Tune out the noise: Wealth planning for the year ahead

Hear from a panel of experts as they explore how rising interest rates, high inflation and increased volatility are impacting the economy, how family dynamics are changing estate planning and hear some actionable strategies for investors to consider in 2023.

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Merrill is proud of our advisors who’ve received recognition from financial industry publications or directly from Bank of America Corporation. We believe they are setting the standard for exemplary client service.

Michael Wattick

Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” 2023
Published on January 12, 2023. Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2022.*

Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023
Published annually Jan- April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year.

David Trinkoff

Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” 2023
Published on January 12, 2023. Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2022.*

Get To Know Us

Supported by the global resources of Merrill, our 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.

Nikos Zaires

Wealth Management Banking Specialist


Natalie De La Calle

Alternative Investments Regional Specialist

Bank of America, N.A.

Tricia Kropp

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

A Family Approach to Wealth Management

The Trinkoff Wattick Group has more than 50 years of collective experience guiding wealthy families in pursuing their financial goals. The clients we serve are a select group that includes business owners, professionals and corporate executives. We aspire to be the preeminent wealth management team in New Jersey, and we are proud to be a part of the thriving and economically diverse city of Summit.

David Trinkoff and Michael Wattick are brothers-in-law as well as business associates. We are a family, and our approach to wealth management is rooted in a desire to help other families grow and preserve their wealth for generations to come. Many of the client relationships that we began by offering financial advice and guidance to individuals now extend to their parents, children and other family members as well.

We Value Candor and Close Contact

We believe that financial advisors—like physicians, attorneys and other professionals—should spend most of their time with clients. By taking the time to listen and to learn what is most important to clients now—and what is likely to be important in the future—we believe that we can offer the insights they need to make better-informed financial decisions.

The more we know about clients and their families, the more effectively we can assist them in clarifying their financial goals and staying on track to pursue them. In our view, open and honest communication is essential to designing a wealth management strategy that evolves along with client needs. We are not afraid to disagree with clients if we think their approach to financial decision making may not be serving their best interests.   

In our work with families, we are sensitive to the needs of different generations, as well as concerns such as caring for aging parents or children with disabilities. At the clients' request, we can engage with other members of their professional advisory team to give guidance on financial strategies that address retirement income planning, estate planning services, gifting, time horizon, liquidity needs, risk tolerance and other needs. 

We can also offer access to the broad resources of Bank of America, including cash-flow management services, as well as credit and lending capabilities.

Successful Investing is simple but not easy

Successful investing requires patience – that is the need to wait 5-20 years to see results. Historical market assumptions often do not apply in the shorter term (1-4 years).  

Fundamental investment principals we have learned over the twenty years of helping clients achieve their goals:

1. Start with a long-term time frame 5-10+

  • 5-6 asset types – U.S Equity, International Equity, REITs, Investment Grade Muni Bonds, Emerging Market Equity
  • Avoid Turnover/taxes and high costs, avoid Leverage
  • Money is purchasing power - $1 today is not $1 in twenty years, loss of purchasing power through inflation is persistent
2. Avoid the big mistakes (buying high selling low, tactical trading, never make a major move in bear markets)
  • To get market returns, need to be invested in the markets
  • Market Timing is impossible, human nature is a failed investor, temperament is more important than IQ
  • Be diversified, index invest – avoid active management, data tells us it will underperform
3. Keep enough liquidity for short term needs and to survive or invest during inevitable market disruptions
  • Cash, tbills, CD’s, money markets

A Defined Process With a Personal Touch

Our approach to wealth management is process-driven, yet highly personalized. Clearly defined and disciplined processes drive everything we do, from bringing new clients on board to allocating investment assets and reviewing investment portfolio performance. Disciplined does not mean rigid, however. Close client relationships are the core of our business, and we strive to be accessible whenever clients have questions or concerns.

We invest considerable time in learning about prospective clients, and helping them learn about us, even before we decide to work together. Our step-by-step process focuses on:

  1. Discovery: In our first meeting, we learn all we can about the prospective client's personal and family concerns, values and motivators, as well as financial goals and objectives.
  2. Diagnosis: In our second meeting, we present wealth management strategies based on what we have learned.
  3. Commitment: At our third meeting, The Trinkoff Wattick Group and the client confirm a mutual decision to work together.
  4. Follow-up: We have additional meetings that we prefer to hold 45 days and 90 days after the client relationship begins, to address concerns and review progress in implementing a wealth management strategy.
  5. Ongoing: We are committed to reviewing this strategy periodically so that we can make adjustments to pursue the client's evolving needs.

As part of our regular communication process, we conduct periodic reviews to discuss each client's investment portfolio performance, expectations and progress toward meeting specific financial goals. Our goal is to meet face-to-face for at least one of these sessions each year.

Although performance reviews offer opportunities to learn more about changes that may affect financial circumstances, we have found that surprises are rare. We believe that is because our commitment to frequent, close contact keeps us aware of important developments in clients' lives.


We 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, we 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, we can help customize your investment approach. Using an understanding of your priorities and investment personality as a foundation, we 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.

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

      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.