Investing: Where do I even start?

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Merrill lynch

The Collins Whitehurst Femat Group

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Merrill Lynch
Wealth Management

Our planning approach is to work together with you to create a personalized financial strategy designed to help you pursue your goals.

Building lasting relationships

Founded more than 50 years ago, The Collins Whitehurst Femat Group is a close-knit wealth management advisory team with strong family values and a deep respect for clients. Located in San Antonio, Texas, we work together to offer clients thoughtful and personalized attention, advice and guidance.

Our team's most important asset is the bond we form with clients. The clients we serve share a determination to grow, preserve and transfer their wealth wisely. We are committed to helping them with those endeavors, and we measure our success by their achievements.

Over the years, we have helped guide clients through a variety of markets. In the process we have developed a deep appreciation for the value of a long-range strategy, and we believe that a focus on long-term wealth management can help clients pursue their financial goals.

Our mission is to:

Exceed your expectations. We strive to accomplish this through outstanding customer service, knowledgeable advice and guidance and informed recommendations. We understand that the assets you ask us to help you manage are the results of your hard work and the foundation of your legacy.
Examine your entire financial picture. We offer advice and guidance for the various aspects of your financial life, including investing, retirement income planning, wealth transfer, estate planning services and life insurance, as well as access to philanthropic services through Bank of America.
Build strong client relationships that span generations. We seek to build these relationships based on trust and discretion. We are committed to preserving your privacy.
Communicate proactively with you. We strive to be timely in sharing news and information, both positive and negative.
Be a financial collaborator with you and your family. This collaboration can help us organize and simplify your financial life by integrating all its pieces. Clients have told us that we are one of the first calls they make during a time of financial need.

"We provide clients with a familiar place they can turn to for advice and guidance during both good and tough times."

Cindy Whitehurst Collins, CIMA®, CRPC®

First Vice President
Wealth Management Advisor

Focusing on what is important to you

Life is a journey filled with twists and turns. A well-thought-out wealth management strategy can help you navigate your journey and cope with important events, from the purchase or liquidation of a business to retirement, marriage, divorce, the birth of a child or the loss of a loved one. Creating such a strategy requires discipline, perspective and detailed oversight and review.

Traditional financial management focuses on your investable assets. We look beyond these to your life goals and are committed to helping you find paths toward them. We spend time getting to know what's important to you. In addition to reviewing your liquid securities and assets, we offer retirement income planning and insurance services, as well as access to assistance with trusts and home financing through Bank of America. We can also help you examine your corporate benefits, including defined-compensation plans and restricted stock units.

Once we've helped you articulate your goals, we develop strategies to help you pursue them. We explain our recommendations carefully to help you understand and feel comfortable with what we are proposing.

We keep you abreast of Merrill's market views and routinely share investment insights with you. Your needs and goals will change over time, and when they do, we'll meet with you to reexamine your overall strategy and help you make adjustments as needed.

"We are passionate about what we do. When necessary, we will not hesitate to have difficult conversations with clients, especially if we think they will outlive their money in retirement."

Michael D. Whitehurst, CFP®, CIMA®, CRPC®, CRPS®

First Vice President
Wealth Management Advisor
NMLS# 621331

Helping you manage the different aspects of your financial life

Today's investors need more than information. They need wealth management professionals to put that information into context. We help clients pursue their goals by connecting the various pieces of their financial lives. If we can't meet a certain need ourselves, we can draw on a team of talented Merrill financial service professionals with extensive experience and diverse capabilities.

Retirement outcome planning services—When, where and how do you plan to retire? Understanding what a successful retirement looks like to you will help us suggest a financial strategy to guide you toward that vision. We use Merrill retirement planning tools to show you your potential retirement income and assets, given your current retirement savings. This projection can also help you prepare for such contingencies as higher medical costs or significant taxes on retirement withdrawals.

Corporate retirement planning services—As a business owner, you understand the critical role a well-designed retirement program can play in helping to attract and retain highly talented employees, to make the most of your business assets and to assist your employees with their retirement savings goals. In collaboration with Merrill retirement planning specialists, we can help you with the process of designing defined-contribution plans and nonqualified deferred-compensation plans, including needs assessments, investment analysis and menu selection, and employee communication and education.

Banking and lending*—Through a Wealth Management Lending Officer from Bank of America, clients have access to a broad spectrum of banking and lending services, including credit, lending and loan arrangements, debt consolidation, home financing and refinancing and security-based lending products.

Wealth transfer—You've worked hard to achieve the life you desire. Now you want to help your heirs do the same, as well as support the causes you believe in. A carefully designed estate plan can preserve the assets you wish to pass on. We can collaborate with your tax, legal and other advisors to help develop tax minimization strategies as well as wealth transfer strategies using such tools as insurance, trusts, gifts and family partnerships.

*Wealth Management Lending Officers do not offer investment advice, nor make recommendations on investment products. Banking products such as checking accounts and certificates of deposit are FDIC insured to the maximum allowed by law and are offered through Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC.
Borrowing against securities has risks. Individual requirements, portfolio composition, and risk tolerance, as well as capital gains taxes, portfolio performance expectations and investment time horizon, should be considered. The firm can sell your securities or other assets without contacting you. You are not entitled to choose which securities or other assets in your account(s) are liquidated or sold to meet a margin call. The firm can increase its "house" maintenance margin requirements at any time and is not required to provide you advance written notice. You are not entitled to an extension of time on a margin call.

"We educate clients and will only recommend an investment if we feel it's appropriate for their individual situation."

Anna M. Femat, CRPC®

Vice President
Wealth Management Advisor

Preparing for the unexpected

Sometimes life can take an unexpected turn that can impact your wealth and income—even your family's well-being and lifestyle. Working with Merrill wealth structuring specialists, we can develop forward-thinking contingency strategies designed to prepare you for unplanned events.

Wealth preserving strategies, involving tools like life, key-person and long-term care insurance as well as life insurance trusts, can play a critical role in virtually any financial strategy. Used effectively, these strategies can help you safeguard your assets, your income and your family's financial security. They may also perform important functions in an estate plan, by preserving assets or providing a means to pay estate taxes, as well as in a business-protection plan, by helping ensure that the business can carry on even if a crucial executive dies or becomes disabled. Long-term care insurance can be key to helping families pay for extended medical care for themselves or a loved one as they age.

"Our goal is to help you prepare for the unexpected and uncover what might prevent you from pursuing your goals by presenting 'what if' scenarios."

Cindy Whitehurst Collins, CIMA®

First Vice President
Wealth Management Advisor

Meet the Team

Supported by the global resources of Merrill, our 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.

Jennifer N Perez

Wealth Management Banking Specialist


Daniel Scalley

Wealth Strategies Advisor

Bank of America, N.A.

Mary Elizabeth Murphy

Retirement Specialist

Bank of America, N.A.

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 we can help you create a financial approach that reflects your personality. Only then can we 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.