Deciding whether to join an existing RIA or start your own.

There are a lot of options for becoming an RIA. So before you decide to make the move, you have to decide which business model is best for you. You can start a firm, join a firm, or even maintain a commission business as a hybrid or "dually-registered" advisor. We can help you think through what's right for your business based on your passions, experience, strengths, and client needs, as well as your personal and professional goals.

You Have Options

TJ Cotten

Sales Vice President,
Emerging Advisor Team,
TD Ameritrade Institutional
Hear TJ explain some of the options advisors have when starting or joining an RIA 

Starting a firm

If the idea of owning and controlling your own business appeals to you, then starting a firm may be the right decision. Some considerations you'll need to map out a plan for:

  • Compliance
  • Technology
  • Operational Support
  • Staffing
  • Office space
  • Marketing

When you start a firm, you'll enjoy more responsibility. You also hope to keep more of what you earn and build equity in a business you can call your own.

We can help walk you through the steps of starting your own firm, including navigating the decision to either keep your commission-based business or take a fee-only approach.

Joining a firm

If being a business owner isn't part of your business vision, you can still become an RIA by joining an existing firm. Joining an RIA firm makes it easier to get your new business up and running. You don't have to create the infrastructure, find a broker dealer, set a compliance program, or handle other start-up tasks. They're already in place.

If you decide to join an RIA firm, we can help you find the right one. Our RIAConnect® program can introduce you to RIA firms looking to hire or acquire new talent. If you're interested, just call and we'd be happy to tell you about it.

How do you decide which path is right for you?

It depends on a number of factors. Your appetite for taking on risk. Your interest in running a business. Your personal goals and objectives. Ask yourself what's driving your decision. Figure out your unique reasons for becoming an RIA. The good thing is, whatever choice you make, you'll enjoy the advantages of independence – flexibility, choice, and control.

Beyond the business model, being an RIA is as much about the culture and lifestyle.


We go above and beyond for RIAs

Supporting RIAs 

Are you hearing terms like tuck-in, aggregator, merge, hybrid, starting, and joining? Get in touch and we'd be happy to explain the differences.
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