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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Insights, observations, and ideas to help you in your pursuit of your financial goals.

Important Video Disclosures

How we help clients build a plan that plots a steady course to retirement.

Profile

Karen A. Ostarticki, Financial Advisor/Senior Portfolio Advisor, also has experience helping clients manage concentrated stock positions or deal with the challenges of important transition events like retirement, inheritance or the sale of a business, as well as providing access to Bank of America Private Bank for clients’ trust and estate planning services needs and Bank of America for clients’ credit and lending needs.
In addition, she can work with clients' attorneys, accountants and other advisors to help coordinate their financial and legacy approach. 
She lives and works in Bedminster, NJ, enjoying an active lifestyle.  She is the Membership Director for Central NJ chapter of the LPGA Amateurs and is connected with women's groups through local Chambers of Commerce and church.
She is the proud mom of Sebastian, a graduate of The Wharton School of Business at UPENN. Family and faith are the cornerstones of her daily living.

 

  • LANGUAGES

    English

  • EDUCATION

    West Virginia 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.

Jacqueline Fraccaroli

Wealth Management Banking Specialist

Merrill

Nisheet Bonde

Investment Solutions Group Portfolio Strategist

Bank of America, N.A.

Tricia Kropp

Wealth Strategies Advisor

Bank of America, N.A.

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, first and foremost, is to understand you and what matters most to you. To take the time to ask smart questions and listen carefully, then understand in detail, exactly where your finances stand today and where you’d like them to be tomorrow. I then help you design and bring to life a customized financial strategy that can help you and your family pursue personal financial goals while helping to manage strategic investment risk. My approach is about creating comprehensive strategies to that can help turn your goals into reality.

Philosophy

Life is always changing and growing more complex. In the same way, your priorities and needs around your family, work, health and home are always evolving. And since your finances are so deeply connected with the rest of your life, an investment approach that is specific to your unique situation can be helpful. Even if you’re accustomed to managing your finances on your own, you may find value in having a relationship with someone who understands your priorities and who has the knowledge and resources to help you make more informed decisions, no matter where you are in life.

Approach

My approach to investing is grounded in an understanding of you. It all begins with a conversation. I take the time to get to know you — your children's names, how hard you worked to get where you are and how you define success. I'll work together with you to help understand your personal investment style, prioritize your goals and build an individualized plan that reflects your needs. As an investor you can benefit from the investment insights of Merrill, along with access to trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America Private Bank and credit and lending solutions from Bank of America. There’s only one financial approach that really matters — yours.

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.

Social Impact Investing

I can offer wealth management strategies that come from years of combined wealth management knowledge and experience working with clients. The team’s role in supporting you goes beyond wealth management services. Leveraging the global resources of Merrill makes it possible to help you in areas such as retirement income planning, guidance on concentrated stock positions, traditional investment and potential sustainable and impact investing solutions.

All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.

Sustainable and 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.

Focus On Women

While virtually all investors can receive help pursuing their unique financial goals, my primary focus is on working with women investors. Whether you’re contemplating retirement, deciding on a career change, wondering if you can afford to fund a child’s education or care for an aging parent, the process begins by getting to know you and understanding how prepared you may be to pursue your financial journey.

Your goals, your family and your finances are interrelated, and your financial future and that of your family can be shaped by the decisions you make. Listening carefully to your priorities the team can help you take the steps necessary to move forward. We can help you with strategies for healthcare costs (even if you’re decades away from retirement), and help you evaluate whether your income is sufficient to meet living expenses without having to make lifestyle adjustments. With a dedicated advisor at your side you can gain personalized investment strategies from Merrill, with access to the extensive banking capabilities of Bank of America.

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.

    #DigitalMerrill

    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.


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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.

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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.