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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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.

Tomoe Odahara

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

Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" 2022
Published on April 7, 2022.  Rankings based on data as of June 30, 2021.

Forbes "America's Top Women Wealth Advisors" 2020 - 2021
Published annually Feb- April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 - September 30 of prior year.


We've built our practice around two core principles and an integrated multifaceted approach:

Prioritizing Client Comfort:
Confidential Environment: We create a confidential and welcoming space where clients feel at ease discussing their financial concerns. Confidentiality is paramount, and trust is the foundation of our client relationships.
Collaborative Goal Setting: We believe in listening intently to our clients and fostering a collaborative approach to goal setting and decision making.
In-Depth Conversations: In a world filled with distractions, we prioritize meaningful, in-depth conversations with our clients. These conversations are the cornerstone of our wealth management approach.
Distilling the Complex into Simple Action:
Streamlining Complexity: We specialize in simplifying the complexities of substantial wealth. Our team excels at streamlining multiple dimensions of our clients’ financial life into clear and manageable strategies.
Focus on Key Issues: We focus on four key pillars of financial planning: Lifetime, Taxes, Heirs, and Charity. By distilling complex financial circumstances into these essential areas, we gain clarity on what matters most to our clients.
Plain Language Communication: We communicate in plain language, avoiding jargon and complex terminology. Our goal is to ensure that you fully understand the strategies and decisions that impact your financial future.
Rigorous Analysis: Once we understand our clients’ goals and priorities, we apply rigorous analytics, robust quantitative skills, and common sense to develop tailored strategies that align with their long-term objectives.
We take a multidimensional approach to wealth planning well beyond financial assets. Our team is skilled at identifying and addressing pre-existing exposures associated with our clients' wealth, ensuring that the preservation of lifestyle remains paramount. We also understand the importance of our clients to maintain financial freedom independent of these risks. Asset allocation is a critical component of our wealth management approach. Our team utilizes a rigorous process to determine the optimal asset allocation for each client, taking into account their unique financial circumstances, risk tolerance, and investment objectives. We also work closely with our clients and their families to help identify and articulate their values, taking into account factors such as family dynamics, philanthropic goals, and legacy planning in a way that reflects their beliefs and priorities. By aligning asset allocation with each client's customized family plan, we strive to achieve desired risk-adjusted investment returns over time. Whether it's preserving wealth for future generations, supporting philanthropic endeavors, or achieving specific financial milestones, we are committed to helping families navigate their wealth journey with confidence and clarity.

By prioritizing preservation of lifestyle, multidimensional wealth planning, and customized family plans, we empower our clients to secure their future and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.

We understand the importance of discretion, attention, and immediacy to our clientele. Our unwavering commitment to fostering a warm and personalized atmosphere combined with professional experience allows us to deliver exceptional service.

Powered by the extensive capabilities of Merrill and Bank of America, our team brings together years of experience and a comprehensive suite of services to address all aspects of wealth management needs. We serve as a single source for integrated solutions that encompass:

Pre-and Post-Liquidity Strategies: Whether you're preparing for a liquidity event or navigating the complexities of wealth after one, our team provides strategic guidance to optimize our clients’ financial outcomes and achieve their long-term objectives.
Tax-Minimization Strategies: We leverage sophisticated tax planning techniques to minimize tax liabilities, maximize tax efficiency, and preserve more of the wealth for future generations.
Investment Management: Our seasoned investment professionals craft tailored investment strategies designed to align with each client’s risk tolerance, financial goals, and time horizon, helping build and preserve wealth over the long term.
Banking and Lending: Through our partnership with Bank of America, we offer access to a wide range of banking and lending solutions, including cash management, lending facilities, and customized credit solutions tailored to each client’s unique needs.
Concentrated Stock Management: We specialize in managing concentrated stock positions, helping diversify holdings, manage risk, and unlock liquidity while optimizing tax efficiency and preserving wealth.
Trust and Estate Planning Services: Our team works closely with our clients and their legal advisors to develop comprehensive trust and estate plans that protect their assets, minimize estate taxes, and ensure their legacy is preserved for future generations.
Philanthropy: We help our clients create a lasting impact through strategic philanthropic planning, guiding them in identifying charitable goals, establishing charitable vehicles, and maximizing the tax benefits of their charitable giving.
Access to Family Office Services: Our family office services provide comprehensive support for affluent families, including financial planning, investment management, estate planning, tax services, and concierge services tailored to our clients’ unique needs.
In addition, my team and I work with our clients to provide non-traditional solutions and opportunities.


    The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

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


Our mission is to provide comprehensive wealth management solutions that inspire confidence, foster growth, and drive enduring prosperity for corporate executives, business owners, professionals, and serial entrepreneurs and their respective extended families.

Having been recognized as "America's Top Women Wealth Advisors Best-in-State” by Forbes in 2022, 2023 & 2024 (published annually in February. Rankings based on data as of Sept 30 of prior year), I am keenly aware of the unique financial challenges and aspirations of my diverse clientele. Whether it is a trailblazing female founder, a seasoned corporate leader, or a driven professional, my mission is to serve as a trusted resource.

Part of my personal mission is to be a catalyst for positive change by dedicating my practice to empowering and supporting women in key leadership positions. I am committed to fostering the success of female founders, CEOs/C-suite executives, and women who have inherited wealth. I understand the unique challenges and opportunities they face. Through personalized financial strategies, and a collaborative approach, my goal is to empower these accomplished women to navigate and thrive in the complex world of wealth management. Together, we will build a legacy of financial strength, resilience, and lasting impact, ensuring that women play a prominent role in shaping the future of wealth and leadership.

The mission extends beyond mere financial success; it is about enabling my clients to lead a life of fulfillment, security, and abundance. By prioritizing education, transparency, and integrity in all that we do, my team and I aim to empower our clients to make informed decisions, seize opportunities, and build a legacy that transcends generations.

Join us as we embark on a journey to redefine wealth management, one that prioritizes clients’ experience with sustainable growth. Together, we will unlock the full potential of each client’s financial portfolio and their ability to leave a lasting impact.


We believe that true wealth extends far beyond mere numbers on a balance sheet, although we do our best to excel. It's about the freedom to pursue passions, the security to weather life's uncertainties, and a legacy to leave for future generations. Our wealth management philosophy is rooted in this understanding, guiding every aspect of our work as we partner with our clients.

Central to our approach is a deep commitment to prosperity. We understand that each client is unique, with their own dreams, goals, and challenges. That's why we take the time to listen, to understand every story, and to craft personalized strategies that reflect individual circumstances and goals.

Our philosophy is built on the principles of integrity, transparency, and trust. We believe in fostering open, honest relationships with our clients, where communication flows freely and decisions are made collaboratively. By providing clear, jargon-free explanations and knowledge and insight, we ensure that our clients are always in control of their financial future. When our clients succeed, we succeed. And together, we can achieve anything.


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.

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.


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.

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 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.


      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.