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Lynn Phillips-Gaines, CFP®, CLTC


When Lynn joined the financial services industry in 1982, she quickly recognized that the best way to help clients was to serve them with the objectivity and freedom that comes with independence. By 1984, she had opened her own independent practice, one that has lasted for over 35 years and manages $200 million in assets for its clients as of December 2016. Today, Lynn believes her major achievements still lie ahead.

A graduate of Mississippi State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree, Lynn went on to receive a master’s from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Her commitment to education has grown along with her career, and she holds several professional certifications including CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner (1987), Certified Financial Retirement Counselor designation (1999) and is certified in Long Term Care (2006). She has also earned the Investment Management Consultant designation, which signifies her competence in investment management theory and consulting practices through Raymond James Institute of Investment Management Consulting.

Most recently, Lynn was ranked on Forbes 2017 Top 200 Women Wealth Advisors. * The 2017 list, named 200 top female financial advisors from coast to coast. Being amongst this group, Phillips-Gaines is recognized for the quality of her practice, as well as asset management. In addition to credentials and quantitative ranking, this list is determined by qualitative ranking which includes advisors that excel in providing a full client experience: comprehensive investing process, use of team dynamics, and a breadth of services, including continually evolving and leveraging the Firm’s resources.

Furthermore, Lynn earned placement on the 2017 Barron’s Top 1200 Financial Advisors List ** and Raymond James 2017 Chairman’s Council ***; making it her third consecutive year to be named on both prestigious lists. She was also on Raymond James Leader’s Council for eight years prior to 2015.

In October of 2015, Lynn was presented the Raymond James Financial Services Woman of Distinction Award. This award recognizes successful advisors within the firm who support the professional growth of other advisors and associates. She is also a founding member of the Women’s Giving Circle (in association with the Raymond James Network for Women Advisors), which aims at encouraging more women in the financial planning profession.

Over the course of her successful career, Lynn has been recognized by Money magazine as one of the top 200 financial planners (1987) in the United States and inducted into the CFP Board’s Registry of CFP Practitioners, which includes only those planners who have met the board’s highest standards. In 1995, she was named in Sunburst Bank’s Top 40 Under 40, an honor recognizing her as one of Mississippi’s top emerging business leaders who would help shape the state’s economic future. In addition, Lynn was named one of 50 leading business women and a nominee for Top Businesswoman of 2002 by the Mississippi Business Journal. In 2010 she was selected to participate on the Intelligent Investor Team .

An active member of the community, Lynn has served as past board member or officer of the Starkville Rotary Club, Business and Professional Women, MSU Oktibbeha County Alumna Association and Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway Authority. She also believes in “contributing to the world’s work in the community where I am placed, because of the joy of service thereby bestowed and the talent of leadership multiplied,” by supporting the Oktibbeha County Humane Society, Mississippi State University, Alpha Gamma Delta, The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection and Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity. She is also a lifetime member of the NAACP.

Her commitment extends to the church as well and she formerly served as a women’s chaplain at the local jail. She has studied religious studies at Oxford University’s Wadham College and was ordained to the diaconate within the Episcopal Church in January 2011.

In March of 2011, Lynn completed course work and testing to become a certified trainer for the Bridges Out of Poverty program. With this under her belt, she has organized the Bridges out of poverty initiative for Starkville resulting in 3 classes of “Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World” having graduated since October 2011.

In 2013, Lynn was recognized as “Woman of the Year” by Starkville Daily News. She also received the T.E. Veitch Community Service Award (the highest award given by the Greater Starkville Development Partnership) and the 2013 Rotary Community Service Award.

Due to her work with Bridges, Lynn was named the 2014 Volunteer of the Year by the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation. Prizes for this award included a $20,000 donation from the foundation to Starkville Bridges, opening the NASDAQ MarketSite, and the display of the Starkville Bridges logo over the NASDAQ in Times Square.

Additional honors received due to her community work and involvement with Starkville Bridges includes being named the winner of the 2015 Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Building Sustainable Community Solutions. Volunteer Starkville was quoted saying “It is evident in Oktibbeha County that Lynn Phillips-Gaines is a catalyst for positive change within the community. Her humble but ambitious nature shows in all of the work she has been a part of and that is why she was awarded the GIVE Award.

Most recently, Lynn was named one of REP Magazine’s 2015 Wealth Advisors with Heart, which honor advisors who put sweat equity into philanthropic and charitable causes.

Outside of work and community, Lynn enjoys spending time with her husband Russell. Her other passions include the outdoors, her animals, duck hunting, downhill skiing, reading and learning about the people she meets.

* Source: (February, 2017). America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors ranking was developed by SHOOK Research and is based on in-person and telephone due diligence meetings and a ranking algorithm that factors in client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations and quantitative criteria (including assets under management and revenue generated for their firms). Investment performance is not a criterion because client objectives and risk tolerances vary. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research, LLC and not indicative of future performance or representative of any one client’s experience. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK Research receives compensation in exchange for placement on the ranking. For more information:

** Factors included in the rankings: assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work.

These aware are bestowed by independent third party organizations not affiliated with Raymond James.

*** Membership is based on prior fiscal year production. Re-qualification is required annually.

The qualification for Money Magazine’s top 200 planners was demonstrating mastery of budgeting, insurance, investing, taxes, retirement planning, trusts and other estate planning techniques. Sunburst’s Top 40 Under 40 were selected for leadership qualities and business savvy—as well as aggressive dedication to economic progress and community improvement. The MS Business Journal looks for the most powerful, influential women business leaders in Mississippi. As senior decision-makers, this elite group is making a significant impact on the economy of our state. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP(R), CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(tm) and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.