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Tara Carlson



Tara, Assistant Vice President, Senior Financial Advisor and Portfolio Advisor, began her financial services career nine years ago.  Previously, Tara spent over 7 years at Waddell & Associates where she was a Wealth Strategist and Financial Advisor. Today, Tara focuses on serving families, business owners, and corporate executives. A Portfolio Advisor, in addition to providing traditional advice and guidance, can help clients pursue their investment objectives by recommending individual, or any combination of, Merrill or approved third- party investment managers’ strategies, funds or portfolios. 
Tara is experienced in helping clients prepare for important transition events like the sale of a business, retirement, or an inheritance. She has also helped corporate executives manage concentrated stock positions.  When appropriate, Tara provides access to Bank of America Private Bank for clients’ trust and estate planning services and Bank of America for clients’ commercial banking and personal banking and financing needs. In addition, she works with clients’ attorneys, accountants and other advisors to help coordinate their financial and legacy strategies.

She received her bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Georgetown University in 2002 and her JD/MBA in corporate finance and closely held corporations from The University of Tennessee in 2008. Tara follows a disciplined process that begins with first taking the time to fully understand each client’s particular needs, concerns and priorities. She is passionate about delivering excellent service and holds her FINRA Series 7 and 66 regsitrations and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant.  

She is active in the community supporting her church, United Way, CABLE, FPA, Georgetown's Application Committee, and the Estate Planning Council.  Tara has volunteered with United Way for 10 years and is the chair of United Way’s OBI financial stability committee and a part of the design team for the Financial Empowerment Center. 

She and her husband, Dan, live in Brentwood with their two boys, Lucas and Elliot, and their dog, Lola. 

*Tara does not provide legal advice in her role with Merrill.


    Georgetown University

    University of Tennessee - Knoxville JD/MBA

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.

Lauren Galvin

Lauren Galvin

Trust Specialist

Bank of America, N.A.

Brandon Janovsky

Brandon Janovsky

ISG Portfolio Strategist

Merrill Lynch

Brandon Sanders

Brandon Sanders

Wealth Management Banking Specialist

Merrill Lynch

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

Tara's Mission & Why

What matters most is what matters most to you.  Considering the sale of a business or purchase of a home? Worried about managing future health care expenses? College on the horizon? Preparing to pass your wealth to future generations? We will partner with you to develop strategies designed to address your financial needs.  We encourage questions!  

Among the reasons I chose to become a financial advisor is my desire to help others clarify their goals and priorities.  My passion for wealth management and helping to educate clients stems from the financial challenges I have watched friends and family experience in the past. As witness to the challenges faced by important people in my life, I recognized the need for a professional and caring team to help others realize the life they want.

Tara's Philosophy

We place the investor front and center— connecting all aspects of clients’ financial lives while maintaining a focus on the market. 

We believe that no two people are alike. Consequently, there is no singular wealth management strategy that is appropriate for everyone. That’s why, from the start, we talk about your aspirations and encourage you to ask questions about issues that matter most to you. 

We believe that open and clear communication is instrumental to success in managing life’s financial decisions and challenges.

Structured Process

I start with a conversation, building a foundation that helps me understand your risk tolerance, time horizons, liquidity needs, goals, priorities and unique financial concerns.

By listening and understanding you and your priorities, we help you articulate where you see yourself and your family now and in the future.

Together, we will create a financial strategy and plan that reflects your personality and is built around your life priorities.

Once your strategy is in place, we periodically monitor your portfolio and update your plan and look for new ways to support your goals.

How We Help

Wealth Management is a dynamic, ongoing process because it has to fit your ever-changing life. We believe clients realize the full value of our relationship, including:

  • Helping you make significant decisions
  • Assisting in mitigation of investment taxes and work to increase tax efficient savings
  • Helping you prioritize and pursue goals
  • Clarifying the retirement lifestyle you envision
  • Analyzing your pension, Medicare and Social Security options
  • Understanding your investment personality
  • Being transparent by making possibilities, fees and risks clear
  • Taking steps to help you preserve income during a life challenge
  • Educating the younger generation about investments and the markets
Some clients have additional questions particularly, business owners, executives, and high net worth families including:

  • Answering how much do I need to net from my business or firm’s sale in order to retire
  • Organizing business and personal plans to prepare for a liquidity event
  • Diversifying business interests
  • Managing concentrated equity holdings
  • Preparing for the cost of education for children and grandchildren
  • Finding suitable methods to transfer wealth to the next generation
  • Helping you engage your family in financial decision-making
  • Establishing a legacy through family foundations and philanthropy


My process is designed to help deliver a customized, consistent experience to assist clients not only in wealth accumulation and preservation, but in areas that go beyond investment management. My ability to provide access to the investment insights of Merrill, as well as banking, trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America offers a way to help clients manage all of the pieces of their financial lives. I view myself as a financial resource, helping clients with strategies for transferring wealth to the younger generation.

