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 Portfolio212.01%15.79.949.2910.75-20.13%20.03%
Rick Ferri Core 4 fund Portfolio (60/40)410.62%12.388.148.3510.01-21.41%20.05%
7Twelve Portfolio1211.64%8.215.547.9610.03-23.15%20.15%
David Swensen Portfolio614.26%
Bill Schultheis Coffeehouse Portfolio712.82%7.217.768.649.76-20.14%20.07%
Index Fund Advisors, Portfolio 601612.16%5.646.498.1710.33-22.03%20.13%
Index Fund Advisors, Portfolio 501610.05%5.475.757.538.64-17.64%20.12%
The Andrew Tobias Portfolio311.60%12.457.667.8611.85-28.05%20.05%
The Talmud PortfolioComing soon316.45%
Ted Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio1111.12%13.128.458.9912.69-26.33%20.11%
Allan Roth Second Grader Medium Risk Portfolio39.87%13.728.258.2510.4-21.56%20.04%
Allan Roth Second Grader Five-Fund Medium Risk Portfolio410.23%12.698.078.2510.13-21.56%20.05%
Allan Roth Second Grader Medium Risk with CDs Portfolio310.17%10.86.956.9610.12-22.77%20.08%
Frank Armstrong Ideal Index Portfolio712.35%6.86.517.4711.0-25.75%20.08%
Scott Burns Couch Potato212.33%12.998.688.869.57-19.88%20.04%
Scott Burns Margaritaville311.60%12.457.667.8611.85-28.05%20.05%
Scott Burns Four Square48.36%10.446.847.449.13-19.56%20.06%
Scott Burns Five Fold512.59%7.417.298.19.73-23.04%20.07%
Scott Burns Six Ways from Sunday615.55%0.775.728.3610.81-26.35%20.08%
Scott Burns Seven Value Portfolio716.26%1.026.548.6211.29-27.73%20.08%
Scott Burns Seven Value 2 Portfolio817.60%1.26.958.9311.82-28.25%20.09%
Larry Swedroe Simple Portfolio613.50%4.456.78.5110.8-23.80%20.12%
Larry Swedroe Big Rocks Portfolio1112.18%4.996.217.829.59-20.56%20.11%
William Bernstein No Brainer Portfolio413.62%10.988.058.1512.48-27.62%20.07%
William Bernstein Cowards Portfolio911.96%6.676.678.059.51-19.94%20.07%
William Bernstein Four Pillars High Risk Portfolio1112.78%6.76.548.2111.98-27.41%20.11%
William Bernstein Four Pillars Medium Portfolio612.38%7.867.27.959.33-19.66%20.06%
The Global Market Portfolio, Financial Engines 20071510.55%11.528.148.5510.97-22.97%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 60109.61%9.777.288.4810.79-22.52%20.07%
Robo Advisor Wealthfront 40710.11%
Rick Ferri Early Saver Moderate Basic Portfolio412.90%12.488.778.6811.32-25.77%20.05%
Rick Ferri Early Saver Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio1114.41%9.938.439.1911.97-26.97%20.14%
Rick Ferri Midlife Moderate Basic Portfolio410.91%11.968.138.49.9-21.34%20.05%
Rick Ferri Midlifer Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio1112.89%9.077.898.8710.95-24.26%20.16%
Rick Ferri Transitional Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio1211.08%8.577.358.489.61-20.61%20.16%
Premium Portfolio214.15%17.0310.929.7312.31-24.35%20.03%
Index Fund Advisors, Portfolio 701613.56%6.537.238.7611.92-25.91%20.14%
The Jack Bogle Portfolio212.01%15.79.949.2910.75-20.13%20.03%
Paul Merriman Best-in-Class ETFs Portfolio (Moderate)1510.85%6.646.268.139.72-19.51%20.13%
Paul Merriman Target Date Portfolio (55 year old)1416.03%5.617.629.2212.48-25.97%20.15%
Premium Portfolio215.21%17.711.49.9313.1-26.45%20.03%
Paul Merriman FundAdvice Ultimate Buy and Hold1310.91%
Fidelity Freedom Index 2030 (55 year old)613.00%
TD Ameritrade Core Portfolio Growth511.26%14.198.628.2711.97-26.28%20.05%
Morningstar Conservative Retirement Saver Portfolio79.81%11.887.628.49.28-18.42%20.05%
Vanguard Target Retirement 2030 (55 year old)411.17%14.018.628.2312.02-26.38%20.05%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately128.79%13.878.018.6810.06-20.21%20.09%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately Aggressive1211.47%15.949.049.212.55-27.27%20.08%
David Booth (DFA) Normal Portfolio1511.97%6.246.918.229.78-21.24%20.12%
Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (60/40)49.44%12.987.998.010.44-21.87%20.05%
William Bernstein Sheltered Sam Portfolio1212.42%5.96.728.199.48-21.03%20.09%
Tim Maurer Simple Money Portfolio710.61%7.036.317.819.79-18.84%20.12%
T. Rowe Price ActivePlus Portfolio, Model 5049.26%12.557.628.069.1-22.11%20.04%
T. Rowe Price ActivePlus Portfolio, Model 60411.18%13.738.398.3610.51-26.22%20.04%
