My name is Rick Ferri. I’m a financial analyst, investment adviser, and the creator of this free website.

I began developing the Core-4® portfolio concept in 2007 when I had the epiphany that simple investing is better investing.  I’m convinced most investors will earn higher returns by using simple portfolios rather than complex strategies. Owning a few good funds for the long-term is easier to implement and maintain, has a lower cost and fewer taxes, and in my view leads to higher returns than complicated strategies that involve many securities, higher turnover, and greater cost.

But if that’s true, why do so many industry professionals favor complexity over simplicity?

Maybe I’ve become cynical in my 30+ years in the industry, to me complexity for favored to increase Wall Street profits and provide job security for advisers. Fund companies want you to invest in complex products that have higher expenses so they can earn more money, and advisers favor complex portfolios over simple ones because they don’t you to think you can do this on your own. Truth be told, there’s no academic evidence that favors complex products or strategies outperform simplicity. The only guarantee is higher costs.

Simple investing is a virtue – the ultimate in portfolio sophistication. A few low-cost, broadly diversified index funds or index-tracking exchange-traded funds (ETFs) held in a portfolio will beat complex strategies almost every time. Why waste your time and money on complexity? Be simple and be rewarded.

Unfortunately, simple is not easy. Building an elegant portfolio of a few good index funds among the bustle of Wall Street can be daunting. The media bombards us with marketing messages designed to push expensive products. Advisers tell us this time is different, and we need their expertise to tactfully maneuver. None of this is true. Simple works – you just need tools to get started.

This free Core-4® website provides the tools you need to hammer down costs and remove complexity. The index funds and ETFs suggested for Core-4 Portfolios™ are widely available through any US brokerage firm and many international firms. Invest in one or invest in more. Use them as-is or add a personal touch. Can’t find anything you like? I can personally help through my hourly fee service at

It’s time to get to the core of an investment strategy that works for you!


I have been helping investors for 30 years as an adviser, researcher, author, speaker, and mentor for advisers. My books include All About Index Funds, All About Asset Allocation, The ETF Book, The Power of Passive Investing, Serious Money, and a forthcoming book,  A Few Good Funds: The Genious of Simple Investing. I co-edited The Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning and am the host of the Bogleheads on Investing podcast featuring the top movers and shakers in the investment industry.

The first Core-4® portfolio was introduced on the forum in 2007 – the Classic Core-4 Portfolio. This strategy offered broad stock, bond, and real estate exposure utilizing only four index funds. The concept proved to be robust and found wide acceptance among investment bloggers and in the print media.  Public agencies also took notice. The Texas State Securities Board features the Classic Core-4 Portfolio in the Texas Investor Guide, Strategies for Investing Wisely and Avoiding Financial Fraud. I have since added several alternative Core-4 Portfolios to meet the growing needs of individual investors as they discover the benefits of Core-4® simplicity, transparency, affordability, and reliability.

Investing involves risk. Neither I nor Rick Ferri, LLC, guarantees the performance of any fund or portfolio mentioned. I may personally hold positions in the securities mentioned on this site.

Portfolio Visualizer is a free online software platform by Silicon Cloud Technologies, LLC, in Austin, TX.  The company specializes in software solutions for investment research and analysis, portfolio management, and financial planning to empower investors and investment managers with better quantitative investment analysis tools. Neither I nor Rick Ferri, LLC guarantees the accuracy of Portfolio Visualizer data.

Core-4® is a registered trademark of Rick Ferri, LLC. For-profit licensing of Core-4®  is available to fund companies and institutional investors who wish to developed products around this trademark.