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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Susan joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2007.  She has over 35 years of experience in the financial services industry working with both individual and commercial clients. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Commercial Banking from Mars Hill College. Susan has earned a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards,  Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, CRPC® designation awarded by The College for Financial Planning Institutes Corp. and added in 2021, the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, CDFA® certification awarded by the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA).

Susan is currently a member of the Waynesville Rotary Club and the Waynesville Rotary Foundation Board. Susan previously served on the Haywood County Community Foundation Board as well as the Haywood Community College Foundation Board and the Haywood Community College Board of Trustees.

Susan believes that excellent service is the "key" to building long term client relationships. She provides guidance and advice for individual and business clients in building and preserving wealth across all areas of their financial lifestyle. She takes into consideration retirement strategies, wealth transfer strategies, college savings strategies, life and long term care insurance planning, as well as accessing Bank of America for lending recommendations.

Susan and her husband Michael reside in Waynesville, North Carolina and have three grown children, Brookely, Jarrett, and West, as well as “5” grandchildren, Remi, Andie, Hayden, Nash, Hank and two four legged family members, Leo (guard dog) and Killer (lake Kitty).  Life is never dull with the "Grand-crew" and the family enjoys trips and activities together.  Additional pastimes for Susan are spending time on Lake Douglas in Tennessee, getting together with friends and family, visiting new places, and the escape of a good book or movie.


Our team is involved with local communities, assisting charitable organizations such as Rotary, Manna, Asheville Humane Society, and the local Soup Kitchen. For more information about how we can help you pursue your goals and dreams, contact us at your convenience.




    Mars Hill University

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.

Evan McCurry

Wealth Management Banking Specialist


Rhonda S Brooks

Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #589225

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


For more than three decades, Susan Sorrells has been serving the wealth management needs of high-net-worth individuals and families with care and understanding. Supported by client associate, Tangie Smith, one of the most rewarding parts of Susan’s job is getting to know clients and their families, hearing their unique stories, and helping them prepare for what’s next.  

Together, Susan, Tangie, and Belva provide knowledgeable advice and guidance combined with empathetic, caring service to a varied clientele. Many of their clients are busy and successful people who don’t have the time or desire to manage the complexities of their wealth. They turn to us to take those tasks off their plate so they can concentrate on their business and personal lives.

The team strives to create an atmosphere in which clients feel embraced by delivering personalized attention and high-touch service by listening attentively to their requests and addressing their needs, concerns, and questions promptly and efficiently. Clients often tell Susan  that they appreciate the team's continuity, accessibility, proactive communication, and teamwork.

Susan also has experience helping spouses in the process of separating to transfer or liquidate their assets and can assist them, with compassion and discretion, in dealing with the financial issues and results of divorce. In addition, she understands the needs of women, many of whom will take full responsibility for their finances at some point in their lives—as sole earners, after divorce or as widows. In collaboration with their attorneys and accountants, Susan can develop wealth management strategies tailored to their changed circumstances and help them continue to look to the future.

The team finds it extremely rewarding when clients reach that ‘aha’ moment and realize they are on track to achieving their goals. It’s why Susan, Tangie and Belva love what they do, and why they’ve been in the industry for more than two decades. They invite you to come see for yourself, and they look forward to working with you and your family.


It is important that you take positive steps toward your financial future, and that means getting more than just investment advice. I take the time to get to know you and your family, your financial situation and what matters most to you. Using one-on-one collarboration as a foundation, I can work with you to build your own personalized financial strategy.


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.