Jim McLaughlin Bio Image
James M. McLaughlin, CIMA® Senior Vice President, Investments

Jim is a founding member and Managing Director of Princeton Wealth Advisors (PWA) of Raymond James. He previously served as a first vice president of investments and a wealth management advisor with Merrill Lynch, where he focused on advising high-net-worth clients for 15 years. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Jim spent 10 years as a financial advisor at Prudential Securities.

Before entering the financial services industry, Jim was employed in various positions with the Marriott Corporation. His last role was as a senior financial analyst where he became acquainted with Wall Street by virtue of analyzing many research reports on the airline and hospitality industries.

In 2002 Jim earned the Certified Investment Management AnalystSM designation offered through the Investment Management Consultants Association and The Wharton School of Business.

Jim has been recognized by:

  • Financial Times as one of the Top 400 Advisors across the United States in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
  • Barron’s Top 1200 Advisors in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
  • Forbes Top Wealth Advisors in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 as well as the Forbes Best-In-State Wealth advisors in 2018 and #1 for Best in State for Southern NJ, 2019.

In addition, Jim is a member of Raymond James Chairman’s Council* (2008-2017) and holds the Series 7, 9, 10, 63 and 65 securities licenses.

Jim received a Bachelor of Science in business administration and economics from Montclair University and a Master of Business Administration from Fordham University. As a visiting lecturer of finance at Rider University, Jim presents a practical perspective on financial matters based on his years of experience. He currently resides in Vero Beach, FL and Newtown, PA with his wife, Meg.


*Chairman’s Council Membership is based on assets under management, education, credentials and fiscal year production. Requalification is required annually. 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. No fee is paid in exchange for this award/rating. 

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 2018, roughly 880 applications were received and 400 were selected to the final list (45.5%). 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. · 2014: roughly 1,500 applications received; 26.6% (400) were selected for the final list · 2016: roughly 980 applications received; 40.8% (400) were selected for the final list

  • 2014: roughly 1,500 applications received; 26.6% (400) were selected for the final list

    2016: roughly 980 applications received; 40.8% (400) were selected for the final list

    2017: roughly 790 applications received; 50.6% (400) were selected for the final list. 2018: roughly 880 applications received; 45.5% (400) were selected for the final list. 2019: roughly 960 applications were received; 41.7% (400) were selected for the final list.

Barron's annual ranking of the nation's "Top 1,000 Financial Advisors" (changed to 1200 Advisors in 2014). Source: Barron's “Top 1,200 Financial Advisors,” 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014. 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.

The Forbes ranking of America's Top Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative data, rating thousands of wealth advisors with a minimum of seven years of experience. Ranking algorithm is based on quality of practice, including: telephone and in-person interviews, 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 criteria because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited performance reports. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research, LLC which does not receive compensation from the advisors or their firms in exchange for placement on the ranking. Research Summary (as of August 2019): 30,691 Advisor nominations were received, based on thresholds. 12,258 Advisors were invited to complete the online survey. 12,498 Advisors were interviewed by telephone. 2,279 Advisors were interviewed in-person at the Advisors' location. Final list of the top 250 Advisors was then compiled based upon the quantitative criteria. Research Summary (as of August 2018): 25,732 Advisor nominations were received, based on thresholds. 9,596 Advisors were invited to complete the online survey. 7,174 Advisors were interviewed by telephone. 1,503 Advisors were interviewed in-person at the Advisors' location. Final list of the top 250 Advisors was then compiled based upon the quantitative criteria. 2017: 19,872 Advisor nominations were received, based on thresholds. 4,504 Advisors were invited to complete the online survey. 4,432 Advisors were interviewed by telephone. 923 Advisors were interviewed in-person at the Advisors' location. (as of July 2016): 11,235 Advisor nominations were received, based on thresholds. 4,000 Advisors were invited to complete the online survey. 2,500 Advisors were interviewed by telephone. 425 Advisors were interviewed in-person at the Advisors’ location. Final list of the top 200 Advisors was then compiled based upon the quantitative criteria.

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. 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. Raymond James is not affiliated with Forbes or Shook Research, LLC.

These rankings are not indicative of future investment performance, are not an endorsement, and may not be representative of individual clients’ experiences. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors or RIA firms pay a fee in exchange for these awards/ratings. Raymond James is not affiliated with Forbes, Shook Research, LLC, Barron’s or the Financial Times.

Investments & Wealth Institute (The Institute) is the owner of the certification marks ”CIMA®,“ and ”Certified Investment Management Analyst®.“ Use of CIMA®, and/or Certified Investment Management Analyst® signifies that the user has successfully completed The Institute's initial and ongoing credentialing requirements for investment management professionals.