Ready to invest? Here are three ways to start

Not sure how to start investing? You have a range of options—from making investment choices online on your own to working one-on-one with a financial advisor. Here’s an overview of the different ways you can begin investing and the questions you should ask to decide which might be right for you.

Transcript
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The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment options.
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Music Throughout

GRAPHIC:
Nick Giorgi, Investment Strategist, Merrill Edge
Nick Giorgi:
Hi, I’m Nick Giorgi, an investment strategist, with some ideas about how to get started with investing.

You might already have a 401(k) at your job that you’re contributing to. But maybe you’ve squirrelled away some additional funds that you’d like to put to work, and you’re wondering how to go about it.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION: Animated acorns pop up on screen with the words, “#piggy bank” and “#nestegg”.

Nick Giorgi: Well, the good news is, investing has changed a lot since my parents’ generation, when the main way to invest was through a stockbroker.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION: Animated stock broker illustration pops up.

Nick Giorgi: Today, you can research and buy and sell investments —and monitor their performance on your own—

GRAPHIC:

  • Research
  • Buy
  • Sell
  • Monitor Performance

Nick Giorgi: from your smartphone, laptop or your tablet … taking a total Do It Yourself approach.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION: Animated laptop, smartphone and tablet icons appear on screen with text that says: Do It Yourself

Nick Giorgi: You could also go with an online investing service that offers some guidance to build and manage your portfolio.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION: Animated laptop and smartphone displaying financial banking icons appear on screen with text that says: Online Investing Service.

Nick Giorgi: Or, you could take the more “traditional” route and work one-on-one with a financial advisor to design a customized investment strategy.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION: Animated illustration of a client and financial advisor shaking hands pops up on screen with text that says: Financial Advisor

Nick Giorgi: Before deciding which approach is best for you, you’ll want to ask yourself a few key questions:
First: Are you confident making investment decisions – and choosing the ones that may be right for your financial goals, risk tolerance and time horizon?

GRAPHIC:
1. Confident?
Making investment decisions right for your:

  • Financial goals
  • Risk Tolerance
  • Time Horizon

Nick Giorgi: Second: Do you like the idea of doing your own research on different stocks and bonds … E-T-Fs and mutual funds, and then deciding what or when to buy and sell?

GRAPHIC:
2. Desire?

  • Research investments
  • Decide what to buy and sell

Nick Giorgi: Third: Do you have the time to commit to ongoing monitoring of your portfolio, and making changes when needed? For example, you’ll want to rebalance as necessary to make sure you maintain an appropriate mix of investments for your situation.

GRAPHIC TEXT with Clock Icon:
3. Time?

  • Monitor your investments
  • Make changes when needed
  • Rebalance as needed

Nick Giorgi: If you answered “YES” to all three questions, you might want to go the D-I-Y route and choose investments on your own, through an online platform.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION:
Graphic of clipboard with the following questions and answers on it:
1. DIY
Self Confidence yes
Desire yes
Time Commitment yes
#onyourown
#solo

Nick Giorgi: Here, your fees and expenses, and investment minimums, will generally be lower than if you use an online investment service or financial advisor. But you’ll be doing all your own leg work.

GRAPHIC:
1. Do It Yourself (DIY)

  • Lower fees, expenses, and investment minimums versus other options
  • But you’ll be doing all the investment research, monitoring, and rebalancing yourself

Nick Giorgi: If you don’t want a full D-I-Y approach, you could consider an online investment program.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION:
Graphic of clipboard with the following questions and answers on it:
2. Online Investment Program
Self Confidence yes
Desire no
Time Commitment maybe
#indecision
#help

Nick Giorgi: There are a range of service levels to choose from here, with different types of fees.
For example, on the lower fee end there are “robo advisors” that use sophisticated algorithms to create a portfolio for you.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION:
An illustrated animation of a robot pops up with the text under it that says:
Robo-Advisor

Nick Giorgi: And there are others that offer guidance from a licensed advisor; usually for a bit more in fees in return for the personal help.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION:
Text pops up on screen that says “Not a Robot” with arrow pointing to Nick. More text pops up on screen that says “Robot” with arrow pointing to the animated robot.

