What is Raymond James and what does being a Raymond James financial advisor mean? Raymond James, in short, is a broker dealer and custodian in the investment world. That means they are the bank where securities transactions take place and money and securities are held. What being a Raymond James financial advisor means is a long answer and we will get to that below.
One common question that I receive is what is Southwestern Investment Group and how does that group interact with Raymond James. Well, Raymond James is the custodian/broker dealer that handles the money, and Southwestern Investment Group is the advisory arm that instructs the custodian/broker dealer on how to handle the money.
A common analogy that I like to use is based on my background in working in the hospital setting. Something you may not know, is that it is very common that emergency room physicians are employed by an entity that is contracted by the hospital to provide medical services. So when you go to the emergency room, you are actually being serviced by two entities – the ER doctor that puts together the action plan to triage the symptoms, and the hospital staff that carry out the doctor’s orders. Southwestern Investment Group is the ER physician group, and Raymond James is the hospital that carry’s out the advisor’s requests.
Being a Raymond James financial planner or advisor has some important distinctions between other advisors in the field. Wells Fargo, for example, is also a bank and has advisors that work with the bank to execute financial trades. In those situations, however, the biggest difference is that the bank can put requirements and incentives on the advisers to promote other bank products – mortgages, checking, or savings accounts, for example. Because of our distinction between Southwestern Investment Group and Raymond James, we do not have any of those problems that can arise for bank affiliated groups.
Since our firm began in 2002, our group has aligned and we are Raymond James Financial Advisors. We have the flexibility and control to be able to move to other banking platforms in the future if we felt that it would be the best interest of our firm and our clients. Luckily, Raymond James has been a great custodian to work with and really works hard to help us be the best Raymond James financial planners we can be.