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    Posted: May/20/2010 at 6:11pm
When I left Jones I had planned for over a year.  About a year and a half.  I made a TON of mistakes.  Hopefully this thread will prevent that from happening.

I left precisely one month after my 3 years was up.  I left over Thanksgiving.  My BOA was going to be out of the office the entire next week.  I thought that it would be the perfect time to leave.

When I left, my office was completely prepared.  I had a few other issues.  Fidelity had to receive my resignation letter from Jones before I left before they would send me the paperwork.  Still, I got it finished fairly quickly.

The following are some issues I had.

1)  In order to save money, my wife designed the website.  She is good, but not a professional, and the result was nice, but buggy.  Things didn't work quite as I wanted them to.  Pay the money and get a good website

2)  Leaving in November is possibly the worst possible month you can leave.  Very few people want to make any changes before January.  My contract says that I bill in arrears, in an effort to show my clients that this wasn't about money.  However, I was looking at at least the third or fourth week of January before transfers would occur.  Not to mention that I wasn't really good at the whole paperwork thing, and there were many SNAFUS.

3)  Train on all of the modules your custodian provides.  This will help you to become familiar with all of the processes they use.  Fidelity provided a wealth of information, but I didn't capitalize on it.

4)  When your clients contact you, explain the situation.  I left for XXXXX reasons.  If you've prepped right, they will come right on over.

5)  Have about 12 months of expenses saved.  I saved six.  You will run into unexpected costs

6)  Have a prospecting plan.  I didn't.  I tried cold-calling with some cockamamie plan, but it didn't work. Make sure that your goals are measurable and that you are keeping track.

7)  Remember that you are running a business.  You are not just running a practice.  Businesses have more moving parts.  Analyzing and keeping track of your income and expenses, by source will help you to grow.

8)  Another thing I didn't do is prepare my wife for the worst.  In addition, three months before that I turned down a huge transfer bonus from SB and made the mistake of telling my wife about it.  Know what you are going to do and stick to the plan.

9)  Make sure that your investment philosophy is clearly stated (preferably on your website as well as your brochures).  I had so many different messages I wanted to provide that even I was confused.  Make sure you have a singular, concise message to get out.  And you need a differentiating factor.  One that people will identify with.  One thing about the crisis - NOT being at a wire was incredibly helpful.

10)  Branding.  Make sure EVERYTHING you have is branded.  On the CD I give clients that has my ADV II.  It has the standard ADV format, but now I also have one that uses our colors, fonts etc.  Nobody ever clicks on the boring one.

11)  Folders are fucking expensive.  Don't buy them.

12)  Have some gimmick that you give to your A list clients.  I bought M&Ms with our logo and tagline on them, with the new company colors.  They ate them up (no pun intended).  I also personally delivered them to key referral centers.

13)  Hire a compliance consultant like Wet Blanket.  The amount of detail and work he puts in are amazing.  Don't try and do it yourself.  You will learn a ton about compliance from him, and you will need the knowledge.  Great for the price.

14)  One more time, don't do the compliance yourself!


15)  Don't overspend.  I bought some nice furniture (at a discount), but I bought too many pieces.

16)  Decide whether you are going to run a firm, or whether you are going to be a solo practice.  Then develop a growth strategy.  I am a very "big picture" person.  I hired some people fairly quickly, and they flamed out.  I know have a more balanced plan.  It is still aggressive, but it is tempered.  

17)  Don't be afraid to hire college students.  They work on the cheap, and you can find some incredibly intelligent ones.  Use all of their business talents.  

18)  Remember that you are now a business owner.  I can't stress this enough.  While you may not be as big as the big boys, ACTING like you are one of the big boys helps tremendously.

19)  Create a blog and consistently post in it (this one is optional), but having any publication is usually seen as credible.  Try to right for some industry publications.  I have a few that I write for pretty consistently.  I send out copies of the publication to my clients and prospects.  They eat it up.  I recently published an article on Social Security.  This week alone, I have received seven contacts from people about to retire that want to come in and have a conversation.  Also, see if you can become a reviewer for trade journals.  Journal for Financial Planning is full up, but there are others.  The AI one needs several reviewers.

20)  Don't be afraid to think outside of the box.  I know that people want to traditionally do cold calling, and I'm not knocking it.  Do it if your business is not coming from other sources.  But automating your business by using things like Facebook, GoogleAdwords, Twitter, will help keep you in the know.

21)  Volunteer to be interviewed by financial writers.  Nothing says expert like a comment in a newspaper or magazine.

22)  Don't be afraid to go after big fish.  

23)  Another thing I didn't do was manage my time very well.  At first, the priority is transfers.  You've heard this numerous times.  

