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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.

Raymond James' client-focused approach has extended to serve client accounts through 8,200 financial advisors in the United States, Canada and overseas with approximately $1.02 trillion in client assets.

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

Overview
FAQ
Customer Reviews
Expert Verdict

Raymond James predominantly works with non-high-net-worth individuals, as the firm does not require a minimum asset amount for its financial planning or consulting services for individuals.

Raymond James offers a wide range of services, including:

  • Investment solutions
  • Financial planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate, charitable giving and trust services
  • Banking and lending services
  • Insurance solutions
  • Institutional services
  • Private wealth services
  • Tax strategies
  • Education planning

Raymond James' asset management services division offers individual and institutional clients a wide range of portfolio options, which have different investment approaches and risk profiles.

NOTES:

  • 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.
  • For investors who’d like to free themselves from the need to constantly monitor asset allocation and portfolios, Raymond James provides access to professionals whose skills at risk profiling, institutional asset allocation, money management selection and investment policy development can help you navigate.
  • Raymond James' fee structure is far from simple. Raymond James notes that the asset-based fee that clients pay for its advisory programs may be allocated differently depending on the program, which may disincentivise advisors to recommend certain programs to clients with smaller accounts. 
  • 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 fee schedule and you will see what we mean) although the fee schedule is presented to the investor and they are able to view their portfolio.
  • For investors who are international professionals, costs of transferring restricted stock 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

The Cons

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

Raymond James provides solutions to advisers and personal investors.

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 on your needs.

They say they recognise that different investors have distinct needs, so they never insist on predetermined fixed solutions. they offer access to a wide range of assets and tax wrappers so that their wealth managers have the freedom to choose what is right for clients.

Raymond James' wealth managers claim to have the expertise and tools they need to help you achieve your goals (we would recommend reading the expert verdict).

Should I consider using Raymond James as a personal investor?

Raymond James say that their client relationships are built on a foundation of communication and trust.

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

Raymond James advocates independence, leaving your wealth manager 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 approach in plain English!

We would recommend reading the 'expert verdict' section of this review to learn more.

What does the American Funds Model Portfolio provide?

The American Funds Model Portfolios provide access to mutual-fund investment portfolios that are constructed and monitored by American Funds. They have low-cost mutual funds which are popular among investors and advisors.

The series has 5 portfolios across a range of objectives, from conservative to a growth objective.

What does Raymond James' Managed Account programs provide?

Raymond James says that these Managed Account programs provide quality investments with no extra sales charges or transaction charges. They have an asset-based fee.

Your portfolio is said to be constantly monitored and rebalanced annually.

You can learn more here.

What is the Raymond James Portal™?

The Raymond James Portal™ is their technology platform. It enables you to:

  • You can get data downloads into the Morningstar Adviser Workstation™, as well as back office systems such as Intelliflo, Prestwood, Avelo Adviser Office and Plum.
  • View and administer the Pershing Cash Account, as well as manage and approve fees and charges for clients.
  • You are provided with access to guidance, forms, product availability, marketing materials, procedures, policies, training tools etc.

50-50

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

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

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

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 a senior international professional investing currently with Raymond James, and your portfolio is worth approx. £250,000 or more, we recommend a Second Opinion.

Raymond James - Guide to Basic Investing

Raymond James - Culture Code

Raymond James - Solutions for Independent Advisors Brochure

Raymond James - Welcome Guide

Raymond James - Fundamentals of Financial Planning Guide

Raymond James - Executive Overview Statement Guide

Raymond James - Donor Advised Fund IAP Investment Guidelines

More About Raymond James

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