Is Going Independent Right For You?

By Karen Hayes, Relationship Manager - Recruiting

You’re thinking about going independent. What should you consider?

You know it’s going to take hard work, attention to detail, and a willingness to persevere. But maybe there’s a nagging question in the back of your mind: Are you really the kind of person who should start your own practice? 

Even academic experts say there’s no easy answer. In fact, research shows there is no clear definition of the type of person who generally succeeds as an entrepreneur.

The question, then, isn’t whether you’re right for independence.  It’s whether independence is right for you.  Let’s take a look at some practical considerations.

What to think about 

It’s easy to see what makes having your own practice attractive:

  • Client focus. You’ll own your book of business. Clients won’t belong to someone else who issues directives to you. Instead, you’ll call the shots and can serve your clients in the way you think is best.

  • Compensation. Because you’ll be in charge, you’ll also get to decide how to structure your fees and, as a result, potentially boost your earnings. 

  • Freedom and flexibility. You can build your brand based on your unique culture and deploy your capital as you see fit.  Want to increase your marketing?  Expand your office space?  These decisions are entirely yours to make.  

But it’s also important to understand that independence comes with new responsibilities. 

Even though you’ll own the book of business, you’ll have to maintain and grow it prudently. Sure, you can increase your fees to earn even more, but you’ll have to stay within the parameters of what your business can sustain. You will also need to carefully manage the costs of running your business – from office space and insurance to outsourced support services like compliance.

Get support for your business venture

That might seem like a lot to deal with, and getting it right takes time, but a recent Charles Schwab survey found that more than 90% of advisors who’ve gone independent would make the decision again and were happier after they did.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it all on your own.  Private Advisor Group can help you build a business structure that fits your vision while you remain fully independent — just as we’ve already assisted more than 650 independent advisors.

If you’re considering independence, or you simply have questions, give me a call. I’m happy to help you find the answers you’re looking for. 

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