This is the time of year we take stock of our accomplishments and begin to think about our New Year’s resolutions. We ask independent advisors to review their 2013 plans to see what worked and what didn’t and then to draw up a new plan for 2014. This may be a less necessary exercise at a wirehouse where your goals may be prescribed and you are told what you are and are not allowed to do. Indeed reducing your need to think about your business may serve their purposes more than yours.
Over the last year, I have spoken to a considerable number of wirehouse advisors. Some as participants in the Breakaway Advisor Symposium, some who are inquiring about Pinnacle Advisor Solutions and some who are simply friends. What always strikes me is how much less wirehouse advisors know about the range of business models available to them than their independent counterparts. Over the Thanksgiving break I was reading “What the Dog Saw” by Malcolm Gladwell. He offered a great line in one of his articles: “To a worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish”. In other words – for our purposes — the wirehouse advisor doesn’t know what he may be missing because all he knows is the wirehouse way.
You can also see this in the results of a Fidelity survey of advisors that already transitioned to independence. The survey observed that 94% of breakaway advisors were happy with their decision; 90% wished they had done so sooner; and that the #1 obstacle to making the transition was a lack of information about what the independent world looks like and how to make the transition.
So as 2013 draws to a close and 2014 approaches, educate yourself about your business. Know your alternatives. Know yourself. And decide which business model suits your business best. There are plenty of resources. Check out the Breakaway Advisor Symposium at www.BreakawayAdvisors.com where you can find industry leaders explaining the “hows” and “whys” of the transition to independence.
Give yourself a gift this holiday season. Do a little homework. You may discover a better lifestyle for you … a better direction for your business … and maybe even give yourself a raise by trading a 30-40% payout for a 100% payout.