Nick Giorgi VO: Both a tech-enabled service and a human will consider your financial goals, risk tolerance and time horizon in helping build and monitor a strategy that’s suitable for you. And they can offer other potential benefits, like portfolio rebalancing as needed.

GRAPHIC:
2. A little bit of help – Online Investing

  • Range of service levels with different types of fees
  • The tech-enabled service will build and monitor a strategy based on your financial goals, risk tolerance, time horizon, and liquidity needs
  • Can offer other benefits, like portfolio rebalancing as needed

Nick Giorgi: But if you answered “NO” to those questions, consider the third option: a financial advisor who’ll work with you to create a customized investment strategy that’s appropriate for your situation.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION:
Graphic of clipboard with the following questions and answers on it:
3. F.A.
Self Confidence no
Desire no
Time Commitment no
#synergy
#teamwork

Nick Giorgi VO: She or he can meet with you periodically to help you stay on track toward your goals; and also adjust your financial strategy when big events—like marriage, a new job or buying a home—call for a change. The level of one-to-one service you opt for will determine the fees and expenses you’ll likely pay and the minimum amount you’ll need to invest.

GRAPHIC:
3. Help – from a Financial Advisor (F.A.)

  • Will help you stay on track toward your financial goals
  • Can help you adjust your investment strategy for big events, like:
    Marriage
    New Job
    Buying a New Home
  • Level of service determines fees and investment minimums

Nick Giorgi: A little research first can help you find the relationship that’s best for you.
Keep in mind: You don’t need to use just one approach. You could, say, opt for financial guidance for some of your portfolio and then invest some money on your own.

GRAPHIC: Financial Guidance + DIY

Nick Giorgi: Also remember that investing comes with risks, and your investments could lose value no matter which approach you take. But getting started today could be good way to help prepare for your financial future.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION:
Illustrated treasure map pops up on screen that says “Today” and an animated line winds it’s way across the map with icons that illustrate various goals such as having a baby (baby carriage icon), buying a house (house icon), saving for college (graduation cap), going on vacations (cruise boat icon), buying a car (car icon) and retiring (person sitting and relaxing icon). The end of the line says “Goal!” When “Goal!” pops up on screen, balloons and confetti animate across the frame with celebratory sound effects.

GRAPHIC: #LIFE #possibilities

Music and Sound Effects Ends.

End Card: Better Money Habits® Powered by Bank of America logo

Investing involves risk. There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.

Rebalancing does not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. The views and opinions expressed are those of the speaker, are subject to change without notice at any time, and may differ from views expressed by Merrill Lynch or other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. These materials are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as a recommendation of any service, security or sector.

Opinions are intended to illustrate brokerage products and services available at Merrill Lynch and banking products and services available at Bank of America. You should not consider these as an endorsement of Merrill Lynch as an investment adviser or as a testimonial about a client's experiences with Merrill Lynch as an investment adviser. Strategies referenced do not necessarily represent the experiences of other clients, nor do they indicate future performance. Investment results may vary. The investment strategies discussed are not appropriate for every investor and should be considered given a person’s investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs.

Bank of America Corporation and/or its affiliates assume no liability for any loss or damages resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current.

Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment management.

Neither Bank of America Corporation, nor its affiliates, are tax or legal advisors. We suggest you consult your personal tax or legal advisor before making tax or legal-related investment decisions.

Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A., and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Merrill Edge® is available through Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S), and consists of the Merrill Edge Advisory Center (investment guidance) and self-directed online investing.

Investment products:
Are Not FDIC Insured
Are Not Bank Guaranteed
May Lose Value

MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC (https://www.sipc.org/) and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation

© 2018 Bank of America Corporation.

