Michael B Cunningham

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Profile

Mike didn’t grow up wealthy, which he believes has inspired a lifelong appreciation of people’s hard work and sacrifice. Today, he serves a loyal clientele who’ve taken distinct and often challenging paths to success – and his door. They include active and retired corporate executives, attorneys, physicians and entire families in more than ten states, as well as non-profit organizations.

“Clients work diligently to save money,” Mike says. “Investing should never require that they ‘earn money twice’ in a lifetime. That’s why I aim to preserve clients’ wealth and achieve reasonable growth with consistent investing over time – and without needless risk. Diversifying assets across asset classes, I help clients achieve well-deserved retirement lifestyles, send their kids to college, and pass along wealth with wisdom. I do that by educating clients’ children whenever possible.”

Mike finds that clients are often referred to him because he spends significant time understanding their priorities and helping them figure things out. For clients who may have received less-than-desired attention from a previous advisor, Mike explains that he proactively and personally can help them “see around corners” – to prepare for new financial situations and opportunities.

“On a given day, I’ll talk to clients about Social Security scenarios, long-term care insurance, Medicare, and family challenges that are driving new financial considerations. For me, building trust is at the foundation of each client relationship I have. Most clients have been with me for more than ten years, which I believe speaks to them appreciating my integrity and ability,” Mike explains.

Having worked at Banc of America Investment Services, Mike is highly skilled and motivated to explore what clients wish to accomplish. He begins by identifying areas of opportunity on both sides of their balance sheets. Advising clients not to incur unreasonable debt, he often provides access to residential, securities-based and commercial lending from Bank of America when it can benefit them. Mike’s numerous contacts within the firm include banking and trust specialists, and others he “brings to the table” on behalf of clients.

In 1997, Michael launched his career with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in New York City. Three years later, he returned to his roots in the D.C. area and joined Bank of America – staying with the firm through its merger with Merrill. Mike holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®) designation from the College for Financial Planning.

Paying his way through college, Mike earned a Bachelor of Science degree (cum laude) in Biology and Psychology from James Madison University, where he was also a member of the varsity rugby team. Today, Mike resides in Mount Vernon with his wife and four children. An avid fisherman, Mike is a loyal supporter of his children’s sporting events. He also volunteers at his local parish.
 

  • LANGUAGES

    English

  • EDUCATION

    Ft Hunt High School

    James Madison University

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.

Ali Khoshneshin

Ali Khoshneshin

Wealth Management Banking Specialist

Alfred  Aboah

Alfred Aboah

Wealth Management Lending Officer NMLS # 833643

James Brennan

James Brennan

Trust Specialist

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 is to understand you and your priorities. To take the time, to ask hard, smart questions and to listen carefully, then to understand, in great detail, exactly where your wealth stands today, and where you'd like it to be tomorrow. I help you design, implement and periodically monitor a customized wealth management strategy that helps you and your family pursue your personal financial goals while managing investment risk. My wealth management approach is about using wealth to help turn goals into reality.

Philosophy

I believe the best financial strategy 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. Worried about managing 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? With access to the investment insights of Merrill and the banking convenience of Bank of America, I will work with you to develop strategies designed to help address your financial needs.

Approach

I begin every relationship with a conversation, helping you identify and prioritize which goals matter most to you. Whether it's transferring wealth to the next generation, customizing financial strategies to help you pursue your passions, or providing advice and guidance to help you stay informed, I start by listening to learn more about you.

Drawing upon research in the field of behavioral finance, Merrill developed the Investment Personality Assessment to help me get to know you better as an investor and help you refine your investing preferences. By gaining a deeper understanding of how you think and feel about investing, through this assessment I can customize financial strategies together. Using an understanding of your priorities and investment personality as a foundation, I help you access the full breadth of resources from Bank of America’s banking products and services and Merrill’s investment insights to address all aspects of your financial life.

