What is the Rick Ferri Core Four Portfolio?

Learn to build Rick Ferri's Core Four portfolio with ETFs. See how it compares.
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The Rick Ferri portfolio is built with four ETFs. The portfolio is exposed to 40% bonds and 60% equities.

It is a medium-risk portfolio and can be built with 4 ETFs.

For the past 10 years, the Core Four portfolio has returned 8.14 with a standard deviation of 10.01. Last year it returned 12.38%. The dividend yield is 2.09. The 30-year return is 8.35%. Year to date the The Rick Ferri Core Four Portfolio has returned 7.18%.

Article Contents

How do you build The Rick Ferri Core Four Portfolio with ETF?

Here is how you build Rick Ferri Core Four Portfolio with ETF.

  • 36.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 6.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 18.00%  International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 40.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)

The letters in brackets denote the stock symbol for the recommended ETF. You can look up the symbols at your stockbroker. You can see a listing of all the ETFs we recommend on this page.

The above portfolio is the 60/40 ETF allocation for Rick Ferri’s Core Four. Rick Ferri has constructed many more portfolios. Below you will find 32 in all.

What is the historical return for Rick Ferri’s Core Four portfolios?

Below you can see the returns for Rick Ferri’s Core Four portfolios.

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
Rick Ferri Core 4 fund Portfolio (60/40)47.18%12.388.148.3520.05%
Rick Ferri Early Saver Moderate Basic Portfolio48.98%12.488.778.6820.05%
Rick Ferri Early Saver Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio1110.99%9.938.439.1920.14%
Rick Ferri Midlife Moderate Basic Portfolio47.41%11.968.138.420.05%
Rick Ferri Midlifer Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio119.98%9.077.898.8720.16%
Rick Ferri Transitional Moderate Basic Portfolio55.71%11.457.387.9710.05%
Rick Ferri Transitional Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio128.52%8.577.358.4820.16%
Rick Ferri Mature Retired Saver Moderate Basic Portfolio64.78%9.776.347.410.05%
Rick Ferri Mature Retired Saver Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio105.85%8.666.137.5810.06%
Rick Ferri Core 4 fund Portfolio (80/20)410.18%13.939.58.8830.05%
Rick Ferri Core 4 fund Portfolio (40/60)44.18%10.826.747.710.05%
Rick Ferri Core 4 fund Portfolio (20/80)41.17%9.275.296.9410.04%
Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Low-Risk41.56%8.515.046.8510.05%
Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Conservative44.96%9.316.247.5310.06%
Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Moderate48.35%10.117.388.120.07%
Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Agressive411.75%10.928.488.5430.09%
Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Low-Risk41.12%9.085.556.8710.05%
Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Conservative44.15%11.227.117.6310.04%
Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Moderate47.18%13.368.618.2820.04%
Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Aggressive410.21%15.510.068.830.04%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Low-Risk43.20%9.265.597.1910.09%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Conservative45.49%10.576.637.620.09%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Moderate47.78%11.877.67.920.09%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Aggressive410.06%13.188.538.0930.09%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Low-Risk42.19%8.156.637.610.21%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Conservative45.04%6.097.37.9320.20%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Moderate47.89%4.037.938.220.18%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Aggressive410.74%1.978.528.430.17%
Rick Ferri Socially Conscious ESG Core-4 Portfolio Low-Risk40.98%11.06.087.410.08%
Rick Ferri Socially Conscious ESG Core-4 Portfolio Conservative44.05%12.667.518.0310.07%
Rick Ferri Socially Conscious ESG Core-4 Portfolio Moderate47.11%14.328.888.5520.06%
Rick Ferri Socially Conscious ESG Core-4 Portfolio Aggressive49.46%13.458.548.1230.09%

How do the Rick Ferri’s portfolios 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%

Who is Rick Ferri?

Rick Ferri is a former Marine pilot. Rick Ferri, who is the author of six books (all exceptionally well written and very educational). He is the founder of Ferri Investment Solutions offering hourly-fee advice to mainly do-it-yourself (DIY) investors.

