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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Elias "Eli" Sanchez   Photo


Mission Statement:

My commitment to honesty, clarity, and integrity are the core principles by which I operate, resulting in lasting relationships with multiple generations of families.  The value I provide is built around the thoughtful strategies I develop, the highly personalized level of service I provide, and a genuine concern for my client’s overall financial well-being.


Eli Sanchez is a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Chicago, Illinois.  He welcomes the opportunity to help clients simplify the complexities of their financial lives and seeks ways to grow, preserve and transfer their wealth most effectively.  Serving as a bridge between generations, he is committed to addressing clients’ current needs and serving the financial needs of their children and grandchildren for many years to come.

Fluent in Spanish, many of Eli’s clients are of Hispanic descent and seek his help with various transitions in life, such as marriage, divorce, children leaving for college, the death of a loved one, caring for a family member, the sale of a business, or retirement.  His honesty, empathy, transparency, and strong work ethic are evident to all who know him.  Eli believes that clear explanations and frequent conversations are critical to building trusted, open relationships with his clients.

In addition to advising individuals, Eli works with small and mid-size companies to provide access to commercial lending solutions through Bank of America and retirement products and services, including 401(k) plans, that can address business owners’ evolving needs.  Working with 401(k) plan specialists, Eli helps employers customize retirement benefit programs that are designed to attract and retain employees.  He is also passionate about educating plan participants in Spanish to help them understand their benefits, make informed decisions, and take full advantage of the choices offered.

He takes great pride in bringing together subject matter experts from across Merrill and Bank of America, when necessary, to help develop solutions that best fit his client’s unique needs and situations.  Eli is also supported by a dedicated team of client associates who are committed to providing attentive, personalized service and going the extra mile to maintain a high level of satisfaction.

Client’s personal and family values are woven into Eli’s investment approach.  For those who desire to have a portion of their investments aligned with their societal concerns, he can provide guidance on the development of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG)* investment opportunities.  He also has a depth of experience helping faith-based investors and institutions identify and examine areas of interest they might wish to address, including investments based on religious and biblical beliefs.

Prior to joining Merrill in 2004, Eli enjoyed two successful careers as a small business owner and a marketing manager for AT&T.  His unique background provides him with an unusual vantage point and insights into the key decision points that clients encounter in their personal and business finances.

Eli earned his Bachelor’s degree in economics from Hope College in Michigan.  He and his wife of 38 years reside in Hinsdale, Illinois, where they raised their two adult children.  In his spare time, he is a collegiate soccer official, enjoys international travel, and is honing his skills as an aspiring sailor.  In addition to volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House and as a soccer official for Special Olympics, Eli is a member of the Association for a More Just Society. Additionally, he is a member of Merrill’s Hispanic-Latino Advisory Council and Bank of America’s Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership & Advancement (HOLA).

*Impact investing and/or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) managers may take into consideration factors beyond traditional financial information to select securities, which could result in relative investment performance deviating from other strategies or broad market benchmarks, depending on whether such sectors or investments are in or out of favor in the market. Further, ESG strategies may rely on certain values-based criteria to eliminate exposures found in similar strategies or broad market benchmarks, which could also result in relative investment performance deviating.

I follow the deep-seated Merrill tradition of participating in the communities we serve. This drives my interest in spending time volunteering with organizations in our community.




    Hope College

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


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


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.

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.


My mission, first and foremost, is to understand you and what matters most to you. Armed with that information I can ask thoughtful questions -- listening carefully, then understanding in detail where your wealth stands today and where you’d like it to be tomorrow. I help you design and implement a personalized plan intended to help you and your family pursue financial goals while helping manage investment risk. My approach is to focus on potential solutions that can help turn goals into reality.

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 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.