Skip to Content

Tracking the Lazy Portfolios


Lazy portfolios are the dream of most investors.

You create an allocation and just stick to it. No switching out of one holding to another.  No stock or bond selection. Just rebalance if it gets out of the targeted allocation.

I talked about this in the past as the Permanent Portfolio (Read the holy grail of investing?) and their low volatility nature.

But what I think is the attractiveness of a lazy / couch / permanent portfolio is that it is simple to execute, which is ideal for average folks holding a day job or leading a busy life.

The more complex it gets the more likely people will not stay on it.

This is where this guy comes in.

I found this post off /r/personalfinance.

His guy tracks a few lazy portfolios, couch potato portfolio, permanent portfolio and whatever you want to call it.

He also list down the comparison versus the s&p 500 and also the annualized 5 and 10 year return.

You can take a look at it over here.

Tracking the lazy portfolio | spreadsheet here

The more I see this the more I think why we underperformed is because

  1. Active management when we are not good at it
  2. We get emotional about losses and gains
  3. We dwell on daily stock picking and buying stuff at the wrong time thinking we are great
  4. Following our advisors advice

Here you will see the portfolios doing very well in a decade that has 2 major bear markets</>

I wonder how a Singapore lazy portfolio will look like. It is likely one based on

  1. Sti etf
  2. A bond etf

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Friday 4th of July 2014

Thanks for sharing the link to the portfolio comparison spreadsheet. Out of the 23 portfolios, permanent portfolio fared the worst with a 5-year average return of 7% whereas almost all the others gave average returns of 10-13% pa. But all of them only gave 6-8% pa returns over a 10-year period. My takeaway is that if one can minimise exposure during giant bear markets, one would do very well in any of these portfolios .


Friday 4th of July 2014

the question is whether you can correctly anticipate one. my experiences tell me its hard to do that. we have 2 false ones that alot thought its gonna be down again. there is a psychological bias there.

the permanent portfolio will suffer in short in a bull because they are under invested versus the others. it is rather short sighted to use that as a judge of its weakness.

not many realize giant bear like these dont happen very often.


Friday 22nd of February 2013

Hi Drizzt, so you are saying Developed market such as VEA, EFA have better track record of positive bias?


Friday 22nd of February 2013

hi Ed, yes, or rather emerging markets have been erratic before 2000


Tuesday 19th of February 2013

Hi, What about Emerging Market ETF such as VWO and EEM? And the bonds of EM countries such as EMLC and LEMB? I am considering the fact that EM is where we live and work etc. Or the risky part is EM goes up high and drop pretty steep?

Share with me your opinions, much appreciated. Thanks!


Tuesday 19th of February 2013

hi Ed, interesting consideration. VWO and EEM are good considerations, but i am still debating bond etf listed in US with all the dividend withholding tax.

the volatility should not be that much of an issue. it is the long term direction of EM. developed markets have shown in the past to be positive bias!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.