Investing: Where do I even start?

In this #WomenInvested Meet Up, hear tips on how to begin your investing journey – or take it to the next level

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A “goals-based” advisor before it was a popular expression, Chad has always put his clients’ objectives and concerns at the center of his highly personalized approach. 

Having managed clients’ assets and emotions amid the volatility of 2001, 2008 and 2020 (with the scars to prove it), Chad is proud that virtually all of those clients remain with him today. He believes that’s due in large part to his enlightened perspective on mitigating investment risk. Often, he introduces clients to the benefits of owning alternative investments including private equity, real estate, hedge funds and private debt – assets not correlated to the volatility of major markets. 

Still, Chad’s focus remains on his clients’ lives, not just their bottom lines. He feels good that they’ve “done well” during the Bull Market – sending children to college, purchasing first and second homes, prospering in their careers, enjoying liquidity events and the lifestyles they’ve worked tirelessly to achieve.

A lifetime learner, Chad finds that his rigorous and ongoing industry training allows him to bring clients an extra measure of financial knowledge and work more strategically and analytically on their behalf. Specifically, he holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. and the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA) designation.

Chad entered the financial services in 2001 – first in banking. That background continues to inspire him today, as he recognizes the importance of enhancing both sides of clients’ balance sheets (assets and liabilities). When helpful, he provides ready access to specialists at Bank of America, N.A. for appropriate solutions including residential and securities-based lending, commercial lending including construction and equipment financing, as well as cash management.

Chad holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business with a concentration in Finance from Birmingham Southern College. He and his wife, Janet, have three children – Jack, Robert, and Guy.

*Some or all alternative investments may not be in the best interests for certain investors. Certain alternative investments carry significant risk and are not subject to the same regulatory oversight as mutual funds and other traditional investments. For these reasons, access to alternative investments may be limited to investors who are designated as sophisticated, high-net-worth investors.
*Chad Richey NMLS ID 780800




    Birmingham-Southern College

    Pell City High School

Professional Staff

Supported by the global resources of Merrill, my team is comprised of talented and experienced individuals committed to building strong client relationships based on trust and personalized service.

Where do we begin? It starts with you.

At Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, your financial advisor focuses on the things you care about most- family, goals and priorities - even as they change over the years.

Understanding Your Life


Every relationship begins with a conversation, helping you identify and prioritize which goals matter most to you. Whether it's transferring wealth to the next generation, customizing your financial approach to help you pursue your passions, or providing advice and guidance to help you stay informed, I start by listening to learn more about you and your family.


Merrill’s process is designed to help deliver a customized, comprehensive experience to assist you not only in wealth accumulation and preservation, but in areas that go beyond investments. Providing you with access to the investment insights of Merrill, trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America Private Bank, and the banking and lending solutions of Bank of America offers a way to help you manage all of the pieces of your financial life. Working one-on-one with a Merrill advisor means you have a single point of contact to help you with potential strategies for transferring wealth to the younger generation.

Focus On Individuals, Families and Small Businesses

I believe that financial success can be achieved when you’re able to make investment-related decisions and trade-offs that can help you reach personally meaningful goals. Whether you’re planning your retirement, saving to buy a home or funding a child’s education, the process begins by getting to know you and how you feel about the following:

  • Health: Managing healthcare expenses, now and in the future
  • Home: Upsizing, downsizing, remodeling or buying a vacation home
  • Family: Taking care of your family and other people in your life
  • Leisure: Spending your free time in meaningful ways
  • Giving: Volunteering, mentoring others and giving to charities
  • Work: Working in retirement, selling or starting a business
  • Finance: Bringing it all together and defining your financial goals

Success will be measured by the amount of progress you are making toward reaching your goals, making thoughtfully considered adjustments as events and conditions warrant.

This material should be regarded as general or educational information on healthcare or Social Security considerations and is not intended to provide specific healthcare or social security advice. If you have questions regarding your particular situation, please contact your legal or tax advisor.

Your approach to investing

Drawing upon research in the field of behavioral finance, Merrill developed the Investment Personality Assessment to help us get to know you better as an investor and potentially help you refine your own investing preferences. By gaining a deeper understanding of how you think and feel about investing through this assessment, we can customize the financial approach we develop together to help you pursue what matters most to you. Our Investment Personality Assessment is one of the ways to help us get to know you - to understand your goals and priorities. These questions will help us provide you with additional insights and resources.

