I suggest novice investors stick with Index funds. But if you are interested in a portfolio to try to beat the Total Market Index, here is one that consists of 6 funds. We will use the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSMX) as the benchmark because The Short Road Portfolio contains large and small cap funds.

I constructed the portfolio so the Weighted Standard Deviation of the portfolio matched that of the Total Stock Market Index.  It wouldnt be a fair comparison if the Standard Deviations didnt match, because a higher standard deviation indicates higher volatility, and with higher volatility, you would expect higher returns.

You will notice I included a high yield bond fund (SPHIX).  For information on this fund, please see this post.  The main purpose of including this fund was to bring down the standard deviation of the portfolio.  We will keep track of a $100,000 investment in the  Short Road Portfolio and $100,000 investment in The Vanguard Total Market Index (VTSMX) on a year to date and trailing 1 year basis.  I am confident the Short Road Portfolio will outperform the Total Stock Market index in both categories.

% of Portfolio Investment Standard Deviation Weighted Standard Deviation YTD Return 1 year Return
YAFFX 41% $41,000 19.2 7.872 5.89% 4.46%
PTSGX 26% $26,000 20.22 5.257 15.70% 5.93%
SPHIX 21% $21,000 10.22 2.146 7.71% 6.36%
NNLEX 4% $4,000 17.96 0.718 5.96% -4.11%
MFCFX 4% $4,000 17.68 0.707 11.57% 1.93%
JATTX 4% $4,000 19.66 0.786 8.74% -0.65%
Portfolio 100% $100,000 17.49 9.17% 4.59%
VTSMX 100% $100,000 17.49 17.49 9.04% 1.93%
as of 7/7 YTD 1 Year
VTSMX Return 9.04% 1.93%
Short Road Portfolio Return 9.17% 4.59%