Explore your financial impact

When it comes to dollars and cents, one of the primary reasons advisors become RIAs is to leave the production culture behind. There's also this: you'll have more control over business expenses, such as fees and overhead. And keeping more of what you earn may translate into higher earnings. The amount of control you have depends on whether you start your own firm or join an established RIA.

"The only thing I ask myself is why didn't I do this sooner?"
Gene Ka
Gene Ka
Managing Partner, Wealth Design, LLC

Keep more of what you earn

While you will incur start-up costs and operating expenses as you transition to independence, there may be advantages in what you earn and what you keep that makes the RIA business model very appealing. Here are a few hypothetical examples.

Bring your commission business with you

Becoming an independent RIA doesn't mean you have to give up your commission business. In fact, more and more advisors are taking a hybrid approach-they’re registering to be an independent advisor and an independent broker dealer.

In fact, the commission-only approach has decreased from 29% in 2005 across all channels to representing only 17% of Advisors as of 2012.*

That way, you can maintain your commission business as you transition to a fee-based business, or continue serving the wealth management needs of your clients with annuities and other commission-based products.

If you'd like to retain some of your commission business, we'll support you. We can connect you with a broker dealer from our large network. We work with a range of providers who understand the unique needs of RIAs. You will have the choice to affiliate with a company that fits your specific culture, size, location and product needs.

Get an understanding of expenses

There will be expenses to consider when you become an RIA. Some may be obvious, like business cards and license fees. Others depend on how you want to run your business.

Our transition consultants will work to understand your current business and your vision moving forward. Based on this, we'll help you think about the type of expenses you'll need to consider as an independent advisor.

Here are some expenses we'll help you think about:

  • What type and how many professionals will you need, if any, to run your business?
  • How much office space do you require?
  • What technology infrastructure and systems will you need and how can you maximize the technology you currently use?
  • How do you find and retain the right legal and compliance support?
  • What marketing and branding expenses will you need to consider, such as a logo, stationary, website and welcome kit?
  • What approaches will you consider for handling health insurance, payroll and other benefits so managing human resources doesn't cut into your time with clients.

We're here to help you ask the right questions, get the right answers.

*Source: Cerulli Associates, Advisor Metrics 2012: Behaviors, Preferences, and Channel Movement.