Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolios, Heavyweight Slice and Dice Portfolios

Merril Edge Select Portfolios
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolios can be built with 10-12 ETFs. They are exposed to between 40% and 100% equities. They have low-risk portfolios and high-risk portfolios. For the past 10 years, the Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Aggressive has returned 9.56% with a standard deviation of 15.28%. The dividend yield is 2.17. The 30-year return is 9.32%. Year to date the Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Aggressive Portfolio has returned 7.28%.

What is the return of Merrill Lynch Edge Select portfolios?

NameAsset class countYear to dateReturn in 201910 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Risk levelExpense ratio
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Conservative123.5411.064.83%6.4110.11%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately Conservative126.5316.276.81%7.910.10%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately126.9219.447.84%8.5220.09%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately Aggressive127.4122.488.79%8.9820.08%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Aggressive127.2825.059.56%9.3230.08%

Building the Merril Lynch Edge portfolios with ETFs

Below is an example of how to build the portfolio using ETFs.

Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Aggressive

  • 19.00%  US Large Cap Value         (VTV)
  • 29.00%  US Large Cap Growth     (VUG)
  • 3.00%    US Small Cap Value         (VIOV)
  • 3.00%    US Small Cap Growth     (IJT)
  • 9.00%    Emerging Markets           (VWO)
  • 21.00%  International All-World ex-US     (VEU)
  • 5.00%    Intermediate-Term Treasuries       (VGIT)
  • 2.00%    Cash (money market fund)          (BIL)
  • 4.00%    Corporate Bonds              (LQD)
  • 1.00%    High Yield Corporate Bonds         (HYG / JNK)
  • 1.00%    Non-US Bonds   (BNDX)
  • 3.00%    Mortgages (VMBS)
You can find the rest further below.

Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolios, Heavyweight Slice and Dice Portfolios

Formerly known as Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated until bought by Bank of American in 2008. Merrill Lynch suffered major losses due to investments in CDOs (collateralized debt obligations). Gregg Farrel has written a thorough account of the role Merrill Lynch in the 2008 financial crisis Crash of the Titans: Greed, Hubris, the Fall of Merrill Lynch, and the Near-Collapse of Bank of America.

crash-of-the-titans-merrill-lynch

Merrill (as it is now branded by Bank of America) is the investment division of BofA. You can access the portfolios through Merrill Guided Investing.

Description of Merrill Lynch Edge Select portfolios

Merrill Lynch offers these portfolios through their Select Edge Portfolios. Their portfolios are some of the more complex ones with many asset classes. They are also one of the few ones on portfolioeinstein.com that include mortgages in their portfolios as a distinct asset class. In addition, their most aggressive portfolio holds 16% in bonds/cash which is unusual for that level of risk. You would expect to see a higher allocation to stocks.

How do you build Merrill Lynch Edge Select portfolios with ETFs?

Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Conservative

  • 8.00%    US Large Cap Value         (VTV)
  • 5.00%    US Large Cap Growth     (VUG)
  • 1.00%    US Small Cap Value         (VIOV)
  • 1.00%    US Small Cap Growth     (IJT)
  • 1.00%    Emerging Markets           (VWO)
  • 5.00%    International All-World ex-US     (VEU)
  • 17.00%  Intermediate-Term Treasuries       (VGIT)
  • 24.00%  Cash (money market fund)          (BIL)
  • 10.00%  Corporate Bonds              (LQD)
  • 4.00%    High Yield Corporate Bonds         (HYG / JNK)
  • 12.00%  Non-US Bonds   (BNDX)
  • 12.00%  Mortgages (VMBS)

Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately Conservative

  • 9.00%    US Large Cap Value         (VTV)
  • 14.00%  US Large Cap Growth     (VUG)
  • 1.00%    US Small Cap Value         (VIOV)
  • 1.00%    US Small Cap Growth     (IJT)
  • 3.00%    Emerging Markets           (VWO)
  • 9.00%    International All-World ex-US     (VEU)
  • 17.00%  Intermediate-Term Treasuries       (VGIT)
  • 2.00%    Cash (money market fund)          (BIL)
  • 15.00%  Corporate Bonds              (LQD)
  • 5.00%    High Yield Corporate Bonds         (HYG / JNK)
  • 9.00%    Non-US Bonds   (BNDX)
  • 15.00%  Mortgages (VMBS)

Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderate

  • 12.00%  US Large Cap Value         (VTV)
  • 19.00%  US Large Cap Growth     (VUG)
  • 2.00%    US Small Cap Value         (VIOV)
  • 2.00%    US Small Cap Growth     (IJT)
  • 5.00%    Emerging Markets           (VWO)
  • 13.00%  International All-World ex-US     (VEU)
  • 14.00%  Intermediate-Term Treasuries       (VGIT)
  • 2.00%    Cash (money market fund)          (BIL)
  • 14.00%  Corporate Bonds              (LQD)
  • 4.00%    High Yield Corporate Bonds         (HYG / JNK)
  • 2.00%    Non-US Bonds   (BNDX)
  • 11.00%  Mortgages (VMBS)

Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately Aggressive

  • 16.00%  US Large Cap Value         (VTV)
  • 25.00%  US Large Cap Growth     (VUG)
  • 2.00%    US Small Cap Value         (VIOV)
  • 2.00%    US Small Cap Growth     (IJT)
  • 7.00%    Emerging Markets           (VWO)
  • 17.00%  International All-World ex-US     (VEU)
  • 9.00%    Intermediate-Term Treasuries       (VGIT)
  • 2.00%    Cash (money market fund)          (BIL)
  • 9.00%    Corporate Bonds              (LQD)
  • 3.00%    High Yield Corporate Bonds         (HYG / JNK)
  • 1.00%    Non-US Bonds   (BNDX)
  • 7.00%    Mortgages (VMBS)

Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Aggressive

  • 19.00%  US Large Cap Value         (VTV)
  • 29.00%  US Large Cap Growth     (VUG)
  • 3.00%    US Small Cap Value         (VIOV)
  • 3.00%    US Small Cap Growth     (IJT)
  • 9.00%    Emerging Markets           (VWO)
  • 21.00%  International All-World ex-US     (VEU)
  • 5.00%    Intermediate-Term Treasuries       (VGIT)
  • 2.00%    Cash (money market fund)          (BIL)
  • 4.00%    Corporate Bonds              (LQD)
  • 1.00%    High Yield Corporate Bonds         (HYG / JNK)
  • 1.00%    Non-US Bonds   (BNDX)
  • 3.00%    Mortgages (VMBS)
Check the best mutual funds and ETFs here.

Resources for Merrill Lynch Edge Select portfolios

Merril has a rather good podcast called the Merrill Lynch Perspectives It explores the “forces that are changing our world”. It is not an investing podcast per se but does leave you smarter. If you are interested in the financial crisis Gregg Farrel book Crash of the Titans: Greed, Hubris, the Fall of Merrill Lynch, and the Near-Collapse of Bank of America is a good account of what happened around Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. And of course, you do know the by-now-classic The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine.

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