Ask Brad: Why Do So Many RIAs Fail to Launch?
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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As we near the end of the year, human nature prompts us to do two things: reflect on the year gone by and set goals for the coming 12 months.
Considering we have now battled through the second year of a worldwide pandemic, we should be proud of overcoming the personal and professional challenges that have touched us all this past year.
As you look to the new year and the goal-setting process that follows, I challenge you to think differently.
What goals have you not accomplished that were, if you’re being true to yourself, left undone due to a lack of your own actions versus external forces out of your control?
My firm, Transition To RIA, helps advisors explore and – where it’s a fit – transition their practice to the RIA model.
The RIA model is not for everyone. However, for a large portion of advisors, the advantages are far superior to what they have available to them via their affiliation model.
These advisors will experience a significant increase in yearly take-home income, coupled with a profound increase in the enterprise value of their practice.
And that’s before discussing the increased flexibility and satisfaction that goes with it.
There’s a reason the #1 thing you will hear advisors say after making a move to the RIA model is, “I wish I had done this sooner.”
But my intent here is not to make a sales pitch for the RIA model.
A large portion of the advisor community would be far better off under the RIA model, yet many of those advisors will never take advantage of it. Many won’t invest even a modest amount of time to learn more about it.
Why is that?
Why do so many advisors not take advantage of something that could be far superior to what they have?
Why do so many RIAs fail to launch?
In a word….inertia.
Every year, a subset of advisors invests time to learn more about the model. They ask how the model would look for their practice. They are willing to make an (albeit painful) short-term transition to reap significant long-term gain for both themselves and their clients. Those advisors are rewarded with all that the model offers. Their only regret?
They didn’t do it sooner.
Some advisors realize this is something they should be learning more about, are frustrated with their current firm or affiliation model, and have heard the stories of satisfied advisors who have made the transition. Many have read my RIA articles here in Advisor Perspectives. Yet, even with such motivations, they never take the first step to learn more.
Inertia is a dangerous drug that anchors your potential success.
I know this on a personal level.
I had an entrepreneurial itch most of my entire adult life. Yet, I took almost 20 years to proactively leave the comfort of a corporate lifestyle to launch my own business. Nothing was handed to me. I had to do it on my own. I finally realized that inertia was the only thing to blame for holding me back.
My goal is not criticism but motivation. I, too, needed to hear this message.
Are you an advisor who could gain from the benefits of the RIA model? Have you invested at least a little time to learn more about it? If not, do you have an excuse for not doing so? Or is it simply inertia?
As the year winds down and we look to what we want to achieve in 2022, is learning more about the RIA model something that should be on your list?
If so, let me provide some steps you can take today towards achieving that goal.
Each suggestion is a way to get started that will take only a few minutes of your time. If you’re not willing to take at least one step today, you probably never will. Inertia will have won again.
Don’t do them all; start with one.
Simple ways to get started today to learn more about the RIA model:
- Review the list of videos I have made explaining the model. Earmark a few to watch and learn from.
- Download and listen to a few of my podcast episodes.
- Download one of my whitepapers on the RIA model.
- Use my scheduling link to set a time for a one-on-one conversation with me. It’s year-end, it’s the holidays, you’re busy. That’s fine…take the step today but schedule it for a date in January.
All of these are free resources that don’t commit you to anything.
I mention them to help you overcome inertia. If you’re interested in learning more about the RIA model, take one of the above steps today.
Some will read this article and take action. They are the doers. Others will read it, want to act, but never will. To the latter, writing your goals for 2022 will be easy, as they’ll resemble the goals you had set for 2021.
Brad Wales is the founder of Transition To RIA, a consulting firm uniquely focused on helping established financial advisors understand everything there is to know about WHY and HOW to transition their practice to the RIA model. Brad utilizes his nearly 20 years of industry experience, including direct RIA related roles in compliance, finance and business development to provide independent advice regarding how advisors can benefit from the advantages of the RIA model.