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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Tommy Elrod is a Senior Financial Advisor with the Hall Group at Merrill in Portland, Oregon. Tommy approaches his work with key principles in mind: He treats others as he would like his own family to be treated. He appreciates the singularity of each person’s path. And he believes in the life-changing impact that a cohesive financial framework can yield.

Clients look to Tommy for the warmth, attentiveness, and commitment that characterize close relationships. He listens intently, eager to appreciate clients’ needs and reflect on their aspirations. Tommy then puts a detailed strategy in place, connecting clients to the capabilities that can support measurable progress toward their dreams and intentions. He guides clients from diverse backgrounds and life stages, including couples contemplating retirement and mid-career professionals, to younger families and recent graduates. To each client, Tommy brings a talent for communicating clearly, explaining financial concepts in manner that is concrete and understandable.

Tommy has worked as a Financial Advisor since 2012. He has particular depth in wealth strategy, helping clients assemble the various components of their financial lives into an integrated whole. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Sacramento State, where he was a member of the varsity baseball team. Committed to bringing clients innovative ideas, Tommy has attained the Accredited Wealth Management Advisor, AWMA designation.

Tommy and his wife Juliann have four young daughters, Quinn, Isla, Hattie, and Sutton. Life at the Elrod house is joyful and full, and includes lots of love lavished on the family’s yellow lab, Riggins. Originally from the central valley of California, Tommy moved to Portland to be closer to Juliann’s family. Now, Portland feels profoundly like home—so much so that Tommy has convinced his own parents to move North. Tommy is very involved in his local church, where he leads the men’s ministry and serves on the Financial Advisory Team. When time allows, he occasionally hits the golf course and attempts his baseball swing—an effort, he reports, that typically ends poorly.

    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.

    Marci White

    Wealth Management Lending Officer

    Bank of America, N.A.

    NMLS #986796

    Alicia Eliason

    Wealth Management Banking Specialist


    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

    Tommy Mission Welcome

    Managing your wealth requires time, insight, and perspective. Our team can help you integrate multiple aspects of your wealth into a more cohesive whole.

    As a member of the Hall Group, a Merrill® Wealth Management team located in Portland, Oregon, I work closely with individuals, families, and their businesses, listening closely to what they want to accomplish and helping them pursue those aims more effectively.

    Clients come to us with various needs. Some are looking ahead to retirement, wondering about the timing and feasibility of that milestone. Others are already enjoying retirement, eager to secure a reliable income stream. Others are in the process of actively building their wealth, saving for important life goals, like a first or second home, a child’s education, or a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Still others come to us for the direction and coordination we can provide—helping them organize and manage their financial affairs, allowing them to focus on their personal and professional priorities.

    Our team’s Advisors, Stuart Hall and Tommy Elrod, are accustomed to having a meaningful impact on the clients they serve. Veterans in their field, they offer the knowledge and insight that can only stem from experience. Clients look to them not only for their technical insight, but also for the genuine  personal connections they develop with clients and their family members. Many of the team’s client relationships have grown into trusted friendships, evolving as multiple generations pursue their vision of a satisfying and secure financial life.


    We live in a world that’s constantly changing. Markets fluctuate moment to moment. New investment opportunities arise daily. Regulations are amended often. That’s why I believe that you and your situation are the best starting points from which to plan your financial future: where you are today, where you want to be tomorrow, and what you want to accomplish along the way. Because only by understanding you and your priorities, can I effectively offer my experience and resources and help you build a financial framework that is rooted in the unique complexities of your life.


    Helping you pursue your goals starts with getting to know you and your family. We will work together to create a financial strategy that reflects your investment style and is built around your life plan. My planning process can help you identify and prioritize your personal and professional financial goals, including education funding and retirement lifestyle. Potential strategies are offered to provide the “fit” that may best serve your objectives, risk tolerance, time horizon and liquidity needs. I help you understand fees and expenses associated with your accounts.

    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.