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XY Planning Makes RIA Compliance Package Free for Members

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Scared of the compliance costs and challenges in starting a firm? Fear no more, XY Planning Network says.

The organization, which focuses on serving Generation X and Y advisors, has launched a new compliance solution to help young advisors looking to establish RIAs.

XYPN’s new and existing memberships will now include a new-RIA-registration package for advisors launching an RIA (including completing Form ADV, state registrations and more), and ongoing compliance support and tools for existing state-registered RIAs.

When advisors are first starting their own business, Alan Moore, who founded the XY Planning Network along with Michael Kitces, said, “I don’t want compliance to be a concern, and I know it is. It’s probably the number one concern besides, “How do I get clients?”

While initial RIA registration retail prices vary, Moore sees most advisors paying $3,000 or more for full assistance with the initial filings for their firm.

“If you can avoid writing a $3,000 check a couple months before you are up and running, that’s helpful,” Moore said in an interview with ThinkAdvisor.

The new XYPN compliance solution will be available at no additional cost for existing and new members, including the entire new RIA startup package for new members (which requires a 12-month membership commitment at the standard $397 per month XYPN membership fee).

Previously, XYPN gave its members the choice between what Moore called a “DIY” registration package or a $2,400 discounted registration package.

“We had a bunch of documents and guides and template documents and that sort of thing to help advisors with their compliance, but ultimately it was, I called it the DIY package,” he said. “[I]t was just a step-by-step ‘This is How You Navigate the FINRA Website’.”

If members didn’t want to take the DIY route, then Moore said they could pay $2,400, which was a discounted rate, to get registered.

“And that was kind of a tough bill to swallow, so I think a lot of our advisors took the DIY approach even though they probably would have preferred to have gotten a professional to help them.”

Moore has seen himself how the DIY approach can be problematic.

“I missed checking the right box on the FINRA website and sat around for a month waiting for something to happen and nothing ever did because I hadn’t properly submitted my paperwork,” Moore said. “If I’d had a compliance person doing it, they would have checked the correct box and I could have been up and running four to six weeks earlier.”

Now, that $2,400 option is free for members — largely thanks to its growing membership and growing need. Since the organization launched in April, membership will have grown to nearly 50 members by year end.

“We’ve grown to the point now where and we’ve seen that this is just a huge area of need,” Moore told ThinkAdvisor, adding, “We just kind of hit a tipping point where we had enough membership and enough need that we could keep someone busy.”

XYPN has contracted with a compliance firm, and the organization will now have a compliance expert that specializes in state-registered RIAs dedicated to helping its members both with their registration and ongoing matters.

“They go through and handle all of it — it’s just like hiring a [RIA’s own] compliance company,” Moore said. “We’ve just done that on our end and made it available to members.” 

Members of XYPN are required to have the CFP designation, be fee-only, offer services virtually, offer a monthly subscription service model, and sign a fiduciary oath committing to always work in their client’s best interests with no exceptions.

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