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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Recognition

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.

Sally Cai

Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” 2024, 2023
Published annually in January. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of prior year.*

Forbes "Top Women Wealth Advisors Best-in-State” 2024, 2023, 2022
Published annually in February. Rankings based on data as of Sept 30 of prior year.

Forbes “America’s Top Wealth Management Teams High Net Worth” 2023, 2022
Published annually in November. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of current year.

Forbes "America's Top Women Wealth Advisors" 2021
Published on March 24, 2021. Rankings based on data as of September 30, 2020.

Working Mother/SHOOK Research's "Top Wealth Advisor Moms" 2020, 2021
Published annually Sept - Oct. Rankings based on data as of Mar 31 of current year.

Profile

Sally Cai, CFP®, CRPC, Senior Vice President, Senior Financial Advisor is devoted to servicing the needs of affluent families and businesses. She has experience in the Financial Services industry since 1997. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, a certification awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. She has also earned the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designation.


Named to the Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” 2024, 2023
(*Published annually in January. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of prior year.)

Named the the Forbes "Top Women Wealth Advisors Best-in-State” 2024, 2023, 2022
(*Published annually in February. Rankings based on data as of September 30 of prior year.)

Named to the Forbes “America’s Top Wealth Management Teams High Net Worth" 2023, 2022
(*Published annually in November. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of current year.)

Named to the Forbes "America's Top Women Wealth Advisors" 2021
(*Published on March 24, 2021. Rankings based on data as of September 30, 2020.)
 
Named to the Working Mother/SHOOK Research's "Top Wealth Advisor Moms" 2021, 2020
(*Published annually Sept - Oct. Rankings based on data as of Mar 31 of current year.)


Sally focuses on delivering a comprehensive approach to managing wealth that begins with listening to a client’s needs and helping to ensure every strategy is grounded in understanding what each client wants to achieve. Her access to the investment insights of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and banking convenience of Bank of America helps address the various aspects of clients’ financial lives. Sally is driven by her passion for delivering excellent service and helping clients pursue their goals.

Sally’s wealth management approach is specifically designed to address the needs of affluent families and small to mid-sized companies through employing an objective and systematic process in offering effective financial strategies. Anchored by a needs assessment process, she commits her efforts in providing clients with sound advice on creating long term financial goals, developing an asset allocation policy, strategically customizing and implementing investment solutions based upon the clients risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity needs, overall investment goals and the costs associated with the recommendation, and reviewing performance regularly and proactively. Sally’s services and core principles are aligned with the interests of her clients to deliver disciplined strategies in all market cycles.

Sally graduated from Lubins School of Business summa cum laude in Finance and Management Information Systems. She follows the deep-seated Merrill tradition of participating in the communities she serves. This drives her interest in spending time volunteering with organizations in the community.

*Asset allocation does not ensure profit or protect against loss in declining markets.

*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.

As member of the Shalhoup Group:
Published annually November. Rankings based on data as of September 30 of current year.
Forbes “America’s Top Wealth Management Teams High Net Worth” list. Opinions provided by SHOOK* Research, LLC and is based on in-person, virtual and telephone due-diligence meetings and a ranking algorithm that measure best practices, client retention, industry experience, credentials, compliance records, firm nominations, assets under management and Firm-generated revenue (investment performance is not a criterion because client objectives and risk tolerance vary). SHOOK’s rankings are available for client evaluation only, are not indicative of future performance and do not represent any one client’s experience and available for investor help in evaluating the right financial advisor and not an endorsement of the advisor. Compensation was not received from anyone for the rankings study. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Details available at www.SHOOKresearch.com. SHOOK is a registered trademark of SHOOK Research, LLC.

As member of the Shalhoup Group: 
Published annually in January. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of prior year.
Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” list. Opinions provided by SHOOK* Research, LLC and is based on in-person, virtual and telephone due-diligence meetings and a ranking algorithm that measure best practices, client retention, industry experience, credentials, compliance records, firm nominations, assets under management and Firm-generated revenue (investment performance is not a criterion because client objectives and risk tolerance vary). SHOOK’s rankings are available for client evaluation only, are not indicative of future performance and do not represent any one client’s experience and available for investor help in evaluating the right financial advisor and not an endorsement of the advisor. Compensation was not received from anyone for the rankings study. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Details available at www.SHOOKresearch.com. SHOOK is a registered trademark of SHOOK Research, LLC.

*Published annually in February. Rankings based on data as of Sept 30 of prior year.
Forbes “Top Women Wealth Advisors Best-in-State” list. Opinions provided by SHOOK® Research, LLC and is based on in-person, virtual and telephone due-diligence meetings that measure best practices, client retention, industry experience, credentials, compliance records, firm nominations, assets under management and Firm-generated revenue (investment performance is not a criterion). SHOOK’s rankings are available for client evaluation only, are not indicative of future performance and do not represent any one client’s experience and available for investor help in evaluating the right financial advisor and should not be considered an endorsement of the advisor. Compensation was not received from anyone for the study. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Details available at www.SHOOKresearch.com. SHOOK is a registered trademark of SHOOK Research, LLC.

*Published on March 24, 2021. Rankings based on data as of Sept 30, 2020.
2021 Forbes “America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors” list. Opinions provided by SHOOK® Research, LLC and is based on in-person, virtual and telephone due-diligence meetings that measure best practices, client retention, industry experience, credentials, compliance records, firm nominations, assets under management and Firm-generated revenue (investment performance is not a criterion). SHOOK’s rankings are available for client evaluation only, are not indicative of future performance and do not represent any one client’s experience and available for investor help in evaluating the right financial advisor and should not be considered an endorsement of the advisor. Compensation was not received from anyone for the study. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Details available at www.SHOOKresearch.com. SHOOK is a registered trademark of SHOOK Research, LLC.

*Published annually Sept - Oct. Rankings based on data as of Mar 31 of current year.
Working Mother/SHOOK Research’s “Top Wealth Advisor Moms” list. Opinions provided by SHOOK® Research, LLC considered women advisors with children living at home under 21 years of age and is based on telephone and in-person interviews and surveys: service models, investing process, client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations, etc.; and quantitative criteria, such as assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criterion because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited performance reports. SHOOK’s rankings are available for client evaluation only, are not indicative of future performance and do not represent any one client’s experience and do not guarantee investment success or higher level of performance results and not an endorsement of the advisor and should not be considered an endorsement of the advisor. Compensation was not received from anyone for the study. Details available at www.SHOOKresearch.com. SHOOK is a registered trademark of SHOOK Research, LLC.

  • LANGUAGES

    Chinese & English

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.

Eli Poupko

Private Wealth Strategist

Merrill

Michael Liik

Wealth Strategies Advisor

Bank of America, N.A.

Conor O'Keefe

Alternative Investments Regional Specialist

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

Approach

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.

Capabilities

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.

Philosophy

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.

Welcome

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.

    #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.