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 Portfolio2-12.0915.711.049.4510.75-20.13%20.03%
Rick Ferri Core 4 fund Portfolio (60/40)4-11.4112.389.278.4710.01-21.41%20.05%
7Twelve Portfolio12-
David Swensen Portfolio6-
Bill Schultheis Coffeehouse Portfolio7-
Index Fund Advisors, Portfolio 6016-7.55.648.228.3310.33-22.03%20.13%
Index Fund Advisors, Portfolio 5016-7.175.477.147.648.64-17.64%20.12%
The Andrew Tobias Portfolio3-8.312.459.018.0211.85-28.05%20.05%
The Talmud Portfolio3-12.438.1510.559.8110.51-24.00%20.06%
Ted Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio11-10.6913.129.699.0912.69-26.33%20.11%
Allan Roth Second Grader Medium Risk Portfolio3-11.3413.729.348.3410.4-21.56%20.04%
Allan Roth Second Grader Five-Fund Medium Risk Portfolio4-11.3312.699.188.3510.13-21.56%20.05%
Allan Roth Second Grader Medium Risk with CDs Portfolio3-7.7910.88.437.110.12-22.77%20.08%
Frank Armstrong Ideal Index Portfolio7-7.656.88.327.6711.0-25.75%20.08%
Scott Burns Couch Potato2-7.112.999.499.059.57-19.88%20.04%
Scott Burns Margaritaville3-8.312.459.018.0211.85-28.05%20.05%
Scott Burns Four Square4-8.2510.447.697.499.13-19.56%20.06%
Scott Burns Five Fold5-9.427.418.598.329.73-23.04%20.07%
Scott Burns Six Ways from Sunday61.90.777.638.7510.81-26.35%20.08%
Scott Burns Seven Value Portfolio71.381.028.549.0211.29-27.73%20.08%
Scott Burns Seven Value 2 Portfolio80.531.29.139.3511.82-28.25%20.09%
Larry Swedroe Simple Portfolio6-3.274.458.048.7210.8-23.80%20.12%
Larry Swedroe Big Rocks Portfolio11-6.194.997.828.019.59-20.56%20.11%
William Bernstein No Brainer Portfolio4-9.310.9810.038.3712.48-27.62%20.07%
William Bernstein Cowards Portfolio9-6.616.678.238.239.51-19.94%20.07%
William Bernstein Four Pillars High Risk Portfolio11-
William Bernstein Four Pillars Medium Portfolio6-7.037.868.748.159.33-19.66%20.06%
The Global Market Portfolio, Financial Engines 200715-10.5811.529.458.6410.97-22.97%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 6010-9.199.778.58.5410.79-22.52%20.07%
Robo Advisor Wealthfront 407-10.7110.259.248.9410.95-25.05%20.08%
Rick Ferri Early Saver Moderate Basic Portfolio4-11.8712.4810.268.8711.32-25.77%20.05%
Rick Ferri Early Saver Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio11-10.839.9310.069.3911.97-26.97%20.14%
Rick Ferri Midlife Moderate Basic Portfolio4-11.4411.969.278.539.9-21.34%20.05%
Rick Ferri Midlifer Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio11-9.859.079.29.0310.95-24.26%20.16%
Rick Ferri Transitional Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio12-9.178.578.338.69.61-20.61%20.16%
Balanced Portfolio 70/302-12.6317.0312.379.9512.31-24.35%20.03%
Index Fund Advisors, Portfolio 7016-7.996.539.28.9411.92-25.91%20.14%
The Jack Bogle Portfolio2-12.0915.711.049.4510.75-20.13%20.03%
Paul Merriman Best-in-Class ETFs Portfolio (Moderate)15-7.416.647.518.249.72-19.51%20.13%
Paul Merriman Target Date Portfolio (55 year old)14-7.525.619.639.4712.48-25.97%20.15%
JL Collins, Simple Path To Wealth, Wealth Preservation Portfolio2-12.917.713.0310.1913.1-26.45%20.03%
Paul Merriman FundAdvice Ultimate Buy and Hold13-7.356.147.368.1810.17-21.14%20.12%
Fidelity Freedom Index 2030 (55 year old)6-11.2915.0810.888.8712.6-28.19%20.05%
TD Ameritrade Core Portfolio Growth5-11.5114.1910.088.411.97-26.28%20.05%
Morningstar Conservative Retirement Saver Portfolio7-9.4611.888.548.499.28-18.42%20.05%
