Build Paul Merriman’s Ultimate Portfolio With ETFs

What is Paul Merriman’s Ultimate Portfolio?

Paul Merriman’s Ultimate Portfolio can be built with 10 ETFs. It is a high-risk 100% stock portfolio. It is exposed to 10 different asset classes, among are small-cap stocks and value stocks.

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What is the historical return for Paul Merriman’s Ultimate Portfolio?

Below you can see the historical returns of Paul Merriman’s Ultimate Portfolio.

Portfolio data was last updated on 11th of August 2023, 08:35 ET

NameYear to dateReturn in 202210 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Draw DownExpense ratioYield
Paul Merriman FundAdvice Ultimate Buy and Hold3.92-11.914.87.52-21.140.12%2.81
Paul Merriman Ultimate Buy & Hold Strategy 20103.43-
Performance for Paul Merriman’s Ultimate portfolio

Here is what the table is showing you

Year to date: This shows what the portfolio has returned this year starting from the first trading day of the year.

10 Year return: This shows the compounded annualized growth rate over a ten-year period. The current year is excluded from calculations.

CAGR since 1989: This shows the compounded annualized growth rate since 1989. The current year is excluded from calculations.

Expense ratio: This shows the cost of holding the portfolio if you were to construct the portfolio using the proposed ETFs.

Yield: This is the expected dividend yield of the portfolio.

Please note that past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.

How do Paul Merriman’s Ultimate Portfolio compare to the best portfolios?

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

NameSee PortfolioYear to dateReturn in 202210 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Draw Down
Ben Stein RetirementComing soon!4.05-18.039.4610.8-35.42
Paul Merriman 4-Fund-PortfolioComing soon!9.22-11.9811.2510.38-35.26
S&P 500Coming soon!17.09-18.1912.5210.28-37.63
Paul Merriman Target Date Portfolio (25 year old)Coming soon!6.63-13.088.2810.2-36.46
Scott Adams Dilbert PortfolioComing soon!10.87-18.757.010.19-44.88
JL Collins, Simple Path To Wealth, Wealth Building PortfolioComing soon!16.6-19.5112.0810.19-37.0
American Institute of Individual Investors (AAII) PortfolioComing soon!3.74-13.919.710.16-40.85
Paul Merriman Target Date Portfolio (35 year old)Coming soon!6.57-13.228.3110.08-36.35 Portfolio 14Coming soon!6.95-16.947.599.99-37.91
Balanced Portfolio 90/10Coming soon!14.83-18.8711.039.84-32.78
The 10 Best Performing Portfolios That We Have Benchmarked

How Do You Build Paul Merriman’s Ultimate Portfolio With ETFs?

Here is how you build Paul Merriman’s Ultimate Portfolio with ETFs:

  • 10.00% US Large Cap Value (VTV)
  • 10.00% US Large Cap (VV)
  • 10.00% US Small Cap Value (VIOV)
  • 10.00% US Small Cap (VIOO)
  • 10.00% REITs (VNQ)
  • 10.00% Emerging Markets (VWO)
  • 10.00% International All-World ex-US (VEU)
  • 10.00% International Large Cap Value (EFV)
  • 10.00% International Small Cap Blend (VSS)
  • 10.00% International Small Cap Value (DLS)

Who is Paul Merriman?

Paul Merriman is along-time established expert and educator on personal finance and investing. His Sound Investing podcast has been a massive inspiration to me and thousandsof others.

He is a contributor to Marketwatch. Paul Merriman has a very interesting and diverse investing philosophy. He favorsdiversification and a strong portion of stocks when you have plenty of time until retirement. He also favors going into the small-cap asset classes.

His Ultimate Portfolio has massive diversification and has a good amount invested in small caps. Small-cap stocks are stocks that have a small market capitalization. Small-cap stocks have historically outperformed larger-cap stocks.

What is the Paul Merriman Ultimate Portfolio?

The Ultimate Portfolios is also known as the Ultimate Buy and Hold portfolio.

The portfolio is made up of 10 asset classes, each contributing 10% to the portfolio. The portfolio has a tilt towards value and small-caps.

This means that the portfolio allocates a portion of its asset to small-cap and value stocks. These two asset classes have historically outperformed other asset classes.


Paul Merriman’s financial literacy videos

Advantages and disadvantages of The Ultimate portfolio

Here are the advantages of the Ultimate portfolio

  • The Ultimate portfolio is thoroughly tested by Paul Merriman. Paul Merriman updates the portfolio each year on Marketwatch.
  • The portfolio is easy to understand. You have 10 asset classes that are split 10 ways = 10 x 10.
  • The portfolio provide great diversification across many asset classes.
  • The Ultimate portfolio exposes you to 40% in small caps. Small-cap stocks has been one of the best historical performing asset classes.
  • You might outperform the market if you use the Ultimate portfolio.
  • Paul Merriman’s portfolio leaves you excellent opportunities for rebalancing. The act of rebalancing can reducerisk and may increase returns because you sell high and buy low.

Here are the disadvantages of the Ultimate portfolio

  • The portfolio has a higher risk than the S&P 500 as measured by standard deviation.
  • The Ultimate portfolio makes a large bet on small caps which may not be what you want.
  • Paul Merriman’s Ultimate portfolios may consist of too many asset classes for some people. This makes it more complicated with more moving parts.

Where can I learn more about Paul Merriman?

Go here for a rebalance excel worksheet.

Go here for the article on Paul Merriman’s website. Here is the condensed article on Marketwatch.

Here is his podcast for 2018 for the portfolio. He updates the portfolio every year.

Suggestions for your next steps

If you have already committed to a portfolio then maybe you need help maintaining the portfolio. In this case 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.

What is the best asset class?

Small-cap value is the best performing asset class for the past 60 years. In the past 15 years value has lagged the broader market.

What is the two-fund portfolio?

The two fund portfolio is a portfolio built with 2 ETFs. It uses a target-date fund and a small-cap value fund.