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

Since joining Merrill in 2012, Alissa has built a wealth management practice based on the trust and loyalty earned from a growing clientele that spans generations across the nation, with a concentration in Greater New England.

Alissa is a “hands-on, ears-open” advisor who continues to attract successful business owners and executives in biotech, construction, insurance, accounting and other professions.

“I have an intuitive sense for people and their priorities,” Alissa explains. “Before wealth management, I spent four years working for non-profits – helping people face challenges and fulfill dreams. At Merrill, I can help clients make the most of their wealth and satisfy their wishes, some they never thought possible.”

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) certificant, Alissa not only provides the requisite fiduciary-style level of care (putting clients’ interests first, at all times), she also treats clients as she does good friends and family members. For Alissa, “going the extra mile for clients is never going out of her way.” At the heart of her offering is a commitment to deliver the highest level of sensitivity and emotional intelligence – hearing what clients say, and may not say.

Given clients’ mindsets and motivations, Alissa devotes significant time to understanding how each client views their wealth. She may ask, “What’s the purpose of your wealth? What’s most important to you? How do you manage debt? How are you currently saving – and what are you saving for? What type of legacy, if any, do you like to leave? What would you be doing if you weren’t working? Who is helping you make financial decisions? Who are your other trusted resources?”

Once goals are established, Alissa develops a multi-pronged strategy that may include investment and retirement planning, college funding, charitable giving, and tax minimization and estate planning strategies. She also incorporates a review of clients’ insurance, as risk management is integral to her offering.

When it comes to investments, as a Senior Portfolio Advisor, Alissa can help clients pursue their unique goals by managing on a discretionary basis. She utilizes her custom managed strategies, in combination with the firm’s strategic asset allocation metrics and award-winning research – along with portfolio construction guidance from the firm’s Chief Investment Office. Her goal? To build custom portfolios designed to align with the distinct needs, objectives, hopes and dreams of each client. With diversification critical to risk management and long-term performance, a client’s portfolio may include individual equities, bonds, ETFs and alternative investments* – an area in which Alissa’s proficiency helps clients benefit from investments not correlated to market volatility (private equity, hedge funds and real estate, for example).

Alissa carefully examines opportunities for tax efficiencies throughout the year. She also coordinates with clients’ CPAs on income tax management and – during tax season – works to ensure that they have all necessary documentation. In addition, Alissa regularly sits with clients and their attorneys to implement and review their estate plans.

Alissa is a proud mom of a teenage daughter. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College, a Certificate in Financial Planning from Fairfield University, and a place in her heart for training “Rocky” – her Portuguese Water Dog, who competes in local Scent Work Trials, and is an AKC registered Canine Good Citizen. In her spare time, Alissa enjoys spending time with family, gardening, and a multitude of activities to stay active and healthy.

*Global Wealth & Investment Management (GWIM) is a division of Bank of America Corporation. The Chief Investment Office, which provides investment strategies, due diligence, portfolio construction guidance and wealth management solutions for GWIM clients, is part of the Investment Solutions Group (ISG) of GWIM.
*BofA Global Research is research produced by BofA Securities, Inc. (“BofAS”) and/or one or more of its affiliates. BofAS is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC, and wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation.
*Institutional Investor magazine announced BofA Global Research as one of the Top Global Research Firms in 2023 based on surveys held throughout the year. The magazine creates rankings of the top research analysts in a wide variety of specializations, drawn from the choices of portfolio managers and other investment professionals at more than 1,000 firms. BofA Global Research is research produced by BofA Securities, Inc (“BofAS”) and/or one or more of its affiliates. BofAS is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC, and wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation. Learn more about the methodology at Institutional Investor. Rankings and recognition from Institutional Investor are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure that a current or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance results and such rankings should not be construed as an endorsement.

Outside of work, Alissa enjoys supporting the American Red Cross, Susan G. Komen, and The Nutmeg Portuguese Water Dog Club.

  • LANGUAGES

    English

  • EDUCATION

    Skidmore College

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.

Jeffrey Wiedmann

Wealth Strategies Advisor

Bank of America, N.A.

Roberto Velasquez

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

    #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

      I 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. I 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.


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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.