Permanent Portfolio

DEFINITION of 'Permanent Portfolio'

A portfolio construction theory devised by free-market investment analyst Harry Browne in the 1980s. Browne constructed what he called the permanent portfolio, which he believed would be a safe and profitable portfolio in any economic climate. Using a variation of efficient market indexing, Browne stated that a portfolio equally split between growth stocks, precious metals, government bonds and Treasury-bills would be an ideal investment mixture for investors seeking safety and growth.

BREAKING DOWN 'Permanent Portfolio'

Harry Browne argued that the portfolio mix would be profitable in all types of economic situations: growth stocks would prosper in expansionary markets, precious metals in inflationary markets, bonds in recessions and T-bills in depressions. Browne eventually created what was called the Permanent Portfolio Fund, with an asset mix similar to his theoretical portfolio in 1982. Over a 25-year period, the fund averaged an annual return of 6.38%, only losing money three times.

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