Vanguard Target Retirement 2030 (55 year old)4-11.5414.0110.098.3612.02-26.38%20.05%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately12-11.1913.878.928.7210.06-20.21%20.09%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately Aggressive12-11.8915.9410.529.3212.55-27.27%20.08%
David Booth (DFA) Normal Portfolio15-7.886.248.428.399.78-21.24%20.12%
Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (60/40)4-11.1312.989.138.0710.44-21.87%20.05%
William Bernstein Sheltered Sam Portfolio12-
Tim Maurer Simple Money Portfolio7-7.477.037.547.919.79-18.84%20.12%
T. Rowe Price ActivePlus Portfolio, Model 504-10.5312.558.668.449.1-22.11%20.04%
T. Rowe Price ActivePlus Portfolio, Model 604-11.0413.739.738.8810.51-26.22%20.04%
T. Rowe Price ActivePlus Portfolio, Model 704-11.4814.8710.789.2711.94-30.16%20.04%
Schwab Target Date Index Fund 20308-10.6411.8110.08.711.11-24.29%20.05%
Schwab Managed Portfolio, Balanced With Growth11-
Time.Inc Money Portfolio 1, Simple and Cheap5-11.2710.849.028.329.81-21.51%20.06%
Time.Inc Money Portfolio 2, Tilt Toward Value7-10.399.499.198.579.67-20.85%20.06%
Meb Faber GTAA Conservative11-4.636.576.558.69.49-21.62%20.22%
Morningstar Lifetime Allocation Index Aggressive, Income18-6.938.897.578.238.61-18.40%20.09%
Morningstar Lifetime Allocation Index Moderate, 203018-8.8210.399.399.0111.61-26.61%20.10%
Morningstar Lifetime Allocation Index Conservative, 204018-9.3610.549.379.0311.73-26.55%20.09%
Burton Malkiel Portfolio, Late Sixties and Beyond8-10.829.989.849.4911.37-26.51%20.08%
Dimensional 2030 Target Date Retirement Income Fund8-7.7611.548.488.3210.18-22.61%20.05%
7-Twelve Portfolio Age Based 50-60 by Craig Israelsen12-3.316.645.687.158.07-18.09%20.15%
Dan Solin SuperSmart Portfolio, Medium8-6.014.417.688.339.86-21.07%20.12%
Dan Solin The Smartest ETF Portfolio, Medium Risk2-8.611.187.826.9210.18-22.77%20.07%
Dan Solin The Smartest Index Portfolio, Medium Risk3-11.4113.929.518.4610.41-21.41%20.04%
TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 20306-11.714.8110.519.112.02-25.50%20.04%
William Bernstein Taxable Ted 70/305-10.8410.4510.348.8211.29-25.76%20.06%
William Bernstein Taxable Ted 60/405-10.189.799.38.399.82-21.73%20.06%
William Bernstein Taxable Ted 50/505-9.539.128.257.948.4-17.70%20.06%
William Bernstein Sheltered Sam 70/3012-6.126.629.459.0111.31-27.03%20.09%
William Bernstein Sheltered Sam 60/4012-5.616.48.488.5610.02-23.73%20.09%
William Bernstein Sheltered Sam 50/5012-
William Bernstein Young Yvonne Portfolio11-8.137.468.658.779.64-20.11%20.08%
William Bernstein Wendy Wonk Portfolio11-
William Bernstein Between Charlie and Wendy Portfolio6-7.057.728.838.149.28-19.38%20.06%
Goldman Sachs Target Date 2035 Portfolio15-
Goldman Sachs Target Date 2025 Portfolio15-7.385.347.948.519.44-20.51%20.13%
Robo Advisor Betterment 7010-9.7810.389.469.0712.76-28.06%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 5010-9.519.057.788.4910.06-20.24%20.09%
Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Moderate4-10.410.118.728.249.81-21.79%20.07%
Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Moderate4-11.3913.369.768.410.32-20.86%20.04%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Conservative4-9.010.577.167.658.47-19.65%20.09%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Moderate4-10.2811.878.868.0610.89-27.04%20.09%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Conservative4-7.686.097.727.969.16-21.07%20.20%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Moderate4-5.344.038.88.3510.82-26.00%20.18%
