Mohamed El-Erian Portfolio, Too Special?

Build Mohamed El-Erian's portfolio with ETFs. How does it compare against other portfolios?
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What is Mohamed El-Erian’s portfolio?

The Mohamed El-Erian Portfolio can be built with 10 ETFs. It is exposed to 75% equities and 25% bonds. It is a high-risk portfolio. It is exposed to private equity and special situations.

For the past 10 years, The Mohamed El-Erian portfolio has returned 5.62 with a standard deviation of 12.75. Last year it returned 8.42%. The dividend yield is 2.25%. The 30-year return is 8.4%. Year to date the Mohamed El-Erian Portfolio has returned 11.83%%.

What is the historical return of Mohamed El-Erian’s portfolio

Below you can see the historical return of Mohamed El-Erian’s portfolio.

Data was last updated on October 1, 2021 at 04:21 a.m. ET

NameAsset class countYear to dateReturn in 202010 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Risk levelExpense ratio
Muhammad El-Erian Portfolio811.83%8.425.628.430.17%

How does the Mohamed El-Erian portfolio compare to the best portfolios?

Below you can see the returns of the best portfolios that we have benchmarked.

NameSee PortfolioYear to dateReturn in 202010 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Draw Down
Premium Portfolio15.92%18.2913.8410.77-37.63%
Premium Portfolio8.30%18.118.6311.14-44.87%
Premium Portfolio13.48%19.712.8410.49-32.77%
Premium Portfolio20.78%3.198.5210.59-36.46%
Premium Portfolio20.17%3.668.6210.48-36.35%
Premium Portfolio15.18%21.0313.7810.83-37.00%
Premium Portfolio19.24%8.711.5610.65-35.26%
Premium Portfolio15.41%7.488.3910.64-37.91%
Premium Portfolio16.16%5.3610.8811.23-35.43%
Premium Portfolio20.81%3.4210.2110.47-40.85%

How do you Mohamed El-Erian portfolio with ETFs?

Below you can see how you build Mohamed El-Erian’s portfolio with ETFs.

  • 15.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 15.00%  International Developed Blend (VEA)
  • 12.00%  Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 7.00% Private Equity (using small-cap as proxy) (VIOO)
  • 5.00% Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 9.00% International Bonds (BNDX)
  • 6.00% REITs (VNQ)
  • 11.00% Commodities (DBC / GSG)
  • 6.00% Long Term Treasuries (TLT)
  • 6.00% TIPS (VTIP)
  • 5.00% Infrastructure (using VTI US Total Stock Market as proxy)
  • 8.00% Special Opportunities (using small-cap as proxy)

Check the best mutual funds and ETFs here.

If you want to replicate the portfolio in another way you can use the following ETFs for the special asset classes:

when-market-collide-Muhammad El-Erian-asset-allocation
From When Markets Collide” by Mohamed El-Erian, page 198.

Who is Mohamed El-Erian?

Mohamed El-Erian is the former CEO of PIMCO. PIMCO has $1.88 Trillion under management.

Mohamed El-Erian is also a veteran of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In El-Erian’s book When Markets Collide: Investment Strategies for the Age of Global Economic Change, he presents a shock-absorbent long-term portfolio.

Mohamed El-Erian is often attributed to coming up with the expression “new normal” in the post-financial crisis.

Mohamed El-Erian is often interviewed on macro-economics issues. That is his specialty. So it should be interesting to see if he can translate his macroscopic perspective into a viable portfolio.

Description of the Mohamed El-Erian portfolio

The portfolio of Mohamed El-Erian portfolio is characterized by having some asset classes we don’t usually see in private portfolios but only in institutional portfolios and sovereign wealth funds. The biggest problem is the allocation of special opportunities. Special opportunities is a broad term. It, more often than not, covers mergers and acquisitions. See this Zacks article for more. It explains to some degree what special situations include.

There have begun to pop up ETFs that cover this area, but unfortunately, we do not have a long benchmarking history of these ETFs to get a good picture. Therefore we cannot use them to benchmark the portfolio going back to 1989 as we have done with other portfolios.

Resources for the Mohamed El-Erian portfolio

You can find his book When Markets Collide: Investment Strategies for the Age of Global Economic Change on Amazon, voted best business book by the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs in 2008.

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 provide higher returns in the long run. It is completely FREE.

You can find the rebalance worksheet in our article Here Is The Most Easy To Use Portfolio Rebalance Tool.

Rebalancing lowers your portfolio risk and may increase your returns.


If you want access to our high-performing portfolios then you need to take a look at the premium portfolios. This is a paid product that gives you the 59 best-performing portfolios since 1989. The portfolios represent a great opportunity for you to have a shot at increasing the returns of your portfolio.

Portfolioeinstein Premium Portfolios

Related questions

How old is Mohamed El-Erian?
Mohamed El-Erian was born on 19. August 1958.

Which portfolio is similar to Mohamed El-Erian’s?
Meb Faber’s Ivy 10 portfolio is most like Mohamed El-Erian’s. They both have commodities and the most popular asset classes.

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