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Robert Trigaux

In Palm Harbor, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney's Ami Forte still dominates "Top Advisors" charts



AmiFortemorganstanleydouglasclifford Wake up and good morning. She apparently knows what she's doing -- and then some. Once again, Palm Harbor-based financial advisor Ami Forte of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney ranks high on Barron's 2010 list of "Top 1,000 Advisors." In fact, she is second -- up from No. 16 in 2009 -- in the state of Florida among 70 advisors to make the nationwide list. (Ami Forte photo by Doug Clifford, St. Petersburg Times.)

Other Tampa Bay area advisors to make the Top 1,000 ranking include: Michael Valdes of Merrill Lynch in Tampa (No. 8); Charles Mulfinger of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Tampa (No. 10); Matt Kilgroe of Merrill Lynch in St. Petersburg (No. 20); Marc Walters of Merrill Lynch in Tampa (No. 23); Richard Marcatos of UBS Financial Services in Clearwater (No. 36), and Alberta McEuen of Merrill Lynch in Clearwater (No. 64). Here's the entire list of 70 for Florida.

Of course,  Forte is used to exclusive rankings. We noted she made the Top 100 -- much more elite than the Top 1,000 -- Barron'slist for financial advisors in May 2009.

What makes these advisors so special? Smarts and dedication, sure. But Barron's point out another skill -- extraordinarily high client retention rates-- in a rocky time for the stock markets when customers have fled many other advisors. States Barron's:

"In today's topsy-turvy markets -- a historic crash one year, a monster rally the next -- the leading financial advisors across the country are pulling out all the stops, and then some, to get an edge for their clients and themselves. And by at least one important measure, they are succeeding: Their client-retention rate clocked in at 97% last year. Doctors and contractors should be so lucky."

Here's the complete Barron's storyon the top advisors.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:27am]


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