How To Go Independent

An objective source to learn about independent business models

"I wish I had done this sooner"

Sean KernanComment

I listen to or read a lot interviews of independent advisors at varying stages of their journey: with Michael Kitces (, with Alan Moore (, Mindy Diamond (, and anywhere else I can find them. I also talk to the advisors in our network ( on a regular basis about their experience as an independent advisor vs being in an employee arrangement.


I am ten years into my time as an independent advisor; as anyone past a certain age (no older than 44) can attest, time seems to accelerate as you get older. I have tried to relish the last 10 years but they still seem to have gone very quickly. It is now hard for me to really remember just what it was like to be part of giant employee-based firm. This seems to be all I’ve ever known or will know.

This idea struck me this morning because of a health-related change I just made. I have snored for years and my wife has told me that I stop breathing and it is kinda scary for her. I finally read a bit about sleep apnea and it sounded like I had a classic case; the impact of no oxygen to the heart over the years apparently can cause some pretty scary consequences that you can’t see until it is too late. I got a sleep study done a few weeks ago and sure enough, I was well into the severe apnea category (30/hour is the threshold for being called severe and I had 66/hour!). Last night was my first with my new CPAP machine. I woke up refreshed and feel like I got a lot more sleep than usual. Everyone told me this would be the case.

I wish I had done it sooner.