Selecting a name

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Nov 14, 2008 1:01 am

How have you gone about selecting a name for your firm? Assuming you are in a position to do so?



I find the idea of using an advisor's last name and adding select words looks stupid



Smith Wealth Management

Smith Advisors

Smith Financial Advisors

etc...



What are some of the more creative names you have seen or selected

Nov 14, 2008 1:33 am

I did not use my last name in the firm name.  My last name doesn't say "wealth" and I don't want an acquirer to use my name after I'm retired.  I like my firm name, but if I shared it with you, I'd have to kill you.

Nov 14, 2008 2:28 am

Yeah wasn't looking for specifics(although I did say that).. I was curious if people were using a name i.e. Waterfall, and then adding a context on the end, i.e. Asset Management, or Advisors etc...

Nov 14, 2008 6:45 am

Yeah, hard to respond to that while maintaining anonymity as Indyone says.  Check out the annual survey of RIA  firms in one of the industry mags that compete with Registered Rep magazine.  I'm not positive which one, but it may be Investment Adviser or perhaps Bloomberg Wealth Manager.  That lists hundreds of independent firm names and will give you some idea of what others do.  FWIW.

Nov 14, 2008 10:56 am

You should relay that to Ric Edelman who has billions of dollars under management as well as  other successful advisor's who grace the  top adviser awards in various industry publications.

 
I incorporate my last name in the business and have found it works well in attracting clients who  appreciate the value of independent, unbiased advice, as well as knowing they are dealing with the head honcho (No, not the Larry Craig type of head honcho).
 
I went back and forth for a while on this, and am satisfied the correct decision was made over 15 years ago.
 
Stok
 
 
Nov 14, 2008 11:58 am

I use Rockefeller's last name...seems to work well.  Conveys wealth.

 
 
 
I'm kidding.  Our firm's DBA has the name of our state with your typical key words after that.  Then my group uses the last name with other key words after it.
 
Our clients think of us as the decider.
Nov 14, 2008 12:43 pm

what a dumb idea to use your name, what was smith barney, morgan stanley, ag edwards, merrill lynch, edward jones, raymond james, dean witter, all thinking???? Use AAAAA advisors, at least you will be first in the listing in the phone book.

Nov 14, 2008 1:01 pm
jamesbond:

what a dumb idea to use your name, what was smith barney, morgan stanley, ag edwards, merrill lynch, edward jones, raymond james, dean witter, all thinking???? Use AAAAA advisors, at least you will be first in the listing in the phone book.

 
Or you could just go for the whole name, there was a guy named J.P. Morgan that started some little company I think.
Nov 14, 2008 1:46 pm

Hmmm, never heard of him, must not have been successful in business.

Nov 14, 2008 2:50 pm

Yeah and I am sure that is what most independent advisors have under management, close to the assets of JP Morgan

Nov 15, 2008 2:27 pm

Two points to all those who are of the opinion that using your name is the only way to go when forming your own business...

 
1.  What if your name is Dumfart or Cheatham?
2.  Back in the day when Merrill, Morgan Stanley, et al were formed, the widely accepted way to name businesses was using your surname.  It doesn't mean that this is the only way to survive.  It simply means that all the firms that have been around for a long time were started in an era where using your last name was the widely accepted custom.
 
In the end, it's a matter of personal preference, but I know for me, NOT using my last name was the right move.
 
and no...my last name is not Dumfart.
Dec 10, 2008 10:35 pm

This might be hard to believe. but back in ancient times in NY, there were firms that were kinda identified as, well, don't say you heard it from me, but "Jewish"! Gasp.  NOOOOOOOO.

And other firms were like real WASP places, whose founder all went to Choate or Brearly.
 
Now there weren't any black, asian, korean, greek, irish, etc firms -- that I can  thinkof.
 
Now if I was startin over I think I'd go with Golmen Sax.