How To Go Independent

An objective source to learn about independent business models


What does it mean to be an independent financial advisor?

MiscellaneousSean KernanComment

This website is called How To Go Independent. The natural question that I probably should follow that is what does that actually mean? What does it mean to “be independent?”

After six and a half years of having my own practice, and about six years before that pondering having my own practice, I have an understanding in my own head and with the people I talk to regularly what independent means. But a couple things have come up in the last week that have reminded me that anytime you're trying to communicate something that you're very familiar with, you need to do the best to start at the beginning.

Articles about how to start an independent financial advisor business

MiscellaneousSean KernanComment

Here are some good write ups on setting an RIA-only practice (aka "fee only"). Actually, the last is a link to a long list of related blog posts.  I have always enjoyed reading these types of articles, but I realized there wasn't an in depth resource for any option that includes a broker-dealer affiliation--even the hybrid RIA configuration, like I am currently in (or at least one written by someone who had "been there, done that" and was still in the field doing it).  That's why I'm here...and hopefully why you are.

A deeper look into my path to independence

TransitionsSean KernanComment

I look forward to sharing my insights and knowledge on how to take your investment or financial planning practice from an employee model to an independent model.

I’ve been excited to start this project and I hope it will be helpful and educational for you.

I want to give you a little background on why I decided to start this business and why I'm qualified to provide useful, and hopefully somewhat interesting information, if you’re curious about the other side of our business.

My Journey to Independence

TransitionsSean KernanComment

Six years ago today, I established my own independent financial advisory practice.  It was the culmination of seven years of building a client base at big firms, learning about various business models, and planning for the move.  It was probably inevitable that I would end up with my own practice once I learned that the independent model existed. 

I am very grateful for the autonomy to run my business the best way I see fit for my clients and my family. For me, "Going Independent" has easily been the best professional decision I have ever made.