Christopher “CJ” Stanford, CFP®, CPWA®

CJ Stanford,

CFP®, CPWA®, CEPA Senior Vice President, Investments

We are straightforward with our advice. It means we may not always say what our clients want to hear, but what they need to hear.


CJ builds close bonds with the business owners, pre-retirees, retirees and families he serves, understanding their values and beliefs and how these may impact their financial decisions. His goal is for them to live happy and fulfilled lives financially – and to enjoy their next act knowing that they have a team and plan in place to see them through.

CJ is proud to help clients explore what he calls the “value and destination” of their wealth. For retirees who’ve sacrificed and saved, CJ crafts tailored wealth management strategies that incorporate education, retirement planning and estate planning strategies (often coordinating with CPAs and attorneys) – all to help his clients enjoy the lives and legacies they envision.

CJ also serves institutional clients that seek a clearly defined investment approach designed to fund their important missions while preserving assets. He works closely with each organization’s directors, board members and other professional advisors such as trustees, attorneys and CPAs to monitor expenses and adhere to a high standard of care.

As a Certified Financial Planner professional, CJ has attained the prestigious CFP® certification, one of the most respected financial planning credentials and the recognized standard of excellence in personal financial planning.

He is also a Certified Private Wealth Advisor®, an advanced credential specifically for wealth managers working with high-net-worth clients with the goals of mitigating taxes, monetizing assets and transferring wealth.

When CJ joined Raymond James in 2019, together with Matt and their team, there were some definite reasons behind the move. “A firm that is focused on taking care of clients and their financial advisors is oddly unique right now,” CJ say. “We felt at home from the very first moment.” CJ spent the first 15 years of his career at Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor. He graduated magna cum laude from LaGrange College with a BA in political science.

It was serendipitous how CJ even ended up choosing a career in financial services. His family never talked about money, stocks or bonds while he was growing up, but investing was a new world that fascinated him. However, his dad had a career in nonprofit work and CJ saw the gratification that comes from helping people. “Curiosity, fascination and serving others is an excellent mix for this business. I couldn’t have scripted it any other way,” CJ says.

CJ was born and raised in Georgia (Columbus and LaGrange). Today, he lives in Fayetteville with his wife, Courtney, and their children, Hollyn, Parker and Landry. He considers himself a foodie and enjoys reading in his free time.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner,  CFP Logo Flame Design and  CFP Logo Plaque Design in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Investments & Wealth Institute™ (The Institute) is the owner of the certification marks “CPWA®,” and “Certified Private Wealth Advisor®.” Use of CPWA®, and/or Certified Private Wealth Advisor® signifies that the user has successfully completed The Institute’s initial and ongoing credentialing requirements for wealth advisors.