Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some answers to questions about from VizMetrics. The Tactical Portfolio Descriptions page contains details about each of the dynamic Portfolio Recipes.
Have a question not answered below? Just let us know.
​​How it Works

​What is a Portfolio Recipe and how does it help me?

A Portfolio Recipe is a method you can use create an investment portfolio. We use the term "Portfolio Recipe" but others may call this a "model portfolio" or an "asset allocation model." A Portfolio Recipe is analogous to using a recipe for a cooking, but instead of creating a meal with various food ingredients, you are creating a portfolio with various investment ingredients. We call each different method of combining ingredients into a portfolio a "Portfolio Recipe."

The ingredients for each Portfolio Recipe are exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds. Each Portfolio specifies what ingredients to buy (for example, certain exchange-traded funds) and what percentage of each ingredient to include in your investment portfolio. Each Portfolio Recipe is different and may include various asset classes such as stocks, bonds, or real estate.

For example, here's a simple Portfolio Recipe for a Balanced Portfolio:

  • Invest 60% of your portfolio in VTI, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the U.S. stock market.
  • Invest 40% of your portfolio in BND, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the U.S. bond market.

Subscribers to the Investor Subscription would see a more compact version like this: VTI="60%," BND="40%

​​Is there a limit to the number of portfolios I can create using

No. Because you invest at your own broker using a Portfolio Recipe, there is no limit to the number of accounts or individual portfolios that you can create. Investors may wish to create multiple portfolios or sub-accounts, each using a different Portfolio Recipe.

​What is a robo-adviser?

A robo-adviser is an online investing service that charges a fee, usually based on a percentage of your assets. For this fee, the online service helps you 1) choose a static asset allocation, 2) purchase exchange-traded funds on your behalf to match that allocation, and then 3) periodically rebalance your portfolio to that static allocation by buying and selling the underlying ingredients. The robo-adviser uses automated software (hence the prefix "robo-" meaning "robotic") to provide this periodic rebalancing service.

​​How is different from a robo-adviser? is different from a robo-adviser in the following ways:
  • More recipe choices. Most robo-advisers have a dozen or so static portfolio allocations, and they recommend one based on your age and risk preferences. RecipeInvesting compares over 200 recipes in three main categories: tactical (dynamic), strategic (static), and managed (all-in-one mutual funds).
  • Tactical portfolio recipes. We publish both tactical (dynamic) algorithms and strategic (static) allocations. The portfolios offered by robo-advisers are static allocations that do not change month-to-month. offers 34 static (also called "strategic") portfolio recipes and 39 tactical Portfolio Recipes that can change their ingredients each month based on market conditions.
  • Low, flat fee. Unlike a robo-adviser, we do not charge a fee based on a percentage your assets. Instead our Investor Subscription costs $15 per month, with no annual contract.
  • More comparisons and benchmarks. We compare over 200 Portfolio Recipes to each other, providing a "portfolio performance showdown" so you can separate the winners from the losers. A robo-adviser will show you how their own products compare to each other or a generic benchmark, but we show how all the different Portfolio Recipe ideas compare in terms of risk and return. We also include dozens of "all-in-one" mutual funds that you can use for comparison. 
  • You're in control. We publish recipes for investing, but we do not take custody of your money. We are not a financial adviser. You make your own trades. If you are an individual investor, this can take a few minutes each month to rebalance your portfolio. If you are a financial adviser, your brokerage firm has an automated tool for rebalancing your client portfolios based on a Portfolio Recipe.
  • More broker choices. You choose your own broker to create a portfolio using a Portfolio Recipe. Use your existing broker, or if you are an individual investor we can recommend or These two brokerages have online tools that make it easier for investors to rebalance their portfolios.

​How do I compare the various Portfolio Recipes that you track?
  1. Log in at
  2. Under "Portfolio Recipes" click "View Content," then choose "Portfolio Recipes & Results" and then choose a link such as "All Portfolio Recipes."
  3. Find the scatterplots at the top of the page comparing the risk and return of all the Portfolio Recipes. Each dot represents one Portfolio Recipe.
  4. Hover over any dot on the graph to see its ID. Click on the column headings to sort the recipes, or click on Recipe Name to see the details for that recipe.

