I'm Brad Wales.
I help financial advisors like you learn everything you need to know about why and how to transition your practice to the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) model.
Were you referred to me and are ready to connect for an initial Discovery call? Click on the button below to instantly schedule one. Or perhaps you've heard about my RIA explanatory videos (also available as podcast.)
First time visitor? Please scroll down to learn more about the service I offer advisors.
I am routinely asked... "What should I start doing TODAY to be prepared for if I eventually transition my practice to the RIA model?" I wrote a 20 page whitepaper to answer that exact question.
"Steps To Take Now If You Anticipate Transitioning Your Practice To The RIA Model Anytime Within The Next 10 Years"
Why transition to the RIA model?
The Registered Investment Advisor channel continues to be the fastest growing channel within our industry, and for good reason.
It is the only option that provides for maximum independence and flexibility for both you and your clients. You choose how to run your practice, as well as what services and products to offer. You no longer need to be encumbered by the constraints of a one-size-fits-all approach.
The RIA model provides significantly better economics compared with any other affiliation channel. Both now while you're still practicing, as well as with the valuation of your practice for when you eventually exit the business. (Access my free whitepaper: 11 Ways The Economics Of The RIA Model Are Superior To Other Advisor Affiliation Options.)
More flexibility. Higher compensation. Increased value of your practice. Lets dive in!
Why work with someone like me?
Similar to the role you play with your clients helping them to navigate the countless products, services, and solutions available with managing their financial lives, I help advisors navigate the numerous options and decisions that go into transitioning to the RIA model.
Choosing a custodian. Choosing an operational model. Choosing a technology solution. These are some of the many variables that need to be understood and considered when starting your own RIA.
I help you to understand everything you need to know about the relevant options and solutions before you start engaging such vendors. You will have the confidence that you'll know the questions to ask, know the type of answers you should expect to hear, and know that you're positioned to make fully informed decisions.
For the same reasons advisors choose to go independent themselves, I too am independent of any particular offerings. I am not limited to recommending any particular solution, and thus can give you unbiased and unfiltered advice across the entire spectrum of options. 100% confidential.
Are We a Good Fit?
I provide enormous value if you are an existing advisor (whether W2 or 1099) that is interested in potentially transitioning your practice to the RIA model. That is my specialty.
I do not try to be everything to everyone. I only work with advisors that want to better understand the RIA model, and what it might mean for their specific practice.
If you are solely interested in moving to another wirehouse type firm, or an independent broker/dealer firm, we will not be a fit for each other. If you want to learn the RIA model, I am your source.
So what positions me to be an expert at this one thing?
The tablestakes: 20+ years in the industry. Direct RIA related positions in Compliance, Finance, and Business Development. Multiple licenses held (4, 7, 24, 63, 65). MBA. Over a decade of helping advisors (up to $2B+) on this exact topic.
Any resume can appear to have depth though. I'd rather demonstrate my expertise and ability to explain this subject matter to advisors. Please refer to my 90+ videos (and counting) where I answer questions I get from advisors just like you.
"During our multi-year journey to creating our RIA we interfaced with several experts. Brad provided not only significant expertise but high quality unbiased advice. He was invested in us more so than the outcome and has become not just a trusted advisor but close friend." - John L
How I Can Help You
#1 - Should You Transition To The RIA Model?
- The first step is determining if the RIA model is even the right fit for your practice. It's important to understand how it works, how it compares to what you have now, and what you would gain by transitioning your practice to it.
#2 - Which Pathway Into The Model Should You Choose?
Should you start your own RIA? Should you utilize the services of a middle office provider? Should you join an already established RIA? I help you understand how these options work, how they compare, and which is the best fit for your practice.
#3 - What Solution Providers Should You Use?
- After determining which model is the best fit for your practice, I help you understand who the solution providers are you'll need to engage with to pursue such an approach. Who you have available to choose from, what you can expect working with them, and why you might choose one over another.
You will have the confidence that you'll know the questions to ask, know the type of answers you should expect to hear, and know that you're positioned to make fully informed decisions.
How Does It Work?
A key difference between what I offer advisors, versus what typical "recruiters" offer, is I consult with you for the entire duration of your discovery and transition process. I do not simply gauge your interest, and then refer you off to someone else.
I provide extensive education on the front end, make introductions if/when appropriate, and then perhaps most importantly, I remain your sounding board throughout the balance of the process. All while providing you with unbiased expert guidance, on a completely confidential basis.
Steps in the process...
initial discovery call
During the initial Discovery call I work to understand what your current practice looks like, what you are interested in exploring, and whether I'd be a good fit to help you. Depending on time, these calls often lead right into the start of the education process.
These are the sessions where I help you to understand everything you want to learn about the RIA model: How it works, the economics involved, the various options available to you, the steps involved in starting one, etc. Due to the depth of content involved, it is almost certain we will end up doing a number of strategy calls in total.
By this point we will have worked together to identify if the RIA model is a good fit for you, and if so, which particular approach you desire to explore further. I will then help make introductions for you to the applicable providers (custodians, entity setup, etc.) that will be key to the next steps in your process of exploring the RIA model.
At this point you will be working with the various vendors involved in the process of transitioning to the RIA model. Of significant importance though, this does not end your access to me for consultation. As you work through the steps you will perhaps have various questions regarding the options and decisions involved. I will remain available to you for ongoing strategy calls to discuss such topics for as long as you would like in the process.
What does an initial discovery call look like?
I typically request that when possible most Discovery and Strategy calls be conducted via Zoom video (versus regular audio call) as I find this to be the most productive way to have a two way dialogue. I nonetheless frequently also answer (generally shorter) questions by audio call and/or text as well. As far as what a typical initial discovery call looks like.....