How To Invest

The All Weather Portfolio: Ray Dalio’s investment blueprint

Ray Dalio, an iconic figure in the financial world, is widely acclaimed for his extraordinary success as an investor and for founding Bridgewater Associates, a globally renowned hedge fund. With a career spanning multiple decades, Dalio has accumulated substantial wealth and garnered profound insights, solidifying his stature as a leading figure in the international financial arena.

Dalio’s trajectory toward becoming an investment titan commenced with an early fascination for financial markets. Over the years, his acute insights, analytical acumen, and unwavering commitment to understanding economic principles propelled him to remarkable financial heights.

Recognising the need for adaptability in the ever-evolving financial landscape, Dalio placed a strategic emphasis on asset allocation within his fund. This foresight led to the development of the All Weather Portfolio, an asset allocation strategy designed to thrive in any economic environment. Its portfolio construction aims to provide investors with a diversified and resilient approach capable of delivering stable returns across diverse market conditions.

In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of the All Weather Portfolio by exploring its components, understanding the principles guiding its design, analysing its historical performance, and how to replicate this portfolio using ETFs.

What is the All Weather Portfolio?

The All Weather Portfolio’s effectiveness lies in a deliberate blend of key asset classes featuring five primary components:

  • Equities
  • Commodities
  • Short-term bonds
  • Long-term bonds
  • Gold

Each component plays a strategic role, contributing to the portfolio’s ability to navigate the complexities of varying market conditions. The All Weather Portfolio aims for consistent performance across economic cycles, including inflation, deflation, bull markets, and bear markets.

Components of the All Weather Portfolio

1. Equities (VTI – 30%)

Equities, or stocks, represent a crucial growth component in the portfolio. VTI (Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF) is a broad-based exchange-traded fund that provides exposure to the entire U.S. stock market. The allocation of 30% in equities aims to capture the potential for capital appreciation during economic expansions and bull markets. While equities come with higher volatility, this portion of the portfolio seeks to capitalise on the growth potential of the stock market.

2. Commodities (DBC – 7.5%)

DBC (Invesco DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund) represents commodities that play a crucial role in providing diversification and acting as a hedge against inflation. This allocation of 7.5% in commodities aims to capture the performance of a basket of diverse commodities, including energy, agriculture, and metals. Commodities tend to perform well during inflationary periods, counterbalancing other assets in the portfolio.

3. Short-Term Bonds (IEI – 15%)

Represented by IEI (iShares 3-7 Year Treasury Bond ETF), short-term bonds contribute to the stability and income-generating aspect of the portfolio. With a 15% allocation, short-term bonds are less sensitive to interest rate fluctuations than long-term bonds. This portfolio portion is designed to provide a buffer during market stress, offering capital preservation and a steady income stream.

4. Long-Term Bonds (TLT – 40%)

Long-term bonds, specifically represented by TLT (iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF), constitute the largest allocation in the portfolio at 40%. Long-term bonds are more sensitive to interest rate changes, and this allocation is designed to enhance the portfolio’s defensive characteristics further. During economic contractions or deflationary periods, long-term bonds tend to appreciate, acting as a reliable source of stability.

5. Gold (GLD – 7.5%)

GLD (SPDR Gold Trust) represents gold as a hedge against currency devaluation and a store of value. With a 7.5% allocation, gold provides an additional layer of diversification and acts as a haven during market uncertainty. Its inclusion aims to protect the portfolio against the erosion of purchasing power and serve as a reliable asset during both inflationary and deflationary environments.

By combining these asset classes with their allocated percentages, the All Weather Portfolio seeks to achieve a balance that can perform well across economic conditions, providing investors with a resilient and diversified investment strategy.

Backtesting and analysis

Backtesting the All-Weather Portfolio over an extensive period of 153 years reveals compelling performance metrics. The portfolio has demonstrated an impressive average annual return of 6.28%, showcasing its ability to generate consistent returns over the long term.

