Kostas Grigorakis

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Profile

My team's hallmark is stewardship in wealth management. We make an unwavering commitment to serve clients with dedication, diligence, and genuine care. Technically, we focus on engineering portfolios with high sustainability regardless of market or economic conditions, aiming to capture and retain consistent stair-step economic benefits despite the market’s unpredictability. Our rules-based, market-adaptive, and risk-controlled strategies are tax-aware and designed to filter market noise and provide a capable navigation of market-regime shifts. In addition, we use advanced computer models in developing a full-range financial strategy that incorporates all elements of clients’ financial lives.

In our team we have a deeply-rooted tradition of participating in the communities we serve through both organizational volunteering as well as direct, personal involvement.

  • LANGUAGES

    English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish & Spanish

  • EDUCATION

    Jagiellonian University

    University of California, Berkeley

Professional Staff

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

Chad  Pate

Chad Pate

Registered Client Associate

415.289.8842

Additional Resources

The following specialists do not make securities recommendations. Please contact your Financial Advisor if you have questions about how a specialist might be able to assist you.

Brett K VanderGeest

Brett K VanderGeest

Senior Wealth Management Lending Officer NMLS # 851286

Where do we begin? It starts with you.

At Merrill Lynch, 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

Welcome

I believe that the creation and cultivation of wealth is a distinctly personal as well as a broader civilizational imperative. As such it needs to be pursued with the utmost seriousness, skill, and dedication. In my team we consider the clients’ wealth to be sacred, and we set as our mission not only to safeguard it watchfully but also to grow it – responsibly, sustainably, and even aspirationally. We approach this task with both reverence and diligence, bringing to it decades of vigorous schooling and training as well as many years of hands-on experience.

Our Philosophy

Guiding Principles

Today it has become commonplace to refer to a ‘goals-driven’ orientation in wealth management. While this reflects an important improvement across the industry, I believe that the focus on it is still misplaced. 
 
Of course wealth management must be at all times client-centric and goal-supportive, but I believe that it should first and foremost be market-aware. This is because the market can at times be unsupportive of your goals, and also because your goals are rarely static – they evolve organically and can be reshaped externally in ways that are tough to predict. Instead, I believe that wise wealth management ought to actively navigate the markets, seeking to capture and retain for you maximum stair-step benefits out of its gyrations through the use of market-adaptive, risk-controlled, and tax-aware strategies. This will allow your wealth to not only support your goals, but even inspire their evolution.

Our Approach

I believe that capital is the monetary manifestation of accumulated progress and the fuel of future aspirations, and therefore it requires vigilant preservation and tenacious cultivation.

Rooted in this philosophy, our approach to wealth management capitalizes heavily on the technical aspects of my quantitative education and training, and was further forged in the academic, corporate finance, and portfolio management roles of my career.

This pedigree has bestowed a distinctive character to the way we work with, advise, and invest for our clients, and sets us apart in both areas of our practice - wealth strategy and investment management, as outlined below: 
 
Our Wealth Strategy Discipline
 
In my team, we start the collaboration with our clients by engaging in a thorough exploration of their financial lives, including their status and objectives, preferences, passions, as well as their overall vision of the future. Many wealth managers readily derive from that exploration an investment plan, but we beg to differ in two important ways:

First, we believe this exploration is inactionable unless it is embedded in a realistic and creative view of the market dynamic. The market is not a blank canvass for investor aspirations, and so we find “goals-driven” financial strategies to be “voluntaristic” (part wishful, part willful). It is not only that some plans may not achievable but, far more importantly, many achievements that are possible will be left unattained without an insightful view as to what can be wrestled out of the market workings with good management.

Second, while many wealth managers rely on forecast-based simulation tools to build financial strategies that marry the client vision with the market dynamic, we are aware that such assumption-driven and normative tools have many limitations and we are skeptical of their realism and utility. In contrast, we prefer to use sophisticated “aft-cast” models that are free from economic, asset, and statistical assumptions, allowing us to stress-test with historical realism a great variety of contextually complex pathways of wealth formation. In this way we create actionable financial strategies that open up new horizons for our clients and remain resilient across market cycles.

Our Investment Management Methodology
 
I believe that while the capital markets are our civilization’s most powerful engine of wealth creation, they are not necessarily benign or benevolent at all times. Moreover, the markets can behave in ways that are atypical to their long-run historical averages during the investors’ particular tenure. Owning to that, we remain at all times unbiased and agnostic. We eschew the temptation to forecast the markets – an exercise that many studies show is rather futile – but instead practice watchful adaptation and vigilant risk management – two modalities that human intelligence excels in. Owning to that, our portfolios maintain an unconstrained orientation - in particular:

We do NOT practice “buy-and-hold,” since we find that markets are not constantly random, but exhibit tractable regime shifts.
We do NOT adhere to the ideas of “strategic asset allocation,” since we find that asset class payouts are not fixed, but vary by market regime, and one cannot practice true active management within the fixed targets of strategic asset allocation.
We are NOT “tactical asset allocators” since we find that markets are not continuously trending, and most shifts end up being transient and mean-reverting, reflecting pure market noise.
NEITHER do we espouse “matrix investing” since we find such portfolios architectures (like Size & Style or Sector Blends with Over-/Under-Weights) to be dilutive and blind to market-regime shifts. 
 
