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.

Rebekah Renee Crouse

Forbes "Top Women Wealth Advisors Best-in-State” 2023
Published on February 2, 2023. Rankings based on data as of September 30, 2022.*

Meet the Team

Supported by the global resources of Merrill, our 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

A Customized Financial Experience That Reflects Your Personality

The Crouse Team serves individuals, families, and business owners who have accumulated or are in the process of accumulating the resources that allow them to shape the kind of life they desire. If you are like these clients, you look at wealth as a vehicle that allows you to live the type of lifestyle that you choose, and most likely you enjoy providing advantages to your children and grandchildren. Your situation calls for a special kind of financial guidance – insight that's rooted in a deep understanding of who you are and what financial goals you want to accomplish.

Serving multiple generations of clients

We believe that the key testament to our team's capabilities is the fact that three generations of some client families in the Tri-state Area and across the country have chosen to develop and maintain a long-standing relationship with us. They rely on us to help them enjoy their resources now and help them grow or preserve their wealth for the long term.

We enjoy spending time with clients whether we are helping them with their finances or just having fun together at one of our client appreciation events. At your request, we will involve your children and grandchildren in our meetings and events, so they know our team and are prepared to develop their own wealth management strategies when the need arises.

Designing Retirement Strategies to Match Your Outlook

Today's affluent investors frequently retire from their current career to begin a new dynamic chapter in their life. They travel extensively, give back to their communities, help their children or grandchildren, or even start second careers. Our team is dedicated to support you through these endeavors by offering retirement strategies that are driven by your definition of retirement with guidance that considers the following aspects:

What is your ideal retirement outcome? Our team can help you crystallize your thinking about your retirement. By developing a deep understanding of your complete retirement outlook, we will help you determine how much money you need to retire. We will also help you develop tailored income and wealth strategies designed to help you pursue your goals.

What kind of portfolio offers you the potential to support your retirement lifestyle? We will help you customize income and wealth
strategies designed with the goal of achieving your desired retirement goals.

What kind of income do you need? In order to maintain your chosen lifestyle, we will help you consider various income and distribution strategies and customize an appropriate one for you.

What special needs may you have? Our team's knowledge and experience about long-term care and healthcare savings strategies can help you address these needs while keeping you on track with your retirement goals.

Whether you are in the early stages of planning for retirement or already retired, we can analyze your expenses, cash flow and investment picture to see how long your assets could last and recommend ways to help you keep more of your money working for you.

Strategies Customized For You

In order to create a diversified personalized portfolio that fits you and your unique situation, Rebekah and Kirk execute a dedicated process that starts with developing a deep understanding of your complete picture.

Getting to know you
Our first goal is to get to know you and your unique situation. After we have a good understanding of what is important to you and what you are trying to accomplish with your wealth, we will work with you to uncover your attitude toward investing and the amount of risk you are willing to take to pursue your goals, as managing risk is a top priority.

Creating a portfolio that reflects your personality
Once we have a thorough understanding of your complete financial picture, our team will build a diversified portfolio personalized for you. We will explain the investments that we are recommending in terms that you will understand, and we will discuss the investment risk relative to the potential return of any recommended strategies. If you are in agreement with the strategy, we will begin implementing it.

Reviewing progress toward goals
We will meet with you periodically in a manner that it is comfortable for you – in person, phone or online. We will review progress toward your goals and performance against benchmarks. These reviews also keep us informed of changes in your overall picture that we will help you address. In addition to scheduled reviews, you can call us any time, and we will call you if market conditions might affect your strategy.

Adapting as life changes and goals are reached
Through our open and frequent communication with you, we will know when your priorities change or when your risk tolerance changes. When you face any change to your financial picture, we will collaborate with you to adjust your portfolio as necessary to help you stay on track to make progress toward your goals.

Helping You Navigate Each Stage of Life

We have a range of services that we can deliver to clients that extends beyond wealth management. We guide clients with investments, wealth transfer, life insurance and long–term care insurance. Through access to resources at Bank of America, we can help clients explore a range of credit and lending services. We have strategies customized for your needs.

Retirees and pre-retirees–We will help you determine the amount of wealth you need to accumulate to make your path to and through retirement fulfilling. While you are still working, we will recommend strategies designed to help maximize your retirement income. After you retire, we will customize an income stream.

Estate planning services–Wealth transfer is often a goal of clients. If your unique financial situation warrants it, we can work with you, your attorney, and Bank of America Private Bank, which provides fiduciary services for Merrill clients, to develop strategies designed to help you preserve your legacy. We give clients access to exclusive legacy-planning vehicles through Trusteed IRAs.

Business owners–From 401(k) and profit-sharing plans to defined-benefit and non-qualified deferred compensation plans, we have experience assisting business owners who seek to maximize the amount of income they can defer for retirement while providing valuable retirement benefits to their employees.

Corporate executives–It is common for corporate executives to develop concentrated and restricted stock positions over the course of their careers. We have experience developing diversification strategies for these holdings that we can align with your risk appetite and goals in mind.

Credit and lending–You may also benefit from the experience of a Wealth Management Lending Officer from Bank of America, N.A. who can provide strategic and personalized banking guidance focused on your needs.  Working together, your Financial Advisor team and Lending Officer can draw upon an expansive array of lending solutions designed to fit into your overall financial strategy and help you pursue your financial objectives.  The Wealth Management Lending Officer does not offer investment advice, nor make recommendations on investment products.

*Trust, fiduciary, and investment management services, including assets managed by the Specialty Asset Management Team,] are provided by Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC, and wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”), and its agents. Bank of America Private Bank is a division of Bank of America, N.A.

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

      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.


      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.