​How do I purchase the ingredients (i.e., ETFs or funds) for a particular Portfolio Recipe?
  1. Find the ingredients for the Portfolio Recipe that you would like to invest in.
    • The ingredients are listed on each Portfolio Recipe's detail page under "How to Invest."
    • The list of ingredients and percentage allocations to each ingredient are only available if you have signed up for the Investor Subscription.
  2. Place corresponding buy orders at your brokerage.
    • Read the Brokerage Comparison for more details.
    • Ask your broker if you are able to buy ETFs for your portfolio using percentage allocations or fractional shares.
    • If not, you may wish to open an account at or Both of these online brokerages permit fractional share purchases and rebalancing using percentages (instead of share quantities).
​Portfolio Recipe Concepts and Ideas

​Where do you find the Portfolio Recipes that you track?
We have created Portfolio Recipes based on a wide range of investing methods used by well-known investors, researchers, investment professionals, and academics. We publish a detailed description page for each Portfolio Recipe that contains a description and performance metrics. If you know of a Portfolio Recipe that we should consider tracking at, please let us know.

​​How often do you update the Portfolio Recipes?
Monthly. The ingredients for a tactical Portfolio recipe (indicated by an id beginning with "t.") can change monthly. Updates are published at at the beginning of each month. The ingredient for the strategic (static) portfolio recipes do not change monthly, but the performance statistics and graphs for every portfolio, both tactical and strategic is updated monthly.

​What performance metrics do you include for each portfolio recipe?
We calculate a full range of metrics to help you assess and compare the Portfolio Recipes. Portfolio return metrics: Annual historical return for the past 5 calendar years; Annualized return for the past 1-, 3-, 5-, 7-, 10- and 15 years. Risk metrics: Maximum drawdown, Standard deviation, Downside deviation, Beta Risk vs. Return metrics: Sharpe ratio, Sortino ratio, Alpha, M-Squared, VizMetrics Score (a zero to 100 measure of risk-adjusted return)

​How do I choose a Portfolio Recipe?
Similar to a cooking recipe, your choice of a Portfolio Recipe depends on several factors and your personal preferences. When considering a recipe for a meal, you might consider flavor, ease of preparation, spiciness, and the ingredients used. When considering a Portfolio Recipe you may wish to consider some of the questions below. This is just a partial list that does not cover all of the metrics that we provide for each Portfolio Recipe.
  • What is the Maximum Drawdown for a Portfolio Recipe over the past 15 years?
  • Am I comfortable with the possibility that the portfolio could drop in value by that amount (or more) in the future?
  • On the risk vs. return scatter plots, are there Portfolio Recipes that are consistently in the top left?
  • When considering a particular portfolio, are there other Portfolio Recipes that consistently outperform the portfolio in question?
  • When considering a particular portfolio Recipe, does it offer better return or lower risk than the benchmarks?

Since we are a publisher (and not a financial advisory firm) we cannot make recommendations about which Portfolio Recipes are most suitable for your particular situation. We can provide a range of options and comparison tools that allows to you choose Portfolio Recipe that best meets your needs for return and risk.

​Can you implement and track my idea for a Portfolio Recipe?
We love to hear about new Portfolio Recipe ideas from our subscribers. We do add new Portfolio Recipes occasionally, so we would be glad to consider any that you think are interesting. Please contact us. Note that the portfolio recipes we track are updated monthly, at the beginning of each month.

​Can you describe a particular Portfolio Recipe in more detail?
First check the recipe's detail page to see if that answers your question. See "How do I log-in to access the Portfolio Recipes?" (below) for how to access a recipe's detail page. You may also wish to read the Tactical Portfolio Descriptions, which has more detail on the dynamic portfolios that are updated each month and published at

If the recipe's detail page doesn't answer your questions about a particular Portfolio Recipe, please contact us with you question.

​Subscribing and Logging in

​What subscriptions do you offer and what does it cost?

We offer two subscriptions: one free and one paid. The Free Subscription include all of the performance data for each Portfolio Recipe, but your ability to compare recipes and see the ingredients of the recipe is limited. The paid Investor Subscription includes all features, including comparisons going back 15 years. The cost of the Investor Subscription is $15 per month.

​Do you offer a free trial?
We offer a Free Subscription that does not expire. This allows you to view descriptions and performance data for every Portfolio Recipe. The Investor Subscription offers more data, more comparisons, and more details about the ingredients of each Portfolio Recipe.

​How do I log-in to access the Portfolio Recipes?
The following instructions assume that you have signed up for a subscription. If you have not subscribed, you can sign up for the Free or Investor subscription and then follow the instructions below.
  1. Go to
  2. Enter your email address that you used to sign up, enter your password, and click "Sign In"
  3. Under "Portfolio Recipes" click "View Content," then choose "Portfolio Recipes & Results" and then choose a link such as "All Portfolio Recipes"
  4. Once you see the list of all the Portfolio Recipes, you can click on the column headings to sort, or click on a recipe's name to see the details for that recipe.

​How do I change my password?
Visit the password reset page at, enter your email address, click "Send Me Instructions." Then check your email and follow the instructions.

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