Broker Check
A Solid Plan for New Independent Financial Advisor Success

A Solid Plan for New Independent Financial Advisor Success

June 29, 2023

Are you a financial advisor ready to embark on a journey towards setting up your own successful independent practice?  Once a financial advisor decides that setting up an independent practice offers them the chance to not only build their own business model, but potentially have access to better products and services for clients, they will next seek out a way to turn their leap of faith into a successful transition. People don’t plan to fail, the saying goes. They fail to plan.

Fortunately, there is a pathway followed by many new independent advisors that provides an opportunity to hit the ground running. Cutter & Company, an independent Broker-Dealer and Registered Investment Advisor has developed a transition timeline that has served our independent advisors well for more than 35 years.

Three Months before the Transition

  • Set up Your Office
    • Consider both current needs and future growth when exploring your options
      • Turnkey “Executive Suite” arrangements
        • Packages can provide space, equipment and receptionist services
    • Create your own space
      • Research leases
      • Buy a phone system, office equipment and furniture
      • Set up internet/cable service
  • Set up Your Company
    • Business structure: Work with your CPA to verify the type of corporate structure, perhaps an LLC or S Corporation, which works best for your personal situation.
    • Company Name
      • Brand and logo resources, including “crowd sourcing”.
        • One option is WWW.CROWDSPRING.COM to request ideas for names, logos or graphic design.
        • Another option to consider is WWW.FIVERR.COM that provides project services for very low cost.
      • Verify the name you select is available
        • Check with your Secretary of State-Corporations Division.
        • Make sure the web site domain you want is available.
      • File for your tax Identification number and corporate name
  • Building Your Team
    • Consider the skill set of the people you may need to hire to help run your business.
      • Will you need licensed personnel?
      • Will you need help in the advisory process?
      • Will you only need administrative assistance?
      • Is outsourcing of payroll services, or even staff, an option to meet your needs?
    • Use cost-effective ways to locate qualified candidates
      • Consider resources like Craigslist or local newspaper advertising
      • Colleges may also post your position on job boards for upcoming graduates or internships may be an option.
        • Cost effective way to hire trainable, bright people to fit your own culture

30 to 45 Days before Transition

  • Computer Technology: Order and set up software needed to be ready for the start date
    • Cutter & Company provides an alternative to acquire systems that meet your needs
      • We order computer hardware at cost; Set up needed applications before shipping
      • E-mail services set up through the firm to archive and retain communications
  • Supplies and Support Systems for Smooth Operations
    • Cutter & Company has established partnerships with service providers that are available to our advisors. 
      • Website providers that understand compliance requirements
      • Consider establishing an Amazon Business account for discounted rates on supplies
      • Morningstar Office subscriptions
      • Referrals available for IT support service
      • Brokerage Unlimited – insurance brokerage representing many insurance carriers
      • First Clearing – Access to sophisticated technical software – similar technology as that used at a major wirehouse
    • Review your client accounts for special instructions, RMD’s, ACH’s, 72(t)’s, etc.

Final Steps

  • Prepare a letter of introduction to be sent to clients introducing your new business
    • Cutter & Company can provide samples and help with the language
  • Get all client paperwork in order for the transition
    • Cutter & Company will perform all necessary steps with you when the time is right.

Don’t let uncertainty about how you will execute the transition stand in the way of making a move to independence. Contact us at Cutter & Company with any questions you may have as you consider this life-changing decision.