If Sabina McCarthy, vice chair of wealth management for Merrill Lynch, could tell her younger self anything at all, it would be summed up in two words: be patient. This underrated virtue, she says, has served her well both in work and life.

After graduating from Wheaton College outside of Boston, McCarthy worked as a management trainee for Marine Midland Bank. She later put her career on hold to raise her children, but, following her divorce, she re-entered the workforce. Her brother was working at Merrill Lynch and asked if she was interested in becoming a financial advisor, a career she says she found to be "exciting."

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