Raymond James

An independent review by our team of experts.

Review summary

Raymond James

Raymond James Financial is an American diversified holding company.  It provides financial services to individuals, corporations and municipalities through its subsidiary companies that engage primarily in investment and financial planning.  Additionally it offers investment banking and asset management services.

The holding company was incorporated in 1962 and listed on the NYSE in 1983.

Raymond James’ 3 million client accounts (via nearly 7,200 financial advisers) are focused in the US and Canada, although a portion are also worldwide.  Total assets under management amounts to approximately $643 billion.

Overview

Raymond James’ platform allows for a particularly wide range of investments including UK regulated equities, bonds, investment trusts and ETFs traded on all major markets, as well as hedge funds and structured products. Offshore wrappers such as offshore bonds can also be brought onto the platform.

Raymond James is an LSE member firm with direct market access. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (‘FSCS’) currently covers 100% of the first £50,000 of UK investments on the platform.

The platform is targeted at financial advisers where management fees, brokerage charges and initial fees are decided by the adviser. This is not a platform for retail investors and is not given to transparency (click here for the schedule and you will see what we mean) although the fees schedule is presented to the investor and they are able to view their portfolio.

If the client no longer has an adviser, dealing charges are high (£27 - £52) and the flat custody charge of 0.5% applies. 

For expat investors, costs of transfer of restricted stock (£200 per transfer) to the UK based platform may be significant given the nature of underlying assets within some offshore products.

The pros

  • Well established brand
  • Wide range of investment services
  • Strong brand

The cons

  • May be expensive
  • Better domestically than internationally
FAQs
Can I invest directly with Raymond James or do I have to go through my adviser?

Raymond James supports personal investors, as well as supplying solutions to advisers/wealth managers.

For personal investors:

Raymond James claims to have a "unique culture of independence" meaning your Raymond James wealth manager has the freedom to create a long-term plan based solely on your financial well-being.

They say they recognise that different investors have distinct needs, so they never insist on predetermined solutions. Rather, they offer access to a broad range of assets and tax wrappers so that your wealth manager can select the investments that are right for you.

They combine this approach with an environment of in-depth support for their wealth managers so they can concentrate on what they do best: creating tailor-made financial solutions to meet your individual requirements.

From cutting-edge technology to award-winning research, superior back-office administration and continued professional development, Raymond James wealth managers apparently have the expertise and tools they need to help you achieve your goals.

Should I consider using Raymond James as a personal investor?

Raymond James has been around for about 50 years, they say their cleitn relationships are built on a foundation of communication and trust.

They say they provide the calibre of personal service and professional attention that you deserve (hmmm)...

Their guiding principles are conservative management, prudent growth and exceptional client service.

They say they are strong and stable – and that they will continue to be so.

On the one hand they also say they are commited to integrity – but then they advocate independence, and your wealth manager is free to do what’s right for you, working with you over the long term to shape solutions for your financial challenges...

Which may mean an expensive appraoch in plain English!

Customer reviews
50-50

I have to say, the customer service and attention to detail with Raymond James is good.

BUT, and as you've highlighted here, you pay a pretty penny for all this.

I am torn right now - I'm not getting the returns I'd hoped, and I think it's down to fees rather than the wealth managers...

I think it might be time for a change.

Expert verdict
Expert Assessment of Raymond James

Online reviews (predominantly from the US) are mixed and reference the adviser, not the platform.

Our verdict is that this platform is expensive.  However, if you have the right adviser, who acts in the right way, it may be a good option for certain expatriates.

If you are an existing overseas investor with Raymond James, we recommend you have a free, no obligation X-Ray Review™conducted to find out the charges, access and terms applicable, and whether there are better options available to you.

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“With this sort of service you also expect to be paying very high fees, but it’s just not the case. I would definitely recommend AES.”

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