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


Robert Yan is a Senior Financial Advisor with Merrill in Sarasota. With more than three decades in wealth management and investing, Robert offers practical insight and the ability to help clients simplify the complexities of their financial lives. Committed to the clients he serves, he brings a quiet integrity, seasoned judgment, and a responsive work ethic that demonstrates how much he values each relationship.

Clients from diverse paths seek Robert’s assistance. Many are executives, professionals, or business owners who have encountered a crossroad in their wealth. Some anticipate retirement in the next few years and are wondering if they are adequately prepared for that milestone. Others are business owners or professionals who recognize that their finances could benefit from sustained attention, but who do not have sufficient time to oversee the management of their wealth. And still others are individuals, couples, or families at a significant financial juncture, whether that’s selling a business, financing a new venture, diversifying a concentrated position, or any other financial decision-point.

To these needs and others, Robert brings forward-looking advice that is grounded in research and analysis. Thoughtful and thorough, he looks to connect clients with the resources they need to advance their priorities, steadily and methodically. Robert appreciates the distinctive nature of each client’s path to wealth—what clients have accomplished and what they are striving to achieve, for themselves and the people they cherish. He is gratified to work with clients who have traditionally been underserved in wealth-management circles, including members of the Asian and LGBTQ+ communities.

Robert has served as a Financial Advisor with Merrill since 2012. Previously, he spent more than seven years with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney as a Financial Advisor. Earlier in his career, Robert worked on Wall Street at Kidder Peabody and Citigroup as a bond trader. He earned his B.S. in Finance and Economics from New York University.

Within the firm, Robert is active in business strategy with Bank of America's Asian Leadership and LGBTQ employee networks. 

A golf enthusiast, Robert also enjoys traveling, dining, and playing video games. One of his favorite destinations is Scotland, where he has experienced the highs—and lows—of the Old Course at St. Andrews.




    New York 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.

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


When your wealth takes on a complexity or scale you did not anticipate, it can be helpful to have a trusted guide and reliable resource.

Robert Yan looks to provide clients with a different kind of client experience—one that is customized to each client’s distinctive interests and priorities. He approaches his work with seriousness and diligence, knowing how important finances are to people’s well-being.

Here are a few of the ways that Robert believes he differentiates his approach:

  • Integrity Robert treats others as he would like to be treated. That ethic inspires his continuing dedication to serving clients with the honesty and clarity that they deserve, and he insists upon.
  • Analytical rigor. Robert is thoughtful and deliberate in his approach, grounding his work in quantitative analysis. He looks to present clients with the information they need to make poised decisions about the direction and deployment of their wealth.
  • Thoroughness. A skilled problem solver, Robert is adept in shepherding financial challenges to a satisfying conclusion, uncovering potential solutions—enterprise wide. He believes that Merrill and Bank of America are particularly well suited for clients who have complex wealth-management needs that require deft leadership and coordinated action.
  • Inclusiveness. Robert recognizes that wealth management has historically underserved some populations. He looks to extend that circle, welcoming a diverse clientele and remaining mindful of each client’s unique interests and aspirations.
  • Responsiveness. Robert builds long-term relationships with clients, demonstrating his genuine interest in their well-being by following through on their priorities. He is a gateway for a range of financial needs, allowing clients to focus on their personal or professional priorities.


Wealth Management is a dynamic process. As I focus on you today and help you identify your goals for tomorrow, we can strive to work together throughout life’s ups, downs, triumphs, and transitions. Helping you pursue your goals starts with getting to know you, your family and developing a plan. My job is to understand what matters most to you. We will work together to create a financial strategy that reflects your investment personality and is built around your life priorities. I will be here to help you make adjustments to your plan if and when necessary over time.

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.


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.


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.


    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.


      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.