Ask Brad: Shawshank Redemption’s Lessons for Breakaway Advisors

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This is the latest installment of a new, regular column to answer questions from advisors who are considering transitioning to an RIA model. To see Brad’s previous articles, click here. To submit your question, please email Brad here.

In the 1994 movie classic, our wrongly imprisoned hero, Andy Dufresne crawled through a river of – you know what – and came out clean on the other side. I am not suggesting the plight of an imprisoned – er, I mean, captive – advisor is so dire that it’s worth your own sewer-pipe expedition to reach the promised land.

But there are parallels worth noting.

No advisor has asked me this Shawshank referenced question verbatim. But I am frequently asked what an advisor should expect as they leave their current firm to transition to the RIA model.

The Shawshank Redemption – a box-office bomb that struck gold in syndication – follows the travails of several prisoners at Shawshank State Prison. There are many applicable themes woven throughout the movie that apply to our profession. Do not get me started, though, on a comparable analogy about the steps the warden took to prevent prisoners from ever leaving!

A notable theme is that it is possible to become “institutionalized.”