Build Warren Buffett Portfolio With ETFs

Learn how to build Warren Buffett's portfolio with ETFs. How does it compare against other portfolios?
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What is Warren Buffett’s portfolio?

Warren Buffet’s portfolio is exposed to 90% stocks 10% bonds. It can be built with 2 ETFs. The portfolio is a high-risk portfolio.

For the past 10 years, the Warren Buffet’s portfolio has returned 12.63 with a standard deviation of 15.32. The current dividend yield is 1.54%. The 30-year return is 10.27%. Year to date Warren Buffet’s portfolio has returned 14.32%%. Last year it returned 16.77%.

What is the historical return of Warren Buffett’s portfolio?

Here is the historical return of Warren Buffet’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
Warren Buffett Portfolio214.32%16.7712.6310.2730.03%

How does Warren Buffet’s 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 build the Warren Buffett portfolio with ETFs?

Here is how you build Warren Buffett’s portfolios with ETFs.

  • 90.00% Large-cap blend (S&P 500) (VOO)
  • 10.00% Short-Term Treasury ETF (VGSH)

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.

Here is how we select the right ETFs

There are a lot of ETFs! It is laborious work to sift through hundreds and hundreds of ETFs just to find the right one, but it is worth it!

Finding the right and BEST ETF could earn you a lot more money than number two.

We have carefully selected an ETF for each asset class that the portfolios on 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?

If you are a European investor you need to buy European ETFs. We have listed 47 of the best ETFs in our article What Are The Best ETFs For European Investors? (Here Is 47).

As of 2021 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.

Who is Warren Buffett?

One of the things that got me into investing many years ago was the origin story of Warren Buffett.

Warren Buffett is a self-made billionaire who invested in the right companies at the right time and it has made himself and his investors very rich. He is probably the greatest investor in human history.

He is known as the Oracle of Omaha

Warren Buffett used to make use of value investing. Value investing is the practice of investing in undervalued companies until their true value emerges.

Warren Buffett has to a large degree moved away from classical Benjamin Graham value investing. This is in large part due to his long time friend and investing partner, Charlie Munger.

Charlie Munger has influenced Warren Buffett in that Warren Buffett now invests in great companies at a fair priceThis is a big change from his previous investing practices where he invested in cigar bud companies. 

Here is a great interview where Warren Buffett gets time to dish out tons of investment wisdom. He is interviewed by the legendary Carol Loomis, who is a good friend of Warren Buffett.

What is the best book on Warren Buffett?

The best book on Warren Buffet that I have read is The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life. It is a detailed book and unfolds in-depth Warren Buffett’s entire life. It is well worth a read.

The Snowball Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

Who was Warren Buffett’s teacher?

Warren Buffett’s teacher was the late Benjamin Graham. Benjamin Graham was a dedicated value investor and he wrote the bible on value investing with his book The Intelligent Investor.

The Intelligent Investor is considered by many to be the best book on investing and the first book on investing you should read.

The older Benjamin Graham had shifted positions and was in many regards a fan of index funds. He made many of the same conclusions based on The Relentless Rules of Humble Arithmetic that Jack Bogle would arrive at years later.

Read Benjamin Graham’s lecture Securities in an Insecure World to learn more.

“The goal of the non-professional should not be to pick winners – neither he nor his “helpers” can do that – but should rather be to own a cross-section of businesses that in aggregate are bound to do well. A low-cost S&P 500 index fund will achieve this goal.”

– Warren Buffett

Charlie Munger is Warren Buffett’s long time friend. He is made famous by being a very astute investor and by always being referenced by Warren Buffett as “much smarter than me” and “Charlie always says…”

If you don’t think investing books are for you but smart thinking is you should pick up Poor Charlie’s Almanack, The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger. It is a fantastic book to have at your side. It is somewhat pricey but it is a beautiful hard-cover printed book with gorgeous illustrations and very good content. It has all 5-star reviews on Amazon.


Description of the Warren Buffett portfolio

In the 2013 letter to shareholders, Warren Buffett recommended that a trust is set up for his wife.

This trust would invest 90% in a large-cap low-cost index fund (he recommended Vanguard) and 10% in short-term government bonds.

He has since on several occasions reiterated this with the addition that average investors would be best served by low-cost index funds. You can read the entire letter here.

There is also a deluxe version available as Max Olsen has collected all the shareholder letters in paper format.

It should be noted that the Berkshire-Hathaway shareholder letters are not your typical vacuous pompous tours (and detours) of how great the leadership has done the previous year. On the contrary.

Warren Buffett is humble and throws off tons of investing and life wisdom in every one of the shareholder letters. I consider the shareholder letters Warren Buffett’s written legacy as he will probably never publish a book other than the shareholder letters.

Put 10% of the cash in short-term government bonds and 90% in a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund. (I suggest Vanguard’s.) I believe the trust’s long-term results from this policy will be superior to those attained by most investors – whether pension funds, institutions or individuals – who employ high-fee managers.

– Warren Buffett, 2013 letter to shareholders

Resources for the portfolio

There is a TON of great resources if you want to know more about Warren Buffett. I don’t believe that we can replicate Warren Buffett’s investing strategy. He is still very fascinating to read about though. My recommendation is to avoid the books telling you how to mirror his investing style and instead do what Warren Buffett recommends.

Here is the short list of very good books on Warren Buffett:

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
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