If you’re thinking of striking out on your own and becoming an independent advisor, you’re not alone. A recent survey by Charles Schwab of advisors at wirehouses, banks and independent broker/dealers found that nearly 60 percent of financial advisors say the idea appeals to them, and almost half say they would consider such a move. And most of them are pretty confident about their client relationships – 80 percent say their clients would follow them if they left their current firm.
Fallout from the recession could be one of the reasons advisors are looking around for other options. Over three-quarters of advisors surveyed have had to explain why their firm is still a good place to invest, and only 46 percent said their employers’ brand helped them find new clients or keep the ones they already had.
Still the move to independence isn’t easy, and 56 percent of advisors said they would rather join an existing RIA than start their own firm. Almost the same percent are intimidated by the prospect of losing back office support. Thirty-nine percent cite obtaining new clients as the main challenge and 30 percent said they were concerned about having access to research and information to support investment decisions.