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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Growing up in Chinatown Los Angeles, Alvin remembers the long lines that wrapped around the block at the local Bank of America office. Each month he would stand and wait with his grandparents who cashed their checks, to put food on their table. This experience shaped Alvin’s perspective on the value of money and the fundamental role it plays in people’s lives.

Today, Alvin works closely with business owners, physicians and couples accumulating wealth including members of the LGBTQ community, and generations of families. Given that his brother has special needs, Alvin also knows first-hand the specific challenges facing special needs families. While clients are diverse in their backgrounds and experience, Alvin finds that their care and consideration for others is a common characteristic.

“I enjoy assisting clients with a blue-collar work ethic who’ve sacrificed and saved,” Alvin says. “From personal experience, I know where they’re coming from. And by listening carefully, I can appreciate where they want to go. Most want a comfortable retirement with key milestones achieved along the way. My role is to formulate a real-world, tax-efficient strategies they can understand and follow.”

Speaking Mandarin, Cantonese and English, Alvin also has a deep appreciation for the cultures of clients and encourages meetings with both spouses or partners, whenever possible. In addition to asking about their “realistic and aspirational” goals, he reminds clients that wealth creation demands more than solid portfolio performance. It requires ongoing dialog between client and advisor, so that new challenges can be met with thoughtful consideration, before decisions need to be made.

When it comes to investments, Alvin uses the firm’s Chief Investment Office portfolio models for overall strategic guidance and typically crafts customized portfolios for clients that may include alternative investments*, equities and bonds. He is a Senior Portfolio Advisor who can help clients pursue their objectives by managing on a discretionary basis custom investment strategies, selecting from a wide range of Merrill model portfolios and third-party investment strategies.

Alvin also helps business owners with their 401(k) and other defined benefit plans. Through in-depth discussions and multiple meetings, he introduces investment choices to plan participants while taking into account their overall financial picture. In addition, his team can provide access to fiduciary services through Merrill’s Investment Advisory Program.

Alvin believes that being a trusted steward of clients’ wealth and wishes demands that he focus on both sides of clients’ balance sheets – assets and liabilities. He offers access to Bank of America, N.A. for residential and securities-based lending, custom lending solutions for commercial properties, and practice solutions for physicians. In addition, he helps align tax-minimization and estate planning strategies in coordination with third-party administrators and clients’ CPAs and attorneys.

Alvin joined Merrill in 2016 after spending more than four years at JPMorgan Securities as a private client banker and attending California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. True to his personal mission, Alvin uses his energy and experience in support of underserved communities – recently serving as the external vice president of a local Asian-American organization and as a member of the South Pasadena Royal Lions Club. Alvin resides in Monrovia where his interests include golf, gaming, and Formula One racing.

*NMLS#845941

*The Chief Investment Office (CIO) provides thought leadership on wealth management, investment strategy and global markets; portfolio management solutions; due diligence; and solutions oversight and data analytics. CIO viewpoints are developed for Bank of America Private Bank, a division of Bank of America, N.A., (“Bank of America”) and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“MLPF&S” or “Merrill”), a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice and is subject to change. It is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be either a specific offer by Bank of America, Merrill or any affiliate to sell or provide, or a specific invitation for a consumer to apply for, any particular retail financial product or service that may be available.

*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.

  • LANGUAGES

    Chinese & Yue(Cantonese)

  • EDUCATION

    California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

    Arcadia High School

Additional Resources

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

Lourdes A Trillo

Senior Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #637482

Ally Bowdoin

Wealth Strategies Advisor

Bank of America, N.A.

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

Approach

My approach to investing is grounded in an understanding of you. It all begins with a conversation. I take the time to get to know you — your children's names, how hard you worked to get where you are and how you define success. I'll work together with you to help understand your personal investment style, prioritize your goals and build an individualized plan that reflects your needs. As an investor you can benefit from the investment insights of Merrill, along with access to trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America Private Bank and credit and lending solutions from Bank of America. There’s only one financial approach that really matters — yours.

Capabilities

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.

Philosophy

Communication is instrumental to managing life’s challenges. That’s why I work to engage you and your family in the financial decision-making process. Communicating openly with family members on the sometimes-difficult subject of wealth can be a challenge. I can help facilitate these discussions and offer personalized financial strategies designed to educate the younger generation about how assets may be invested.

Welcome

My mission, first and foremost, is to understand you and what matters most to you. Armed with that information I can ask thoughtful questions -- listening carefully, then understanding in detail where your wealth stands today and where you’d like it to be tomorrow. I help you design and implement a personalized plan intended to help you and your family pursue financial goals while helping manage investment risk. My approach is to focus on potential solutions that can help turn goals into reality.

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.

    #DigitalMerrill

    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.


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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 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.