Is the independent RIA path right for me?

Is the RIA path right for you?

Making the move to become an independent RIA is a pretty huge decision. And maybe you still aren’t sure whether it’s right for you. That’s okay. No choice as big as this should be taken lightly.

It’s possible that some of your doubts may be based on misinformation. So, let’s dispel any myths floating out there about becoming an RIA.

“For me, the big issue was control over my business, our products, and my client relationships … and to do what’s right for clients.”

—Sean Curley, The Retirement Planning Specialists, LLC

Becoming an RIA: Myth vs. Reality

Myth

Reality

My practice isn’t large enough

RIAs span across all asset and production levels

The transition is too hard and I will lose clients and revenue

It’s a big commitment, yes. But most advisors have very successful transitions and many report a growth in revenue within the first two years*

I will have to give up my securities licenses and commissionable business

You can choose the hybrid model, which lets you be independent and maintain your licenses. That way, you can conduct both fee- and commission-based business

If I go independent I may make less money and lose my retirement plan

Independent firms’ economic structures allow advisors to keep 100% of their revenue while building business equity that can be monetized upon retirement

As an RIA, I will not have access to robust technology

Actually, the technology available to RIAs is widely considered more sophisticated and up-to-date than what the wirehouses can offer. Just check out our tech offerings and see how they compare

I won’t have access to a broad range of investment products

By becoming an RIA, you have the ability to select the investment products most appropriate for your clients. Asset custodians often work with RIAs to add new investment vehicles to their product lineup

I won’t be able to grow as an RIA without a big Wall Street brand name and budget

Establishing your own brand or leveraging the brand of an existing RIA has benefits as consumer preferences are shifting

It will be cumbersome and difficult for me to establish myself as an RIA

With TD Ameritrade Institutional, you’ll have all the systems, processes, and people you need to help you realize your vision for independence

According to a recent Cogent Research study, 64% of financial advisors who transition to the RIA model report an increase in net income. Source: InvestmentNews, Study of Advisor Transitions, 2016.