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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Meet 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.

Shawn DeAngelis

Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #1450823

Christopher Caradec

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


At The Armstrong Bugher Hoffman Group, we’ve become a trusted, one-stop resource for a diverse clientele in more than 20 states. Inspired by their stories and visions of a fulfilling life, we summon our decades of knowledge and know-how to make a real and positive impact on their wealth.

Who do we serve?

Fiscally responsible, self-made clients – many who’ve come to us from another financial advisor. Active and retired, these successful men and women include C-suite executives, business owners, attorneys and physicians (including many we’ve met through our passion for cycling and related social and fundraising events).

Having managed clients’ money and emotion amid the volatility of 2000, 2008 and 2020, we are proud that virtually all of those clients remain with us today. We believe that’s due in large part to our enlightened perspective on mitigating investment risk. Using our firm’s award-winning research and due diligence, our dynamic and flexible investment approach seeks excess returns on a risk-adjusted basis through diversified, tax-sensitive client portfolios.

Still, our focus remains on our clients’ lives, not just their bottom lines. Some clients have a work-optional lifestyle. Others have concentrated stock, need to exercise options wisely, and diversify their portfolios. Business owners can benefit from our input on exit strategies and business financing. Some client families wish to balance charitable giving with a desire to responsibly transfer wealth.

Critical to us is getting each client to articulate “the primary purpose of their wealth” and what they want that money to do – for family and/or worthy causes. From college saving to retirement and legacy planning, we work to engage both spouses whenever possible – to get a sense of their values and visions. On many occasions, we work with clients’ elderly parents and make time to educate clients’ adult children on being wise beneficiaries of wealth.

We believe that being trusted stewards of clients’ long-term wealth demands that we address both sides of clients’ balance sheets – assets and liabilities. Accordingly, we offer clients ready access to Bank of America, N.A. for residential, securities-based and custom lending solutions. In addition, we can help align clients’ tax-minimization and estate planning strategies with the efforts of their CPAs and attorneys.

 Over the years, we’ve developed the requisite skills and ability to manage high concentrations of wealth for a discerning, nationwide clientele. We are fully invested in supporting these individuals and welcome the opportunity to serve you, as well.

*Institutional Investor magazine announced BofA Global Research as one of the Top Global Research Firms in 2022 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.

*Any information presented in connection with BofA Global Research is general in nature and is not intended to provide personal investment advice. The information does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any specific person who may receive it. Investors should understand that statements regarding future prospects may not be realized. 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. BofA Global Research does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should consider this report as only a single factor in making their investment decision.


We 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, we will work with you to develop an approach designed to help address your financial needs.

Providing a Boutique-Like Experience

At The Armstrong Bugher Hoffman Group, our ambition is to provide concierge-level service in ways that each client finds meaningful – with uncompromised attention and reliable responsiveness. Anything less would not meet our team’s high standards. Accordingly, we’ve developed a service model similar to that of a multi-family office.

Having earned a reputation for providing superior service to two and three generations of families, we appreciate clients who place their trust in our discretion and ability to offer enlightened guidance. In each instance, we do (and say) what we believe is in a client’s best interest, even if straightforward suggestions may be difficult for them to hear.

On a personal level, a client’s trust means the world to us. It reflects our devotion to providing enduring value – beyond dollars and cents.

Anchoring our ability to provide outstanding service is our exceptional support staff. Clients routinely complement their attention to detail and problem solving capabilities among other things. While this does not affect a client’s bottom line, we believe it certainly contributes to a client’s overall experience.

Our Planning-Based Approach

At The Armstrong Bugher Hoffman Group, the foundation of our practice is the disciplined, planning-based approach we’ve honed for years. Over the course of each client relationship – not just at the outset – we devote our attention to helping clients explore and prioritize their most cherished goals, for themselves and the people they love.

In each of our client relationships, we begin our work with no assumptions. To appreciate their mindsets and motivations, we ask questions such as these, “What does your wealth mean to you? What you want to accomplish, that you haven’t already? Who are you responsible for? What is your greatest concern – financial or otherwise? And what causes are meaningful to you?”

