Coward’s Portfolio

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Coward’s Portfolio is no longer being updated on Portfolio Charts.

While it continues to be a fine option for any investor, it has less source material than many of the other portfolios. And after digging for more info, I found that most interpretations you see online actually vary quite a bit from Bernstein’s own words that I don’t have the proper data to model. I’ll keep the info here for posterity, but it will not receive data updates like the other active portfolios.

For more investing ideas by Bill Bernstein, check out the No-Brainer Portfolio. And to see the latest data for the Coward’s Portfolio described below, here’s a link to the proper bookmark in the My Portfolio tool.

The Coward’s Portfolio — also known as the Smart Money Portfolio — is recommended by William Bernstein for investors looking to expand on simpler alternatives like his No-Brainer Portfolio and compete with institutional strategies but with drastically lower fees.

Asset Allocation

  • 15% Large Cap Blend
  • 10% Large Cap Value
  • 5% Small Cap Blend
  • 10% Small Cap Value
  • 5% Europe¹
  • 5% Japan¹
  • 5% Emerging Markets
  • 40% Short Term Bonds
  • 5% REITs


  1. Bernstein specifically recommends 5% Europe and 5% Pacific. I used Japan as a substitute for Pacific, and following his diversification theme I included the United States in the 10% developed allocation for investors outside of the US. But be sure to read Bernstein’s explanation for why he invests the way he does.


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