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

Friese-Phillips-Bock Group

Learn more about an advisor's background on
FINRA's BrokerCheck

Merrill Lynch
Wealth Management

Whatever your personal goals may be, we will work together with you, one-on-one, to develop a personalized financial strategy designed to help you pursue your long-term goals.

Our desire is to help you succeed

Life is a series of challenges, both welcome and unexpected.  The Friese-Phillips-Bock Group is committed to helping you meet financial challenges at every stage of life.  Whether your focus is on retirement, funding an education for children or grandchildren, transitioning wealth to future generations, providing lifetime care for a family member with special needs – or all of the above – we can work with you to design thoughtful, objective strategies tailored to your individual goals. 

We are an engaged, conscientious team with the personal and professional experience to address a wide range of wealth management needs.  In addition, we have access to a deep pool of knowledge through an extensive network of Merrill trust, insurance, estate planning services, and other specialists.  By combining their skills with our insights, we can help you chart a course and periodically adjust it to keep moving toward your financial goals.

A focus on multigenerational relationships

The Friese-Phillips-Bock Group is committed to building relationships that last.  We take a long-term view of wealth management, with the objective of guiding you through the cycle of wealth accumulation, preservation, and distribution.

Many of our client relationships extend deep into families, often encompassing multiple generations.  We dedicate considerable time to meeting with you and other members of your extended family to learn what is most important to you, now and in the future.  By understanding and working to anticipate your needs, we can recommend the wealth management strategies we believe are appropriate for your circumstances.

We are especially aware of the financial concerns of families caring for someone with special needs.  As we deepen our relationships with families, however, we find that many clients are concerned about making their wealth last through future generations.  Even if they do not have a loved one with a special need or disability, they may question whether some family members have the capabilities to be good stewards of wealth.  We are sensitive to their concerns and can help develop strategies aimed at transitioning and preserving wealth in these situations.

Informed, empathetic guidance for families with special needs

Caring for a family member with a special need or disability presents complex financial challenges.  The Friese-Phillips-Bock Group combines personal insight and empathy with professional experience to assist families in meeting these challenges. 

Typically, families are especially concerned about making their wealth last so they can provide the care and services their loved one may require throughout his or her life.  We help families establish realistic financial objectives for providing lifetime care.  Then, we recommend strategies designed to help increase the likelihood of reaching those objectives. 

At your discretion, we can coordinate with other family members and outside advisors (including legal, tax, and estate-planning professionals), as well as internal Merrill specialists, to help ensure that all the pieces of your strategy – such as guardianship for children with special needs – are in place and working together.  We recognize that families with special needs often require nonfinancial services, and we can help you connect with additional resources, organizations, and support groups in the local community.

When a child, elder, or someone else close to you has special needs or disabilities, it can be difficult to focus on the rest of your family.  Yet, it is important not to overlook their financial well-being.  You may want to consider strategies for retirement income, estate planning services, insurance, and funding children’s or grandchildren’s college education.  We can work with you to integrate special needs concerns into your broader wealth management approach.

A disciplined approach to investing

The management of risk is central to our investment philosophy.  We help clients determine the acceptable level of risk for any investment based on the desired level of growth expected.  In general, we advise taking the least amount of risk required in pursuing your financial goals. 

The amount of risk you can and should take in your investment portfolio will depend on your personal circumstances, risk temperament, liquidity needs, and time horizon.  For example, the families of children with special needs will typically have a longer time horizon because they are looking beyond their own lifetimes to provide financial support for a loved one.  Clients preparing for retirement may have a shorter time horizon, but they are also concerned about preserving the assets they have worked hard to accumulate. 

The investment portfolio we help you to design will take into account your long-term goals, as well as liquidity and income needs and tax considerations, in addition to risk tolerance and time horizon.  We believe that a diversified portfolio, actively managed and tracked over time, is the key to pursuing your investment goals.

For some clients seeking to reduce risk, we may recommend investing in sector-based index funds rather than individual stocks.  These broadly diversified funds are structured to mimic the performance of specific indexes or benchmarks.  They offer investors cost-efficient ways to invest across a number of market sectors or in specific sectors.  In our view, these funds may help to mitigate market risk and respond to changes in the investment climate and economic environment.


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.


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, we start by listening to learn more about you and your family.

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.


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

We 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.


Merrill is proud of our advisors who’ve received recognition from financial industry publications or directly from Bank of America Corporation. We believe they are setting the standard for exemplary client service.

Mark Friese

Charles Alston Phillips

Talya Bock

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.

Steven Knast

Wealth Management Banking Specialist


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.

      Anthem video thumb.jpg 
      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.