Model Retirement/Investment Portfolios: A Comparison

In my rough guide to investing, I suggested some all-in-one mutual funds for beginners. But what if you want to go a step further and design your own portfolio? Or you have a 401k with only limited choices?

Of course, the best answer is always to read some good books. But another idea I’ve been meaning to do for a while is to collect the model portfolios from lots of different reputable books and sources and compare them to each other. You won’t see any individual stock picks here, all the sources will be based (at least loosely) upon modern portfolio theory and thus focus on optimizing the risk/reward ratio using proper asset allocation.

I think it should go without saying that since these are model portfolios, they are imperfect by design and at most should serve as rough guidelines for your own investing. Everyone has a different time horizons and situations. Use them as one part of your own research.

One way to tailor these portfolios to your own use is to adjust the stock/bond ratio according to how aggressive you wish to be. Accordingly, I have tried to separate the stock and bond components.

Completed Model Portfolios

  1. Couch Potato Portfolio
  2. Boglehead’s Guide To Investing
  3. All About Asset Allocation
  4. The Intelligent Asset Allocator
  5. A Random Walk Down Wall Street
  6. by Merriman
  7. Unconventional Success by Swensen
  8. Columnist Ben Stein

Future Model Portfolios (in progress)

Here are the remaining sources that I have in mind so far. Please feel free to suggest others.

  • The Four Pillars of Investing by Bernstein (Review)
  • Common Sense on Mutual Funds by Bogle (Review)
  • The Informed Investor by Armstrong (Review)
  • Index Funds: The 12-Step Program for Active Investors by Hebner (Review)
  • Coffeehouse Portfolio by Schultheis

This index of posts has been added to my Rough Guide To Investing.

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