Navigating Risk: A Conversation with retired four-star General Stan McChrystal.

Navigating Risk: A Conversation with retired four-star General Stan McChrystal.

This conversation will explore topics ranging from military history to the business world, illustrating how individuals and organizations can be more prepared for all dimensions of risk.

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Profile

With more than 15 years spent in financial services, Ellen has attracted clients she defines as “fascinating.”  Like Ellen, they are not extravagant.  Instead, her clients are financially astute and forward thinking with distinct perspectives on wealth and the world.

From business owners and executives, to real estate professionals and other successful individuals, Ellen’s racially and culturally diverse clientele includes single women and men, members of the LGBTQ community, couples recently divorced, as well as Black, African-, Asian- and Latin-American families.  While they’ve taken different paths to Ellen’s door, many are facing formidable transitions such as divorce, a child leaving for college, the sale of an enterprise, or retirement.

“I want to help people rest easy with what’s ahead, so they can spend less time worrying and more time living,” Ellen explains.  "Whenever possible, I educate clients.  They don’t need to know every detail, but they deserve a higher level of understanding of ‘what and why’ we’re doing something.”

Given her background in communications, Ellen believes that clear explanations and frequent conversations are critical to building trusted, open relationships with clients.

She also finds that her rigorous industry training gives her an extra measure of knowledge that can benefit clients and their families.  Ellen holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

In each client relationship, Ellen recognizes that establishing a comfortable rapport is critical to setting the stage for productive conversations.  Asking open-ended questions (and listening more than talking), she wants to know about a client’s career, family, lifestyle, short-term goals, and how they envision retirement, for example.  Often she asks, “Tell me about yourself.  What’s important to you?  What do you spend your time doing?  What is it you’d like to do with your money, that you don’t think you can?”

When it comes to investments, Ellen takes her cues from each client and the firm’s Chief Investment Office.  Based on a client’s objectives, risk tolerance, need for liquidity, and investment timeline, she offers diversified portfolios that typically include ETFs, separately managed accounts and mutual funds—with an eye toward long-term, risk-managed performance, cost efficiency and tax efficiency. 

With a client’s permission, she also introduces herself to their CPA and attorney, to act as a helpful liaison and align tax-minimization and estate planning strategies.  In addition, Ellen offers clients ready access to residential and securities-based lending through Bank of America, N.A.

Ellen finds joy in connecting people and knowing her efforts can change the trajectory of their lives.  Formerly a CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate for children in the foster system), she is an active volunteer with the AAMC Foundation, Anne Arundel Women Giving Together, Junior League of Annapolis and several other area organizations.  Ellen holds a Bachelor’s degree from Wesley College and lives in Edgewater Beach.

*Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

*The Chief Investment Office (CIO) provides thought leadership on wealth management, investment strategy and global markets; portfolio management solutions; due diligence; and solutions oversight and data analytics. CIO viewpoints are developed for Bank of America Private Bank, a division of Bank of America, N.A., (“Bank of America”) and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“MLPF&S” or “Merrill”), a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice and is subject to change. It is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be either a specific offer by Bank of America, Merrill or any affiliate to sell or provide, or a specific invitation for a consumer to apply for, any particular retail financial product or service that may be available.

*NMLS#1616009

  • EDUCATION

    Wesley 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.

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.

Rakesh Raina

Wealth Management Banking Specialist

Merrill

Kristina Gentle

Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #484047

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

Among the reasons I chose to become a financial advisor is my passion for helping to educate clients about investing.  One of the most valuable things I can do for clients is to help them understand the markets, my investment process and the impact their life priorities can have on their wealth management strategy. My advice and strategies are guided by an interest in your life’s goals and priorities.

Philosophy

I believe that communication is instrumental to success in managing life’s challenges. That’s why I work to engage families in the financial decision-making process. Communicating openly with family members on the sometimes difficult subject of wealth can be a challenge. I can help facilitate these discussions and offer opportunities to educate the younger generation about how assets may be invested.

Capabilities

We believe that to feel good about your finances, you need to know exactly where you are, where you want to go, and how much you may need to get there. I work with you to develop a customized financial approach, drawing on the best thinking of our firm, to help you with your financial future. I will make it clear what you’re paying for and what you’re getting. As your life needs and market conditions change, we can meet to help make sure you’re on track in pursuing your goals and to adjust your approach as needed for the journey ahead.

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 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 us 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.

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.



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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.

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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.

      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.