Just as important, clients ask us questions, “Will I have enough money to retire with the lifestyle to which I’ve grown accustomed? Am I being as tax efficient as possible? How do I help my kids, without helping too much?”

Perhaps we’re old-fashioned, but we find there’s no substitute for face-to-face meetings and engaging with our clients frequently. Through honest dialog with both spouses, whenever possible – where we share our own stories and lessons learned – we work to help clients “see around corners” to prepare financially and emotionally for what they envision.

In walking clients through our planning-based approach, we remind them that part of our job is helping them leave memories, not just money – finding joy along the way without compromising their long-term financial goals. In measuring our success, we examine how well we streamline clients’ financial to-do lists while introducing and accelerating the opportunities of wealth.  

Decades of experience provide us with a rich repository of knowledge – having addressed situations that are similar and often identical to what clients face today. The referrals we receive tell us we’ve successfully assisted clients with straightforward financial needs and others whose complex financial lives demand sophisticated strategies. As a high caliber team with distinct credentials, we are well equipped to address your financial needs – so that you can focus energy on your family, career and community.

What You Can Expect

At The Armstrong Bugher Hoffman Group, we summon our wealth of experience and complementary skillsets to create uncommon value for clients and their families. The quality and longevity of our client relationships remind us of the roles we play and the trust we’ve earned.

As our client, you can expect that we will:

  • Be driven by your ongoing needs and circumstances, not by the calendar. Casual and comfortable conversations will occur naturally – however, whenever and wherever you like. We will “meet” you by phone, email, WebEx, at a local restaurant, at your home, or our office.
  • Strive to optimize “the big picture of your wealth – and wealth beyond you” – from investments to tax minimization and estate planning strategies, to liability management. When helpful, we can send documents, coordinate and accompany you to meetings with your CPA and attorney. We also provide advice on Social Security, long-term care planning, gifting strategies, and other solutions such as Roth IRAs for your children and grandchildren.

  • Stand behind you by getting out in front of circumstances you anticipate and those you don’t. Doing so allows us to present thoughtful recommendations with sufficient time for you to decide how to proceed.
  • Take our investment cues from you and the firm’s thought leadership. Leveraging the vast resources of our firm’s Chief Investment Office, we focus first on “getting the risk and asset allocation” correct – then diversifying holdings among select money managers with specific concentrations based on your risk tolerance and other factors. Tax efficiency and risk mitigation are critical considerations. In addition to “harvesting gains and losses,” we offer alternative investments* for their ability to offset market volatility.
  • Encourage you to see us as a responsive, one-stop resource. Just as we do for other clients, we invite you to pick our brains on the cost of assisted living centers, purchasing real estate (here or abroad), buying vs. leasing an automobile, financing a sailboat or yacht, or anything else with a dollar sign attached to it.
  • Guide you from the accumulation stage (of building wealth) to the distribution stage (of putting it to work) – a transition many clients find unexpectedly challenging. Based on our analysis, we may suggest or encourage you to spend more money sooner, to enjoy items on your bucket list.
  • Host events (both educational and social) for you and other clients. These are excellent opportunities for you to meet like-minded people in your community, with whom you might share business and personal interests.

In summary, you can expect what you may not have experienced before – the chance to hear fresh ideas, review multiple options, and know that a dedicated financial team is looking out for your best interests.


Offering you the investment insights of Merrill and access to the credit, lending and banking convenience of Bank of America allows us to help you devise potential strategies designed to grow, preserve and distribute your wealth. We’ll work to exceed your expectations through a proactive approach to communication, attention to personalized service and a commitment to continuing financial education.

Focus On High-Net-Worth Individuals and Families

Great wealth is not an end in itself. It is a way by which you can decide what you want to accomplish and with whom you wish to collaborate to pursue your goals. Our team is highly experienced about the challenges faced by individuals with substantial wealth.

A limited client base helps ensure that substantial time and energy can be devoted to assessing and tailoring individual strategies for you. It also allows the team to be responsive to your personal goals and focus on those services that contribute to simplifying your financial life. We believe the value delivered to you reaches well beyond investment management; it extends to the advice and guidance that may be of assistance in nearly every aspect of your financial life.

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 we can help you create a financial approach that reflects your personality. Only then can we 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.