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Assessing Your Goals®

WHAT IS ASSESSING YOUR GOALS®?
At Merrill Lynch, a financial advisor follows a disciplined Wealth Management Process to help the different pieces of your financial life work together to create, build and protect your wealth. Assessing Your Goals® is a component of the first step of this process — Establish Objectives.

An easy-to-read, personalized wealth management report, Assessing Your Goals helps you define your short- and long-term financial goals.

WHEN SHOULD YOU CONSIDER ASSESSING YOUR GOALS?
Talk to a financial advisor about Assessing Your Goals if you are interested in obtaining a more in-depth understanding of your current financial situation and developing a course of action to address questions such as:

  • Am I on track to retire in the next few years and support my desired lifestyle?

  • What are the potential investment returns and risks associated with my current investment strategy?

  • Are there better ways to manage my debt (i.e., mortgage, credit card)?

  • Will my current investment strategy support future goals, such as funding a college education or purchasing a second home?

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ASSESSING YOUR GOALS?

Obtain a personalized analysis

  • Assessing Your Goals is personalized for you. Using information that you provide — such as sources of income, investment holdings, liabilities, retirement plans and your personal financial goals — Assessing Your Goals helps you obtain a comprehensive view of your financial objectives and situation.

  • All your assets, not just those held at Merrill Lynch, can be included for a thorough assessment.

Gain a forward-looking perspective

  • Assessing Your Goals summarizes your assets, expenses and liabilities and also provides insight into your potential future wealth with certain assumptions so you can understand how your current investment portfolio will affect your long-term financial well-being. You'll receive a thorough assessment and strategic recommendations to consider, which are reflected in key report sections:

  • Net worth statement

  • Your current asset allocation compared with your risk tolerance and a proposed model

  • Retirement analysis to determine your potential future wealth

  • Liability analysis, where applicable, that includes liabilities such as home financing and personal credit

Apply a solutions-oriented approach

  • The report you receive shows you how your present asset allocation and attitude toward risk impact your future wealth. Because Assessing Your Goals includes an illustration specific to your assets accompanied by strategic recommendations, you will be able to see how following a proposed Merrill Lynch asset allocation model can impact your future wealth.

  • Based on the information you provide, you'll get a year-by-year look at your anticipated cash flow so you and a financial advisor can determine an appropriate strategy to help you achieve the retirement lifestyle you choose.

  • A financial advisor can also provide you with other Wealth Management Process reports to assist in addressing specific issues or questions:

    • Allocating Your Assets

    • Wealth Management Analyses

    • Investment Proposal

    • Portfolio Review

WHAT ELSE SHOULD YOU KNOW ABOUT ASSESSING YOUR GOALS?

  • Assessing Your Goals is available to you at no charge.

  • Assessing Your Goals is one of the brokerage reports available through Merrill Lynch. In conjunction with this advice, this report can help you make informed investment decisions in order to reach your financial objectives. Merrill Lynch offers brokerage, investment advisory (including financial planning) and other services. You should understand each service and its differences, including the type of advice and assistance offered. This report is not a comprehensive financial plan. If you are interested in a formal analysis of your entire financial situation, please ask a financial advisor about Merrill Lynch's financial planning services, including the fees that may be applicable.

HOW CAN YOU GET STARTED?
If you would like to take inventory of your current financial situation to ensure it is aligned with your overall financial goals, ask a Merrill Lynch financial advisor how Assessing Your Goals can help you achieve the life you want. A financial advisor, who is committed to understanding your specific needs, can help you develop customized strategies that fit your goals, risk tolerance, investing style and time horizon.

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