For Financial Professional Use Only

Many advisors pursue a career in financial planning because they love the planning process—sitting down with clients, exploring their financial situation, and customizing a plan to fit their unique lives.

In fact, when asked what they loved most about their job, over half of the financial advisors surveyed said it was “having the ability and opportunity to help people and provide service,” according to a survey from FlexShares.

But unfortunately, as a result of their success, many advisors wind up working themselves out of the planning process as they are forced to manage their business and supporting team. Often, this happens because of a desire to maintain independence and autonomy, but it results in getting bogged down by compliance responsibilities and cybersecurity concerns, not to mention the challenges of managing employees.

If you’ve become an RIA owner and find yourself stuck there, it’s time to consider your options for getting back to what you love—advising clients. Here are three steps to help financial advisors return to their true passion of providing advice and serving their clients.

Step 1: Imagine your ideal role.

The first step in the process is to imagine your ideal role.

Take a step back, and ask yourself: “What does my ideal workday look like?” For some, it will be meeting with clients on certain days of the week and preparing for meetings on others. Or, you may decide that you enjoy getting out in the community, networking, and prospecting as you seek to grow your AUM. Alternatively, some advisors may choose to employ a surge meeting strategy—bunching client meetings during specific times to boost productivity.

Whatever the case, this is an opportunity to reimagine and redesign your ideal role as a financial advisor.

Of course, your dream role may not happen immediately, but it’s important to get a clear vision of what you want it to be. Remember, just like your clients need to be clear about their financial goals to build a plan to pursue them, you must be clear about your ideal role to build a plan to achieve get there.

Step 2: Document or delegate current role responsibilities.

Next, you’ll need to document your current role.

This is important for two reasons. First, it will help you determine what needs to change to reach your ideal role. Second, it will serve as a list of tasks you can delegate or outsource to achieve your ideal role.

Fortunately, as a successful financial advisor, you are thorough and precise.

Use that precision as you document everything you currently do—no matter how small or trivial a task may seem. For example, if you conduct quarterly performance reviews with your employees, document that task. If you have to review your compliance documents annually, write that down. Remember, by listing out every task you do, you can begin to identify what is standing between you and your ideal role and what you need to delegate or outsource to get there.

Step 3: Evaluate Your Options & Take Action

Once you’ve documented your current role and identified what you want to focus on going forward, it’s time to start evaluating your options.

Fortunately, there are a couple of different routes you can take.

First, you can choose to hire or delegate to your existing team. If the tasks you need to offload are minimal and your support team can handle all of them, you may be able to simply delegate your undesired tasks to your existing team.  Alternatively, you may decide to hire someone to manage the operations and some of the leadership responsibilities, where possible. For many, this means searching for a COO, CEO, or executive-level leader who can create and manage functional accountability and enforce roles and responsibilities. But it can be challenging to find someone who is the right fit for your RIA—someone who can take on the responsibilities you no longer wish to handle but still do a great job managing the business.

As a result, many advisors/RIA owners turn to the option of joining a larger RIA where they can tap into a comprehensive support system while maintaining their own clients. For example, at Winthrop Wealth, the goal is to empower Advisors to build their businesses smarter, faster, and better, so they can provide consistent service to their clients.

This can be a powerful option for firm owners who want to outsource cybersecurity, compliance, operations, investments, and more and get back to what they love—meeting with clients and giving financial advice. Most RIA networks will have a number of different business models you can choose from, allowing you to pick the one that’s best for you, your clients, and your firm.

Ultimately, no matter the route you choose, it will take some strategic planning and work to successfully transition out of your current role. But with some due diligence and focus, you can help ensure that your transition to the next phase of your business is a success. And with some luck, you’ll have much more time to do the things that matter most to you.


Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.