Bridge to a more bullish future?

In just 15 minutes, our strategists offer their insights on the markets at midyear and ways you can prepare for the potential opportunities and risks ahead.

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David McLaughlin is a Private Wealth Manager with Merrill Private Wealth Management in Palo Alto. Dave works closely with an accomplished clientele, helping them preserve, grow, and transfer their wealth more effectively. He has particular depth catering to the distinctive needs of law firm partners, as well as entrepreneurs and senior executives in technology and life sciences.

Dave works with a limited number of clients, allowing him to have a significant impact on the individuals and families he serves. His approach reflects his core beliefs: work hard, put clients’ interests first, and make clients’ lives easier. Clients look to him to create a valuable resource—more time in their lives to pursue their work or family commitments. Dave, in turn, directs a more purposeful approach to each client’s finances, uncovering possible efficiencies, anticipating key decision points, and unwinding the complexities that substantial wealth can entail.

Dave’s areas of focus include tailored portfolio design, cash-flow management, pre- and post-liquidity-event planning, trust and estate planning services, and charitable giving. Client referrals are his primary source of new relationships, an honor that spurs his continuing efforts to deliver a preeminent client experience.

Prior to joining Merrill Private Wealth Management, Dave served as a Senior Vice President and Private Banker with the Law Firm Group at Citi Private Bank in Palo Alto. In this capacity, he worked closely with senior partners to address multiple aspects of their personal wealth, including long-term strategy, retirement planning, investing, and generational wealth-transfer. He also facilitated commercial banking opportunities, broadening the scope of resources at a client’s disposal. Dave began his career in 2004 at a Boston law firm, where he served as a Trust Administrator. He earned his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He is a CFA charterholder.

Dave and his wife reside in Redwood City with their three young children. A big sports fan, Dave remains loyal to his Boston teams.




*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.

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.


    Georgetown University

    Wesleyan University

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

David McLaughlin

Time is a precious commodity. I work with high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families, helping them regain time in their lives for the people and passions they most value.

I am privileged to work hand-in-hand with an accomplished clientele. Many of them are experts in their fields. Several are partners at law firms. Others are senior executives in technology and life sciences. And still others have had their own unique path to wealth.

Whatever a client’s background or profession, I help them manage, grow, and transfer their wealth more effectively. Significant wealth is different—in its scale, opportunities, intricacies, and challenges. I understand those differences. I’ve spent my entire career advising people who have attained substantial wealth, so I understand the depth of strategy, analysis, and coordination their relationships require.

I partner with a team of Merrill and Bank of America specialists who have extensive experience addressing the distinctive needs of significant families. Together, we look to uncover possible efficiencies, remedy gaps, unify multiple aspects of their wealth, and support the arc of their long-term aspirations.


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.