Music Throughout

GRAPHIC:
Nick Giorgi, Investment Strategist, Merrill Edge
Nick Giorgi:
Hi, I’m Nick Giorgi, an investment strategist, with some ideas about how to get started with investing.

You might already have a 401(k) at your job that you’re contributing to. But maybe you’ve squirrelled away some additional funds that you’d like to put to work, and you’re wondering how to go about it.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION: Animated acorns pop up on screen with the words, “#piggy bank” and “#nestegg”.

Nick Giorgi: Well, the good news is, investing has changed a lot since my parents’ generation, when the main way to invest was through a stockbroker.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION: Animated stock broker illustration pops up.

Nick Giorgi: Today, you can research and buy and sell investments —and monitor their performance on your own—

GRAPHIC:

  • Research
  • Buy
  • Sell
  • Monitor Performance

Nick Giorgi: from your smartphone, laptop or your tablet … taking a total Do It Yourself approach.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION: Animated laptop, smartphone and tablet icons appear on screen with text that says: Do It Yourself

Nick Giorgi: You could also go with an online investing service that offers some guidance to build and manage your portfolio.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION: Animated laptop and smartphone displaying financial banking icons appear on screen with text that says: Online Investing Service.

Nick Giorgi: Or, you could take the more “traditional” route and work one-on-one with a financial advisor to design a customized investment strategy.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION: Animated illustration of a client and financial advisor shaking hands pops up on screen with text that says: Financial Advisor

Nick Giorgi: Before deciding which approach is best for you, you’ll want to ask yourself a few key questions:
First: Are you confident making investment decisions – and choosing the ones that may be right for your financial goals, risk tolerance and time horizon?

GRAPHIC:
1. Confident?
Making investment decisions right for your:

  • Financial goals
  • Risk Tolerance
  • Time Horizon

Nick Giorgi: Second: Do you like the idea of doing your own research on different stocks and bonds … E-T-Fs and mutual funds, and then deciding what or when to buy and sell?

GRAPHIC:
2. Desire?

  • Research investments
  • Decide what to buy and sell

Nick Giorgi: Third: Do you have the time to commit to ongoing monitoring of your portfolio, and making changes when needed? For example, you’ll want to rebalance as necessary to make sure you maintain an appropriate mix of investments for your situation.

GRAPHIC TEXT with Clock Icon:
3. Time?

  • Monitor your investments
  • Make changes when needed
  • Rebalance as needed

Nick Giorgi: If you answered “YES” to all three questions, you might want to go the D-I-Y route and choose investments on your own, through an online platform.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION:
Graphic of clipboard with the following questions and answers on it:
1. DIY
Self Confidence yes
Desire yes
Time Commitment yes
#onyourown
#solo

Nick Giorgi: Here, your fees and expenses, and investment minimums, will generally be lower than if you use an online investment service or financial advisor. But you’ll be doing all your own leg work.

GRAPHIC:
1. Do It Yourself (DIY)

  • Lower fees, expenses, and investment minimums versus other options
  • But you’ll be doing all the investment research, monitoring, and rebalancing yourself

Nick Giorgi: If you don’t want a full D-I-Y approach, you could consider an online investment program.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION:
Graphic of clipboard with the following questions and answers on it:
2. Online Investment Program
Self Confidence yes
Desire no
Time Commitment maybe
#indecision
#help

Nick Giorgi: There are a range of service levels to choose from here, with different types of fees.
For example, on the lower fee end there are “robo advisors” that use sophisticated algorithms to create a portfolio for you.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION:
An illustrated animation of a robot pops up with the text under it that says:
Robo-Advisor

Nick Giorgi: And there are others that offer guidance from a licensed advisor; usually for a bit more in fees in return for the personal help.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION:
Text pops up on screen that says “Not a Robot” with arrow pointing to Nick. More text pops up on screen that says “Robot” with arrow pointing to the animated robot.

