millionaire (US) PortfolioComing soon310.90%13.448.418.2110.3-20.99%20.04%
Quit Like A Millionaire (US) Yield Shield PortfolioComing soon712.17%8.77.637.8210.78-27.26%20.15%
Robo Advisor J.P. Morgan You Invest GrowthComing soon77.67%11.876.938.139.22-17.60%20.05%
Robo Advisor Morgan Stanley Acces Investing Market GrowthComing soon89.59%11.367.18.0311.21-23.90%20.05%
Robo Advisor Merrill Guided Investing Taxable Moderately AggressiveComing soon814.44%13.069.579.0112.21-27.44%20.06%
Robo Advisor Merrill Guided Investing Taxable ModerateComing soon1011.12%11.388.528.49.86-21.22%20.08%
Robo Advisor Merrill Guided Investing ModerateComing soon1010.92%12.478.528.8910.46-21.72%20.08%
Jonathan Clements Three Fund Global PortfolioComing soon311.43%14.018.798.4910.36-20.78%20.04%
Standard & Poors Outlook PortfolioComing soon810.92%11.527.78.1110.13-21.11%20.05%
John Wasik Autopilot Nano InvestmentComing soon513.80%7.757.348.149.55-22.57%20.06%
Kiplinger Five-Fund ETF Portfolio for IncomeComing soon510.34%11.117.828.079.15-18.92%20.07%
J. D. Steinhilber Aggressive
Coming soon12.11%12.47.478.3910.54-23.06%20.08%
David Jackson Ten-Fund ETF Core PortfolioComing soon11.38%10.077.639.210.71-22.50%20.08%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios ModerateComing soon512.54%5.396.177.779.65-20.82%20.09%
Premium Portfolio1016.08%10.929.529.7311.14-25.17%20.07%
Jane Bryant Quinn Portfolio514.81%11.938.878.6411.27%-26.00%20.05

Disclaimer: There are many factors that go into choosing your right portfolio, though not as many as you would think. Therefore, the information here presented are not specific recommendations but instead for information purposes only.

Now it’s your turn!

Which portfolio are you leaning towards and why?

Why do you think a medium-risk portfolio is right for you?

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