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

J. Brian DeGroft, CIMA®, CPFA™, Senior Vice President & Wealth Management Advisor, has 33 years of experience with Merrill.  Brian and his team, The Renie DeGroft Arthur Hall Group, provide high net worth individuals and institutional clients customized wealth management advice and fiduciary services.  Brian is a 1991 graduate of the University of Dayton.  Brian has completed executive education at The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business for Financial Leadership and for High Net Worth Investing. Brian has also completed executive education at Harvard University.  Brian achieved the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) certification, studying at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  Brian also holds the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor™ (CPFA™) designation, providing Plan Fiduciary and Education Services for corporate sponsored retirement plans.

Brian and his wife Kristin live in Mason, Ohio.  Brian and Kristin have four adult children.  Three of their children are pursuing careers in the Chicago area and their youngest is studying finance at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Brian volunteers his time coaching special needs hockey with the Cincinnati Cyclones Special Hockey Program and supporting The St. Xavier High School Hockey Program.

Brian and his team of Wealth Structuring, Estate Planning Services and Credit & Lending Specialists help clients pursue their long term goals by incorporating the vast resources available at the combined Merrill, Bank of America & Bank of America Private Bank organization. Brian creates customized investment portfolios, tailored to each client’s specific risk and return objectives determined in the wealth planning process. His areas of focus and professional knowledge are: Investment Management, Fiduciary Services, Retirement Income Planning, Wealth Structuring, Philanthropic Solutions, College Education Planning, Corporate Retirement Plans, Credit & Lending and Tax Minimization Strategies. 

Brian's team of Commercial and Individual Lending Specialists at the combined companies: Merrill, Bank of America and Bank of America Private Bank provide clients with specialized and significant lending opportunities.

*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.

I follow the deep-seated Merrill tradition of participating in the communities we serve. This drives my interest in spending time volunteering with organizations in our community.

    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.

    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.