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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Roger Kent brings his “seasoned and sensitive” planning-based approach to what are now multiple generations of clients residing nationwide. With Roger’s disciplined focus on clients’ evolving circumstances and objectives, he embraces the importance of meaningful, frequent and candid dialog.

“My role extends well beyond investments. I make it my business to gain a first-hand appreciation of clients. And I want them to benefit from a customized financial strategy – one that can address their personal goals for retirement, wealth transfer, college savings, and business succession, while accounting for wise tax and liability management,” Roger explains. “Before I examine a client’s investments, we work together to establish a stronger financial footing. Preparing clients for likely and unlikely scenarios is the best way I know to preserve their wealth and confidence.”

Roger has long served the complex wealth management needs of physicians, successful small business owners (and their 401(k) plans), retired couples, divorcees, and widows. “Using my knowledge of a client’s preferences and the extraordinary capabilities of Merrill analysts, I can help minimize risk with client-appropriate investments from portfolios that span asset classes,” Roger says. “I’m proud to be straightforward and transparent – explaining clients’ underlying investments and fees. Enduring relationships are built on foundations of honesty and trust.”
|Deeply committed to assisting clients during their lives’ most challenging transitions, Roger accompanies them on many occasions to meetings he facilitates with their attorneys and CPAs, as well as the Firm’s lending and insurance specialists. Often a client’s “first call” during difficult times, Roger believes that emotional support can be as critical as financial guidance.

“Helping clients is gratifying to me and my two client associates. They’ve each worked at Merrill for more than 35 years. They know clients very well – and they’re especially skilled at connecting them with the Firm’s extensive resources. We work as a team, on each client’s behalf,” Roger adds.

Roger P. Kent, CFP®, CRPC®
Senior Vice President
Wealth Management Advisor
Senior Portfolio Advisor

Celebrating his 30th anniversary with Merrill and long relationships with many clients, Roger joined the Firm in 1994 after working for four years at J.P. Morgan in its Private Banking Group.

Roger is a specially qualified Senior Portfolio Advisor who, in addition to providing traditional advice and guidance, can draw from his experience to help clients pursue their objectives by building and managing custom investment strategies, selecting from a wide range of Merrill model portfolios and third-party investment strategies. When servicing clients through the Firm’s Investment Advisory Program, a Senior Portfolio Advisor may manage those strategies on a discretionary basis. Roger is a CFP® certificant, a designation awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Through rigorous and ongoing education, as well as a pristine record of compliance, he has maintained this designation for many years. Roger also holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠, CRPC® designation.

Born in Louisville, Roger lived in Cincinnati until he was ten years old and spent most of his childhood in Newtown Square (a suburb of Philadelphia). Given his roots in three hotbeds of college basketball, it’s not surprising that Roger is an avid fan of his alma mater, Villanova University, where he earned a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. In his free time, Roger enjoys long distance running, playing basketball and volunteering as a coach for CYO and recreation leagues. Roger and his wife, Melissa, reside in Chester Springs with their three children and enjoy spending time at the Jersey Shore whenever possible.

Joyce Volpe
Wealth Management Client Associate

As familiar to clients as she is with the Firm’s specialists and resources, Joyce brings nearly 38 years of experience to the office each day. Joyce joined Merrill in 1986 in the Philadelphia Service Center. Shortly after, she moved to the Firm’s operations in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and became a Client Associate – enabling her to serve clients directly. Joyce and Roger have worked together for 24 years.

Joyce earned a Bachelors of Science in Marketing from St. Joseph’s University in 1986. Raised in Springfield, Pennsylvania, she now lives in Media, Pennsylvania with her husband, Mark. Their three children include two in college and one in high school. Joyce’s passion for serving clients is only surpassed by her love of family time. She also enjoys theater, music, travel and working out (especially, yoga). Joyce is also actively involved at St. Mary Magdalen Parish and Philabundance.

Dee Volpe-Gubicza
Wealth Management Client Associate

A true Merrill veteran, Dee joined the Firm in 1983. Today, she feels privileged to handle an array of financial matters for clients. In addition to their transactions, account and administrative needs, Dee serves as a proactive and responsive liaison between clients, Roger, and numerous specialists throughout Bank of America and Merrill. Dee and Roger have worked together for 24 years.

A native of Manayunk, Pennsylvania, Dee and her husband, Jeff, have raised two daughters and a son. Brianna teaches pre-school. Alyssa attends Penn State and dances for Penn State THON. Jeffrey attends LaSalle College High School and plays baseball there. Dee and her family currently reside in Conshohocken, where she is a big fan of “all Philly sports and Penn State football.” Dee loves to travel, especially to Phillies’ Spring Training in Clearwater, Florida. For years, Dee and her family have provided casseroles on a monthly basis for St. John Hospice in Philadelphia. She belongs to Friends for Friends and Cardinal View Women’s Club (which both serve needy local families). Dee also “adopts” less fortunate families during the Holiday season and makes pillowcases for patients at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

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.


    Villanova University

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.

Michael L. Venturi

Employee Benefits Specialist

Bank of America, N.A.

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


    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.