Moreover, during this period, the All Weather Portfolio experienced a maximum drawdown of 37.02%, underlining its resilience during challenging market conditions. The standard deviation, a measure of volatility, also stood at 6.55%, emphasising the stability achieved by the portfolio in delivering returns. These backtesting results underscore the robustness of the All Weather Portfolio, providing investors with valuable insights into its historical performance and risk management capabilities.

 Backtesting results. Source: lazyportfolioetf.com

Comparison with traditional portfolios

Interesting dynamics emerge when comparing the All Weather Portfolio with traditional benchmarks such as the standard 60/40 portfolio and the S&P 500. Over the long term, the All Weather Portfolio exhibits a slight underperformance. However, this is accompanied by the noteworthy observation that the All Weather Portfolio has consistently posted positive returns in the previous five decades.

All Weather Portfolio has posted positive returns in the previous five decades. Source: ofdollarsanddata.com.

It has achieved this while experiencing smaller drawdowns during significant financial crises. This resilience during turbulent market periods positions the All Weather Portfolio as a compelling alternative for investors seeking stable returns with reduced downside risk over extended timeframes.

During stressful periods, the All Weather Portfolio tends to have lower drawdowns. Source: ofdollarsanddata.com

Other considerations

Rebalancing strategies

The effectiveness of the All Weather Portfolio hinges on meticulous rebalancing. Regular adjustments are imperative to sustain the desired asset allocations, especially as market conditions unfold. In determining the frequency of rebalancing, investors should factor in transaction costs, tax implications, and the availability of specific funds, as these considerations impact the feasibility of replicating the portfolio. Striking a balance between cost-effectiveness and the need for rebalancing discipline is key. A semi-annual rebalancing approach, for instance, can help maintain an optimal equilibrium for the All Weather Portfolio strategy.

Potential drawbacks

While the All Weather Portfolio’s simplicity is a key virtue, it has potential drawbacks. Critics argue that its straightforward nature may oversimplify the intricate realities of financial markets. Furthermore, the fixed allocations prescribed by the portfolio may not fully accommodate investors seeking a more dynamic or actively managed approach. Some investors may find the lack of flexibility limiting, especially during rapid market changes where a more adaptive strategy might be preferred. It is essential for investors to carefully weigh these considerations and align the All Weather Portfolio’s simplicity with their investment preferences and goals.

The fifth perspective 

In essence, Ray Dalio’s All Weather Portfolio is designed for resilience in the face of diverse, and sometimes volatile, economic conditions. Through strategic asset allocation that incorporates key components in equities, commodities, bonds, and gold, the All Weather Portfolio is an option for those searching for a well-diversified and stable investment approach, particularly for those navigating the unpredictable nature of financial markets with a steadfast long-term perspective. Nevertheless, the All Weather Portfolio demands careful consideration like any investment strategy and whether its suits an individual’s financial goals.

Choon Leo Wang

Choon Leo is a growth-focused investor with an interest in innovative platform businesses that connect users and fix market inefficiencies. He believes that companies with the most competitive business models will compound in value over the long term. He currently holds CFA Level I qualifications.


  1. If we want a simple way to beat the S&P 500, I suggest considering the VanEck Morningstar Wide Moat ETF (ticker code MOAT). This is an ETF that tracks an index of stocks that have “natural advantages” over their competitors. You can find details here:


    Unfortunately, it’s not listed in Singapore but we can access it via London or US exchanges. It’s a favourite piece of my own US portfolio. The downside is that we get with a 30% withholding tax on distributions. If we compare its performance since inception it’s significantly outperformed the S&P 500. I’ve been approaching it via a dollar cost averaging strategy and I’m a happy investor. I discovered it in the Book 100 Best Stocks to Buy in 2019. When I compare it to Berkshire Hathaway it’s done about the same plus it has paid quarterly distributions and I don’t have to worry about BRK’s succession planning!


    If we want to buy T-bills then it’s better to buy Singapore T-bills as we don’t have to worry about possible FOREX risk or withholding tax on the interest.

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