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Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolios, Heavyweight Slice and Dice Portfolios

Merril Edge Select Portfolios

This is the article displaying the portfolios by the managed portfolio service of Merill. They are called Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolios. Here you will find a description, resources, and performance for the portfolios as well as detailed information on how to implement them yourself.

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.

Performance of Merrill Lynch Edge Select portfolios

Portfolio nameAsset class count1 year return (2019)Year to date10 year returnCAGR since 1989DrawdownRisk LevelExpense ratioYield
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Conservative1211.06%1.12%4.83%6.41%-5.24%1 - very low risk0.11%1.86%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately Conservative1216.27%1.73%6.81%7.90%-12.84%2 - low risk0.10%2.08%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately1219.44%1.83%7.84%8.52%-20.21%3 - medium risk0.10%2.17%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately Aggressive1222.48%1.99%8.79%8.98%-27.27%4 - high risk0.09%2.16%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Aggressive1225.05%2.03%9.56%9.32%-33.52%5 - very high risk0.08%2.11%

Asset Allocation of Merrill Lynch Edge Select portfolios

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.

Conclusion

The Merrill Lynch Edge Select are well-diversified portfolios with an allocation to mortgages.

How do you feel about mortgages as a separate asset class – would you consider it?

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