MCLEAN, VA, October 4, 2017 — As the financial services industry consolidates and the trend toward fee-based compensation continues to grow, more independent and wirehouse broker-dealer representatives and regional advisors are considering breaking away. This can be an exciting move for some advisors, but to others it may seem daunting.
“Leaving a firm to go out on your own is a complex process, so it’s important for an advisor to be prepared every step of the way,” said Greg Vigrass, president of Folio Institutional. “Breaking away is possible, and there is ample guidance and support for advisors who want to do this. We frequently speak with startup RIAs who are researching the tools their business will need. As a custody option, Folio Institutional’s all-in-one brokerage and fintech platform is an ideal ‘home’ for breakaways because it gives them everything they need for one low, asset-based fee.”
According to Folio Institutional’s national sales team, some of the biggest myths about advisors breaking out on their own are:
- Thinking you have to go it alone – “Don’t panic. Today, there are lots of resources, from specialized consultants to dedicated teams of transition professionals, such as Folio Institutional’s relationship managers, who make the move easier,” Vigrass added. Advisors should also look for a custodian that offers seamless onboarding and training. Custodians should also demonstrate a commitment to helping their advisors’ business grow.
- All custodians are the same – Choosing a custodian is one of the most important business decisions an advisor will make. Yet, some custodians “wall off” certain services to advisors with smaller assets under management. “Folio Institutional is excited to work with advisors who are committed to their business and show the motivation to grow,” said Vigrass. (Read “Six Key Questions to Ask a Prospective Custodian.”)
- Technology is too expensive – Start-up advisors will need portfolio management, performance reporting and robust trading tools right out of the gate. Yet some think adding a flexible model management system, robust tax management tools or robo advisor services are too costly. Vigrass adds, “The expense of these services forces breakaways to make difficult choices about what they’re willing to pay for. Folio understands this, and offers a comprehensive solution with a single, asset-based fee.”
- Small accounts do not provide ROI – Start-up advisors cannot always afford to be choosy when it comes to client account size. “Advisors can precisely manage large and small accounts when they combine model strategies with fractional shares. Add in an automated trading system, and advisors now have more time available to build relationships. Also, asset-based pricing eliminates cost as a consideration for doing what is right for all clients in all cases,” said Vigrass.
For more information on the pitfalls breakaway advisors face, read “Breaking Away: The Good, The Bad and the Avoidable” from Folio Institutional Sightlines’ blog.