As someone who has made the transition, I know that it can sometimes feel like information overload because there is so much of it to digest.
So, in an effort to help you parse this information down to a manageable guide for making the transition, here are seven things you should do before leaving your wirehouse:
1. Determine your value proposition. Simply put, you should figure why you are deciding to go independent in the first place. What are your goals and how will leaving your wirehouse help you better achieve those goals?
2. Think about your clients. While becoming an independent advisor might be the best move for your career, it’s important to think about how this transition will benefit your clients as well.
3. Conduct a review of your team. It’s imperative that you determine whether the team you have in place right now is the team that will serve you best going forward. Does each member share your vision? Are they ready to leave the wirehouse space for the independent model?
4. Prepare yourself for a delayed payoff. You can almost be certain that the money is not going to immediately start rolling in once you go independent. The first year could be about making enough money to keep the lights on and the staff paid. If you maintain a long-term vision, you can eventually reap the rewards of your patience.
5. Make sure your family is on board. Again, the early-going could be challenging and require long hours to get the business running consistently. Make sure your family is prepared to possibly see less of you in the short-term.
6. Be ready to give up something to gain something. As you make the move to independence you are often giving up the brand recognition that you enjoyed at your old firm and are now starting from scratch. You may want to think about aligning yourself with a marketing firm or a super OSJ such as Cooper McManus to help build your new brand.
7. Keep an open mind about compromising. While you may be driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to break away from the restrictions of the captive environment, going fully independent may not make the most sense for your business or your mental health. Be open to partnering with a branch office, an independent broker/dealer or other entity that can help make your transition easier by providing many of the services you enjoyed at your wirehouse.