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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Meet the Team

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.

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


A major advantage in working together is to provide you with access to a Wealth Management Lending Officer from Bank of America, N.A., who can review and help with your home lending needs.

Focus On Individuals, Families and Small Businesses

We 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.


We 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, we will work with you to develop an approach designed to help address your financial needs.

Our Team

Joseph Barnett used many years of experience, extensive knowledge, and a wide range of resources to form the New York-based Barnett Group.  The group’s philosophy is based on the idea that the best way to meet your commercial banking and wealth management needs is in one package, by one group. Building relationships and understanding the synergy between the clients business and their personal investments is the heart of this process. This starts with an analysis of your business, continues with determining your personal requirements, and is completed by total wealth management.

To this aim, the group has crafted creative banking methods designed to uncover the best financial management structures to fit the specific needs of each individual. The cooperative process will discover the best ways to help the client - YOU - navigate through both your business and personal financial situations. Together, we'll use this information to customize a banking package and investment portfolio to help meet to your specific needs. Pursuing your goals will be accomplished through customized strategies harnessing the combined energy of the Barnett Group, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, and Bank of America to fulfill your dreams.

“The over-reaching goal is to build wealth for clients and to maintain it through individualized strategic planning, using our experienced holistic approach to wealth management. This involves a variety of structures and systems that encompass the breadth and depth of a personalized financial model, specific to the needs of an individual, their company's needs, and the needs of their family,” according to Joseph Barnett, the principal contact for the Barnett Group. Joe goes on to say that he'd like you to take away one message from your interaction with the Barnett Group: “We’d like you to see the difference between us and other financial advisors that you may have spoken to or worked with before, and how that difference can be leveraged for your benefit. Our model of a “one-stop-shop” is where we assemble the tools you need to build wealth, maintain wealth, and transfer wealth when necessary. Building personal relationships and understanding the synergy between the client’s businesses and their personal investments is the core of our business. Understanding you and your needs is what we’re all about. Sam and I and the rest of our team will work with you to develop a wealth-building strategy and help you see it through.”

The members of the Barnett team will discuss your business goals with you, yes, but also your personal aspirations, basing your investment strategy on what you want and need. Focusing on the long-term picture rather than a snapshot in time crafts a portfolio aimed at risk adjusted returns and capital preservation, based on measured results.

Among the many products this team can assist you with are:
• Investments and Portfolio Management
• Corporate Finance
• Mergers and Acquisitions
• Asset Based Lending
• Leveraged Buyouts
• Venture Capital financing
• Trade Finance, Cash Management, Commercial Banking
• Retirement and Estate Planning services, 401-K, IRA, Roth IRA
• Employee Stock Ownership Plans
• Capital Markets and Corporate Investments

*Some or all alternative investment programs may not be in the best interest of certain investors. No assurance can be given that any alternative investment’s investment objectives will be achieved.

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.

      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.