Instead, we build our strategies with the goal of harnessing multiple sources or ‘factors’ of returns - like Market Exposure, Momentum, Value, Quality, and Low Volatility - in an integrated way. In doing so we are guided by the overarching principle that market activity is dominated by noise which, when left unfiltered, masks the actionable signals of impactful regime shifts.  
 
Our strategies use proprietary rules-based tools to filter out the overwhelming noise that dominates the market activity and identify and capitalize on actionable signals of impactful market-regime shifts. Armed with those signals, our strategies are engineered to harness multiple return factors while minimizing the impact of the well-known instabilities that characterize the productivity and expression of those factors across the market cycle (e.g. Bear Markets, Value “traps”, Momentum “crashes,” etc.).

It’s our strategies' mission to wrestle out of the market gyrations consistent stair-step wealth benefits for investors, and we commit steadfast to pursuing it with diligence and excellence.




Capabilities

I can provide access to a Wealth Management Lending Officer from Bank of America, who can offer lending strategies, including home equity lines. I can also help address business owners’ short- and long-term needs with access to other areas of Bank of America, which offer strategies for companies and not-for-profit institutions with revenues ranging from $50 million to $2 billion. I would like to show you how our professionalism and dedicated client service can serve you, your family and your business.

Your Financial Strategy

We offer you access to the investing insights of Merrill Lynch, trust and fiduciary services from U.S. Trust, and the banking convenience of Bank of America to help you pursue your goals. We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.

FAMILY
FAMILY
Taking care of your family and other people in your life
  • Trust & Estate Services2
  • Education Funding Strategies1
  • Insurance3
HEALTH
HEALTH
Planning for healthcare expenses now and in the future
  • Long-term Care Insurance3
  • Health Savings Account2
  • Disability Insurance3
HOME
HOME
Upsizing, downsizing, remodeling or buying a vacation home
  • Home Loans2
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Credit Cards2
WORK
WORK
Working in retirement, selling or starting a business
  • Bank of America Business Banking2
  • Exchange Funds1
  • Concentrated Stock Management1
  • Succession Planning1
LEISURE
LEISURE
Spending your free time in meaningful ways
  • Credit Cards2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Structured Lending2
GIVING
GIVING
Volunteering, mentoring others and giving to charities
  • Donor-Advised Funds2
  • Private Foundations2
  • Charitable Trusts2
FINANCE
FINANCE
Using your finances to bring it all together
  • Merrill Lynch Investment Accounts1
  • Investment Advisory Accounts1
  • Alternative Investments1
  • Exchange-Traded Funds1
  • Mutual Funds1
  • Closed-end Funds1
  • Fixed Income Products1
  • Options1
  • Annuities3
  • Impact Portfolios1
  • Market-Linked Investments1
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Margin1
  • Home Loans2
  • Bank of America Checking and Savings Accounts2
  • Credit Cards2
  • Online Account Access1,2

1Investment products are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
2Banking products are offered by Bank of America, N.A.
3Insurance and annuity products offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.

Staying on Track

We understand that both your life and the financial markets can change over time. By periodically checking in to discuss changes in your life and revisiting your financial strategy, our goal is to help give you peace of mind* that you're on track to help achieve what's most important to you.

Regular reviews to help you stay on track
Regular reviews to help you stay on track

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

  • Sample client review agenda
  • Sample Wealth Outlook Report
Monitoring changes in your life and to your goals
Monitoring changes in your life and to your goals

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

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Access to what you need, when you need it

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

  • Your advisor is never more than a click away within our site or mobile apps
  • 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 Lynch’s asset aggregation tool

*Peace of mind is an aspirational state of mind that clients hope to achieve. There are no guaranteed results following completion of the Goals-Based Wealth Management process because markets can fluctuate and investments can lose value. Advisors work with clients to help them understand how the goals based wealth management process can help to address their concerns, financial situation and priorities.

Let’s Have a Conversation

I believe it’s important that you seek the advice and guidance of an experienced financial advisor who can thoughtfully analyze your situation, identify strategies that address your needs, and clearly communicate them to you. We want to work with you to develop your wealth management strategy for the future.

Why Merrill Lynch?

As Merrill Lynch financial advisors, we will sort through the financial complexities of your life, helping you build a customized investment strategy to pursue your goals.


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





Transcript of Video

Personalized advice from a dedicated financial advisor.

Getting to know you is our primary goal.

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

Drawing from our experience and the best thinking of Merrill Lynch, we will build a strategy that reflects your unique needs, priorities and financial situation.

Adjusting your plan as your life and the markets change.

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