Understanding your goals and priorities

Your life and goals change. We have tools to help you keep track of these changes so they can be reflected in your financial approach.

The RPM Value

My vision is for every family to have a wealth management strategy today that helps ensure a better future for their children tomorrow.

RPM Value

At The RPM Group, we have a proud tradition of bringing an uncommon measure of knowledge and experience to clients we admire for their achievements and values.

Now, in our 20th year, we continue to serve a growing circle of successful business owners and serial entrepreneurs in the health care, technology and manufacturing sectors, physicians and healthcare administrators, attorneys, retired military executives and couples, divorced and widowed women, and three and four generations of families in Alabama and ten other states.

What do we believe? That clients come to us – and stay with us – for our ability to craft risk-managed portfolio strategies on their behalf. With our disciplined, rules-based approach, we can help mitigate risk and minimize clients’ emotions by incorporating alternative investments in their portfolios – non-correlated assets such as hedge funds, private equity and real assets. Doing so may help provide downside protection from market volatility. 

We also believe that clients’ unique circumstances and objectives require wealth management strategies as different as they are. For this reason, we make it our business to appreciate clients’ family dynamics, situations and aspirations before we ever discuss their investments (or anything with a dollar sign in front of it). Speaking frequently with clients over the course of each relationship – not just at the outset – we encourage comfortable and casual conversations that keep us updated on clients’ situations and ambitions. 

One of our strengths is helping clients make informed and thoughtful financial decisions – the kind that often involve the lifecycles of their enterprises – from early stage and growth financing, through retirement and succession planning, to a rewarding liquidity event. To enhance our tax-minimization and estate planning strategies, we often collaborate with clients’ CPAs and attorneys. 

As a team, we are determined to provide clients with confidence, based on the transparency and education we offer. Clients’ needs dictate our focus. And while our strategies may be complex, our mission is to simplify their financial lives and prepare them for what’s ahead.

*Some or all alternative investments may not be in the best interests for certain investors. Certain alternative investments carry significant risk and are not subject to the same regulatory oversight as mutual funds and other traditional investments. For these reasons, access to alternative investments may be limited to investors who are designated as sophisticated, high-net-worth investors.
*Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

Staying on Track

We understand that both your life and the financial markets can change over time. By checking in to discuss changes in your life and revisiting your financial approach, our goal is to help you stay on track to achieve what's most important to you.

Reviews to help you
stay on track

We’ll meet with you to review your goals and the progress you’ve made toward reaching them. We’ll also discuss any adjustments needed to your financial approach to help you stay on course.

    Changes in your life
    and to your goals

    Your life and goals change. As these changes occur, we can update your approach to reflect them.


    MyMerrill is your online destination for access to your financial information, secure communications, and a robust offering of tools and capabilities.

    Your advisor is a click away within our site or mobile apps

    You can manage account security with our customizable security capabilities such as touch ID, one time passcode, and other security features

    Access to your complete financial life is available with My Financial Picture, Merrill’s asset aggregation tool

      Let’s Have a Conversation

      Helping you reach your goals starts with getting to know you personally. Through understanding what matters most to you, together I can help you create a financial approach that reflects your personality. Only then can I offer an approach that is built around your life priorities and the advice you need to help you address fluctuations in the market and changes in your life. Let’s work together to help you achieve your goals.

      Why Merrill?

      As Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors, we will sort through the financial complexities of your life, helping you build a customized investment approach to address your needs and pursue your goals.


      We put you first, every day.
      Learn more about the dedicated one-on-one relationship you can have with a Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisor.

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      Transcript of Video 

      No question too big or moment too small
      For every question you have, every decision you make and every answer you need, we are with you to listen and help guide you along the many paths your life can take. Watch this video to see some questions we can address together.

      The Power of the Right Advisor®
      Working with a dedicated Merrill advisor means you get personalized investment strategies from Merrill plus access to comprehensive financial solutions only Bank of America can deliver.

      Personalized advice from a dedicated financial advisor.

      We get to know you and your family, your financial situation and what matters most to you.

      A comprehensive approach, built around your life’s priorities.

      Drawing from our experience and the best thinking of Merrill, together we will design an approach that reflects your unique needs, priorities and financial situation.

      Adjusting your investment approach as your life and the markets change.

      We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.