Best Broker/Dealer for 100% ONLINE ACCOUNT OPENING?

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Jan 8, 2018 11:14 am

I am a CFP® Professional and am sick and tired of using paper applications to open up a simple brokerage account for my clients. Especially for long distance clients and smaller accounts. Seems to me the encryption of digital account opening and digital signatures is much safer for clients as well. Individuals can open up their own brokerage accounts online right now; I am just unaware of a B/D that has a streamlined online account opening process for their Financial Advisors.

In a perfect world I would like to find a Broker/Dealer (or RIA Only) that allows me to open accounts online with 100% digital signatures.

Also, I would like to construct my own risk-based portfolios of high-quality, low-cost mutual fund/ETFs. Additionally I would like to be able to make trades, distributions, and contributions on my clients' behalf. Do I need a B/D to do this or can I just work with an RIA Only firm?

Currently I have to use to a separate system (COMET) to request someone else do these maintenance-type things. Also, I have to use third-party money managers that have higher costs, higher betas, and benchmark underperformance. Oh and BTW, each of those money managers is a different account number. The client gets multiple confusing statements instead of one simple consolidated statement.

Please help...

Jan 13, 2018 5:20 pm

I would recommend opening an advisor account with Interactive Brokers. It is relatively simple and fast to set up and takes around 3 days to get approved. You do not even need to be registered with Finra, State(s), or SEC.

However, if you are going the RIA route and want to charge a fee for your advice, IB will ask you to set up your RIA. (And I would assume you obviously want to make a profit for your work)

Going back to your post, IB lets you send an 100% electronic application to your clients or a semi-electronic one that nees to be printed. The main drawback I see with the 100% electronic is that it must be filled in whole by your client. You could help them through phone or email, but it can get long and confusing, specially for clients who might not be very technology friendly or versed in finance. I have yet to try the semi-electronic application.

Have you already registred and RIA? Or have you considered it?