Focus On High-Net-Worth Individuals and Business Owners

I'm fully versed in the many issues that affect wealth management. No matter what your short- and long-term goals may be, I'll begin by getting to know you as we explore the following seven priorities together:

  • 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 and giving to charities
  • Work: Working in retirement, selling or starting a business
  • Finance: Bringing it all together; defining your financial goals
We work closely with other professionals to help clients pursue their wealth management goals, drawing on the investment insights of Merrill and offering access to the banking convenience of Bank of America as we do so.

Your Financial Strategy

We offer you access to the investing insights of Merrill, as well as banking, trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America to help you pursue your goals. We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.

Taking care of your family and other people in your life
  • Trust & Estate Services2
  • Education Funding Strategies1
  • Insurance3
Planning for healthcare expenses now and in the future
  • Long-term Care Insurance3
  • Health Savings Account2
  • Disability Insurance3
Upsizing, downsizing, remodeling or buying a vacation home
  • Home Loans2
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Credit Cards2
Working in retirement, selling or starting a business
  • Bank of America Business Banking2
  • Exchange Funds1
  • Concentrated Stock Management1
  • Succession Planning1
Spending your free time in meaningful ways
  • Credit Cards2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Structured Lending2
Volunteering, mentoring others and giving to charities
  • Donor-Advised Funds2
  • Private Foundations2
  • Charitable Trusts2
Using your finances to bring it all together
  • Merrill Lynch Investment Accounts1
  • Investment Advisory Accounts1
  • Alternative Investments1
  • Exchange-Traded Funds1
  • Mutual Funds1
  • Closed-end Funds1
  • Fixed Income Products1
  • Options1
  • Annuities3
  • Impact Portfolios1
  • Market-Linked Investments1
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Margin1
  • Home Loans2
  • Bank of America Checking and Savings Accounts2
  • Credit Cards2
  • Online Account Access1,2

1Investment products are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
2Banking products are offered by Bank of America, N.A.
3Insurance and annuity products offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.

Staying on Track

We understand that both your life and the financial markets can change over time. By periodically checking in to discuss changes in your life and revisiting your financial strategy, our goal is to help you stay on track to achieve what's most important to you.

Periodic reviews to help you
stay on track

We'll meet with you periodically to review your goals and the progress you’ve made toward reaching them. We'll also discuss any adjustments needed to your financial strategy to help you stay on course.

    Monitoring changes in your life
    and to your goals

    Your life and goals change. We can help you keep track of these changes so they can be reflected in your financial strategy.

    Wealth Management Your Way

    MyMerrill is your online and mobile destination for access to your financial information, secure communications, and a robust offering of tools and capabilities

    It’s easy to seamlessly integrate your Merrill Wealth Management and Bank of America banking accounts online and through our mobile apps with a single click

    You can manage account security with our customizable security capabilities such as Face ID/Touch ID, one time passcode and other security features

    Your advisor is a click away through our Secure Inbox and texting application

    Access to your complete financial life is available with Spending & Budgeting, integrating your Merrill and Bank of America activity into a powerful tool to track your expenses and income

      Let’s Have a Conversation

      There is no substitute for a one-on-one relationship with a Merrill Lynch financial advisor committed to your needs – a caring advisor who can leverage the investment insights of Merrill Lynch and access to the banking convenience of Bank of America to help clients face today’s financial and economic landscape. Let’s work together to help you achieve your goals.

      Why Merrill Lynch?

      As Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors, we will sort through the financial complexities of your life, helping you build a customized investment strategy to 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.

      Personalized advice from a dedicated financial advisor.

      Getting to know you is our primary goal.

      A comprehensive approach, built around your life’s priorities.

      Drawing from our experience and the best thinking of Merrill, we will build a strategy that reflects your unique needs, priorities and financial situation.

      Adjusting your strategy as your life and the markets change.

      We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.