Rick Ferri has also contributed to The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Journal of Financial Planning.

His book The Power of Passive Investing: More Wealth with Less Work is an absolute masterpiece. It is a compelling argument about why you should use passive index funds instead of active funds. I like it, especially for the extreme amount of research that has gone into the book and the effort that has gone into documenting and supporting his claims with evidence. 

Rick Ferri hosts the Bogleheads On Investing Podcast

If you read just one book of his, it should be Power of Passive Investing.

Rick Ferri is one of the good guys

Rick Ferri is one of the 3 good guys of investing. He promotes:

  • Using low-cost index funds
  • Sticking with a well-defined strategy.
  • That you keep a keen eye on the cost of your investments.

He (Ferri) doesn’t want to hear from advisors who posit that their services are worth the “value added. Don’t tell me you’re better than the next guy because that’s not true.”

You can read more about the 3 good guys of investing in our article, Who Are The 3 Good Guys In Investing?

We have expanded this page to cover ALL of Rick Ferri’s many portfolios. We are tracking 32 portfolios right now.

Rick Ferri discusses the power of passive investing

In 2019 Rick Ferri founded Rick Ferri Solutions. It is his new investment advisor firm. He charges per hour instead of on the basis of how much money you have invested.

Pie chart for for the Rick Ferri Portfolio

We track 32 portfolios constructed by Rick Ferri. The asset allocation below is for Rick Ferri’s Core 4 fund Portfolio (60/40).

pic chart of Rick-ferri-core-4-Portfolio
Excellent interview with Rick Ferri with the always-on target Barry Ritholtz

A client with $2 million paying 0.9% of AUM annually is told that half the fee is for planning and half is for investment management, but continues to pay $9,000 every single year for a financial plan that’s already done, explains Ferri. “You’re supposed to be a fiduciary”

What is the asset allocation for Rick Ferri’s portfolios?

Below you can see how to build all of Rick Ferri’s excellent portfolios.

Rick Ferri Early Saver Moderate Basic Portfolio                

  • 40.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 10.00%  REITs (VNQ)
  • 20.00%  International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 30.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)

Rick Ferri Early Saver Moderate Multi-Asset Portfolio                   

  • 25.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 10.00%  US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 5.00%    US Micro-Cap (IWC)
  • 10.00%  REITs (VNQ)
  • 5.00%    Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 5.00%    Pacific Stocks (VPL)
  • 5.00%    European Stocks (VGK)
  • 20.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 5.00%    High Yield Corporate Bonds (HYG / JNK)
  • 5.00%    TIPS (VTIP)
  • 5.00%    International Small Cap Value (DLS)

Rick Ferri Mature Retired Saver Moderate Basic Portfolio                           

  • 25.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 5.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 10.00%  International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 18.00%  Short Term Treasuries (VGSH)
  • 40.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 2.00%    Cash (money market fund) (BIL)

Rick Ferri Mature Retired Saver Moderate Multi-Asset Portfolio                              

  • 20.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 5.00%    US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 5.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 2.00%    Emerging Markets  (VWO)
  • 4.00%    Pacific Stocks (VPL)
  • 4.00%    European Stocks (VGK)
  • 18.00%  Short Term Treasuries (VGSH)
  • 30.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 2.00%    Cash (money market fund) (BIL)
  • 10.00%  TIPS (VTIP)

Rick Ferri Midlife Moderate Basic Portfolio                        

  • 35.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 8.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 17.00%  International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 40.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)

Rick Ferri Midlifer Moderate Multi-Asset Portfolio                         

  • 20.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 10.00%  US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 5.00%    US Micro-Cap (IWC)
  • 8.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 4.00%    Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 4.00%    Pacific Stocks (VPL)
  • 4.00%    European Stocks (VGK)
  • 20.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 10.00%  High Yield Corporate Bonds (HYG / JNK)
  • 10.00%  TIPS (VTIP)
  • 5.00%    International Small Cap Value (DLS)

