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Rick Ferri Portfolio, Can It Bring You Enough Returns?

The Rick Ferri portfolio is made by a former Navy pilot, Rick Ferri, who is the author of six books (all exceptionally well written and very educational). He is the founder of Portfolio Solutions.  He is no longer a partner, however, as he sold his share in it. He has also often 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.

Article Contents

Rick Ferri Portfolio, Can It Bring You Enough Returns?

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.

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

Asset allocation piechart 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

Returns and risk for Rick Ferri’s portfolios

Portfolio nameAsset class count1 year return (2019)Year to date10 year returnCAGR since 1989DrawdownRisk LevelExpense ratioYield
Rick Ferri's Core 4 fund Portfolio (60/40)420.18%1.89%8.16%8.22%-21.41%3 - medium risk0.05%2.24%
Rick Ferri Early Saver Moderate Basic Portfolio422.13%1.99%8.91%8.56%-25.77%3 - medium risk0.05%2.29%
Rick Ferri Early Saver Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio1121.16%0.86%9.04%9.16%-26.97%4 - high risk0.14%2.27%
Rick Ferri Midlife Moderate Basic Portfolio420.24%1.92%8.21%8.28%-21.34%3 - medium risk0.05%2.25%
Rick Ferri Midlifer Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio1119.62%0.69%8.50%8.86%-24.26%3 - medium risk0.16%2.24%
Rick Ferri Transitional Moderate Basic Portfolio518.14%1.79%7.38%7.86%-17.05%2 - low risk0.05%2.20%
Rick Ferri Transitional Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio1218.07%0.79%7.87%8.48%-20.61%3 - medium risk0.16%2.21%
Rick Ferri Mature Retired Saver Moderate Basic Portfolio615.46%1.58%6.34%7.33%-12.22%1 - very low risk0.05%2.06%
Rick Ferri Mature Retired Saver Moderate Multi Asset Portfolio1014.93%1.12%6.29%7.54%-12.57%2 - low risk0.06%1.84%
Rick Ferri's Core 4 fund Portfolio (80/20)424.01%2.06%9.55%8.72%-30.27%4 - high risk0.05%2.27%
Rick Ferri's Core 4 fund Portfolio (40/60)416.36%1.73%6.71%7.60%-12.56%2 - low risk0.05%2.20%
Rick Ferri's Core 4 fund Portfolio (20/80)412.54%1.57%5.22%6.86%-3.71%1 - very low risk0.04%2.17%
Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Low-Risk412.21%1.30%5.05%6.80%-3.83%1 - very low risk0.05%2.15%
Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Conservative415.71%1.19%6.37%7.47%-12.81%2 - low risk0.07%2.17%
Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Moderate419.21%1.08%7.64%8.03%-21.79%3 - medium risk0.08%2.19%
Rick Ferri Total Economy Core-4 Portfolio Agressive422.70%0.97%8.86%8.47%-30.77%4 - high risk0.09%2.22%
Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Low-Risk412.44%1.61%5.40%6.80%-3.44%1 - very low risk0.05%1.81%
Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Conservative416.37%1.80%6.92%7.52%-12.15%1 - very low risk0.05%1.89%
Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Moderate420.31%1.98%8.39%8.12%-20.86%3 - medium risk0.04%1.97%
Rick Ferri Global Markets Core-4 Aggressive424.24%2.17%9.80%8.60%-29.56%4 - high risk0.04%2.05%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Low-Risk414.26%1.18%5.64%7.12%-12.27%1 - very low risk0.10%1.58%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Conservative417.45%1.30%6.66%7.51%-19.65%2 - low risk0.10%1.78%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Moderate420.63%1.41%7.63%7.78%-27.04%4 - high risk0.10%1.98%
Rick Ferri Inflation Fighter Core-4 Portfolio Aggressive423.82%1.53%8.55%7.93%-34.42%5 - very high risk0.10%2.18%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Low-Risk415.92%1.62%6.94%7.58%-16.15%2 - low risk0.15%2.88%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Conservative417.37%1.16%7.81%7.99%-21.07%2 - low risk0.15%3.08%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Moderate418.81%0.69%8.64%8.34%-26.00%3 - medium risk0.15%3.27%
Rick Ferri Income Seeker Core-4 Portfolio Aggressive420.26%0.23%9.44%8.61%-30.92%4 - high risk0.16%3.47%
Rick Ferri Socially Conscious ESG Core-4 Portfolio Low-Risk413.73%1.87%5.98%7.28%-4.58%1 - very low risk0.09%2.12%
Rick Ferri Socially Conscious ESG Core-4 Portfolio Conservative417.35%1.99%7.36%7.89%-13.01%2 - low risk0.07%2.13%
Rick Ferri Socially Conscious ESG Core-4 Portfolio Moderate420.96%2.11%8.68%8.37%-21.43%3 - medium risk0.06%2.13%
Rick Ferri Socially Conscious ESG Core-4 Portfolio Aggressive423.63%1.67%8.54%7.95%-32.68%4 - high risk0.09%2.33%

Building the portfolio

Below you can see the asset allocations for the portfolio. You can also see if the portfolio has a socially responsible investing (ESG) variant portfolio. You can read more about socially responsible investing (ESG) investment portfolios in this post.
To build the portfolio yourself, go to our best in class ETF page to see which ETF you should choose for a particular asset class. There you can also see which socially responsible investing ESG ETFs you should select.

Asset allocation for Rick Ferri’s 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 “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 “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)

How we select the right ETFs

There are a lot of ETFs out there. Most of them can be discarded because:

  • They are too expensive
  • They hold too few assets and are therefore too illiquid
  • They do not meet the criteria for representing the asset class they are supposed to mirror.

We have carefully selected an ETF for each asset class that the portfolios on portfolioeinstein.com use. If you want to read more about our selection process and see what we consider the best ETFs please visit our article What Is The Best ETF?

As of 2020 we also track socially responsible investing ESG portfolios. Socially responsible investing (ESG) portfolios prioritize investing that puts an emphasis on environmental, social and corporate governance issues.

You can find the socially responsible investing ESG ETFs in the same article.

Variations on Rick Ferri Core Four Portfolio

Rick Ferri has launched the website https://core-4.com/ 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

In the coming weeks (they are now live on the portfolio page), we will benchmark these portfolios here on portfolioeinstein.com. They look exciting and easy to implement and maintain.

Resources

Go here for a rebalance excel worksheet.

Rick Ferri hosts the Bogleheads On Investing Podcast

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 mutuals 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 even provide higher returns in the long run.

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

Summary

Rick Ferri’s Core Four portfolio is another variant on the 60/40 portfolio. It adds more international and a slice of real estate. The portfolio is backed by one of the guys in investing, and offers respectable returns with fantastic diversification.

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