Rick Ferri Socially Conscious ESG Core-4 Portfolio Moderate4-11.8814.329.938.6510.53-21.43%20.06%
3 Fund Portfolio 60/403-11.4513.679.678.4310.32-20.90%20.04%
3 Fund Portfolio Equal Weight3-11.312.919.457.9111.37-24.50%20.04%
Paul Merriman Ultimate Buy & Hold Strategy 201012-
FPL Capital Management Portfolio 609-
FPL Capital Management Portfolio 709-7.964.679.939.611.56-26.03%20.15%
Fundamentum Enhanced Index Focus Moderate5-11.2714.6910.358.9610.67-21.57%20.04% Portfolio 814-9.337.27.418.389.14-17.59%20.17% Portfolio 914-9.757.258.379.0111.11-22.64%20.20% Portfolio 1012-9.896.879.439.6913.07-28.00%20.22%
Robo Advisor Wealthsimple Portfolio Balanced9-11.7512.369.379.0211.42-24.89%20.08%
Robo Advisor WiseBanyan 70% stocks9-11.1713.4310.288.8712.38-28.22%20.07%
Robo Advisor WiseBanyan 60% stocks9-10.5812.279.368.6210.93-24.59%20.08%
Robo Advisor WiseBanyan 50% stocks9-9.9511.128.368.39.5-20.70%20.09%
PWL Capital Toronto (CA) 70% Stocks5-9.3611.38.858.7611.68-24.59%20.06%
PWL Capital Toronto (CA) 60% Stocks5-9.4710.828.018.5210.22-20.07%20.07%
PWL Capital Toronto (US) 70% Stocks4-11.8614.7610.459.0512.2-26.02%20.04%
PWL Capital Toronto (US) 60% Stocks4-11.4213.729.388.6610.61-21.56%20.04%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (CA) 50/50 Balanced7-10.319.927.717.959.31-19.19%20.07%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (CA) 60/40 Assertive7-10.3410.498.578.2610.8-23.60%20.06%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (CA) 70/30 Aggressive7-10.3711.069.428.5412.33-28.00%20.06%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (US) 50/50 Balanced6-11.0511.258.367.99.42-20.18%20.05%
PWL Capital Layton-Guay Portfolios (US) 60/40 Assertive6-11.4712.219.388.3211.02-24.53%20.05%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (CA), Balanced7-7.817.756.956.618.18-19.87%20.06%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (CA), Assertive7-
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (CA), Aggressive7-8.378.578.77.5610.96-26.91%20.06%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (US), Balanced6-9.7710.188.056.998.59-20.45%20.05%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (US), Assertive6-10.4411.089.157.5410.05-24.09%20.05%
PWL Capital Nancy And Her Team (US), Aggressive6-11.1111.9810.248.0711.54-27.73%20.05%
PWL Capital Passmore & Felix (CA), 60/406-8.99.348.277.469.43-20.90%20.05%
PWL Capital Passmore & Felix (CA), 70/306-8.949.839.117.8910.89-24.84%20.05%
PWL Capital Passmore & Felix (US), 60/405-11.3512.399.657.9110.05-21.63%20.05%
PWL Capital Passmore & Felix (US), 70/305-11.8113.410.718.4211.61-25.69%20.05%
Coffeehouse Three ETF3-8.48.718.517.911.42-25.37%20.15%
Bob Clyatt The Sandwich PortfolioComing soon9-10.439.868.248.319.8-20.55%20.07%
Bob Clyatt The Sandwich Portfolio Value TiltComing soon9-8.196.667.78.099.67-20.34%20.07%
Bob Clyatt Rational Investing PortfolioComing soon15-6.968.08.08.610.86-24.26%20.13%
Canadian Portfolio Manager Model Portfolios (CA) 60% StocksComing soon5-9.811.348.318.6510.21-20.03%20.07%
Canadian Portfolio Manager Model Portfolios (CA) 70% StocksComing soon5-9.6811.89.158.8811.64-24.52%20.06%
Canadian Portfolio Manager Model Portfolios (US) 60% StocksComing soon4-11.4813.919.548.7410.6-21.44%20.04%
