Get to Know Our 3 Portfolio Themes

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What we’ll cover:

  • Every investor has a unique set of investment objectives and priorities
  • Our portfolio design starts with strategic asset allocation
  • Our customers are then able to customize their portfolio by selecting one of our 3 portfolio themes: Core, Impact, and Smart Beta

Every customer has their own unique set of financial goals and priorities. With that in mind, we at Marcus Invest strive to understand your needs and preferences. We’ll ask you about your goals and timeline, and recommend an approach that could help you reach them.

You can customize your approach by selecting one of our three portfolio themes that’ve been designed to meet the investment preferences of our customers (that’s you!). 

All three of the portfolio themes we offer are based on our strategic asset allocation framework. We believe that a well-designed portfolio should be:

  1.  Globally diversified
  2. Suited to your risk tolerance
  3. Built to navigate through market ups and downs

Let’s take a closer look into our three portfolio themes and see what sets them apart from each other. Understanding the investment style, design and risks behind these strategies can help you choose the right investment approach.


Our investment teams have designed our portfolio themes based on years of experience and proprietary research. 


Rest assured, all of our portfolio themes are designed by Goldman Sachs investment professionals. We’re here to help you navigate through market ups and downs.

First, some background

Creating and managing a diversified investment strategy on your own can feel like a full-time job. Luckily, we can help make your life a little easier.

First up: Selecting your portfolio allocation. To do this, we first ask some questions to determine your risk tolerance, and then we recommend an efficient mix of assets that are designed to provide long-term returns for the given level of investment risk. 

We know that might sound like a lot of fancy words. But essentially, once you tell us your risk tolerance and comfort level, we at Marcus Invest use that information to help recommend a portfolio suited for you.


Marcus Invest portfolios are built to include low-cost ETFs. 


Our investment teams have designed our portfolio themes based on years of experience and proprietary research. 

We continuously monitor your account(s) and keep an eye on developments in global economies and financial markets so we can refine our asset allocation when needed. We’re always working to help ensure your portfolios are prepared for evolving markets. 

Marcus Invest portfolios are built to include low-cost ETFs. You can think of ETFs (exchange-traded funds) like a basket of different investments such as stocks, bonds and other securities that get traded as one individual security. ETFs have grown in popularity for a number of reasons, such as their ease of trading and the fact that ETFs typically have lower total costs compared to most actively managed mutual funds. 

Now that you’ve got the basics down, let’s jump into the three portfolio themes: Core, Impact and Goldman Sachs Smart Beta!

Goldman Sachs Core

Who’s it for?

The Core is designed for investors who aren’t necessarily trying to beat the returns of market benchmarks. The Core portfolio theme could be a good fit for you if you believe markets offer efficient returns and prefer to track market benchmarks. In other words, you’re less concerned about outperforming the market and care more about having an efficient strategy with risk mitigation factors in place. 

Goldman Sachs Impact

Who’s it for?

The Impact portfolios are suited for people who aim to support sustainable business practices and avoid environmental and social harm while tracking market benchmarks.

This could be the right portfolio for you if you’re looking to support some companies that promote environmentally-and socially-responsible policies as well as good corporate governance. Like our Core portfolios, the Impact portfolios take a passive approach to investing, tracking market benchmarks while keeping costs low.

Goldman Sachs Smart Beta

Who’s it for?

Our Smart Beta portfolios are designed for investors who are looking to outperform market benchmarks and/or decreasing volatility and risk. 

These portfolios are suited for investors who believe there are inefficiencies in financial markets and that it’s possible to get better outcomes by carefully selecting companies using a disciplined, rules-based approach. 

Smart Beta investors are those who believe that more information is better. They are willing to deviate slightly from the Core portfolio in searching for potential outperformance over time and are comfortable investing in Goldman Sachs-affiliated products. 

This strategy is not available for Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).


A note about fees: All of our portfolio themes carry the same management fee of 0.25%. Our customers pay us the same fee for our advice and investment management, regardless of the portfolio theme they choose. (Our 0.25% annual management fee covers all trade commissions, plus monitoring, rebalancing and ongoing management.)

Additionally, all customers holding Affiliated ETFs, including Smart Beta Portfolio customers who hold Goldman Sachs Asset Management (“GSAM”, an affiliate of GS&Co.) ETFs, bear the ETFs’ applicable expense ratios. Please consult each ETF’s respective prospectus or collective investment trust document for information about the specific expense ratio. If you wish to change your portfolio theme or your ETF allocation, please log in to your dashboard.

You know you. We know investing.


This article is for informational purposes only and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell securities, or of an account type, securities transaction, or investment strategy. This article was prepared by and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, but does not reflect the institutional opinions of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions. Goldman Sachs Bank USA and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC are not providing any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other recommendation in this article and it is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Information and opinions expressed in this article are as of the date of this material only and subject to change without notice.  Information contained in this article does not constitute the provision of investment advice by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC or any of their affiliates, none of which are a fiduciary with respect to any person or plan by reason of providing the material or content herein. Neither Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC nor any of their affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in this document and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.

Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of money invested. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Neither asset diversification or investment in a continuous or periodic investment plan guarantees a profit or protects against a loss.