Ask Brad: The Inconvenient Math of the W2 Model

This is the latest installment of a 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.

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Should every financial advisor “go independent” with their practice?


But Brad, aren’t you in the business of helping advisors transition their practice to the “independent” RIA model?


But from experience, I know that an independent model is not for everyone. I have spoken to plenty of advisors who have neither the desire nor the wherewithal to run their own business.

I respect this. There are advisors who love being practitioners of their craft and don’t want the additional responsibilities of business ownership, no matter the economic upside and additional flexibility of doing so.

So, do not let the title of this article fool you into thinking I’m blinded to anything short of a fully independent model. However, there is inconvenient math that comes with a W2 approach at one of the large traditional broker/dealers.