How To Go Independent

An objective source to learn about independent business models

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my clients go with me?

Of course, there are a number of factors that will affect client retention in a move to an independent practice. It's important to know what these factors are so you can evaluate and make changes before your move so your clients transition with you. READ MORE

When is the best time to go independent?

Changing firms and setting up your own practice when everything is steady and life is good can seem to violate the maxim, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  However, I believe times of relative calm can be precisely the ideal time to execute a change if you are well-prepared. READ MORE

What will my payout be?

That’s the million dollar question - sometimes more - over a lifetime.Payout is a huge factor in our business, and a number we think we all know as an employee at a big firm. But when you're independent, there are a lot more moving parts and it can be complicated to calculate.READ MORE

Who are you again?

I help financial advisors who are currently employees absorb information about independent business models.  This site allows you to do so on your own time, in your own space, with unquestioned privacy.  I built what I would have loved to find when I was educating myself over 7 years before establishing my practice. Read more about my journey to independence by clicking READ MORE

Why are you doing this?  What's it in for it you and how are you making money from this/me? Why don't you ever mention your company name? Are you really even a real person?

That's a great list of questions, I'm glad you asked (sorry, reflexive response from my initial industry sales training).  I am doing this because I know it might be helpful to you, and I believe that I can get anything I want in life by helping other people get what they want (to quote Zig Ziglar).  I get very excited sharing my experiences and expertise about establishing your own financial planning or independent financial advisor business.  This excitement grew out of my own discovery process and led to creating another business (an OSJ & RIA) that helps other advisors become and/or remain independent.

I have no goal of earning any money from this project at this point.  I am fortunate to have those two business that support me and my family:  one as a independent financial advisor, the other as a partner in a firm that supports other independent advisors.  In fact, because of those roles and the resultant compliance obligations, I CAN'T charge money....because goodness, we can't have one advisor helping another by sharing information and getting--GASP---paid for it!!  That would be "dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria!" (reference: 

You know the drill---we can't do anything that one attorney could attempt to link back to the big firm with deep pockets.  Therefore, the firm I am associated with is OK with me doing this, as long as I keep their name (and any brand/DBA linked to them) out of it.  I get it.  If you are that curious, Google is pretty good at "uncovering" details about people (hint: sean kernan dallas financial advisor).

What all that means to you: I have no financial agenda here that colors my motivations.  The main bias I have is that I can only speak directly from my experience about the few companies I have been directly affiliated with.  I won't pretend to know every in and out of every independent firm--or even business model.  But I have expanded my perspective....and the deepest passion I have is in the idea of an independent business model.  I think that leaving the employee world behind is the 80% of the 80/20 rule---picking a firm and who specifically you affiliate with should be the final 20% if you're doing things right.  I suspect that if I am helpful enough, I will someday figure out how to earn an income in exchange for the value I bring to you and others.  But that day is not today.

I have also absorbed a lot of blogs and podcasts over the last few years, and I have been fascinated with the idea that anyone can become a "publisher" or "content creator."  As a result, part of my motivation is just the sheer ego gratification of seeing my thoughts posted here on the internet that you have found.

Oh and yes, I am real person....I have Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, so I must be real: Feel free to connect with me either place---just tell me how you got there. 

You can also learn about me more here. While my background is important to explain why I am qualified on these topics, I don't aim for this site to be all about me....hopefully you can find any resource you need to learn more about the various models of independence.  If you have a question that remains unanswered, please ask it!  I will answer it and post to fill in the gap.  The best way for me to add value is to address real world concerns of advisors in your situation.

FAQs from the Blog

FAQs on the Podcast