A truly enduring financial home does not simply have strong backtested walls but also a solid intellectual foundation. These articles get into the detailed origins of the various portfolios, explore the ideas behind modern portfolio theory, and generally delve into the nuts and bolts of how and why intelligent asset allocation really works.
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The Intelligent Asset Allocator: How to Build Your Portfolio to Maximize Returns and Minimize Risk — Bill Bernstein’s thorough and insightful text on modern asset allocation concepts is both thoughtful and innovative and is guaranteed to change the way you think about investing. His work on Efficient Frontiers is the inspiration for my own efforts with the Portfolio Finder.
Triumph of the Optimists: 101 Years of Global Investment Returns — Elroy Dimson, Paul Marsh, and Mike Staunton present a terrific history of stock markets around the world. Complete with diligent attention to detail and helpful charts, this is perhaps the single best guide to the history of global markets and skillfully illustrates the importance of diversification.
Irrational Exuberance — Robert Shiller masterfully explains the many factors that influence market prices, while dismantling the common conception that markets are inherently rational. While not directly about portfolios, the idea that markets are irrational may alter your perceptions towards diversification.
The Misbehavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence — Beniot Mandelbrot does an amazing job of explaining the history of portfolio theory in terms both mathematicians and laymen can appreciate, debunks the mathematical underpinnings of many popular financial models, and in the process reshapes our modern understanding of investing risk.
7Twelve Portfolio — 7Twelve: A Diversified Investment Portfolio with a Plan by Craig Israelsen
All Seasons Portfolio — MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins
Coffeehouse Portfolio — The Coffeehouse Investor by Bill Schultheis
Golden Butterfly — The Theory Behind The Golden Butterfly
Ideal Index Portfolio — The Informed Investor: A Hype-Free Guide to Constructing a Sound Financial Portfolio by Frank Armstrong
Ivy Portfolio — The Ivy Portfolio by Mebane Faber
Larry Portfolio — Reducing The Risk of Black Swans by Larry Swedroe and Kevin Grogan
Merriman Ultimate — The Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy by Paul Merriman
No-Brainer Portfolio — The Intelligent Asset Allocator by William Bernstein
Permanent Portfolio – The Permanent Portfolio: Harry Browne’s Long-Term Investment Strategy by Craig Rowland and J. M. Lawson
Pinwheel Portfolio — Take A Spin With The Pinwheel Portfolio
Rick Ferri Core Four — All About Asset Allocation by Rick Ferri
Sandwich Portfolio — Work Less, Live More: The Way to Semi-Retirement by Bob Clyatt
Swensen Portfolio — Unconventional Success: A Fundamental Approach to Personal Investment by David Swensen
Total Stock Market — He’s not exactly the originator, but JL Collins offers a detailed argument for just putting your money in a TSM fund