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Learn what it's like to work with a Merrill Lynch financial advisor

Scroll to see examples of our process.

Your dedicated financial advisor will lead you through our process:

From your very first meeting with a Merrill Lynch financial advisor, it will be clear that this is a relationship that revolves around you – focused on your life, priorities and values. You won’t be talking about the markets or returns but rather, your goals and concerns. 

Then, through our proprietary process, we’ll design a clear strategy combining your goals and risk tolerance. 

But that’s really just the beginning. After all, life moves fast, goals change and investing is always evolving. You’ll have an advisor to help guide you, making adjustments whenever needed and keeping you on track.

Understanding you

The first step to get to know you, your feelings toward investing and financial situation.

Creating your strategy

Experience and expertise allow your advisor to build a unique strategy based on your needs.

Keeping you on track

Your advisor will help guide you, making adjustments as your needs change.



You'll start with an in-depth, face-to-face meeting with one of our highly-credentialed advisors.

Here are some examples of how your advisor will get to know you:

  • Learn about the life priorities


    We've categorized people's goals into seven life priorities. Your advisor will talk to you about them to get a sense of what's most important to you.

    Rollover each one for some interesting facts to consider.


    Upsizing, downsizing or buying a vacation home.


    of first-time millennial homebuyers expect some kind of assistance from their parents1


    Managing healthcare expenses, now and in the future.


    of pre-retirees say future medical costs are their greatest financial concern.1


    Taking care of family and other people in your life.


    of parents expect one of their adult children to be long-term caretakers.1


    Spending your free time in meaningful ways.

    Retirees average


    hours of leisure per day.1


    Volunteering, mentoring others and giving to charities.


    of retirees define success in retirement as being generous rather than wealthy.1


    Working in retirement, selling or starting a business.


    of pre-retirees plan to work in retirement.1


    Bringing it all together and defining your financial goals.


    want to save enough for financial peace of mind.1

  • See how we assess your investing mindset


    To create a strategy that’s uniquely yours, your advisor will
    learn about your investing mindset, approach and purpose. 



    Your feelings about risk and complexity can help establish the right level of risk exposure.



    You’ll discuss accessibility of your assets and your desired level of involvement.



    A focus on essential spending needs as well as family and community-related goals.

  • View the 6 tools that bring it all together


    Your advisor will integrate your goals with tactical considerations using
    our Discovery Apps covering a variety of topics.


    You and your advisor will determine which of these tools are right for you.


    Social Security

    Taking benefits early can have an impact on Social Security.



    Potential out-of-pocket healthcare expenses now and in retirement.


    Lifetime Income

    The impact that income, inflation and life expectancy can have on retirement.



    A trust can help address goals like protecting assets and providing for family.


    Sequence of Returns

    The risk of experiencing poor market returns early in retirement.



    Opportunities and challenges that come with living longer in retirement.

Creating your


Next, with the expertise of our Chief Investment Office, your advisor will provide a clear and informed point of view and solutions based on your needs – designing an approach that you’re comfortable with.

These demonstrations show how your advisor gets your strategy in motion:

  • Learn how we categorize your goals


    You and your advisor will talk about which of your goals are realistic and the trade-offs you may need to make. This allows your advisor to present a proposal to set you on track to meet your goals.

    Here’s how we categorize your goals.







    Download a sample Wealth Management Analysis.

    Next, your advisor will share a Portfolio Snapshot.

    Download a sample Portfolio Snapshot.

  • Hear about the expertise behind your strategy


    Your personal investment strategy and portfolio are supported by the team of experts in our Global Wealth & Investment Chief Investment Office.2

  • See how we look at the bigger picture


    Once you have a strategy in place, it’s time to execute a plan. With a wide array of solutions, your advisor will help you find the right ones based on your needs.

    Here are a few examples.3

    1. Ben

      33-year-old screenwriter

      Married, with 18-month-old

    2. Beth

      56-year-old advertising executive

      Divorced with a teenager and caring for her mom. 5 years away from retirement

    3. Bridget

      76-year-old volunteer

      Widow with 6 grandchildren

Keeping you

on track

Wealth management is an ongoing process. You’ll meet with your advisor often and have in-depth annual reviews, one-on-one. You can and should revisit your goals often, course correcting as needed.

Here are some examples of how you can make adjustments and monitor your performance.

  • See how plans adjust as life changes


    Life changes and so do your goals.

    Your advisor will be with you every step of the way.

    "My client was settling comfortably into her retirement when her son got sick. Since we had established a rainy-day fund, she was able to help him while fulfilling her retirement plans."

    Lisa Kent

    Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor

  • Take a look at an online account with MyMerrill


    MyMerrill allows you to stay up-to-date on your investments and monitor all your Merrill Lynch investing and Bank of America banking activity online or on our app. 

  • View a comprehensive monthly statement


    We’ll discuss liabilities, cash flow and, most importantly, fees to make sure you’re comfortable before we start any work. And they’re clear in your monthly balance sheets.

Find the right advisor for you

Our financial advisors are committed to putting your investing needs, wants and priorities first. Here’s how you can get started with an advisor:

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