Capabilities

My process is designed to help deliver a customized, consistent experience to assist clients not only in wealth accumulation and preservation, but in areas that go beyond investment management. My ability to provide access to the investment insights of Merrill, as well as banking, trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America offers a way to help clients manage all of the pieces of their financial lives. I view myself as a financial resource, helping clients with strategies for transferring wealth to the younger generation.

Focus On Individuals and Families

I work primarily with high-net-worth individuals and families. I’ll begin by getting to know you as we explore the following seven priorities together:

  • 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

I work closely with other trusted professionals to help clients pursue their goals, drawing on the investment insights of Merrill and access to the banking convenience of Bank of America as we do so.

 

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 strategy 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 give you a sense of the full assessment and 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 strategy.

Your Financial Strategy

We offer you access to the investing insights of Merrill, as well as banking, trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America to help you pursue your goals. We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.

FAMILY
FAMILY
Taking care of your family and other people in your life
  • Trust & Estate Services2
  • Education Funding Strategies1
  • Insurance3
HEALTH
HEALTH
Planning for healthcare expenses now and in the future
  • Long-term Care Insurance3
  • Health Savings Account2
  • Disability Insurance3
HOME
HOME
Upsizing, downsizing, remodeling or buying a vacation home
  • Home Loans2
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Credit Cards2
WORK
WORK
Working in retirement, selling or starting a business
  • Bank of America Business Banking2
  • Exchange Funds1
  • Concentrated Stock Management1
  • Succession Planning1
LEISURE
LEISURE
Spending your free time in meaningful ways
  • Credit Cards2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Structured Lending2
GIVING
GIVING
Volunteering, mentoring others and giving to charities
  • Donor-Advised Funds2
  • Private Foundations2
  • Charitable Trusts2
FINANCE
FINANCE
Using your finances to bring it all together
  • Merrill Lynch Investment Accounts1
  • Investment Advisory Accounts1
  • Alternative Investments1
  • Exchange-Traded Funds1
  • Mutual Funds1
  • Closed-end Funds1
  • Fixed Income Products1
  • Options1
  • Annuities3
  • Impact Portfolios1
  • Market-Linked Investments1
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Margin1
  • Home Loans2
  • Bank of America Checking and Savings Accounts2
  • Credit Cards2
  • Online Account Access1,2

1Investment products are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
2Banking products are offered by Bank of America, N.A.
3Insurance and annuity products offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.

Staying on Track

We understand that both your life and the financial markets can change over time. By periodically checking in to discuss changes in your life and revisiting your financial strategy, our goal is to help you stay on track to achieve what's most important to you.

Regular reviews to help you stay on track
Regular reviews to help you stay on track

We'll meet with you periodically to review your goals and the progress you’ve made toward reaching them. We'll also discuss any adjustments needed to your financial strategy to help you stay on course.

    Monitoring changes in your life and to your goals
    Monitoring changes in your life and to your goals

    Your life and goals change. We can help you keep track of these changes so they can be reflected in your financial strategy.

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    Access to what you need, when you need it

    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

      *Peace of mind is an aspirational state of mind that clients hope to achieve. There are no guaranteed results following completion of the Goals-Based Wealth Management process because markets can fluctuate and investments can lose value. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors work with clients to help them understand how the goals based wealth management process can help to address their concerns, financial situation and priorities.

      Let’s Have a Conversation

      Helping you reach your goals starts with getting to know you personally. Through understanding what matters most to you, I can help you create a financial strategy that reflects your personality. Only then can I offer an approach that is built around your life priorities and the ongoing advice you need to help you manage fluctuations in the market and changes in your life. Let’s work together to help you achieve your goals.

      Why Merrill Lynch?

      As Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors, we will sort through the financial complexities of your life, helping you build a customized investment strategy to 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.

      Personalized advice from a dedicated financial advisor.

      Getting to know you is our primary goal.

      A comprehensive approach, built around your life’s priorities.

      Drawing from our experience and the best thinking of Merrill, we will build a strategy that reflects your unique needs, priorities and financial situation.

      Adjusting your plan as your life and the markets change.

      We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.