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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Profile

Chris W. Chen, CFA®, CFP®, CPWA® Financial Advisor, began his career in financial industry in 2015 and joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2017. As a Financial Advisor Chris assists clients by helping them manage their individual wealth to meet their personal goals. Chris focuses on offering a comprehensive approach to managing wealth that begins with listening to a client's needs and helps to ensure every strategy is grounded in understanding what each client wants to achieve.

Chris believes that every investor needs an investment philosophy. An investment philosophy is a set of beliefs and principles that guide an investor’s decision-making process. It’s a way of thinking about how the markets work and more importantly, how they don’t work. Investors needs to understand how risk works in the market, how return plays out, how to measure them and how to evaluate themselves. There’s no one single investment philosophy that will fit every investor but there will be one that fits you. Chris believes the key of being a successful investor is to first understand yourself, and he’s dedicated to help each individual to map out a way of finding the right investment philosophy that best fits his/her strengths and weakness.

Chris obtained his bachelor degree in Finance &Actuarial Science from UCLA. He is a CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) Charterholder, a CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Professional and a CPWA® (Certified Private Wealth Advisor) Professional. Chris has proven himself as a very disciplined, persistent and analytical person, and he deeply believes that he will be able to transfer these qualities when it comes to helping his clients’ financial life.

Before joining Merrill, Chris helped his family start up a plastic product manufacturing company. Starting from scratch, Chris assisted his family in establishing the business by finding location and plan design, applying permits, establishing HR, facilitating business sales, and managing the accounting. This experience has allowed Chris to have hands-on experience in running a business and gain a firm understanding of what challenges business owners face and how they handle different problems. Chris believes this experience has enabled him to think from a business owner's perspective and that helps him provide better financial advice and potential solutions for his clients and their business.

Chris is also an active member of ALN (Asian Leadership Network) within Bank of America. He now serves as a LA Region Committee Member in ALN, dedicate in promoting business integration and connecting talents and professionals to serve the San Gabriel Valley Community. In his spare time, Chris enjoys golfing, reading and listening to music.

  • LANGUAGES

    Mandarin, English & Yue(Cantonese)

  • EDUCATION

    UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles

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.

Ally Bowdoin

Wealth Strategies Advisor

Bank of America, N.A.

Cindy Chau

Wealth Management Banking Specialist

Merrill

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

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.

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

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.

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.