T. Rowe Price ActivePlus Portfolio, Model 70413.12%14.879.138.6411.94-30.16%20.04%
Schwab Target Date Index Fund 2030812.30%11.818.518.5111.11-24.29%20.05%
Schwab Managed Portfolio, Balanced With Growth1112.30%9.046.617.8910.53-25.01%20.11%
Time.Inc Money Portfolio 1, Simple and Cheap510.74%10.847.848.199.81-21.51%20.06%
Time.Inc Money Portfolio 2, Tilt Toward Value711.59%9.497.958.419.67-20.85%20.06%
Meb Faber GTAA Conservative1112.32%6.575.448.49.49-21.62%20.22%
Morningstar Lifetime Allocation Index Aggressive, Income189.67%8.896.748.138.61-18.40%20.09%
Morningstar Lifetime Allocation Index Moderate, 20301812.48%10.397.868.8411.61-26.61%20.10%
Morningstar Lifetime Allocation Index Conservative, 20401812.08%10.547.868.8711.73-26.55%20.09%
Burton Malkiel Portfolio, Late Sixties and Beyond812.65%9.988.289.2911.37-26.51%20.08%
Dimensional 2030 Target Date Retirement Income Fund810.72%11.547.48.1810.18-22.61%20.05%
7-Twelve Portfolio Age Based 50-60 by Craig Israelsen129.29%6.644.577.028.07-18.09%20.15%
Dan Solin SuperSmart Portfolio, Medium812.40%4.416.028.149.86-21.07%20.12%
Dan Solin The Smartest ETF Portfolio, Medium Risk29.64%
Dan Solin The Smartest Index Portfolio, Medium Risk310.08%13.928.428.3610.41-21.41%20.04%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2030611.97%14.819.098.9512.02-25.50%20.04%
William Bernstein Taxable Ted 70/30514.36%10.458.718.5711.29-25.76%20.06%
William Bernstein Taxable Ted 60/40512.36%9.798.028.29.82-21.73%20.06%
William Bernstein Taxable Ted 50/50510.35%9.127.327.818.4-17.70%20.06%
William Bernstein Sheltered Sam 70/301214.25%6.627.738.7611.31-27.03%20.09%
William Bernstein Sheltered Sam 60/401212.47%
William Bernstein Sheltered Sam 50/501210.69%6.176.427.948.78-20.42%20.08%
William Bernstein Young Yvonne Portfolio1111.42%7.467.438.629.64-20.11%20.08%
William Bernstein Wendy Wonk Portfolio1112.78%6.76.548.2111.98-27.41%20.11%
William Bernstein Between Charlie and Wendy Portfolio612.65%7.727.287.939.28-19.38%20.06%
Goldman Sachs Target Date 2035 Portfolio1511.77%3.97.818.811.8-27.51%20.15%
Goldman Sachs Target Date 2025 Portfolio158.81%5.347.148.469.44-20.51%20.13%
Robo Advisor Betterment 701011.41%10.387.918.9612.76-28.06%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 50107.99%9.056.928.4910.06-20.24%20.09%
Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Moderate411.42%10.117.388.19.81-21.79%20.07%
Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Moderate410.54%13.368.618.2810.32-20.86%20.04%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Conservative47.96%10.576.637.68.47-19.65%20.09%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Moderate411.10%11.877.67.910.89-27.04%20.09%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Conservative47.24%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Moderate410.49%4.037.938.210.82-26.00%20.18%
Rick Ferri Socially Conscious ESG Core-4 Portfolio Moderate410.55%14.328.888.5510.53-21.43%20.06%
3 Fund Portfolio 60/40310.56%13.678.568.3210.32-20.90%20.04%
3 Fund Portfolio Equal Weight310.85%12.918.087.7911.37-24.50%20.04%
Paul Merriman Ultimate Buy & Hold Strategy 20101210.75%8.066.828.4210.84-23.15%20.17%
FPL Capital Management Portfolio 60911.72%5.17.579.0210.06-21.58%20.13%
FPL Capital Management Portfolio 70913.81%4.678.169.4211.56-26.03%20.15%
Fundamentum Enhanced Index Focus Moderate511.47%14.699.198.8210.67-21.57%20.04% Portfolio 81410.45% Portfolio 91412.63%7.256.618.8811.11-22.64%20.20% Portfolio 101214.98%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% stocks912.43%13.438.778.7112.38-28.22%20.07%
Robo Advisor WiseBanyan 60% stocks911.00%
Robo Advisor WiseBanyan 50% stocks99.41%11.127.528.229.5-20.70%20.09%
PWL Capital Toronto (CA) 70% Stocks511.22%
PWL Capital Toronto (CA) 60% Stocks59.19%10.826.858.4410.22-20.07%20.07%
PWL Capital Toronto (US) 70% Stocks411.84%14.769.018.9112.2-26.02%20.04%
