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

Watch now

Profile

Cathy’s financial and civic life has been a profile of influence and devotion since she joined Merrill in 1988. Her reputation for caring deeply and sharing financial lessons has attracted a largely referred, nationwide clientele – corporate executives, professional women and athletes, generations of families, and organizations that serve the greater good.  

Cathy’s planning-based practice accounts for clients’ values and visions. Listening more than talking, she facilitates thoughtful discussions that address goals they deem meaningful for themselves and the people they love. She also seeks to empower clients to feel confident about making informed financial decisions – educating whenever possible and meeting with entire families to explain how each stakeholder can contribute to positive outcomes.

“Results and relationships are my priority. What do clients want for themselves, their families and communities? What motivates them? In addition to helping clients identify and prioritize goals for retirement, education, wealth transfer and philanthropy, I examine areas that may have been ignored previously, such as insurance and liability management,” Cathy says. “It’s feels so good to build real-world strategies for clients, then share their joy when milestones are met.”

Having managed clients’ money and emotions amid market turmoil of 2000, 2008 and 2020, Cathy feels proud that virtually all of those clients remain with her today. She believes that’s due in large part to her transparency, frequency of contact and enlightened perspective on mitigating investment risk. Still, Cathy’s focus remains on clients’ lives, not just their bottom lines. She has “walked with clients” through personal challenges – divorce, the loss of a spouse, and the sale of a business. She has also celebrated with clients at their weddings, birthday and anniversary parties.

Based on each client’s long-term financial objectives, Cathy builds a tailored strategy meant to mitigate risk and tax consequences. Accounting for their investment timeline, risk tolerance and liquidity needs, she utilizes the firm’s Chief Investment Office and award-winning analysts to design their portfolio. Cathy holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor CRPC® designation.

Cathy also coordinates tax-minimization and estate planning strategies with the efforts of clients’ CPAs and attorneys, as well as the firm’s trust professionals. Paying attention to both sides of clients’ balance sheets – assets and liabilities – she offers clients ready access to specialists from Bank of America for residential and securities-based lending.

A proud graduate of Vanderbilt University, Cathy was the first in her family to attend college and the second female in the University's history to receive a full four-year athletic scholarship. The school’s all-time leader in assists, she was inducted into the Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2021. 

Cathy has continued to play hard for her alma mater. She is a past member of the Alumni Board Executive Committee and the Athletic Director Search Committee, former president of the Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni Board, and former co-chair of the AVBA Endowed Scholarship Fund. Currently, Cathy co-chairs the Inaugural Vanderbilt Black and Gold Club.

Cathy’s civic participation has spanned four Nashville mayors, who have appointed her to the Metropolitan Sports Authority, where she currently serves as chair. She was also appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen to serve on the Tennessee Ethics Committee. Cathy graduated from the 1996 Class of Leadership Nashville, co-chairs the Baron's Society for the NMAAM, and serves with the Sue Peters and Maddox Foundations. She was recently selected for membership in the International Women’s Forum. Cathy is also a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.


*Institutional Investor magazine announced BofA Global Research as one of the Top Global Research Firms in 2021 based on surveys held throughout the year. The magazine creates rankings of the top research analysts in a wide variety of specializations, drawn from the choices of portfolio managers and other investment professionals at more than 1,000 firms. BofA Global Research is research produced by BofA Securities, Inc. (“BofAS”) and/or one or more of its affiliates. BofAS is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC, and wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation. Learn more about the methodology at Institutional Investor. Rankings and recognition from Institutional Investor are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure that a current or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance results and such rankings should not be construed as an endorsement.
*The Chief Investment Office (CIO) provides thought leadership on wealth management, investment strategy and global markets; portfolio management solutions; due diligence; and solutions oversight and data analytics. CIO viewpoints are developed for Bank of America Private Bank, a division of Bank of America, N.A., (“Bank of America”) and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“MLPF&S” or “Merrill”), a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation.

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.

  • LANGUAGES

    English

  • EDUCATION

    Vanderbilt University

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.


      MLBrochure.png

      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.

      Anthem video thumb.jpg 
      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.