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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Profile

Robert C. Ward is a veteran of the financial services industry; he has held multiple positions at various financial institutions providing financial consulting and advisory services since 1990. Bob joined Merrill Lynch as a Financial Advisor in 2015 and was promoted to the Resident Director of the Riverhead Merrill Lynch office in 2018. Bob achieved the Chartered Financial Consulting Designation (ChFC) from the American College of Financial Services in 2022. Bob and his team focus on serving the unique wealth management needs of business owners, entrepreneurs, and affluent individuals – a dynamic group that often faces sophisticated and competing financial demands as they balance professional and personal commitments. His focus is on developing tailored strategies for clients, their families and their businesses to help them pursue short- and long-term financial goals. Bob works closely with each client and their other advisors to help address their financial needs — from increased liquidity to raising capital, from funding retirement to preparing for a second career. Bob is experienced at managing corporate 401K plans, as well as nonprofit endowment and foundation assets. Passionate about delivering excellent service, Bob works to help clients make more informed financial decisions and drive progress.

A leader in the community, Bob serves on the board of directors of East End Arts in Riverhead, and sits on many committees helping nonprofits raise money and make a difference. Bob supports Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, and the United Way just to name a few. In 2018, 2019, and 2020 He received the Presidential Volunteer Award from the White House.

Bob was recognized by Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2011 as the Man of the Year at their Presidential Gala.

Bob currently resides in Manorville with his wife Laura and their two children. When he is not working he enjoys boating, golf, mountain biking, and photography.

 

Our team is involved with local communities, assisting charitable organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island, East End Arts, and the Riverhead Rotary. For more information about how we can help you pursue your goals and dreams, contact us at your convenience.

  • EDUCATION

    Comsewogue HS

    Suffolk County Community College

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

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.

Capabilities

I have the experience, knowledge and tools to understand your current financial situation and to help you create potential strategies designed to pursue your short- and long-term goals. A range of capabilities is offered to you, including retirement income planning and potential wealth transfer solutions from Merrill with access to trust and estate planning services and philanthropic solutions through Bank of America.

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

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.

Welcome

One of the reasons I chose to become a Merrill financial advisor was my passion for educating clients about investing. I want to help you understand planning for your wealth, as well as the challenges and possibilities presented by the markets, and the impact this greater understanding can have on your full financial life.

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

      We believe there is no substitute for having a relationship with a team of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors committed to your needs, who can leverage the investment insights of Merrill and offer access to the banking convenience of Bank of America to help clients navigate the financial and economic landscapes. Let’s work together to help you pursue 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.