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Raymond James tops in investor satisfaction

Tim and Gloria Higham meet Wednesday with the firm’s Ross D. Preville in St. Petersburg to discuss asset allocation.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

Tim and Gloria Higham meet Wednesday with the firm’s Ross D. Preville in St. Petersburg to discuss asset allocation.

In a year when Wall Street doubts are running high, Raymond James clients gave the company a big thumbs-up in a new investor satisfaction survey released Wednesday.

J.D. Power & Associates ranked it No. 1 in a survey of 4,528 investors at 19 full-service investment firms. The St. Petersburg-based financial services company has ranked well in the study, but never before first.

Raymond James clients gave their advisers particularly high marks for staying in touch.

"A real professional is someone who faces up to the need the client has for communication in the tough times," said Raymond James president Chet Helck. "That's when you really earn your keep."

Tim and Gloria Higham, visiting Raymond James' downtown St. Petersburg office Wednesday, agreed.

"So many people want to call you when the market is going well to try and extract more money," Tim Higham said. "When the market starts to tank, they get on the phone and call all the customers. They give you the heads up on how to preserve your assets." The Highams, who own Interstate Transport in Tampa, said they also like the fact that they've gotten to know their adviser, Ross Preville, socially.

"Regardless of market conditions, advisers who succeed at managing the expectations of their investors can help to mitigate some of the negative effects," said David Lo, J.D. Power's director of investment services. "Keeping investors informed by conducting regular portfolio reviews and including portfolio performance information on account statements can have a considerable impact on satisfaction."

Investors rated account performance most important in satisfaction. Other factors included the reasonableness of fees and the convenience of accessing account information and conducting business.

Helen Huntley can be reached at hhuntley@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8230.

J.D. Power rankings

(on a 1,000-point scale)

1. Raymond James831

2. Edward Jones806

3. UBS Financial798

4. LPL Financial796

5. Merrill Lynch787

6. Ameriprise
Financial Services784

7. Wachovia
Securities783

8. Smith Barney774

9. Charles Schwab772

10. Morgan Stanley761

Raymond James tops in investor satisfaction 07/30/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 2:22pm]
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