Your priority list should go as follows:

1)  Transfers
2)  Transfers
3)  Transfers
4)  Marketing
5)  Reassuring your clients that everything will be better (by having a plan and a mission statement)
6)  Prospecting
7)  Other business management

24)  Hire a performance reporting company that will manage your fees and send out your company statements (your custodian will send their brokerage statement). I did all of this myself.  It sucked.  It was fun for me, because I like doing that sort of thing, but it took time away from the things that generated revenue.  Just because something is fun to do, doesn't make it a priority.

25)  CRM - I set up a decent CRM program myself.  But I did it ahead of time.  Most things can integrate together.   

26)  Financial planning/Investment analysis software.  Get it.  If you don't already have a program.  I once again have my own.  However, it did not look professional until I had a graphic designer to make it so.

27)  Remember your family.  You are doing this for them, but you need to keep them in mind.  

28)  Use a business suite through a business for payroll and such.  It's inexpensive, and will save you a lot of time.  My taxes are automatically calculated, and sent it.  Even the forms are filed automatically.  SS, Medicare, etc.

29)  Once you get everybody transferred, take a long weekend, at the beach, somewhere you like.  You will need it.  My hair had a little silver in it.  Four months into starting, I looked like Bill Clinton after eight years of the Presidency.

30)  Be proud of yourself.  You have done something that a very small minority of people will EVER do.  To me it is more courageous than jumping into the middle of a firefight.  It requires overcoming more than one aspect of fear.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of failure.  Fear of losing your shirt.  Fear of losing your family.  Fear of disappointing your family.  The courage that it requires to make the leap to RIA is something that nobody can ever take away from you.  If you fail, you failed with honor.  If you succeed, you will know success beyond anything.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.



Edited by Moraen - Mar/29/2012 at 6:27am
I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all. - General James Mattis

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote B24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2010 at 9:02pm
Damn good schidt.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mlgone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2010 at 9:14pm
MO

Best post ever IMO.  GREAT STUFF.  Thank you for your time
bustin members BS... day after day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Moraen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2010 at 9:18pm
Looks like when Wet moved this I can't edit.  But as an edit, for the priorities, switch 4) and 6).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote B24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2010 at 9:24pm

How do clients react to ticket charges?  Or do you eat them?

Also, just curious, you talk about how your focus is portfolio management, and prefer to leave the client mgmt to the staff (or that's your goal).  Why don't you dedicate more of your website to your investment strategy(s)?

"I am moving June 2018" - Chief, 08/03/2016

"If Bellicheat pulls that rabbit out of his a$$ with this kid at quarterback, I'll personally kiss his ring." - Unknown, 09/20/2016
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote B24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2010 at 9:26pm
Damn it.  No edits.
 
Have you implemented a minimum?
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"If Bellicheat pulls that rabbit out of his a$$ with this kid at quarterback, I'll personally kiss his ring." - Unknown, 09/20/2016
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SometimesNowhere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2010 at 9:31pm
Fuck...I'm at least 2 years away then...hypothetically.
I sort of give a fuck.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wet_Blanket Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2010 at 10:05pm
I've added editing to this forum.
When money is speech, speech isn't free.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Moraen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2010 at 10:48pm
Originally posted by B24 B24 wrote:

How do clients react to ticket charges?  Or do you eat them?

Also, just curious, you talk about how your focus is portfolio management, and prefer to leave the client mgmt to the staff (or that's your goal).  Why don't you dedicate more of your website to your investment strategy(s)?


Great questions B.

I do not eat ticket charges, but they are so small, clients have no problem with them.

Website content is tricky.  The hard part is making sure I'm not violating any advertising rules.  The content has been revamped a few times, but it is better to keep it vague.  Wet Blanket can speak more to that.

Also, as you said, I wish I could only do investment management.  The problem is the CFP board has done a great job of advertising holistic financial planning.  


Minimums - Minimum is $100k now, but I'll be raising it in December.


Edited by Moraen - May/20/2010 at 10:49pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sportsfreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2010 at 10:49pm
Originally posted by Moraen Moraen wrote:

[
Also, as you said, I wish I could only do investment management.  The problem is the CFP board has done a great job of advertising holistic financial planning.  


+1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Debolt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2010 at 8:14am

Great post Mo. I am planning to do something similar but my issue is no real book to transfer considering I am on a team and not a senior member. I would be curious if a strong producer and weak infrastructure FA would be interested in starting a firm with a weak producer but strong infrastructure skills.

 

Can you add a list of expenses to move and the expenses ongoing to fund an RIA?

I would ask for cash flow reports but you inflows would not be relative to me or anyone else. Also you do not need to provide your $ expenses, but perhaps your opinion on the least each would cost.

 

note: after reading this back I am not sure it makes sense so let me know if I need to reword my question.

 

Tks again!!!

Check the charts: October 3, 1974 = March 9, 2009   Quit making excuses and sell something!!

