Financial Advisors Going Independent – Key Considerations
- Is "toeing the company line" starting to get to you?
- Thinking of hanging out your own shingle and starting anew?
- Have you realized that you can make far more money as an independent?
Many financial advisors are leaving wire houses and going independent to a B/D or to an RIA. There are many considerations when going independent, but none are more important than creating a well thought out marketing plan.
In a study commissioned by the Financial Planning Association (FPA) in November 2008, key issues emerged regarding what to be aware of when deciding to go independent. The study consisted of 550 independent planners.
After going independent, participants were asked to list the most difficult aspect of the transition. Here are their answers:
33% - Marketing the new practice
18% - Working through regulatory and compliance issues
7% - Selecting a custodian or B-D and establishing a relationship
6.5% - Transferring book of business to new custodian or B-D
6% - Selecting and implementing new technology
Interestingly enough, none of the advisors polled said they would go back to their prior arrangement.
What should you be aware of when going independent?
- You should learn how to run your practice like a business. Have you managed a business before? How do you think you would handle being your own boss? Can you work efficiently and hold yourself accountable?
- Having an independent practice means acting like an entrepreneur. How do you feel about going out and getting new business? How do you feel about taking risks?
- What do you know about branding? You will have to create a brand for your practice that sets you apart from every other advisor out there.
- One of the keys to independence is having a niche for your practice. Do you currently market your practice by targeting a niche?
- How are your marketing skills? What kind of marketing ideas have you come up with? You may have to learn how to get out of your comfort zone with your marketing.
- Do you have a Web site that can help you attract your Ideal Clients? Not just any web site will do. You'll need a strategy that will pre-sell your skills to prospects.
- What does your Non Compete state? Compliance and taking clients with you can be tricky. Have contacted an attorney? Does SEC rule 206-4-7 apply to you?
- How are your finances? Have you estimated the costs to set up an independent practice?
Whatever your situation, Suzanne would love to assist you with getting your new practice up and running.
Purchase Suzanne's 9 Week Marketing Course and Learn to Market Your Practice.
Next Steps: Hire Suzanne as your Business Coach
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Suzanne Muusers is an ICF-Member Business Coach who has worked with hundreds of successful independent financial advisors since 2004. She helps clients develop their Value Proposition, Ideal Client Profile, and Marketing Strategy so that their marketing message appeals to affluent clients.
Suzanne has created exercises and programs that help her clients get straight to the point and avoid mistakes other advisors tend to make. Her clients save time getting to the next level due to her extensive knowledge and experience in the business growth field.
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