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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Christopher Ishii is a Financial Advisor with Merrill in Beverly Hills, California. Chris offers detailed strategy and advice to individuals, families, and businesses, helping them do more with their wealth. He has particular depth catering to the needs of high-net-worth clients, mindful of their distinctive priorities and aspirations. To each relationship, Chris offers the knowledge he has gained from direct experience advising an accomplished clientele, grounding his approach in integrity and care.


Clients from varied paths seek Chris’s assistance. Many are business owners who look to Chris for in-depth wealth planning that addresses the unique aspects of their situations. Chris caters to that singularity, offering a rigorous, planning-based approach that strives to unify the many moving parts of their wealth. He also advises business owners about their corporate retirement strategies, such as 401(k), SEP, and SIMPLE plans. Other clients include professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, and CPAs, who look to Chris to help create time in their schedules by managing the day-to-day oversight of their finances. And still other clients include executives who have encountered significant complexity at the intersection of their personal and professional wealth. To each of these relationships, Chris brings a readiness to dive into the circumstances of each client’s situation, helping clients move “from point A to point B” in their wealth as efficiently and smoothly as possible.


Chris appreciates that finances can be a source of concern to individuals and families, particularly those who wonder if they are on the right path. Chris takes the time to develop deep relationships with the clients he serves, helping them weigh their options, make informed decisions, and regain financial poise and confidence. He relates well to people from varied life stages, from matriarchs and patriarchs through millennials, earning client trust through his diligent follow through and dedication to client well-being. An experienced Advisor, he is skilled in helping families transfer their wealth to the next generation in a strategic and tax-sensitive manner.


A member of Merrill since 2021, Chris is adept in multiple wealth disciplines: portfolio design, alternative investment analysis, business and succession planning, trust and estate planning services, charitable giving, long-term wealth strategy, family wealth dynamics, and access to lending through Bank of America. Earlier in his career, Chris served as a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley and has worked in wealth management since 2016. He earned his B.A. in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Miami in Florida.


Originally from Palos Verdes, Chris now lives in Los Angeles. Dedicated to his community, he is an active supporter of the Los Angeles Food Bank and Bright Prospect, an organization that sponsors and mentors first-generation college students. In his free time, Chris enjoys traveling to new places, meeting new people, going out with friends, trying new restaurants, camping, and cheering on the Lakers.


*Some or all alternative investment programs may not be in the best interest of certain investors. No assurance can be given that any alternative investment’s investment objectives will be achieved.

I follow the deep-seated Merrill tradition of participating in the communities we serve. This drives my interest in spending time volunteering with organizations in our community.


    University of Miami

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

Christopher Ishii



Finances can be time consuming. They are also a primary source of concern for many Americans.


I look to remove both of those barriers for the clients I serve, restoring free time to their schedules and helping them gain a more poised and confident outlook.


As a Financial Advisor with Merrill, I help people do more with their wealth. My process begins with active listening. I like to learn all I can about the clients I serve – their finances, but also their interests, passions, and aspirations. By appreciating the whole person, I am better able to pursue success as they define it.


I’ve worked in wealth management since 2016, providing me with first-hand knowledge of the needs of an affluent clientele. Business owners, professionals, executives, and multigenerational families look to me to help them integrate and unify multiple aspects of their wealth, forging a more cohesive whole.


How I Can Help:


  • I listen attentively, providing the focus and attention you deserve.


  • I ground my approach in clarity and honesty, helping you spot potential issues while accelerating your path to what matters.



I enjoy meeting new people and welcome the opportunity for a conversation. If you are encountering a significant decision point in your financial life—or you are simply wondering if you are on the right path—reach out to me by phone or email: 







I believe the best financial approach is the one that helps you pursue your goals. That's why, from the start, we talk about your aspirations and encourage you to ask questions about issues that matter most to you. Calculating how to manage future health care expenses? College on the horizon? Considering the sale of a business or purchase of a home? Preparing to pass your wealth to future generations? It all starts with a plan intended to help you manage, grow, and preserve your wealth today, while also considering the impact it can have for years to come. With access to the investment insights of Merrill and banking solutions from Bank of America, I will work with you to develop an approach designed to help address your financial needs.


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.

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.


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.

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.