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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Since 2003, Paul Weathers’ wealth management career has afforded him relationships beyond what he ever expected. Today, those friendships span generations of families in Texas, Tennessee, and seven other states – including clients who followed him to Merrill in 2018. Many of his clients are active recruiters, attorneys, professionals in the biomedical and defense industries, as well as couples nearing retirement.

Working from his offices in Frisco, Texas, and Brentwood, Tennessee, Paul has honed a highly personal, planning-based approach that continues over the course of each relationship. To gain a genuine appreciation of what holds meaning to each client, he asks questions such as, “What’s important to you about your money? Are there any family dynamics or special circumstances you would like to discuss? What would your ideal financial situation look like in 5-10 years?” And quite often, “What are you trying to accomplish with this rollover or inheritance?”

“Many clients come to me at a decision point – when they realize it’s time to get serious about managing their investments or when they’re not sure they can retire comfortably. It’s important to earn trust and show them what their future can look like given alternate scenarios. It’s not a one-time event – it’s an ongoing, dynamic process. No fancy jargon. Just simple, straightforward explanations and thoughtful conversations meant to manage risk and identify opportunities,” Paul says.

Beyond each client, he dedicates time to meeting with entire families. Putting a premium on organizing their financial affairs in order to help enhance generational wealth, Paul is detail oriented – often reviewing multiple documents to help clients pass along wealth efficiently. He also finds time to educate the next generation in clients’ families so that the lessons of hard work, good financial habits, and family values can be shared.

When it comes to investments, Paul recommends holdings he can describe in basic terms so that clients can understand what they own and why. Using Merrill research, he creates portfolios across asset classes, taking a long-term view to help achieve desired objectives. Paul points out, “I really appreciate Merrill’s award-winning research, depth of industry knowledge, and breadth of financial tools.”

Paul believes that his rigorous industry training has given him an extra measure of knowledge that can benefit clients and their families. He holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards as well as the Chartered Financial Consultant® ChFC® designation from the American College.

Originally from Nashville, Paul is an honors graduate from the University of Tennessee. He launched his career in 2003 at Raymond James Financial and moved to Merrill in 2018. Paul’s favorite moments are spent with his wife and their children. When time allows, he also enjoys a good game of golf.

*You have choices about what to do with your 401(k) or other type of plan-sponsored accounts. Depending on your financial circumstances, needs, and goals, you may choose to roll over to an IRA or convert to a Roth IRA, roll over a 401(k) from a prior employer to a 401(k) at your new employer, take a distribution, or leave the account where it is. Each choice may offer different investments and services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, tax treatment (particularly with reference to employer stock), and provide different protection from creditors and legal judgments. These are complex choices and should be considered with care. For more information, please contact your Merrill Financial Advisor.
*Institutional Investor magazine announced BofA Global Research as one of the Top Global Research Firms in 2022 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.
*Any information presented in connection with BofA Global Research is general in nature and is not intended to provide personal investment advice. The information does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any specific person who may receive it. Investors should understand that statements regarding future prospects may not be realized. 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. BofA Global Research does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should consider this report as only a single factor in making their investment decision.

  • LANGUAGES

    English

  • EDUCATION

    University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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.

Kenneth Finke

Investment Solutions Group Portfolio Strategist

Bank of America, N.A.

Joyce M. Cortez

Wealth Management Banking Specialist

Merrill

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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      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.