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

advisor insights and advice?

You think big.

So, what’s next?

You’re always thinking a few steps ahead. Are you ready for your next move? Take this short assessment, and we’ll provide a few resources that can help you take the next step.

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


Retaining Clients in Independence

Many Advisors delay making the switch to the RIA model out of fear that they'll lose clients. Learn how to communicate your transition to clients and continue your relationship in independence.


Key Decisions for Independence: Mapping Your Start in the RIA Model

Choosing to become an RIA involves a lot of decisions—but having a road map makes them easier to manage. Read this guide to learn about key milestones in independence.


Compliance in Independence

Keeping up with laws and regulations is something you'll need to be aware of as an independent RIA, but it's not unmanageable. Learn more from industry leader Blane Warrene in this article.


M&A on the Horizon: Ready to Grow Your Firm?

If it’s time to start thinking big(ger), we can help. Learn about what you need to do to prepare for M&A at your firm.

Need more resources to guide you?