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


Rhonda Lathrop is a Boston College graduate of the Carroll School of Management.  Her career started with implementing logistic and service solutions for Fortune 500 technology companies.  As an entrepreneur at heart Rhonda owned a Sporting Goods business for 12 years and a Frozen Yogurt business for 4 years. Rhonda evaluated her priorities and thought hard about what mattered most and that was to assist others with their financial matters.  It was at that time that Rhonda transitioned back to Finance as a Wealth Management Advisor. Helping families, individuals and businesses prioritize their goals and put a plan in place that would help them live the lifestyle they worked so hard for.  Regardless of the transition or the shift in your life you are confronted with; divorce, retirement, inheritance, loss of a partner, exit of a business it may be the right time to work with a Financial Advisor that will look at your financial matters and how they align with your priorities. In addition to acquiring her Series 7 and 66 FINRA registrations and Insurance certifications Rhonda Lathrop is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.


    Boston College

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.

Vic Diune

Wealth Strategies Advisor

Bank of America, N.A.

Nicholas Field

Investment Solutions Group Portfolio Strategist

Bank of America, N.A.

Michael Ferris

Alternative Investments Regional Specialist

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


My value is being valuable to clients – financially, professionally and emotionally. As a responsive "problem solver" who relentlessly perseveres, I'm an advisor who makes things happen and gets things done. I'm also a former entrepreneur and tech executive who is a resourceful mother of five.

Today, my clients live in Boston, New York, Florida and across New England. Many are women in transition, blended families and multiple generations whom I help agree on next steps, despite bumps in the road. I also ask "tough questions" that a second marriage or wealthy family may find difficult to answer. "What's the true purpose of your money? What wisdom do you want to pass along, besides your wealth?"

Above all, I am a "student of family dynamics" and the underlying challenges clients don't often express. It is critical that I connect with clients in ways that a previous advisor may not have. I also connect clients with people in their communities who can help them ease a burden or enhance their lifestyle.



•Successful women deserve a financial advisor who's walked in their shoes and can walk alongside them now. I make it my business to enlighten, empower, educate and encourage clients – whether they own a business (like I did for 12 years), work in technology as I did for 20 years), or are navigating the heart- breaking challenges of caring for aging parents.

•All clients should choose the "right" financial advisor – one whose real-world experiences provide insight into what a client is going through, what stands in their way, and the goals they envision.

•My abilities help affluent families, entrepreneurs, corporate executives pursue their financial goals. I do this with the investment research of Merrill, the resources of Bank of America, and our trust professionals. Serving a client's best interests demands that I bring the right people to the table to manage their assets, liabilities and life priorities.


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.


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.


    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.

      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.