Frequently Asked Questions

(For a list of RIA specific questions answered, see my list of videos.)

General Questions

The section contains answers to general questions related to my firm.

The irony is I purposely left working at a custodian to start Transition To RIA for many of the same reasons advisors choose to transition to the RIA model themselves.  I wanted more flexibility and control with how I could market my services.  I wanted more availability and choice of solutions I could provide.  I wanted the independence to provide what was best for each individual advisor, and not be limited to a narrow set of solutions.  So in a way, it was hypocritical for me to be suggesting to advisors that they make a transition for these same reasons, if I wasn’t willing to do so myself.  Hence, the launch of my firm.

Absolutely.  Rest assured, all of our conversations will be strictly confidential.  Only if and when we reach an agreed upon point where you’d like me to make introductions for you, our conversations will otherwise stay solely between you and I.

See my Pricing page for a full explanation.

I do not have a hard minimum size I will assist, as a common part of what I help advisors to think through is what options they potentially have available to them depending on their current size, the goals they have for their practice, what parts of their business they desire to run on their own vs perhaps outsource to someone else, etc.  One size advisor (or team) will have different needs and options than another size advisor.  I have helped sub-$100mm AUM advisors, up to multi-billion dollar AUM advisors.

The earlier the better!  There are a number of different paths you could take to transition to the RIA model.  Each with their own nuances, pros, cons, options, etc.  It’s best to think those options through on the front end, before you get perhaps too far down a particular path that may or may not be the best option for you to be considering.  Nonetheless, I have been able to engage with and help advisors that were already along all stages of the process.

Certainly!  That is a key part of what I help advisors with.  I help you to fully understand how the model works, how it might look for your practice, and how it compares to other available affiliation options.  There is no prerequisite to working with me that says you have to have already decided on the RIA model.  Helping you to understand and think through the various options is part of the value of what I provide.

Yes, and in a good way!  Consider an analogy of otherwise identical prospective clients that get connected to your practice:

  • Prospective client #1 calls your main office line and asks to make an appointment to meet with you.
  • Prospective client #2 is specifically introduced to you by one of your top existing clients.

Naturally you will be responsive and desiring to provide good value and service to each.  However, with prospective client #2, you also know that how you treat that prospective client will almost certainly get back to your existing client.  Hence, you surely don’t want to jeopardize your existing relationship (and source of referrals) and so are certain to be even more responsive and helpful to the referred client.

That is the same scenario when I make referrals to vendors.  Quite frankly, they are desiring that I make such referrals to them, and so certainly want to protect their referral source (me) by being absolutely responsive and helpful to advisors I refer to them (you).

Yes, I spent a number of my nearly 20 years in the industry in and alongside both the independent contractor model as well as employee model.  Further, as most all advisors I speak to are in one of those models currently, I have developed years worth of additional direct insight into them from these conversations.  I am well positioned to not only help you understand the RIA model itself, but also how it compares to these additional affiliation model options.

The focus of my firm is to help you understand everything there is to know about the RIA model, and if desired how to transition your practice to it.  However, there are occasional advisor scenarios where quite frankly the RIA model is perhaps not the best fit an advisor should ultimately be considering.  I am generally in turn asked if I have contacts for who those advisors should ideally be connecting with to explore those other models further.  From my years in the industry, I have developed such a contact list and when desired will pass along such recommendations.  Again though, that is not the primary focus or intent of my firm.

I try to provide as much helpful content on my site as I can.  However, the reality is that every single advisor situation is unique and different.  I could add 100+ videos to my site, and while they will surely be helpful for part of the discovery process, the only way to truly understand and consider your available options as they relate to you specifically is through a one-on-one consultation.

Keep in mind, there is endless content available online on how to manage your wealth as well.  Yet your clients still turn to you for assistance as they understand and appreciate the value of working with a trusted expert, as opposed to trying to “Do-It-Yourself”.  For the same reasons, I have full confidence that advisors that truly want and expect the best for their practice, will reach out to me to have a one-on-one engagement about their specific needs.

This is very much by design.  Some folks ask if I’m taking inspiration from the likes of Steve Jobs (black turtle neck), Mark Zuckerberg (grey t-shirt), or Michael Kitces (blue button-down).  As much as I respect such luminaries, my reasoning is far less sophisticated.

When I started the firm, my plan all along was to have my RIA Question & Answer video series.  I also knew that most of my interactions with advisors would be via zoom. Put bluntly, I never wanted to have to stop and think about what I was wearing in the last video I made, or what I was wearing the last time I appeared on a zoom with an advisor, etc.

Solution?  Pick a particular outfit from the onset, and stick to it!  Hence, the black polo.

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FREE WHITEPAPER:  “Steps To Take Now If You Anticipate Transitioning Your Practice To The RIA Model Anytime Within The Next 10 Years.”