Merrill Lynch & Co., one of the most aggressive nonbank competitors selling financial products to small businesses, has produced a financial planning brochure targeted at women entrepreneurs.

Titled "Sound Business Planning for Today and Tomorrow," the brochure discusses cash management, improving investment yields, and cutting business taxes. It also covers employee benefits, succession planning, and business valuation.

The brochure was published this month in response to requests for information from women business owners. Women-owned businesses are a market on which the country's largest brokerage has focused lately. Last month it announced it would offer discounted financial services to members of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

In a release, Merrill Lynch vice president Christine Cooke said, "Our goal is to help women business owners or executives evaluate" the variables involved in running or owning a business and to help them develop long-term plans to prepare for change.

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