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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Lori Stasukelis is a Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor with Merrill in San Francisco. Lori works closely with clients who are serious about their financial lives and are eager to take positive steps toward a more thoughtful and secure financial future. She advises individuals and multiple generations of families, helping them discern the ways their wealth can support their distinctive interests, needs, and aspirations. Forthright, Lori values honesty and transparency as fundamental aspects of her practice. She believes in treating clients with the respect, candor, and care she would want for herself and her own family members and has maintained that exacting standard over many decades.

Lori works with clients who are at varied points in their personal and professional lives. Some look to her for assistance with pre-retirement planning. Others engage her when they have already attained that milestone. And still others look for Lori’s support while they are actively building their wealth. Whatever a client’s path, Lori demonstrates a willingness to delve into appropriate solutions for client needs. Her analysis is thorough, tailored, and rigorous. She looks to connect clients with the ideas that can enhance their long-term trajectories—whether they are purchasing a home, diversifying their portfolio, securing their cash flow in retirement, or any other financial need.

Lori joined Merrill in 1980. Originally from Massachusetts, she earned her B.A. in Economics and Accounting from the College of the Holy Cross. In addition to her long tenure with Merrill, Lori’s working life includes another noteworthy achievement: she was the first woman to hawk beer for the New England Patriots at Foxboro Stadium.

Lori is active with the San Francisco Food Bank. She also serves on the leadership committee of the San Francisco Chapter of the Merrill Women’s Exchange, which organizes educational and enrichment events for women, inside and outside the firm.

Lori and her husband Bill have lived in San Francisco since 1984 and have two grown sons. Lori finds joy in a number of activities, including hiking, walking, ecstatic dance, vegetable gardening, Scrabble, roller coasters, boogie boarding, and traveling—particularly to East Africa on safari. Intrepid and determined, she holds the distinction of being named the “Most Improved Basketball Player” twice – almost two decades apart. A thinker and an adventurer, she likes to peek around the corner to see what’s next.




    College of the Holy Cross

Professional Staff

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

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.

Darren E Suiter

Senior Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #982132

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

Different by Design

Financial decisions are people decisions. It’s helpful to have a real person to speak with, ask questions, trade ideas, and anticipate what’s ahead.

For many clients, Lori Stasukelis plays that treasured and trusted role. She looks to create a different kind of client experience, grounded in honesty, transparency, and empathy. A simple precept guides her work: she treats others as she would like to be treated.

Here are a few ways that Lori differentiates her approach for the individuals and families she serves:

  • She takes clients’ financial well-being seriously and implores clients to do the same. Finances are important to clients’ long-term security and personal peace. Those are goals worthy of hard work and thoughtfulness.
  • She cares enough to customize. Lori has never been content with “business as usual.” A creative thinker, she likes to devise concrete strategies to difficult issues.
  • She is forthright. Honesty and integrity are her bedrock values, personally and professionally. To speak with her is to know the candor and clarity that she brings to her relationships.
  • She believes in doing work worthily and well. Lori holds herself to a high standard and leads her team in a deeply ingrained service ethic. Clients, she maintains, deserve much better than an anonymous 1-800 phone system that is detached from personal contact.
  • She is curious—about the world, about the markets, about the clients she serves. That interest manifests in an approach that incorporates the unique circumstances of each client or family. Lori delves deeply so she can serve more effectively.
To speak with Lori, please see the red “CONTACT ME” button at the top of this website. She welcomes the opportunity to discuss your needs relative to her team’s 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.

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.