New Honor for the Meakem Group’s Co-founder, Traci Richmond

New Honor for the Meakem Group’s Co-founder, Traci Richmond

On April 18, 2019, Traci Richmond, CFP®, CDFA™ was named to the 2019 list of the Financial Times 400 Top Financial Advisors.

Produced annually, the FT400 is based on data gathered from advisors, broker-dealer home offices, regulatory disclosures and Financial Times research. 

The honor reflects each recipient’s “grade” in six key areas: assets under management (AUM), asset growth, compliance record, experience, credentials and online accessibility. Neither the brokerages or advisors pay a fee to the Financial Timesin exchange for inclusion on this prestigious list, which includes professionals from 38 states across the nation and the District of Columbia.

“There are so many fabulous financial advisors working in this country, doing incredible things on behalf of their clients,” Traci says. “We also care so much for our clients and bring that attitude to work every day to try and improve their lives. It’s really nice to be included among a group of people who share that perspective with me.”

For Traci, it’s not public recognition that matters most. It’s the personal satisfaction of using her expertise to help others thrive.

“I want to have impacted somebody for the better every day,” she explains. “So if my clients achieve their goals, that’s much more worthwhile for me than winning awards. I want my clients to have choices: to be able to live the lives they want to live and make the decisions they want to make. Yes, being recognized for what I do is a nice thing and I very much appreciate it. But it’s ultimately my clients that I want to be most impressed by what I can help them achieve.”

At the Meakem Group, financial planning isn’t just about wealth management. It’s about connecting with people – a value that began with Traci’s mother, Carolyn Meakem, CFP®, the founder of the practice.

“We still work with families of the first clients my Mom started advising back in the ‘70s,” Traci says with a smile. “Helping people for generations, seeing them through their ups and downs, becoming part of their lives. Their successes are ours, their wins are ours. It’s a close relationship that feels like family.”

Caring for clients. Helping them achieve their goals. Traci may have won the Financial Timeshonor this year, but she credits her staff for the dedication they bring to the Meakem Group all year round.

According to Traci, “Everyone on our team contributes because we all care deeply about our clients. It’s a privilege to work with people who have the heart for clients that I have, whether it’s Laura wanting to make them feel comfortable from the moment she picks up the phone, or Fred who’s always sensitive to their needs during document processing, or Morgan, who recently joined our firm, but who has really hit the ground running to provide incredible value to clients, or Suzanne, who brings all of her skills to help her clients. We have a fabulous team. There are no weak links.”

The FT 400 was developed in collaboration with Ignites Research, a subsidiary of the FT that provides specialized content on asset management. To qualify for the list, advisers had to have 10 years of experience and at least $300 million in assets under management (AUM) and no more than 60% of the AUM with institutional clients. The FT reaches out to some of the largest brokerages in the U.S. and asks them to provide a list of advisors who meet the minimum criteria outlined above. These advisors are then invited to apply for the ranking. Only advisors who submit an online application can be considered for the ranking.  In 2019, roughly 960 applications were received and 400 were selected to the final list (41.7%).  The 400 qualified advisers were then scored on six attributes: AUM, AUM growth rate, compliance record, years of experience, industry certifications, and online accessibility. AUM is the top factor, accounting for roughly 60-70 percent of the applicant’s score. Additionally, to provide a diversity of advisors, the FT placed a cap on the number of advisors from any one state that’s roughly correlated to the distribution of millionaires across the U.S. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of advisor’s future performance. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. The FT is not affiliated with Raymond James.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.