The Mission-Driven Advisor: Autonomy

Written by: Jeff Thomas

Are you a wirehouse advisor that desires greater autonomy?

If so, you are not alone.  According to Cerulli's "U.S. RIA Marketplace 2018" report, the desire for greater autonomy is the number one factor that attracts breakaway advisors to the independent channel.


In my last blog for advisors, I discussed three of the biggest challenges of operating at a wirehouse: changes in compensation, insufficient staffing support and firm culture.


Clearly, advisors want freedom from those challenges.  The good news is that independence can deliver that freedom.  The bad news is that there is no free lunch.  The Cerulli report cited this quote from the founder of a billion-dollar hybrid RIA:


"Advisors love the idea of independence, the autonomy and control, but as soon as they get all that out, they really quickly realize that they don't want to deal with payroll, landlord, why is the printer not working?".


I would echo those sentiments.  We built Archetype with an intent to scale.  Therefore, we went through the considerable effort to build our platform from scratch.  We did not use the "easy button" of a Dynasty Financial Partners, that would help establish you using their resources.  We picked our own financial planning software, custodian, CRM, performance software, benefits provider, copier and plant service (amongst many other products and services). We wanted to control every piece of the puzzle to build a customized platform that we could scale.


If you are a wirehouse advisor who doesn't intend to scale, I would never recommend this path.  Either use someone like Dynasty to help you set up your own, or join an existing firm like ours.  When deciding between those two paths, it really boils down to whether you feel called to run a business or not.  If your primary desire is to be a business owner, start your own firm with help.  If your primary desire is to serve clients with more freedom, join an existing independent firm that shares your values.


In my next blog, I'll discuss how joining an existing independent firm with shared values creates the freedom that you seek.






Cerulli, U.S. RIA Marketplace 2018.


Jeff Thomas is the Founder/CEO of Archetype Wealth Partners. He has assembled an amazing team to provide an open architecture, fee-only (fiduciary) platform that offers a wide variety of investment choice to clients. Archetype exists to help families thrive across generations.


Disclaimer: Our intent in providing this material is purely for informational purposes, as of the date hereof, and may be subject to change without notice. This article does not intend to constitute accounting, legal, tax, or other professional advice. Visitors and readers should not act upon the content or information found here without first seeking appropriate advice from a trusted accountant, financial planner, lawyer or other professional.


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