Nick Giorgi VO: Both a tech-enabled service and a human will consider your financial goals, risk tolerance and time horizon in helping build and monitor a strategy that’s suitable for you. And they can offer other potential benefits, like portfolio rebalancing as needed.

GRAPHIC:
2. A little bit of help – Online Investing

  • Range of service levels with different types of fees
  • The tech-enabled service will build and monitor a strategy based on your financial goals, risk tolerance, time horizon, and liquidity needs
  • Can offer other benefits, like portfolio rebalancing as needed

Nick Giorgi: But if you answered “NO” to those questions, consider the third option: a financial advisor who’ll work with you to create a customized investment strategy that’s appropriate for your situation.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION:
Graphic of clipboard with the following questions and answers on it:
3. F.A.
Self Confidence no
Desire no
Time Commitment no
#synergy
#teamwork

Nick Giorgi VO: She or he can meet with you periodically to help you stay on track toward your goals; and also adjust your financial strategy when big events—like marriage, a new job or buying a home—call for a change. The level of one-to-one service you opt for will determine the fees and expenses you’ll likely pay and the minimum amount you’ll need to invest.

GRAPHIC:
3. Help – from a Financial Advisor (F.A.)

  • Will help you stay on track toward your financial goals
  • Can help you adjust your investment strategy for big events, like:
    Marriage
    New Job
    Buying a New Home
  • Level of service determines fees and investment minimums

Nick Giorgi: A little research first can help you find the relationship that’s best for you.
Keep in mind: You don’t need to use just one approach. You could, say, opt for financial guidance for some of your portfolio and then invest some money on your own.

GRAPHIC: Financial Guidance + DIY

Nick Giorgi: Also remember that investing comes with risks, and your investments could lose value no matter which approach you take. But getting started today could be good way to help prepare for your financial future.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION:
Illustrated treasure map pops up on screen that says “Today” and an animated line winds it’s way across the map with icons that illustrate various goals such as having a baby (baby carriage icon), buying a house (house icon), saving for college (graduation cap), going on vacations (cruise boat icon), buying a car (car icon) and retiring (person sitting and relaxing icon). The end of the line says “Goal!” When “Goal!” pops up on screen, balloons and confetti animate across the frame with celebratory sound effects.

GRAPHIC: #LIFE #possibilities

Music and Sound Effects Ends.

End Card: Better Money Habits® Powered by Bank of America logo

Investing involves risk. There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.

Rebalancing does not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. The views and opinions expressed are those of the speaker, are subject to change without notice at any time, and may differ from views expressed by Merrill Lynch or other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. These materials are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as a recommendation of any service, security or sector.

Opinions are intended to illustrate brokerage products and services available at Merrill Lynch and banking products and services available at Bank of America. You should not consider these as an endorsement of Merrill Lynch as an investment adviser or as a testimonial about a client's experiences with Merrill Lynch as an investment adviser. Strategies referenced do not necessarily represent the experiences of other clients, nor do they indicate future performance. Investment results may vary. The investment strategies discussed are not appropriate for every investor and should be considered given a person’s investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs.

Bank of America Corporation and/or its affiliates assume no liability for any loss or damages resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current.

Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment management.

Neither Bank of America Corporation, nor its affiliates, are tax or legal advisors. We suggest you consult your personal tax or legal advisor before making tax or legal-related investment decisions.

Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A., and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Merrill Edge® is available through Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S), and consists of the Merrill Edge Advisory Center (investment guidance) and self-directed online investing.

Investment products:
Are Not FDIC Insured
Are Not Bank Guaranteed
May Lose Value

MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC (https://www.sipc.org/) and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation

© 2018 Bank of America Corporation.

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Investing involves risk including loss of principal.

Merrill Edge is available through Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S), and consists of the Merrill Edge Advisory Center (investment guidance) and self-directed online investing.

Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A. and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Investment products:

Are Not

FDIC Insured 

Are Not

Bank Guaranteed

May Lose Value

MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation.