3 Questions for Financial Advisors Considering Independence

The year 2020 has taught us a lot.  From a positive perspective, there was much to learn from our adaptation and resilience.  Adapting to a new way of doing business for many, particularly for financial advisors where the majority of the industry relied on face-to-face contact with clients and prospects. 

While Fragasso Financial Advisors, a financial planning and investment management firm headquartered in Pittsburgh, implemented their business continuity plan and streamlined their virtual client experience, founder and CEO, Robert Fragasso, shifted his focus to writing a book to help professionals looking to strike out on their own. Starting Your Own Practice: The Independence Guide for Investment Advisors, Attorneys, CPAs and Other Professional Service Providers offers step-by-step guidance on the entirety of the independence process, from the initial decision to break free, to managing one’s business, to the ultimate exit strategy.

In addition to the guidance offered in Fragasso’s book, a viable solution should be evaluated by financial advisors seeking independence. Advisors looking to associate with Fragasso can subcontract the middle and back-end functions of their practice. Associated advisors retain their name, staff and clients, but gain sufficient resources in the areas of compliance, portfolio management, marketing and more. Thus, enabling advisors to focus on their clients’ needs and business growth.

If you are thinking of starting your own practice, here are 3 questions you need to ask yourself:

Why do you want to start your own practice?  

Rarely do people start their own practice to have a certain figure in their bank account. It goes much deeper than that. It’s about control – controlling the compensation you receive when bringing in a new client, controlling who you work with and when, and controlling your destiny. 

If this is what you really want, then entrepreneurship is for you. 

How do you want to spend each day?

As an entrepreneur, you wear many hats. When you own your own practice, you are responsible for bringing in new clients, creating a website, sales, technology, etc. If your true passion is helping clients plan for the future and don’t want to deal with billing and compliance, this path may be for you. Conversely, Robert Fragasso, author of Starting Your Own Practice, said, “If selling your service to potential clients or customers repulses you, you should not go into business for yourself.” It’s simple; if people don’t know that you exist or why they should work with you, you won’t be working at all! 

What makes you or your practice unique?

To succeed, you need to create a client avatar, or niche, and a value proposition. A vision of exactly who your ideal client is; what they do, how old they are, how they communicate, where they live, and how you can help them. Think of your current clients – who are they? Once you have this narrowed down, you can begin to take the next steps into starting your own practice. 

There are a lot of steps to take when starting, and if you don’t have the proper guidance, you may miss a step, and in some cases, the errors can be costly. For a straight-forward blueprint that outlines everything you need to know to get started, grow your business, and even business succession planning, then read Starting Your Own Practice by Robert Fragasso. As someone who has done it himself, he offers expert insights and practical instructions to help you succeed independently and take control of your own destiny. 

Investment Advice offered by Investment Advisor Representatives through Fragasso Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor. Securities offered by Registered Representatives through Private Client Services, member FINRA/SIPC.

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