Starting An RIA – Challenges You Will Face and How To Be Prepared

Apr 13, 2023 | Starting an RIA

Whether you’re looking to start your own RIA Firm or transition from a Broker-Dealer, FMO based RIA or just need a fresh start to building your independent advisory practice, we understand what it takes. There’s no doubt it’s a challenging experience breaking through that glass ceiling and building a “Lifestyle” practice you can truly enjoy, and your clients can trust in. While the benefits of independence can be significant, there are several “Critical Thinking Points” that must be considered along the way. Let’s discuss a few of those now.

Support Services

One of the most significant challenges facing financial advisors when they leave a BD or RIA is the loss of support and resources. You now have to consider the various comprehensive resources including technology, software, compliance, and back-office support. Not to mention, the broad range of investment products that now fall on your shoulders. This can be particularly challenging if you’re just starting out or even tenured and may not have the financial resources to hire a team of professionals to provide these services and the experience to efficiently implement them into your practice.

Lead Generation and Digital Solutions

While growing your practice should be the number one priority. Lead generation and working with new prospective clients may take a backseat to implementing necessary infrastructure. Additionally, building your client base also requires a significant investment of time and money. This includes developing a marketing plan, building a website, and attending networking events. Additionally, advisors will need to establish relationships with potential clients and convince them that they have the expertise, stability, and experience to provide them with the financial advice they need. This becomes more challenging when your AUM is de minimis or a prospective client identifies they would represent a large percentage of your overall AUM.

Regulation and Compliance

Another challenge that new Firms face is the need to comply and be astute to a vast range of ever-changing regulatory requirements. At established BDs and SEC RIA Firms, compliance support is typically provided by the Firm and taken for granted. While you may choose to outsource your compliance needs, you will still be the CCO of your Firm and solely responsible for ensuring that it complies with all regulatory requirements. Additionally, new State registered RIAs must be prepared early on for a regulatory audit of their new Firm. States have become more proactive to audit new Firms early on as to assure they are on the right track managing all aspects of client and Firm base rules and regulatory compliance requirements in their practice. It’s now, more than ever, imperative to make sure what you do is aligned with what your ADV and client documents and disclosures say.

Economics and Practice Management

Expecting the unexpected is rule number one… when it comes to managing your finances. Considering your current personal and family expenses, office space, technology, software, etc., you’ll now have to incur the additional cost of implementing your RIA and various new ongoing costs as mentioned above. You may either embrace this or find it to be a daunting task especially when you’re “Going it Alone”. The take-away is as a new business owner, expect the unexpected, as this will serve you well no matter what path you take in Life and your Business!

In conclusion, breaking away from a broker-dealer, or leaving an SEC RIA Firm, and starting your own RIA can be both rewarding and a challenging experience. While the benefits of independence can be significant, it’s prudent to pause for a moment and consider navigating a range of business struggles along the way. Through dedication, hard work, and a commitment to a written business plan you can successfully navigate these challenges and build a thriving Lifestyle practice.

A Viable Solution – Advisor Launch Pad

Powered by SimplyRIA, the Advisor Launch Pad Program is a unique program that supports Advisors who are either looking to break-away from a broker-dealer or FMO-Based RIA. Built for professionals who want a fresh start in an environment with a Firm that understands entrepreneurship and embraces a culture and mindset of true independence. The Advisor Launch Pad Program provides a plethora of capabilities and an “outside the box thinking” mentality.

Having your own Firm is great in theory, but finding a place to call home that feels like your home is awesome too!

Would you consider trading minutia, and sleepless nights for an RIA model that can help accelerate breaking through that glass ceiling and speeds up the process of truly building your own Lifestyle Practice to best serve your clients?

Discover the Advisor Launch Pad Program and see for yourself if it’s the right path you’ve been looking for, along with an awesome Team of people to help you get there.

To learn more about this program visit us at:

Learn About Your State Requirements

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Benefits Of Starting Your Own RIA

Starting your own RIA and the independence this will create gives you the autonomy to run your practice the way you want, without the limitations you currently have.

Our team of experts will alleviate the initial and ongoing burden of compliance requirements, which will allow you to enjoy the benefits of owning the practice you’ve always dreamed of.