Gary Smith, CLU®, ChFC® 
Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor, Portfolio Advisor

I take a planning based approach and use a defined process to assess your risk tolerance. I then design a financial strategy that attempts to maximize a greater degree of certainty while minimizing your risk. I help to manage the sequence of returns when you are in retirement and maximize assets going to your intended beneficiaries.

Before any financial decisions are made, I look at your whole financial life and take the time to fully understand who you are and what matters the most to you. With this intimate knowledge about what you value most, I will help you to establish objectives, develop an appropriate strategy and make recommendations that draw upon the breath and depth of Total Merrill to connect all the pieces of your financial life. I will conduct regular reviews with you to help you track your progress toward reaching your goals and keep your strategies consistent with any changes that may take place in your life and/or business.

I have been a Financial Advisor since 1981, joining Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2007. I am a graduate of Allegheny College and hold a Masters Degree in Teaching from Antioch University. I have authored several articles in national magazines as well authoring a weekly column in the “Syracuse Herald Journal” from 1991 – 1997 on financial topics. I enjoy golf and spending time with my wife and five children.

Community involvement is an integral part of how I interact with clients and communities. I am actively involved with volunteering and as a former charter Board Member of The Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra and a current Board member of Learn to Read of St. Augustine. I am also a Del Webb HOA Board Member and an active member of the Riverwood Men's Club (formerly president). Let me show you how my dedication to achieving your goals and to client service could benefit you and your family. Contact me at your earliest convenience.




    Allegheny College

    Antioch College (suspended operation June 2008; planned re-opening in 2012)

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.

Samantha Keene

Wealth Management Banking Specialist


Stephanie Lynne Knapp

Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #27301

Allison Mulgrew

Wealth Strategist


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


I strive 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 then help you design, implement and periodically review a customized wealth management strategy that helps you and your family pursue your personal financial goals without unnecessary investment risk. My wealth management approach is about using wealth to help turn goals into reality. When you succeed, I succeed.

You should connect with me if you:

  • Seek a tailored retirement income plan
  • Are divorced and looking for a new, professional relationship with an advisor
  • You have moved and would like a local advisor relationship
  • Seek access to banking services
  • Are a CPA or Attorney interested in providing a resource for your clients

Gary Smith

I want to know what keeps you up at night. I spend a lot of time with clients helping them to determine their risk tolerance. I believe in the SWAN philosophy (sleep well at night). I believe the best financial strategy is the one that helps you pursue your goals. That's why, from the start, I talk about what you would like to accomplish and encourage you to ask questions about issues that matter most to you. Worried about how to fund nursing home care? Would you like to learn more about Long Term Care? Worried about market volatility? Thinking of how to pass your assets on to the next generation in a tax efficient manner? Is your life insurance working the way you need it to? Are you divorced and need to be educated about finances? Have you had an investment review recently? Would you like a second opinion on your investments? Are you considering a loan, a home refinance or a mortgage? Many people that I work with have moved from other states and many have blended families. Have you considered your beneficiary designations? Are you ready to retire or are already retired and need to consider distribution options from retirement accounts? What about banking resources? Considering the sale of a business?  With access to the full suite of resources from 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.

*Banking and lending services provided by Bank of America, N.A.

**Gary Smith NMLS ID 578461

***You have choices about what to do with your 401(k) or other type of plan-sponsored accounts. Depending on your financial circumstances, needs, and goals, you may choose to roll over to an IRA or convert to a Roth IRA, roll over a 401(k) from a prior employer to a 401(k) at your new employer, take a distribution, or leave the account where it is. Each choice may offer different investments and services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, tax treatment (particularly with reference to employer stock), and provide different protection from creditors and legal judgments. These are complex choices and should be considered with care. For more information, please contact your Merrill Financial Advisor.


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 your financial approach 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 and your family.

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. Together, I can help customize your investment approach. 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.

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.


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 investments. My ability to provide access to the investment insights of Merrill, trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America Private Bank, and the banking convenience and lending solutions of 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 potential solutions for transferring wealth to the younger generation.

Trust and fiduciary services are provided by Bank of America Private Bank, a division of Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”).

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. So whether you’re planning your retirement, saving to buy a home or fund a child’s education, I start by getting to know you and how you feel about the following seven life priorities.

  • 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

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