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

Watch now

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

Watch now

Merrill Lynch

The Sechrest Group

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Merrill Lynch
Wealth Management

We provide customized services supported by the broad capabilities of a global institution. Working with a limited number of clients, we are able to offer you and your family personalized attention for all aspects of your financial life, now and for future family members.



Headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, The Sechrest Group has distinguished itself by providing customized advice and guidance to a select group of corporate executives, business owners and affluent families.

We are a multi-generational practice that works with both individuals and businesses. We are relentless in our focus on risk-adjusted performance relative to a client’s long-term goals. We bring warmth, compassion and coordination to clients’ wealth management that we feel is distinctive.

Our Practice

We operate like a small boutique inside a global bank offering a suite of family office type services including wealth management, investment advisory services, retirement planning, personal banker, philanthropic consultant and most importantly, friend. We are intentional about impact every day. We will be in the trenches with you when the world and/or family goals appear to be unbalanced and celebrating with you with life events and when goals have been accomplished.

Wealth Management Planner – We clearly articulate how each financial decision impacts financial security; both in the long and short-term. We focus on outcomes to the stuff that matters to a family: education of future generations, buying a second home, investing in other businesses.

Investment Advisory Services – Have a clear understanding of your financial goals to help make sure your lifestyle is never disrupted. The effort is to help secure, improve and preserve investment assets offering a completely objective asset allocation mix

Retirement Planning - We advise both individuals with their retirement planning as well as managing business retirement plans. Denny holds the Certified Plan Financial Advisor, CPFA designation as well as the Merrill Retirement Benefits Consultant (RBC) internal designation.

Personal Banker – Facilitate and take care of all credit and balance sheet management including mortgages, credit cards, basic banking, bill payment etc. *

Philanthropic Consultant – Assist families in their philanthropic pursuits to establish a family legacy as well as invest in the charitable causes that are most important to them.

*Banking and Credit Services are through Bank of America, N.A.

Retirement Planning

We advise both individuals with their retirement planning as well as managing business retirement plans, such as a 401(k). Denny holds the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor, CPFA designation as well as the Merrill Retirement Benefits Consultant (RBC) internal designation.

For Businesses

Access to Fiduciary Advisory Services
By providing access to a Merrill delivered ERISA 3(21)4 fiduciary services3, your plan can benefit from our objective investment advice and menu services, with no proprietary investment conflicts, through our investment insights. We stand behind the advice and recommendations we provide with fiduciary responsibility, putting our experience and knowledge to work for you to create financial strategies that fit your organization's needs and specific goals. Our fiduciary services generally include:

Access to services that assist with an Investment Policy Statement (IPS) that defines objectives

  • A diversified investment menu
  • A rigorous Due Diligence Process
  • Quality investment reviews and performance reporting
  • An Investment Policy Statement (IPS) that defines objectives

Education and Plan Services

  • A thorough needs assessment and plan evaluation
  • An objective approach to plan design and implementation
  • A communications strategy 
  • Enrollment meetings
  • Ongoing plan services and help drive financial wellness
  • Committed to offering personalized guidance regarding your retirement plan

A Balanced Approach to Life and Wealth

Our team works with clients to nurture a balanced approach to life and wealth, encompassing multiple priorities: family, health, career, and philanthropy. We believe strongly that “success” has many definitions and we strive to be a critical resource for families as they pursue engaged and fulfilled lives.

We recognize that affluence can place unusual demands on families. We offer a range of services to promote lasting legacies through the positive transmission of values and wealth. Specifically, we work with highly respected professionals who can facilitate constructive dialogue about a family’s collective vision and expectations of wealth for multiple generations.

Our Group

Supported by the global resources of Merrill, our group 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.

Grace Selva

Wealth Management Banking Specialist


Cynthia Arteaga

Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #940901

Samantha C Sylvester

Wealth Strategies Advisor

Bank of America, N.A.

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

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

      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.