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. - Henry Ford
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Moraen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2010 at 8:39am
Originally posted by Debolt Debolt wrote:

Great post Mo. I am planning to do something similar but my issue is no real book to transfer considering I am on a team and not a senior member. I would be curious if a strong producer and weak infrastructure FA would be interested in starting a firm with a weak producer but strong infrastructure skills.

 

Can you add a list of expenses to move and the expenses ongoing to fund an RIA?

I would ask for cash flow reports but you inflows would not be relative to me or anyone else. Also you do not need to provide your $ expenses, but perhaps your opinion on the least each would cost.

 

note: after reading this back I am not sure it makes sense so let me know if I need to reword my question.

 

Tks again!!!



D -  I think I get what you are saying.  I'll try and post that info later. 

I just realized that I should have had all of that in the original post.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Debolt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2010 at 8:52am
What you have provided already is more then we deserve. Thank you for your time and thank you for all the other (YOU KNOW WHO ALL YOU ARE) for helping provide me and others with the roadmap to success!!!
Check the charts: October 3, 1974 = March 9, 2009   Quit making excuses and sell something!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote B24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2010 at 12:10pm
Originally posted by Moraen Moraen wrote:

Originally posted by B24 B24 wrote:

How do clients react to ticket charges?  Or do you eat them?

Also, just curious, you talk about how your focus is portfolio management, and prefer to leave the client mgmt to the staff (or that's your goal).  Why don't you dedicate more of your website to your investment strategy(s)?


Great questions B.

I do not eat ticket charges, but they are so small, clients have no problem with them.

Website content is tricky.  The hard part is making sure I'm not violating any advertising rules.  The content has been revamped a few times, but it is better to keep it vague.  Wet Blanket can speak more to that.

Also, as you said, I wish I could only do investment management.  The problem is the CFP board has done a great job of advertising holistic financial planning.  
Minimums - Minimum is $100k now, but I'll be raising it in December.
 
Interesting.  Somehow I thought your investment management was transaction-heavy.  Wrong?
"I am moving June 2018" - Chief, 08/03/2016

"If Bellicheat pulls that rabbit out of his a$$ with this kid at quarterback, I'll personally kiss his ring." - Unknown, 09/20/2016
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Indyone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2010 at 12:14pm
Well said, Mo...I lived several aspects of your story and it's a great feeling when you get over that hump...
"Independence is like the Berlin Wall. People are only jumping in one direction." - Philip Palaveev - November 2005. "You are never free...unless you are independent..." - Indyone - May 2005.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Moraen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2010 at 12:33pm
Originally posted by B24 B24 wrote:

Originally posted by Moraen Moraen wrote:

Originally posted by B24 B24 wrote:

How do clients react to ticket charges?  Or do you eat them?

Also, just curious, you talk about how your focus is portfolio management, and prefer to leave the client mgmt to the staff (or that's your goal).  Why don't you dedicate more of your website to your investment strategy(s)?


Great questions B.

I do not eat ticket charges, but they are so small, clients have no problem with them.

Website content is tricky.  The hard part is making sure I'm not violating any advertising rules.  The content has been revamped a few times, but it is better to keep it vague.  Wet Blanket can speak more to that.

Also, as you said, I wish I could only do investment management.  The problem is the CFP board has done a great job of advertising holistic financial planning.  
Minimums - Minimum is $100k now, but I'll be raising it in December.
 
Interesting.  Somehow I thought your investment management was transaction-heavy.  Wrong?


No.  Not a whole lot of transactions. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wet_Blanket Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2010 at 1:14pm
I enjoyed the part of making the mistake of telling your wife about the transfer bonus.
When money is speech, speech isn't free.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote B24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2010 at 1:26pm
Originally posted by Wet_Blanket Wet_Blanket wrote:

I enjoyed the part of making the mistake of telling your wife about the transfer bonus.
 
Funny...I used be a corporate finance director.  I was responsible for calculating the Executive Bonuses, and submitting to payroll for payment (Payroll fell under me as well).  Every year like clockwork, right after I presented the bonus calcs to my Executive Team, a few of the guys would wander into my office, casually asking if they could get their bonuses paid out to them, but NOT by direct deposit.  Of course, that would have just been too much work, so I would never do it (changing deposit rules for one pay, etc.).  But you ask them why, and the response was always the same "ahhh, the old lady doesn't need to know about it.  she gets the paycheck, she spends enough.  this is my little stash."  I'm like, seriously?  It's not like we're talking about 500 bucks to go out and buy some beer and a new toy or something.  We're talking mid-to-high 5 digits, sometimes 6.  And these guys were trying to hide it!  Very funny stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wet_Blanket Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2010 at 1:46pm
That's why I have a secret bank account.
When money is speech, speech isn't free.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Moraen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2010 at 2:18pm
For a Mod, who is supposed to keep these threads clean, you certainly fuck them up with your crap about other people's wives.

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