Build Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolios With ETFs

Build Merrild Edge Portfolios portfolios with ETFs. How do they compare against other portfolios?
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What are the Merril Lynch 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 9.84 with a standard deviation of 14.85. The dividend yield is 2.08. The 30-year return is 9.57%. Year to date the Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Aggressive Portfolio has returned 9.74%%.

What is the historical return of Merrill Lynch Edge Select portfolios?

Below you can see the historical return of Merrill Lynch Edge Select portfolios

Data was last updated on October 1, 2021 at 04:21 a.m. ET

NameAsset class countYear to dateReturn in 202010 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Risk levelExpense ratio
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Conservative121.92%6.814.86.4210.10%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately Conservative123.68%11.686.958.0110.09%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately125.80%13.878.018.6820.09%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Moderately Aggressive127.84%15.949.049.220.08%
Merrill Lynch Edge Select Portfolio, Aggressive129.74%17.499.849.5730.07%

How does the Merrill Lynch Edge Select portfolios compare to the best portfolios?

Below you can see the returns of the best portfolios that we have benchmarked.

NameSee PortfolioYear to dateReturn in 202010 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Draw Down
Premium Portfolio15.92%18.2913.8410.77-37.63%
Premium Portfolio8.30%18.118.6311.14-44.87%
Premium Portfolio13.48%19.712.8410.49-32.77%
Premium Portfolio20.78%3.198.5210.59-36.46%
Premium Portfolio20.17%3.668.6210.48-36.35%
Premium Portfolio15.18%21.0313.7810.83-37.00%
Premium Portfolio19.24%8.711.5610.65-35.26%
Premium Portfolio15.41%7.488.3910.64-37.91%
Premium Portfolio16.16%5.3610.8811.23-35.43%
Premium Portfolio20.81%3.4210.2110.47-40.85%

How do you build the Merril Lynch Edge portfolios with ETFs?

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

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)

You can find many more portfolios further below.

The letters in brackets denote the stock symbol for the recommended ETF. You can look up the symbols at your stockbroker. You can see a listing of all the ETFs we recommend on this page.

What is Merrill Lynch?

Merril Lynch was formerly known as Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated until bought by Bank of American in 2008. Merrill Lynch suffered major losses in 2008 due to investments in CDOs (collateralized debt obligations).

Gregg Farrel has written a thorough account of the role of 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?

Below you can see how you build all of 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

Check the best mutual funds and ETFs here.

Here is how we select the right ETFs

There are a lot of ETFs! It is laborious work to sift through hundreds and hundreds of ETFs just to find the right one, but it is worth it!

Finding the right and BEST ETF could earn you a lot more money than number two.

We have carefully selected an ETF for each asset class that the portfolios on portfolioeinstein.com use. If you want to read more about our selection process and see what we consider the best ETFs please visit our article What Is The Best ETF?

If you are a European investor you need to buy European ETFs. We have listed 47 of the best ETFs in our article What Are The Best ETFs For European Investors? (Here Is 47).

As of 2021 we also track socially responsible investing ESG portfolios. Socially responsible investing (ESG) portfolios prioritize investing that puts an emphasis on environmental, social, and corporate governance issues.

You can find the socially responsible investing ESG ETFs in the same article.

Resources for Merrill Lynch Edge Select portfolios

Merril has a 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’s 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. This also has very good information on Merril.

Suggestions for your next steps

Finding the correct portfolio is hard. Maintaining your portfolio is also daunting. If you are still in doubt about which portfolio to choose, we suggest you read our article How To Invest Money: 5 Simple Steps That Work For Anyone

If you have already committed to a portfolio – good for you! If you need help maintaining the portfolio you will find our rebalance worksheet useful. Rebalancing your portfolio lowers your risk and may provide higher returns in the long run. It is completely FREE.

You can find the rebalance worksheet in our article Here Is The Most Easy To Use Portfolio Rebalance Tool.

Rebalancing lowers your portfolio risk and may increase your returns.


If you want access to our high-performing portfolios then you need to take a look at the premium portfolios. This is a paid product that gives you the 59 best-performing portfolios since 1989. The portfolios represent a great opportunity for you to have a shot at increasing the returns of your portfolio.

Portfolioeinstein Premium Portfolios
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