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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Martin Harar grew up in the Northern Virginia area. After attending Bishop O'Connell High School, he studied at Virginia Tech and graduated in 1977. He immediately started his 36 year career at State Farm insurance - first as a State Farm agent in Reston, Virginia and then in 1995 transitioned to management. He retired in March 2013 and started his Merrill career in April.

Martin is a parishioner of St. Thomas Aquinas, a member of the Knights of Columbus, a volunteer at Charlottesville Catholic School and The Covenant School, and member of the Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations. In addition, he is President of the Charlottesville Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association. He consistently seeks to embody Virginia Tech's motto of Ut Prosim or "That I May Serve" both in his work and in the community.  

With a career in the financial services industry for over 40 years, he focuses on clients' goals and concerns. As a Senior Financial Advisor, he utilizes the goals-based wealth management process that complements his ability to help clients pursue the financial lifestyle that is most meaningful to them. Each plan is customized with an emphasis on asset preservation and a lifetime of retirement income. 

 Martin is a problem solver who works to simplify clients' financial lives. He assists clients, their families, and businesses in understanding the range of priorities and strategies - including tax minimization strategies, retirement income, wealth transfer and estate planning services - that may be customized to fit their personal circumstances and their own unique feelings and attitudes. 

He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant, awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

Our team is involved with local communities, assisting charitable organizations such as St. Thomas Aquinas. For more information about how we can help you pursue your goals and dreams, contact us at your convenience.




    Virginia Tech

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.

Tamana Hakimzada

Wealth Management Banking Specialist


Joseph L Crews

Retirement Specialist

Bank of America, N.A.

Amie Hajovsky

Regional Lending Specialist

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #1838144

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 goal is to connect you to the people, plan and process that best fit your unique ambitions. We help you pursue your personal goals, such as planning for and funding your children’s educations; helping to ensure that your retirement lifestyle their and potential health care costs are covered; and creating a personalized plan designed to help you achieve your family's long-term goals. Everything I do for and with you takes into account your personal perspectives and priorities. I aim to bring simplicity and transparency to the complexities of investing, making the intimidating task of wealth planning an exciting journey of managing and helping you reach your goals.


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.


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.

Our Online Approach

Enjoy convenient, secure account access with MyMerrill®

We’re here to help you pursue your goals — and to make your busy life a little easier. With MyMerrill, you can access your investment accounts how, when and where you want to.

MyMerrill Features includes:

· Portfolio Summary

· Holdings

· Unrealized & Realized Gain/Loss

· Research & Insights

· Activity

· Statements

· Secure Message Center

· Real–Time Quotes

· Money Transfers

· Available to Withdraw (Cash and Margin)

· Documents Vault

· Bill Pay

· Downloads

· Watchlists & Alerts

· e-Signature

· Pay Merrill and Bank of America Credit Cards

· Authorized Account Access (3rd Party)

· My Financial Picture

· MyMerrill Security Features

· Document Scanning

· MyMerrill Mobile App (available on Android, iPad and iPhone mobile devices)

​ Here are some quick videos to help you understand how it works.

· MyMerrill Overview  

· Wealth Management Your Way  

· Online Delivery and MyMerrill enrollment  

· MyMerrill Mobile App  

· Secure Message Center  

· My Financial Picture  

· MyMerrill Security Features 

· Mobile Check Deposit 

· e-Signature  

· Authorize Account Access (3rd Party)  

· Banking, Borrowing and Investing  

To gain access or to learn more, please contact your financial advisor today!

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.

Client Digital Capabilities

Step-By-Step Instructions

It is important to us that our clients have step-by-step instructions in order to take full advantage of the tremendous amount of technology available to them. The various instructions listed below are designed to guide our clients in navigating our diverse online platform.

· WebEx 

· MyMerrill Enrollment 

· Online Delivery Enrollment 

· Accessing the Secure Inbox 

· Document Scanning-Text Guide 

· Document Scanning-Visual Guide 

· Mobile Check Deposit 

· Third Party Access – MyMerrill 

· Digital Signature Suite – e-Signature 

· Digital Signature Suite Mobile Easy Sign 

· Digital Signature Suite Digital Collaboration 

· My Financial Picture 

· Funds Transfer Service (FTS) 

· Linking Merrill Investment and Bank of America Banking Accounts 

· MyMerrill Enrollment – International Clients 

· Updating Personal Information - MyMerrill 

· MyMerrill Security Settings 

· MyMerrill Alert Settings 

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.