The information on this website is provided free of charge. The portfolios were designed to provide you with ideas of what simple investment strategies look like. These are not recommended portfolios for everyone and should not be taken as such. Each person is different, with different goals and different financial opportunities, and your portfolio should reflect those unique circumstances.

My name is Rick Ferri. I’m a financial analyst, author, podcast host, advice-only investment adviser, and creator of free Core-4 Portfolios™.

Core-4 Portfolios™ portfolios began as one portfolio in 2007. The idea was to provide a simple, tax-efficient, broadly diversified portfolio of only four low-cost index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The index funds and ETFs suggested for all Core-4 Portfolios™ are widely available through any US brokerage firm and many international firms.

The first portfolio consisted of a total US stock market index fund, a total international stock index fund, a total US bond index fund, and a Treasury inflation-protected securities fund (TIPs). The number of Core-4® portfolios has expanded over the years due to the different needs of different investors.

Simple investing is a virtue – the ultimate in portfolio sophistication. Let’s get to the core of an investment strategy that works for you!


I have been helping investors for 35 years as an adviser, researcher, author, speaker, and mentor for other 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 Magesty 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. If you prefer the help of an adviser, I provide guidance through my hourly-fee service at

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.