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Jul 12, 2010 11:53 am

Hello all,

I've been lurking, time to post.  I have some questions for those of you who have stared up your own RIA and was hoping for some advice on my situation.

1.  My background is an undergrad in finance.  I'm pursuing CFA charterholder designation, taking the level 1 exam in Dec.

2.  I currently work as a financial analyst for a large hi-tech company.

3.  I plan on leaving the firm after getting CFA charterholder designation.

4.  I've had a few contacts at work already tell me they'd like to be my first customer.

So here's the question, should I do start-up right away to get my initial clients (go ahead and get Series 65 in leiu of waiting for CFA designation), or should I wait until it's a full-time gig?  I've got the cash flow now to support the initial outflows, and it's definitely a lot less scary to make the full-time jump knowing I have a few clients (friends).  I've seen several places where part-time doesn't do clients justice, however is that true if the volume is small enough? Id like to get the experience clock ticking. 

Also, I've done some reading on custodians and whatnot.  TradePMR and Scottrade look like my only options.  TPMR definitely looks to have the best platform and customer service as seen by the posts on this site.  I was wondering if anyone has had any dealings with Scottrade?  Can I be complient with a copy of MS Office and a lot of homework at start-up?  I'd like to learn as much as I can so I'm competent about the business I'd be starting.   Any tips would be GREATLY appreciated.