Canadian Portfolio Manager Model Portfolios (US) 70% StocksComing soon4-11.9214.9310.619.1112.17-25.88%20.04%
Canadian Couch Potato Model Portfolios (CA) BalancedComing soon3-9.5211.048.018.1110.02-20.78%20.08%
Canadian Couch Potato Model Portfolios (CA) AssertiveComing soon3-9.2811.669.28.312.22-27.71%20.08%
Canadian Couch Potato Model Portfolios (US) BalancedComing soon3-11.4613.939.388.2510.41-22.28%20.05%
Canadian Couch Potato The Über–Tuber PortfolioComing soon9-5.544.276.887.8810.13-22.29%20.13%
Canadian Couch Potato The Über–Tuber Portfolio (US)Coming soon8-
Robo Advisor Wealthsimple Risk Level 085-13.4814.4510.299.6513.38-26.56%20.09%
Robo Advisor Wealthsimple Risk Level 076-13.4614.229.919.5312.58-24.22%20.09%
Robo Advisor Wealthsimple Risk Level 066-13.4513.819.159.2611.02-19.49%20.09%
The Global Couch Potato Portfolio (CA Edition)Coming soon4-9.4310.558.158.199.8-19.50%20.06%
The Global Couch Potato Portfolio (US Edition)Coming soon3-11.3813.449.528.3210.3-20.99%20.04%
Ram Balakrishnan Sleepy Portfolio (CA Edition)Coming soon8-7.789.458.848.1912.0-27.92%20.06%
The Canonical Portfolio (CA) 80% StocksComing soon4-9.0911.219.778.4612.62-28.31%20.06%
The Canonical Portfolio (CA) 70% StocksComing soon4-9.2510.878.968.3411.18-23.90%20.06%
The Canonical Portfolio (CA) 60% StocksComing soon4-9.4310.558.158.199.8-19.50%20.06%
The Canonical Portfolio (US) 70% StocksComing soon3-11.8114.410.598.6311.84-25.35%20.04%
The Canonical Portfolio (US) 60% StocksComing soon3-11.3813.449.528.3210.3-20.99%20.04%
Charles Ellis Portfolio 60 - 70 Years Old2-11.1513.058.547.6210.56-23.35%20.06%
Charles Ellis Portfolio 70 - 80 Years Old2-10.7712.167.627.418.96-18.60%20.06%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Taxable Balanced7-8.9310.028.427.588.75-19.31%20.06%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Taxable Growth With Income7-9.6611.179.568.1310.3-23.43%20.06%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Taxable Growth7-10.1512.1910.578.5311.82-27.35%20.05%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Tax-advantaged Growth With Income7-10.3312.059.378.3710.22-21.60%20.05%
Robo Advisor Fidelity GO Tax-advantaged Growth7-10.6312.8210.448.7111.75-26.05%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 107-10.713.268.928.9312.2-25.68%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 097-10.6613.178.838.8811.79-24.63%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 087-10.5213.058.748.8411.4-23.67%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 077-10.412.88.478.7410.72-21.74%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 067-10.1812.438.178.5810.2-20.40%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Taxable 057-9.9912.177.948.479.69-19.01%20.05%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 108-11.1211.828.689.0513.13-28.39%20.07%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 098-11.0511.668.499.0112.83-27.51%20.07%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 088-10.8811.278.218.8812.38-26.37%20.07%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 078-10.8111.128.028.8412.09-25.48%20.07%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 068-10.5710.587.558.6711.37-23.45%20.07%
Robo Advisor SigFig Tax Sheltered 058-10.2810.097.18.4710.3-20.60%20.07%
Ellevest Wealthbuilding Portfolio 113-8.569.467.827.659.31-20.29%20.07%
