Blackrock iShares is the largest manager of exchange traded funds in both the United States and across the globe. Blackrock iShares are available in the United States and Canada; the United Kingdom; continental Europe; Mexico and Latin America; and in Asia and Australia. At year end 2016, Blackrock iShares was managing $983.453 billion in U.S. assets. 
In the United States, Blackrock iShares track indexes provided by Barclays Capital; Cohen & Steers; Dow Jones; FTSE; FTSE Xinhua; iBoxx; JP Morgan; Morningstar; MSCI; NASDAQ: the NYSE; Russell; and Standard & Poors.
A timeline of the history of what is now Blackrock iShares:
- 1996: Barclays Global Investors (BGI) created when Barclays bought Wells Fargo Nikko Advisors (a joint venture between San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. and Tokyo-based Nikko Cordial Securities Inc.) and merged it with its BZW Investment Management unit.  The year saw the introduction of World Equity Benchmark (WEBs) exchange traded funds. WEBs were single country stock funds based on MSCI single country indexes. 
- 2000: Launch of iShares ETFs in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. 
- 2001: Launch of iShares ETFs in Hong Kong and Japan. 
- 2002: iShares fixed income ETFs launched in the United States. 
- 2006: Barclays buys the German exchange-traded funds provider Indexchange from HypoVereinsbank for 240 million euros. The purchase enables iShares to expand its presence in the European markets. 
- 2007: Launch of iShares in Mexico; launch of high yield bond and municipal bond ETFs in the United States. 
- 2009: BGI sells iShares to Blackrock for $13.5 billion;  launched ETF (401k) for financial advisors. 
- 2013: Blackrock iShares purchases Credit Suisse's ETFs. 
The annual growth of iShares assets under management (AUM) is documented in the following table.
(View Google Spreadsheet in browser, then File --> Download as to download the file.)
The extensive line-up of iShares ETFs allows investors to implement a wide variety of low cost indexed portfolios. In October 2012, iShares introduced a package of ten low expense ETFs (six existing funds plus four new issues) designed and marketed for investors to implement strategic asset allocations 
The Core funds include the following ETFs:
Three fund portfolio
The three fund portfolio is an often recommended portfolio for investors seeking a simple, indexed portfolio employing total market funds covering the US stock market, the US investment grade bond market, and international stock markets. The following table provides a low cost implementation of the three fund portfolio, using iShare Core ETFs. The sample portfolio shows an equal division of assets among the three asset classes, which corresponds to a 67%/33% split between stocks and bonds. The three fund portfolio can be adjusted for any desired stock/bond split.
Core Four portfolio
As proposed by Rick Ferri on the Bogleheads® forum, the Core Four are four funds which form the "cornerstone" of a portfolio.
Rick stresses that the exact numbers aren't important. For the 60/40 portfolio listed below , you could increase iShares US Real Estate ETF to 10%, drop iShares Core S&P Total Market ETF to 35% and the iShares Core MSCI Total International ETF to 15% if you like round numbers.
The core-four is just a low cost foundation for your portfolio. You could add a slice of value stocks (US and/or International). You could split the bond portion between Treasury Inflation Protected Securities and nominal bonds, which would result in a slightly more conservative version of David Swensen's model portfolio (less international stock and less REIT, but otherwise the same four base funds plus TIPS.
This simple 7-fund portfolio was made popular by Bill Shultheis' book The Coffeehouse Investor. He advocates 40% in an intermediate term bond fund and 10% each in various stock funds, resulting in a 60%/40% equity/bond split. This allocation can be adjusted according to risk tolerance. The Coffeehouse Portfolio contains only 10% international stocks (17% of total equities). It slices up the domestic portion, but uses a total international fund. Further information can be found at The Coffeehouse Investor.
David Swenson's lazy portfolio
David Swensen is CIO of Yale University and author of Unconventional Success. His lazy portfolio uses low-cost, tax-efficient index funds, a healthy dose of real estate, and inflation-protected securities (TIPS). The overall equity/bond allocation can be adjusted (higher or lower) according to risk tolerance and investor needs.
The Permanent Portfolio is a buy-and-hold portfolio that contains a healthy allocation to gold. The portfolio is designed to hold an equal allocation of domestic stocks, gold, short-term treasury bonds, and long term treasury bonds. The portfolio can be implemented with the iShare ETFs listed in the following table.
- Some forum discussions centering on the sample portfolios denoted on this page are included below:
- ETF League Table, indexuniverse.com. December 30, 2016.
- Barclays to Acquire a Unit Of Wells Fargo and Nikko, New York Times news release, June 22, 2009.
- Barclays buys HVB's Indexchange unit for 240 million euros, news release, dans le monde, November 7, 2006
- BlackRock snares BGI in blockbuster $13.5 billion deal, June 12, 2009, Market Watch
- BlackRock's iShares to buy Credit Suisse's ETF unit, news release, January 10, 2013.
- Annual Reports & Proxy Statements | BlackRock, viewed November 23, 2017.
- iShares Cuts Fees On 6 Funds, Unveils 'Core', indexuniverse.com, news release, October 15, 2012.
- Kirk Report: Bill Schultheis' Coffeehouse Portfolios (2/13/2007), archived. Link now requires paid membership.
- Official US iShares ETF site
- Official UK iShares ETF site
- Official Canadian iShares ETF site
- Official French iShares ETF site
- Official German iShares ETF site
- Official Dutch iShares ETF site
- Official Italian iShares ETF site
- Official Spanish iShares ETF site
- Official Swiss iShares ETF site
- Official Austrian iShares ETF site
- Official Australian iShares ETF site
- Official Mexican iShares ETF site
- Official Chilean iShares ETF site
- Official Brazilian iShares ETF site
- Official Japanese iShares ETF site
- Official Hong Kong iShares ETF site