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

Todd Resnick

He joined his partners to break away and do things on their own terms.

Stephen Rischall

He left his independent broker-dealer to start his own firm and experience true freedom.

NextGen Advisors

Hear from advisors who know about how the RIA model is perfect for NextGen talent.

Joining a Firm

Hear from an advisor who joined a firm after going independent.

Gerald Loftin

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

Operational Efficiency

Hear from an operations pro about how to streamline your new firm's operations to provide a seamless customer experience.

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

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Start exploring

your own independence

Have you been envisioning what your future business might look like? Use our quick and informative tool for a better understanding of how you can make the most out of your journey toward becoming an RIA.

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

Quick Guide

A Student’s Guide to a Career in Financial Planning

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Finding the Right Fit: A Quick Guide to Joining the Right RIA Firm

Interested in leveraging an existing firm’s infrastructure but not sure where to begin? This checklist can help.

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Become Robo-Efficient in 3 Easy Steps

Offer clients in your new firm the automated convenience robo-advisors can provide—plus the human touch they can't.

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Advocating for You: The Cornerstone of What We Do

Becoming an RIA means having us on your side—even on Capitol Hill. Find out how we practice industry advocacy.

Need more resources to guide you?

Human Finance |