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Have You Met Robert E. Young?

As a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch, Robert E. Young also invests a portion of his non-professional time to the nonprofit community in Phoenix. For the last three years Rob has assisted with the charity fashion show for the Phoenix Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors. He also serves on their Governing Board. “I joined the group through a friend of mine, and within the group I have helped different realtors with their investments and retirement needs.”

Rob is also enthused about his volunteer work with Save the Family. “A good friend in the business community was active with this group and asked me for help with a ‘Family Makeover’ with them in January of this year. We “adopted” a family from the domestic violence shelter, helped them get a new car and washer and dryer and did a salon makeover on all the family. It really was a powerful event! I’m already looking forward to doing it again next year.”

Educating people on how they can make socially responsible investment decisions is Rob’s passion in life. "I feel strongly about guiding people with the wealth they have generated to help them invest in a manner that is consistent with their values. It is very rewarding to me personally to do it with very professionally sound principles. Merrill Lynch provides me with a good platform to accomplish this. We are so unique from everyone else--we don’t cut any one sector out of our portfolio. For example, we have energy companies in the portfolio with sound environmental practices, and retailers who exhibit good labor issues. The ability to provide this platform in the context of a client’s overall financial planning picture is truly rewarding.”

He explained that “investors can make a statement and an impact on society just by allocating their resources towards companies who operate along with their values.” As a starting point, he uses the Domini 400 Index of Stocks that are screened for their social responsibility. “The Index takes into consideration human rights, labor rights, environmental impact, rights of indigenous people, Fair Trade, and good corporate governance.”

But not just an investment whiz, Rob also trains for Iron Man triathlon events and marathons. “I usually try to commit to three triathlons and run two or three marathons a year. The great thing about my career is my flexibility with my time. It affords me the time to concentrate my resources in each part of my life."

Although his father was a career Marine, Rob spent most of his youth in Yuma, Arizona. But Young is enthused about the entire state. “ We’re close to so much here--Rocky Point, Las Vegas, Flagstaff and California. Phoenix just feels like home to me. I love it!”

Rob asserts, “I focus my energy towards people who are socially responsible--they may wish to leave money to their children, but they are also concerned with their charitable giving. I find building relationships with these types of people to be very fulfilling!” He says, “ It is clear that Merrill Lynch has filled a necessary niche in its own portfolio. With their options of socially responsible investing, they have been able to send out their own positive messages as a corporation.”

And it is clear to the nonprofit community in Phoenix that the next wave of youthful volunteers will be led by corporate leaders such as Robert Young.

What are your volunteer activities? I serve on the Governing Board of the Phoenix Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors. I have assisted with their annual charity fashion show for the last three years. I volunteer with Save the Family and Habitat for Humanity as well.

Favorite restaurant? It is a pretty close toss up between Pizzeria Bianco and Barrio Café.

Who is your hero and why? That is such a great question. Just about every hero I have had is/was flawed in some way. I think that is what makes someone a hero. I think that we recognize the flaws in those personalities and yet appreciate their impact, their dedication and focus that make them great despite those shortcomings. I love idealists. In no particular order I would like the following people over for dinner: John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bill and Melinda Gates, Isaac Newton, JFK, Ray Charles, Batman, Rachel Carson, Stephen J. Gould, Dave Scott (6 time Ironman champion), and Dave Matthews.

Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? Everyone in Phoenix probably has a Charles Barkley story. He was certainly gracious when I met him and I got his autograph without going through a window.

If your life were a movie, whom would you want to play your part ? Living or dead? Brad Pitt or Clark Gable.

What gives a woman/man style? Manners and civility. And a good tailor.

Do you have any Pets? Yes, we have two cats, Rocky and Bailey. Both were adopted from animal shelters.

When you move, what will your home tell its next owner, about you? That we like color.

What words describe you best? Passionate, caring and loyal, maybe fun as well.

What words would you like others to use to describe you? Certainly the same as above. Maybe dedicated or driven. Certainly in a work context , professional. That is very important to me.

What was your first job? I worked as a bus boy and then a waiter at the Yuma Airport Holiday Inn. I used to take the tip money that I made each night to a record store nearby that stayed open just for a friend and me after 10:00 to buy old records.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? From time to time, I procrastinate more than I feel I should. I really hate that.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? A lack of manners and a lack of punctuality.

What is your greatest indulgence? Cookies, especially home-made chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies.

What is the greatest gift you have ever given and received? I am not sure what gift I have given would be considered the greatest. That is somewhat subjective by the recipient. If I have to answer, it would have to be the time that I try to give to my family. The greatest gift I have every received is the love and relationship I have with Kimberly, my fiancé.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? Kimberly Rollins (see above) and my love of music.

What is your current state of mind? I am doing pretty well right now. I am on my third cup of coffee. I am always positive. There is never any sense in dwelling on negativity.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Everything I am trying to accomplish is still a work in progress. My greatest achievement will eventually be raising wonderful children that have a positive influence on the world around them and helping my clients live their lives to their greatest potential.

What is your most treasured possession? The trust of my family, friends, and clients. Outside of that, I would have to say my first electric guitar and my book collection.

What is the quality you most like in people? I like people that are down to earth and great conversationalists.

Favorite books / Writers? This is a long list in no particular order, sorry… Anything by Carl Sagan or Stephen J. Gould, Profiles in Courage by JFK, JRR Tolkien (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit), Yann Martel (The Life of Pi), Edith Hamilton (Greek Mythology), Plutarch (Greek and Roman Lives), Julius Caesar, anything by Shakespeare, Rachel Carson (Silent Spring), Edward Abby (The Monkey Wrench Gang), Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird), just about anything by Hemingway, Thoreau (Walden), and more that I am sure I am forgetting.

What is the best advice you have ever received ? Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. And of course my mom always told me that if you cannot say something nice, don't say anything at all.

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Congratulations! This is awesome!
Rose Mullins

Rob, excellent info and well presented, you have a lot to be proud of. A great way to get to know you better! Congratulations on being singled out. Shaun
Shaun Holly