PWL Capital Toronto (US) 60% Stocks410.02%13.728.298.5710.61-21.56%20.04%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (CA) 50/50 Balanced78.51%9.926.727.899.31-19.19%20.07%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (CA) 60/40 Assertive710.43%10.497.28.1410.8-23.60%20.06%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (CA) 70/30 Aggressive712.34%11.067.678.3612.33-28.00%20.06%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (US) 50/50 Balanced69.21%11.257.367.839.42-20.18%20.05%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (US) 60/40 Assertive610.97%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (CA), Balanced79.17%7.755.716.498.18-19.87%20.06%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (CA), Assertive711.08%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (CA), Aggressive712.99%8.576.827.3310.96-26.91%20.06%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (US), Balanced69.18%10.186.966.888.59-20.45%20.05%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (US), Assertive611.08%11.087.777.3810.05-24.09%20.05%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (US), Aggressive612.99%11.988.567.8611.54-27.73%20.05%
PWL Capital Passmore & Felix (CA), 60/40610.64%9.346.837.319.43-20.90%20.05%
PWL Capital Passmore & Felix (CA), 70/30612.55%9.837.327.6910.89-24.84%20.05%
PWL Capital Passmore & Felix (US), 60/40510.64%12.398.397.7810.05-21.63%20.05%
PWL Capital Passmore & Felix (US), 70/30512.56%
Coffeehouse Three ETFComing soon310.64%8.717.197.7811.42-25.37%20.15%
Bob Clyatt The Sandwich PortfolioComing soon99.85%9.867.068.229.8-20.55%20.07%
Bob Clyatt The Sandwich Portfolio Value TiltComing soon99.62%6.666.558.019.67-20.34%20.07%
Bob Clyatt Rational Investing PortfolioComing soon1511.78%8.06.528.4310.86-24.26%20.13%
Canadian Portfolio Manager Model Portfolios (CA) 60% StocksComing soon59.37%11.347.178.5710.21-20.03%20.07%
Canadian Portfolio Manager Model Portfolios (CA) 70% StocksComing soon511.41%
Canadian Portfolio Manager Model Portfolios (US) 60% StocksComing soon410.20%13.918.448.6510.6-21.44%20.04%
Canadian Portfolio Manager Model Portfolios (US) 70% StocksComing soon412.03%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 soon312.43%11.667.38.112.22-27.71%20.08%
Canadian Couch Potato Model Portfolios (US) BalancedComing soon310.19%13.938.28.1510.41-22.28%20.05%
Canadian Couch Potato The Über–Tuber PortfolioComing soon910.77%4.275.377.7510.13-22.29%20.13%
Canadian Couch Potato The Über–Tuber Portfolio (US)Coming soon810.88%4.226.548.1210.29-22.85%20.13%
Premium Portfolio510.33%14.459.299.5913.38-26.56%20.09%
Robo Advisor Wealthsimple Risk Level 0769.56%
Robo Advisor Wealthsimple Risk Level 0668.04%13.818.749.2611.02-19.49%20.09%
The Global Couch Potato Portfolio (CA Edition)Coming soon49.57%10.556.988.099.8-19.50%20.06%
The Global Couch Potato Portfolio (US Edition)Coming soon310.40%13.448.418.2110.3-20.99%20.04%
Ram Balakrishnan Sleepy Portfolio (CA Edition)Coming soon813.52%9.456.857.9612.0-27.92%20.06%
The Canonical Portfolio (CA) 80% StocksComing soon413.72%11.217.758.2212.62-28.31%20.06%
The Canonical Portfolio (CA) 70% StocksComing soon411.65%10.877.378.1711.18-23.90%20.06%
The Canonical Portfolio (CA) 60% StocksComing soon49.57%10.556.988.099.8-19.50%20.06%
The Canonical Portfolio (US) 70% StocksComing soon312.28%
The Canonical Portfolio (US) 60% StocksComing soon310.40%13.448.418.2110.3-20.99%20.04%
Charles Ellis Portfolio 60 - 70 Years Old29.28%13.057.327.5410.56-23.35%20.06%
Charles Ellis Portfolio 70 - 80 Years Old27.60%12.166.777.388.96-18.60%20.06%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Taxable Balanced79.48%10.027.497.468.75-19.31%20.06%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Taxable Growth With Income711.23%11.178.317.9610.3-23.43%20.06%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Taxable Growth712.94%12.198.968.3111.82-27.35%20.05%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Tax-advantaged Growth With Income710.59%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Tax-advantaged Growth712.48%12.828.858.5211.75-26.05%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 1079.83%13.267.668.8712.2-25.68%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 0979.64%13.177.658.8311.79-24.63%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 0879.50%13.057.638.7911.4-23.67%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 0778.96%12.87.498.7110.72-21.74%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 0678.52%12.437.298.5510.2-20.40%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 0578.17%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 10810.15%11.827.38.9813.13-28.39%20.07%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 0989.80%11.667.188.9612.83-27.51%20.07%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 0889.38%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 0789.03%11.126.888.8212.09-25.48%20.07%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 0688.25%10.586.588.6711.37-23.45%20.07%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 0587.49%10.096.348.4810.3-20.60%20.07%
Ellevest Wealthbuilding Portfolio 1138.78%9.466.847.589.31-20.29%20.07%
Ellevest Wealthbuilding Portfolio 2149.68%9.757.177.8210.05-22.36%20.07%
Ellevest Wealthbuilding Portfolio 31510.39%9.957.468.1310.87-24.55%20.07%
Axos Invest 70% StocksComing soon912.42%13.468.788.7112.38-28.22%20.07%
Axos Invest 60% StocksComing soon910.98%
Axos Invest 50% StocksComing soon99.43%11.137.538.239.51-20.74%20.09%
The Rip Van Winkle Portfolio William Bernstein TaxableComing soon512.37%10.728.848.2410.5-23.66%20.10%
Mark Hebner Portfolio 50% StocksComing soon911.35%5.756.548.289.57-19.23%20.10%
Fidelity Target Allocation Index-Focused Model Portfolios 60% StocksComing soon710.58%
Fidelity Target Allocation Index-Focused Model Portfolios 70% StocksComing soon712.47%12.868.868.5711.76-26.03%20.05%
SoFi Model Portfolios Taxable Moderate69.49%11.517.267.7510.89-24.64%20.05%
SoFi Model Portfolios Retirement Moderate68.98%12.337.328.1911.27-24.64%20.06%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Taxable 70% StocksComing soon1011.08%8.917.68.2112.29-27.68%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Taxable 60% StocksComing soon109.53%8.637.38.1210.82-23.54%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Taxable 50% StocksComing soon118.02%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Retirement 70% StocksComing soon1011.40%8.477.598.0512.27-28.17%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Retirement 60% StocksComing soon109.97%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Retirement 50% StocksComing soon118.56%7.556.897.689.3-20.24%20.08%
Dimensional Fund Advisors Model Portfolios 60% Stocks Normal1510.95%7.116.737.9110.05-21.50%20.12%
Bogleheads Guide to Investing - A Middle-Aged Investor’s Asset AllocationComing soon512.64%12.748.848.7610.21-22.15%20.04%
Quit Like A Millionaire (CA) PortfolioComing soon410.40%10.26.757.719.61-20.21%20.04%
Quit Like A Millionaire (US) PortfolioComing soon310.40%13.448.418.2110.3-20.99%20.04%
Quit Like A Millionaire (US) Yield Shield PortfolioComing soon711.77%8.77.637.8210.78-27.26%20.15%
Robo Advisor J.P. Morgan You Invest GrowthComing soon77.73%11.876.938.139.22-17.60%20.05%
Robo Advisor Morgan Stanley Acces Investing Market GrowthComing soon89.56%11.367.18.0311.21-23.90%20.05%
Robo Advisor Merrill Guided Investing Taxable Moderately AggressiveComing soon813.58%13.069.579.0112.21-27.44%20.06%
Robo Advisor Merrill Guided Investing Taxable ModerateComing soon1010.63%11.388.528.49.86-21.22%20.08%
Robo Advisor Merrill Guided Investing ModerateComing soon1010.52%12.478.528.8910.46-21.72%20.08%
Jonathan Clements Three Fund Global PortfolioComing soon310.80%14.018.798.4910.36-20.78%20.04%
Standard & Poors Outlook PortfolioComing soon810.41%11.527.78.1110.13-21.11%20.05%
John Wasik Autopilot Nano InvestmentComing soon513.17%7.757.348.149.55-22.57%20.06%
Kiplinger Five-Fund ETF Portfolio for IncomeComing soon59.86%11.117.828.079.15-18.92%20.07%
J. D. Steinhilber Aggressive
Coming soon10.88%12.47.478.3910.54-23.06%20.08%
David Jackson Ten-Fund ETF Core PortfolioComing soon11.05%10.077.639.210.71-22.50%20.08%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios ModerateComing soon512.17%5.396.177.779.65-20.82%20.09%
Premium Portfolio1014.95%10.929.529.7311.14-25.17%20.07%

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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