Starting an All Weather portfolio today seems hard since bonds are so low and stock multiples are very high.

Do you simply just start by buying the parts that are cheap currently, like emerging markets and commodities, and then develop the All Weather features over say a decade?

  • 3
    That would be putting all your eggs in two very volatile baskets.
    – RonJohn
    Sep 15, 2019 at 20:23

2 Answers 2


The whole point of the All Weather Portfolio (AWP) is that it provides both protection and growth opportunities in "all" (or at least many) economic conditions. I don't particularly think the mix in the original portfolio is the best, but it's an interesting starting point for a low-risk, long-term portfolio resistant to economic shocks.

If you are interested in this portfolio, you probably accept that economic conditions can't be reliably predicted, and want to sacrifice a little return for price stability and lower risk.

However, this only happens if you apply all parts of the portfolio. If you don't, then you essentially have the "Some Weather Portfolio", which will only give you protection and growth opportunities in some situations.

Stocks and bonds can continue to go up even after being called "expensive" by experts. The reverse can happen too. If you are able to reliably determine which asset classes are going to do better than others, then the AWP is not for you. Just go and buy the asset classes you determine to be cheap and sell the expensive ones. Rinse and repeat on each rebalance.

Of course, doing this is exactly what every active investor tries to do, and part of why doing this successfully is so hard. Most people, after all, fail at beating the market using this approach.

So if you accept the premises of the AWP, go all the way. If you want to try to time the market, do that instead (although I'd advise against it). Mixing the two might give you the impression that you are lowering your risk more than you really are, and hide the fact that you're taking on the role to forecast investment returns for each part of your target portfolio, even the parts you haven't invested in yet.


Interestingly the answer to this question is very similar to the answer of the other question you asked.

You should probably invest in the companies you were going to invest in right now, because chances are the market is going up from here. And also your question implies that your investment horizon is very far away so the day to day fluctuations of the stock market matter very little.

Also the multiples of all the stocks I've looked into so far this year (over 50) seem to be around the same number that Benjamin Graham wrote about 70 years ago. So I would argue that stocks aren't very expensive right now (I bought 3 different stocks with a P/E of under 10 last month, one with a P/E of under 5; Ford and GM are below 20).

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