Should You Join an RIA Firm

By Karen Hayes, Relationship Manager - Recruiting

Freedom is one of the greatest advantages of the independent advisory model. As an advisor, you get to own your client relationships and run your business the way you envision. Your clients, of course, get to enjoy the highest standard of care: the fiduciary standard.

But what if you’re not totally sold on the additional responsibilities that come with setting up and running your own independent business? Joining an established RIA firm with a proven track record may be the right path for you. 

Here are some of the top reasons we find financial advisors are joining RIA firms instead of starting their own:

Operational Support

Joining an existing firm allows you to leverage an existing infrastructure yet still have flexibility in selecting your own custodian(s). The right firm will have the technology solutions, compliance services, custodian relations, and time-tested administrative processes you need to spend more time with your clients and less time managing your operations.

Economies of Scale

Larger RIA firms have more negotiating power than individual advisors, which means they can typically offer more attractive rates for technology, custodian pricing, errors and omissions insurance, and SEC registration.

Community and Camaraderie

When FAs join an RIA, they cite becoming part of something bigger than themselves – and you have the tremendous opportunity to learn from and collaborate with other advisors who share your same values, goals, and aspirations.

Succession Planning

As an independent advisor, you have full control over what your exit strategy looks like. Some RIA firms will buy your practice, if and when you so desire, giving you the assurance that your clients will be cared for as you have cared for them.

There are many different shades of independence in the financial advisory world. If you want independence with built-in layers of support, then you may want to consider joining an RIA firm. Before you make any decisions, though, let’s talk. Having helped hundreds of advisors seize both employee and partnership opportunities in the RIA channel, we at Private Advisor Group can help you determine whether this path is right for you.

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