Transition Tips From RIAs Who’ve Done It

We asked RIAs from across the country to share the best piece of advice they could give to advisors who are considering transitioning to the independent model. Click to explore what they have to say and gain insights that can help motivate and inspire you to make a thorough and informed decision.

“Be transparent with your clients about why you are making the move.” —An RIA from Texas

Be honest about your intentions

Before you decide to break out on your own, consider your motivation. While money might factor into the equation, try to dig even deeper. You may find that you’re also seeking freedom, a more client-friendly environment, a better cultural fit, or all of the above. No matter your reasoning, be sure to communicate your intent to your clients and explain how this move can benefit them. Doing so can help you maintain their trust throughout the transition process.

“Don’t feel as though you have to do it all yourself.” —An RIA from Maine

Build your network

Making the transition can be easier than you think. Remember, there are many who have done it before you! Networking can help you find other RIAs who can give you tips and pointers on how to get started. Find others who have experienced success through transition and learn from their triumphs and setbacks.

“Don’t be afraid. Clients will follow.” —An RIA from MIssissippi

Trust your gut

Chances are you have the experience and know-how needed for your business to flourish. Remind yourself of this often and let it motivate you to be a trailblazer. When clients know you’re confident, they’ll likely take your lead.

“Loyalty begins with you and the way you do business." —An RIA from Florida

Strengthen client relationships

When you become an independent RIA, the needs of your clients become more important than ever before. Communicating with them openly after you resign and as you transition, and demonstrating how your business now revolves around them, can go a long way toward building loyalty.

“Pick a custodian who doesn’t compete with you.” —An RIA from California

Choose the right custodian

Having the right custodian partner can make or break your business. Be sure to find one that shares your values and offers the tools and resources you need to take off running. If you’re unsure of where to start, try asking other RIAs who have already transitioned about their custodial experiences. Their advice can make vetting your options easier than you think!

Meet advisors like you who have
successfully transitioned

Heather Fortner

She knows that the right operations professionals can help advisors provide a seamless customer experience.

Gerald Loftin

After 12 years at his independent broker-dealer, he decided enough was enough.

Bob Rall

He left the wirehouse to build deeper relationships with his clients.

The Fong Brothers

They turned their family values into a strong foundation for a growing and successful firm.

Ryder Brose

He used the RIA model to put his clients first.

Ready for more

advisor insights and advice?

Let us help you get your

business booming

Whether you’re leaning toward starting or joining an RIA, we’ll give you an idea of what your future business might look like with our quick and informative Exploring Your Independence™ tool.

Become an RIA in

4 simple steps

From choosing the right business model to helping your firm thrive after transition, you may have a lot of questions about becoming an independent RIA. Get the answers you’re looking for in our guidebook, Becoming an Independent RIA.

Additional resources
to help you on your journey


The Truth About Transitions: The Grass Is Often Greener

More and more, the evidence is becoming clearer—those who go independent are a happy bunch.


Four Big Mistakes to Avoid During Transition

Make your transition smooth by keeping clear of these common oversights.


Ten Reasons RIAs Trust TD Ameritrade After They Go Independent

Discover the top reasons RIAs look to TD Ameritrade to help them achieve their goals.


Your Transition Checklist

Take your transition one step at a time with this helpful checklist.

Need more resources to guide you?

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