Lynn Phillips-Gaines, CFP®, CLTC | CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ | Phillips Financial Starkville, MS. | Phillips Financial

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Lynn Phillips-Gaines


Registered Principal


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 nearly 40 years and manages over $200 million in assets for its clients (as of December 2018). 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, Phillips-Gaines was ranked among InvestmentNews’ 2018 Women to Watch*, Forbes 2018 Best-in-State Wealth Advisors**, and Forbes 2018 Top 200 Women Wealth Advisors***. As one of the twenty prestigious honorees of the InvestmentNews’ Women to Watch list, she was chosen from more than several hundred nominations for her leadership, contributions and impact in the financial advice industry. “It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized as one of the 20 Most Influential Women to Watch in 2018 alongside this group of incredible leaders. This award reinforces and further inspires the work we do every day at Phillips Financial; where we pride ourselves on providing our clients financial confidence, helping them visualize their goals, and then watching them achieve them,” said Ms. Phillips-Gaines.

Additionally, this was her second consecutive year to earn placement on the Forbes Top 200 Women Wealth Advisors list. The ranking named the 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, Phillips-Gaines 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.

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 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.

* InvestmentNews’ 2018 Women to Watch: InvestmentNews is the leading source for news, analysis and information essential to the financial advisory community. Since 1998, our standard of editorial excellence and deep industry knowledge has allowed us to educate, inform and engage the most influential financial advisers. Through our weekly newspaper, website, newsletters, research, events, videos and webcasts, InvestmentNews provides exclusive and up-to-the-minute news, as well as actionable intelligence, that empowers financial advisers to serve their clients and run their businesses more effectively whenever, however and wherever they need it. InvestmentNews’ headquarters is located in New York, with offices in Chicago and Washington D.C. InvestmentNews is part of London-based Bonhill Group plc. InvestmentNews Women to Watch submissions were accepted and reviewed based on the following criteria: demonstration of success and leadership, power to effect change, willingness to share expertise and community service. Several hundred were nominated by their firms and the top 20 selected by the Investment news staff. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, 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. Investment News is not affiliated with Raymond James.

** The Forbes ranking of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors: Developed by SHOOK Research is based on an algorithm of qualitative criteria and quantitative data. Those advisors that are considered have a minimum of 7 years of experience, and the algorithm weighs factors like revenue trends, AUM, compliance records, industry experience and those that encompass best practices in their practices and approach to working with clients. Portfolio performance is not a criteria due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. Out of 21,138 advisors nominated by their firms, 2,213 received the award. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK receive a fee in exchange for rankings. This ranking is not indicative of advisor’s future performance, is not an endorsement, and may not be representative of individual clients’ experience. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors or RIA firms pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating.

*** Forbes America’s Top 200 Women Advisors: 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: Research Summary (as of February 2017): 13,174 nominations were received, based on thresholds (2,723 women). 4,000 Advisors were invited to complete the online survey. 3,980 Advisors were interviewed by telephone. 716 Advisors were interviewed in-person at the Advisors’ location. Final list of the top 200 Advisors was then compiled based upon the quantitative criteria. Raymond James is not affiliated with Forbes or Shook Research, LLC. This ranking is not indicative of advisor’s future performance, is not an endorsement, and may not be representative of individual clients’ experience. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors or RIA firms pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating.

**** Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors 2017 Source: Barron’s “Top 1,200 Financial Advisors,” DATE, 2017. Barron’s is a registered trademark of Dow Jones & Company, L.P. All rights reserved. The rankings are based on data provided by over 4,000 individual advisors and their firms and include qualitative and quantitative criteria. Data points that relate to quality of practice include professionals with a minimum of 7 years financial services experience, acceptable compliance records (no criminal U4 issues), client retention reports, charitable and philanthropic work, quality of practice, designations held, offering services beyond investments offered including estates and trusts, and more. Financial Advisors are quantitatively rated based on varying types of revenues produced and assets under management by the financial professional, with weightings associated for each. Investment performance is not an explicit component because not all advisors have audited results and because performance figures often are influenced more by clients’ risk tolerance than by an advisor’s investment picking abilities. 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. Barron’s is not affiliated with Raymond James. Factors included in the rankings: assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work.

***** Raymond James Chairman’s Council: Membership is based on prior fiscal year production. Re-qualification is required annually. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of advisors future performance. No fee is paid in exchange for this award/rating. 

****** Wealth’s Advisors with Heart: Wealth (Registered Rep Magazine) selects men and women in the industry whose commitment to charitable causes goes beyond simply contributing funds to a worthy organization by honoring select nominees with a passion for the charitable projects that benefit the world around them. In order to be considered for this honor a nominee or a nominee’s firm submitted their name to Wealth The editors at the publication then vetted the entrants and issued a judgement based upon which industry professionals are doing the most interesting, beneficial charitable work in their communities. Approximately 100 nominations were received this year (2015), of those only 10 nominees were bestowed with this honor. This award is bestowed by an independent third party not affiliated with Raymond James. Neither the advisor nor Raymond James has paid a fee in exchange for this award. This recognition is not indicative of advisor’s future performance, is not an endorsement, and may not be representative of individual clients’ experience.

Raymond James is not affiliated with any of the organizations mentioned above. These aware are bestowed by independent third party organizations not affiliated with Raymond James.

Lynn’s Awards

Recognition in The Wall Street Journal – Barron’s Top 1200 Advisors

Lynn Phillips-Gaines Ranked Among Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors

Lynn Phillips-Gaines Named One of InvestmentNews’ Women to Watch

Lynn Phillips-Gaines Ranked Among Forbes Top 200 Women Wealth Advisors