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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I am a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. I leverage Merrill investments resources and Bank of America banking and mortgage capabilities to provide my clients with tailor-made financial strategies and help them optimize their investments and mortgage decisions.

I chose the career path of personal finance management to see the tangible results of my work be materialized into families' financial happiness and retirement or real estate projects success.

With a financial engineering master’s degree, experience in private banking, asset management and investment banking, globally recognized designations in the world of investment, I feel that I have an unusual quantitative background and financial experience among my peers that give me a unique ability to offer personalized and dynamic (tactical) investments portfolios to my clients while bringing investing consistency and long-term vision to their financial picture.

Merrill brought me the perfect environment and the perfect business model to establish relationships with clients, putting clients’ interests first and foremost. And proud to advise with high ethical standards, and not product-based.

I also focus on assisting people with international questions: retirement over two countries, studies abroad, inheritance or other foreign investments/financing with a currency impact.



    English & French


    Supaero (France)

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.

Louis Tavares

Wealth Management Banking Specialist


James D Fox

Structured Credit Executive

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

Your LIFE, your GOALS

It is my role to listen to you carefully and to understand your priorities and place them into financial concepts and portfolios allocations to help you turn your goals into reality. “Identifying your goals” is for many a meaningless common-sense expression but for me it is an essential part of the investment process.

Earning or losing money is not having red or green figures in your bank statements, it is getting closer to your goals. In the three following examples, specific goals and risks cannot be managed with basic asset allocation concepts and require a financial professional:

1. Relocation / Currency risk: a Foreign National who desire to go back to Canada or Europe

2. Early retirement / Inflation risk: a business owner who would like to retire at 50 and live with the money from the sale of their company

3. Having a life not impacted by an energy prices downturn / Commodity risk: an executive in an Oil & Gas company, having a large position in his employer stock and owning a property in Houston

That is why I consider that identifying and managing the risks is 50% of the advisor work. I call it “Managing the uncertainty”.

*Some or all alternative investment programs may not be in the best interest of certain investors. No assurance can be given that any alternative investment’s investment objectives will be achieved.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

My Experience

I hold a Master of Science in Quantitative Finance from the ISAE-Supaero (France), completed with two professional designations, that are the worldwide references: the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) and CAIA (Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst).

I have an experience of managing investments portfolios in Wealth Management, Asset Management and Investment Banking, in Europe (Societe Generale) and in the US.

I feel that this international and quantitative background, very far from many sales-oriented professionals, enables me to be very investments-focused, with the capabilities and experience to handle complex and flexible investment situations.

After having analyzed my clients’ current financial situation and goals, I design, implement and periodically track an individualized strategic asset allocation for each client.

This long-term strategic approach is modified to incorporate shorter term market anticipations: this tactical approach is based on Merrill research, rational and understandable forecasting concepts, and each client personality and investment experience.

My asset allocation portfolios do not only integrate domestic stocks or bonds, but also investments in international markets, listed real estate, commodities, hedge funds, currency management and exclusive Merrill structured products to improve the risk/reward ratio.

This whole process is designed to be cost and tax efficient to maximize the net after-tax returns through appropriate taxed-advantaged accounts, such as retirement accounts (IRAs) and education savings accounts (529).

*Some or all alternative investment programs may not be in the best interest of certain investors. No assurance can be given that any alternative investment’s investment objectives will be achieved.
*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.

Lending solutions

Bank of America offers a variety of mortgage solutions for any financing need, from standard mortgages to HELOC and custom structured credits. It is a leading lender in the US, both in terms of lending capabilities and mortgage interest rates. Merrill clients benefit from Bank of America expertise, adding a level of personalization and improved closing times.

Managing assets and liabilities together, i.e. both sides of a personal balance sheet, is a key element of every financial life. That is why mortgages are an integral part of my practice.

I usually intervene in 3 steps:

1.     Education: providing details about how a mortgage works: maturities, points, variable rates…

2.     Interest rates lock: recommending the best mortgage options and using all the possible options to lock the best rate

3.     Closing: making sure the mortgage successfully closes and in time.


With an international background and experience working with people all over the world, it is natural for me to offer people on questions about situations I am familiar with: retirement or education over two countries, inheritance or other foreign investments/financing needs with a currency impact.

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.