Rick Ferri Transitional Moderate Basic Portfolio               

  • 30.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 5.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 15.00%  International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 48.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 2.00%    Cash (money market fund) (BIL)

Rick Ferri Transitional Moderate Multi-Asset Portfolio                 

  • 18.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 8.00%    US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 4.00%    US Micro-Cap (IWC)
  • 7.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 3.00%    Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 3.00%    Pacific Stocks (VPL)
  • 3.00%    European Stocks (VGK)
  • 24.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 2.00%    Cash (money market fund) (BIL)
  • 12.00%  High Yield Corporate Bonds (HYG / JNK)
  • 12.00%  TIPS (VTIP)
  • 4.00%    International Small Cap Value (DLS)

Rick Ferri’s Core 4 fund Portfolio (20/80)                              

  • 12.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 2.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 6.00%    International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 80.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)

Rick Ferri’s Core 4 fund Portfolio (40/60)                              

  • 24.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 4.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 12.00%  International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 60.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)

Rick Ferri’s Core 4 fund Portfolio (60/40)                           

  • 36.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 6.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 18.00%  International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 40.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)

Rick Ferri’s Core 4 fund Portfolio (80/20)                              

  • 48.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 8.00%    REITs (VNQ)
  • 24.00%  International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 20.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)

Please also make sure you visit Rick Ferri’s Core 4 Website at https://core-4.com/

Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Low-Risk                        

  • 4.00%    US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 2.00%    REITs (Real Estate) (VNQ)
  • 80.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 14.00%  Total World Stock (VT)

Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Conservative               

  • 8.00%    US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 4.00%    REITs (Real Estate) (VNQ)
  • 60.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 28.00%  Total World Stock (VT)

Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Moderate                      

  • 12.00%  US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 6.00%    REITs (Real Estate) (VNQ)
  • 40.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 42.00%  Total World Stock (VT)

Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Aggressive                    

  • 16.00%  US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 8.00%    REITs (Real Estate) (VNQ)
  • 20.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 56.00%  Total World Stock (VT)

Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Low-Risk                          

  • 14.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 6.00%    Int. Developed Blend (VEA)
  • 60.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 20.00%  Non-US Bonds (BNDX)

Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Conservative                 

  • 28.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 12.00%  Int. Developed Blend (VEA)
  • 45.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 15.00%  Non-US Bonds (BNDX)

Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Moderate                        

  • 42.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 18.00%  Int. Developed Blend (VEA)
  • 30.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 10.00%  Non-US Bonds (BNDX)

Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Aggressive                      

  • 56.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 24.00%  Int. Developed Blend (VEA)
  • 15.00%  Total US Bond Market (BND)
  • 5.00%    Non-US Bonds (BNDX)

Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Low-Risk                     

  • 2.00%    REITs (Real Estate) (VNQ)
  • 40.00%  Corporate Bonds (LQD)
  • 40.00%  TIPS (VTIP)
  • 18.00%  Total World Stock (VT)

Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Conservative                             

  • 4.00%    REITs (Real Estate) (VNQ)
  • 30.00%  Corporate Bonds (LQD)
  • 30.00%  TIPS (VTIP)
  • 36.00%  Total World Stock (VT)

Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Moderate                   

  • 6.00%    REITs (Real Estate) (VNQ)
  • 20.00%  Corporate Bonds (LQD)
  • 20.00%  TIPS (VTIP)
  • 54.00%  Total World Stock (VT)

Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Aggressive                 

  • 8.00%    REITs (Real Estate) (VNQ)
  • 10.00%  Corporate Bonds (LQD)
  • 10.00%  TIPS (VTIP)
  • 72.00%  Total World Stock (VT)

Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Low-Risk                        

  • 20.00%  US Preferred Stocks (PFF)
  • 6.00%  High Dividend Yield International
  • 60.00%  Corporate Bonds (LQD)
  • 14.00%  High Dividend Yield (VYM)

Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Conservative               

  • 15.00%    US Preferred Stocks (PFF)
  • 12.00%  High Dividend Yield International
  • 45.00%  Corporate Bonds (LQD)
  • 28.00%  High Dividend Yield (VYM)

Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Moderate                      

  • 10.00%  US Preferred Stocks (PFF)
  • 18.00%  High Dividend Yield International
  • 30.00%  Corporate Bonds (LQD)
  • 42.00%  High Dividend Yield (VYM)

Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Aggressive                    

  • 5.00%    US Preferred Stocks (PFF)
  • 24.00%  High Dividend Yield International
  • 15.00%  Corporate Bonds (LQD)
  • 56.00%  High Dividend Yield (VYM)

Rick Ferri Socially Conscious “ESG” Core-4 Portfolio Low-Risk                    

  • 14.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 6.00%    Int. Developed Blend (VEA)
  • 40.00%  Intermediate-Term Treasury (VGIT)
  • 40.00%  Corporate Bonds  (LQD)

Rick Ferri Socially Conscious “Socially Responsible ESG” Core-4 Portfolio Conservative                            

  • 28.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 12.00%  Int. Developed Blend (VEA)
  • 30.00%  Intermediate-Term Treasury (VGIT)
  • 30.00%  Corporate Bonds (LQD)

Rick Ferri Socially Conscious “Socially Responsible ESG” Core-4 Portfolio Moderate                  

  • 42.00%  US Total Stock Market (VTI)
  • 18.00%  Int. Developed Blend (VEA)
  • 20.00%  Intermediate-Term Treasury (VGIT)
  • 20.00%  Corporate Bonds (LQD)

Rick Ferri Socially Conscious “ESG” Core-4 Portfolio Aggressive                

  • 8.00%    REITs (Real Estate) (VNQ)
  • 10.00%  Intermediate-Term Treasury (VGIT)
  • 10.00%  Corporate Bonds (LQD)
  • 72.00%  Total World Stock (VT)

Variations on Rick Ferri Core Four Portfolio

Rick Ferri has launched the website Core-Four to draw attention to his approach and to educate and proliferate the use of his core four strategies.  Also, he has trademarked the name core-4.

In addition to this, he has expanded his core four portfolios to include portfolios that cover different investment objectives:

Classic Core-4Capital appreciation with income using stocks, bonds, and real estate

Total Economy Core-4Includes quasi-private equity exposure using small value stocks

Global Markets Core-4Provides exposure to all global stock and bond markets

Inflation Fighter Core-4Includes funds that provide a hedge against inflation

Income Seeker Core-4: Incorporates funds that have higher than average income

Socially Conscious Core-4Excludes individual companies and industries using ESG* standards

Ferri believes in simple, low-cost portfolios, which he says many people can manage on their own. “They don’t really need an advisor. You can design something very simple that investors can check up on when they want.”

Resources

Rick Ferri hosts the Bogleheads On Investing Podcast

Here is an excellent article on Rick Ferri’s new investment advisory.

Rick Ferri’s new website, Ferri Investment Solutions.

This is a fantastic book on all the moving parts of a portfolio.

Rick Ferri - All About Asset Allocation

Rick Ferri’s BEST book:

Richard Ferri - The Power of Passive Investing

This book is an excellent introduction and even advanced knowledge about what index funds are and how they are expressed through mutual funds and ETFs.

Richard Ferri - All About Index Funds: The Easy Way to Get Started
Richard Ferri – All About Index Funds: The Easy Way to Get Started

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

What is Rick Ferri’s asset allocation?
Rick Ferri believes in passive indexing and has built many portfolios with just 4 ETFs. He calls them Core-4 portfolios.

What is the Rick Ferri podcast?
Rick Ferri hosts the bogleheads.org podcast. He talks about investing and interviews interesting and relevant guests.

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