Figures 1-17, 1-18, 5-1, 6-1, and 7-1

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The spreadsheet shown below contains the underlying data for the Papa Bear Portfolio, the Mama Bear Portfolio, and the Baby Bear Portfolio, and the S&P 500. This dataset is used in Figures 1-17, 1-18, 5-1, 6-1, and 7-1 of the book.

From Dec. 31, 1972, through Dec. 31, 2015, the numbers for the S&P 500 (including dividends), Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear are estimates from the Quant simulator, available from Mebane Faber by subscription to The Idea Farm Newsletter. The S&P 500 numbers include today’s 0.05% annual cost of holding an index fund, such as VOO. The other columns include today’s average annual cost of holding the ETFs required for each portfolio, plus 0.10% round-trip transaction costs per trade (such as bid-ask spreads). For more information, see the figures in the book.

Numbers after Dec. 31, 2015, are actual balances based on real-money accounts at, including actual fees and transaction costs.

Muscular Portfolios always hold three different asset classes, providing growth as well as protection from crashes. This diversification means that a Muscular Portfolio will almost always lag the S&P 500 during a bull market. Muscular Portfolios only beat the index during bear markets, which is enough to outperform the S&P 500 over complete bear-bull market cycles. Best of all, Muscular Portfolios are designed to never lose more than 20% to 25%, even when the S&P 500 crashes 50% or more. (The Baby Bear is not a Muscular Portfolio but a “starter portfolio.” It is recommended only for people with less than $10,000 to invest who wish to hold down transaction costs.)

For details on the portfolios, see our FAQ page.

The bear markets in the dataset below (based on month-end values) began on Dec. 31, 1972; Aug. 31, 1987; Aug. 31, 2000; Oct. 31, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2019.

We intend to add one year of new data to the numbers by the end of every January.

Please allow a few seconds for the spreadsheet below to render via Zoho Office. If the form never appears in your version of Microsoft Edge, download the spreadsheet file.


Figures 1-17, 1-18, 5-1, 6-1, and 7-1:


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