Ellevest Wealthbuilding Portfolio 214-8.99.758.37.9210.05-22.36%20.07%
Ellevest Wealthbuilding Portfolio 315-9.089.958.748.2410.87-24.55%20.07%
Axos Invest 70% StocksComing soon9-11.1713.4610.288.8712.38-28.22%20.07%
Axos Invest 60% StocksComing soon9-10.5712.259.348.6110.92-24.55%20.08%
Axos Invest 50% StocksComing soon9-9.9611.138.378.39.51-20.74%20.09%
The Rip Van Winkle Portfolio William Bernstein TaxableComing soon5-10.5210.7210.118.4410.5-23.66%20.10%
Mark Hebner Portfolio 50% Stocks9-6.395.757.868.429.57-19.23%20.10%
Fidelity Target Allocation Index-Focused Model Portfolios 60% StocksComing soon7-10.3612.139.398.4110.24-21.56%20.05%
Fidelity Target Allocation Index-Focused Model Portfolios 70% StocksComing soon7-10.6512.8610.448.7611.76-26.03%20.05%
SoFi Model Portfolios Taxable Moderate6-9.9911.518.437.8310.89-24.64%20.05%
SoFi Model Portfolios Retirement Moderate6-11.0412.338.478.2311.27-24.64%20.06%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Taxable 70% StocksComing soon10-9.358.919.158.3312.29-27.68%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Taxable 60% StocksComing soon10-9.398.638.518.1910.82-23.54%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Taxable 50% StocksComing soon11-
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Retirement 70% StocksComing soon10-8.98.479.148.1812.27-28.17%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Retirement 60% StocksComing soon10-8.788.028.57.9910.79-24.22%20.08%
Robo Advisor Betterment 2020 Retirement 50% StocksComing soon11-8.457.557.757.749.3-20.24%20.08%
Dimensional Fund Advisors Model Portfolios 60% Stocks Normal15-7.687.118.218.0310.05-21.50%20.12%
Bogleheads Guide to Investing - A Middle-Aged Investor’s Asset AllocationComing soon5-9.9512.749.998.9610.21-22.15%20.04%
Quit Like A Millionaire (CA) PortfolioComing soon4-8.7710.28.067.849.61-20.21%20.04%
Quit Like A Millionaire (US) PortfolioComing soon3-11.3813.449.528.3210.3-20.99%20.04%
Quit Like A Millionaire (US) Yield Shield PortfolioComing soon7-10.668.79.148.0110.78-27.26%20.15%
Robo Advisor J.P. Morgan You Invest GrowthComing soon7-10.4611.877.728.139.22-17.60%20.05%
Robo Advisor Morgan Stanley Acces Investing Market GrowthComing soon8-10.3311.368.398.111.21-23.90%20.05%
Robo Advisor Merrill Guided Investing Taxable Moderately AggressiveComing soon8-9.813.0611.189.2312.21-27.44%20.06%
Robo Advisor Merrill Guided Investing Taxable ModerateComing soon10-9.2311.389.578.549.86-21.22%20.08%
Robo Advisor Merrill Guided Investing ModerateComing soon10-9.9912.479.658.9910.46-21.72%20.08%
Jonathan Clements Three Fund Global PortfolioComing soon3-11.5614.019.98.6110.36-20.78%20.04%
Standard & Poors Outlook PortfolioComing soon8-9.4311.529.018.2410.13-21.11%20.05%
John Wasik Autopilot Nano InvestmentComing soon5-9.587.758.588.379.55-22.57%20.06%
Kiplinger Five-Fund ETF Portfolio for IncomeComing soon5-9.8911.118.888.199.15-18.92%20.07%
J. D. Steinhilber Aggressive
Coming soon-7.0412.49.038.5310.54-23.06%20.08%
David Jackson Ten-Fund ETF Core PortfolioComing soon-10.7810.078.699.3210.71-22.50%20.08%
Larry Swedroe Model Portfolios Moderate5-6.265.397.87.959.65-20.82%20.09%
Steven Schoenfeld Model ETF Portfolio ModerateComing soon10-11.5310.9210.9410.011.14-25.17%20.07%
Jane Bryant Quinn Portfolio5-11.0211.9310.48.8811.27%-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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