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I am considering the idea of "Harry Browne's permanent portfolio". I seen a few versions of this strategy where the different parts consists of managned funds which in turn have some costs associated with them.

Then why not just buy ONE etf(which only contains the corresponing assets) for each part instead?

Imo the whole idea of Harry Browne portfolio is to keep things fixed, thus managed funds would not be in that spirit. And as far as I understand this is how etf's work, they have to track an index.

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Harry Browne Permanent Portfolio (HBPP) is indeed easily implemented using four index-tracking ETFs. Here's a bogleheads article which suggests (I assume you're in the USA):

25% iShares Core S&P Total Market ETF
25% iShares Gold Trust ETF
25% iShares 1-3 yr. Treasury Bond ETF
25% iShares 20+ yr.Treasury Bond ETF

and there's a seekingalpha article here with an alternative list. There might well be other ideas buried in this long bogleheads thread on the HBPP (I doubt the cost-averse bogleheads would have any time for a HBPP implemented using active funds).

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