Reluctant About Going Solo? Join a Network

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Ah, the age-old dilemma: to leave or not to leave.

We've all been there at one point – stuck at a firm we are not satisfied with, perhaps feeling out of control or underpaid, lacking flexibility and work-life balance. Likely, it led you to question whether you should break loose, start your own RIA, and build your business your way from the ground up.

Before you give your notice and clean out your desk, there are some careful considerations to make. After all, leaving an established firm to go out on your own might solve some of your problems, but they will be replaced by a new host of obstacles and challenges.

That's not to say that you shouldn't go out on your own, but before you do, put some thought into whether it's the right move. Do you have a business plan? A rough idea of how you plan to bring in business? An estimate of your costs?

Consider these important aspects of your business:

  • Time: Starting your own RIA requires a significant level of time and dedication, as you will be required (at least at the beginning) to juggle many new responsibilities. Are you prepared to wear numerous hats? Do you have the time and energy to throw yourself into establishing and scaling your new business?
  • Compliance: When you break off on your own, compliance is your responsibility. While it's always an option to outsource this role or to hire a chief compliance officer, the responsibility ultimately is yours.
  • Resources: Consider all the efficiencies built into your existing firm, including marketing, technology, and innovations. Are you willing to risk those resources? Be mindful of your costs. Can you afford to pay for these resources on your own?