Skip navigation

Indie Production

or Register to post new content in the forum

24 RepliesJump to last post



  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Aug 22, 2009 4:16 pm

My Indie B/D has FA’s running an average T-12 of $250k. The wire i left has the number at around $500k. These numbers are current, not prior to the disaster we just went thru.

I am wondering why it is that Indies, including indies with a B/D that has a fairly well known name, have avg production that is so much lower than Wires. There ARE million $ producers at the indies, so its not like its impossible.

Any thoughts?

Aug 23, 2009 1:06 pm


At my indy B/D there are some $1 million dollar guys and then there are a lot of part timers. Also, since you don’t get screwed on your comp like you do at a wirehouse, you don’t need to have a large t12 in order to make a good living.

Aug 24, 2009 5:11 pm

Most of the $1MM producers I knew at indies all left to go RIA only.  Once the wire is gone it's a pretty easy switch, so you don't get a ton of long term big producers at the indies.

Aug 25, 2009 4:56 am

The issue with the indy life is that you pretty much have to work about 1/3 as hard to make the same amount of money - and so most do.

Aug 26, 2009 2:15 am

San Fran - Thats a tough generalization to make. There are definately slouchers in Indy world, who do enough to get by and dont give a rats ass beyond that. But i dont think they are the majority.
Its obviously all about the individual. If a guy has a work ethic, and fire in the belly, he has it whether he is at the wire, or in the indy world.
I have been on both sides.
One thing is for sure, as an Indy, its all up to you. Nobody is pushing you, nobody is f***ing you on the grid, nobody is threatening to cut your payout. Its up to you to set goals and stay focused.
If you work you make money. if you dont…

Aug 27, 2009 6:51 am

Yeah Bob, you’re probably right - my generalization is mainly from an RIA’s perspective and the business is a little different without a b/d to deal with. Most indy advisors are certainly interested in new business, but most I know don’t hustle like a wirehouse guy.

I think that my wire was essential to my career for the first few years that I was there, but it’s value was pretty much eliminated after I had a book of 30 or so managed money clients. I think I would have done MUCH better had I started with a larger RIA firm.

The thing I will never understand was how the wire I worked for insisted on me  building essentially the ideal business to go RIA with (managed money, fee-based, planning oriented), by starving me of any products that would actually have made my firm an essential part of my practice and making my life a living hell by screwing with payouts and cutting budgets left and right.

Aug 27, 2009 1:08 pm

That’s an interesting perspective, but you’re right.  Wires have really fed into the RIA model.

Aug 27, 2009 1:17 pm

That’s an interesting perspective, but you’re right. Wires have really fed into the RIA model.

I can see that point. But for me, going fully RIA was also a marketing strategy. People who leave Jones for LPL (in my area) were doing the same thing they were with Jones.

Being an RIA allowed me to differentiate myself from my Jones counterparts (this area is heavy with Jones offices - I guess most are).

I know little about being at a wire, but I think for me it was an easier transition than I thought it would be. Explaining this model as opposed to the Jones model helped tremendously.

Aug 27, 2009 10:06 pm

San Fran, one thing nobody every accused the wires of is being smart! So they help us go indie or RIA!

I've been out of the wire and indie for 3 months now, and i can see how easy it is to get lazy as a standalone indie. For me the 3 months have been busy with the transition, paperwork, etc. But most of that is done now and i suspect September is where i will need to make sure the rubber meets the road. I think as an indie, it is more important to create your own structure, have short and long term goals, and a daily plan every day when you walk in the door. If not, then I suspect it will be really easy to slip into 'staring at the screen and posting on RR.COM" mode. Then you end up being one of those Indies who does 200k gross, and "makes a living"   Aint what i am here for!
Aug 28, 2009 1:33 pm

I find the most successful indies have the same qualities as the most successful captive brokers - energy, tenacity, and a clear plan of action (mostly revolving around marketing of the business, or ways to automate the marketing or growth of the business).

  But there's also nothing wrong with making $125K a year and running a simple business.  How many people do you know that make $125K per year and not work that hard? (without fear of losing their jobs someday?).  That's the beauty of independance.
Aug 28, 2009 2:13 pm

I have to say, being Indy almost 3yrs, industry for 9, this is the easiest way to make a great living.  If you're self motivated, smart with money, good looking, stay in shape and can complete a sentence, you will be richly rewarded. 

Aug 28, 2009 2:15 pm


good looking, stay in shape and can complete a sentence, you will be richly rewarded.


Aug 28, 2009 2:47 pm

There is this fat ugly guy around me who does pretty well, but his dad is connected with the local politicians… So I guess if you are not good looking you must have a niche or be connected…

Aug 28, 2009 2:49 pm

Or are related to Dirk Diggler.

Aug 29, 2009 3:16 pm


I have to say, being Indy almost 3yrs, industry for 9, this is the easiest way to make a great living.  If you're

1.self motivated, with money, 3.good looking, 4.stay in shape and 5. can complete a sentence, you will be richly rewarded.  [/quote]   Can I be richly rewarded on best three out of five???
Aug 31, 2009 8:45 pm

Interesting post

  My first question would be do you rate a rep by production only?   A lot of annuity salesman would be considered great reps if that was the case, would you agree?       Second.   I am indy and my production is around 300,000. Not great but I am content & still make a good living.  I moved my practice to Colorado so I could enjoy my life, skiing,hiking,camping etc. I am not in this for the money but to help otehres & enjoy my life. If I wanted to chase production I would have stayed in the midwest.      If I was at a wire I would not have the free time I do now. Powder days are price less 
Aug 31, 2009 8:55 pm

Why the midwest? Not exactly what you think of when you are thinking of a place with a lot of big producers

Aug 31, 2009 11:49 pm

After 3 months as an Indie, its pretty clear to me, what has already been said here. Do 300k annually and you make a pretty good living. And if you do it fee based, you make a pretty good life.
So no, i dont think production is the only measure of a good broker, because there are probably a lot of indies that could do 600k, or a million, if they wanted to, they just dont want to. And thats ok.
So i guess that answers my original question which started this thread. The average production at indie firms is lower than wire firms because indies accomodate Advisors who want a more balanced life, and wires dont. (thats not a knock on wires, they just have a different business model)

Sep 1, 2009 2:44 pm

I would agree with you Sportsfreakbob.

Sep 1, 2009 2:53 pm


I have to say, being Indy almost 3yrs, industry for 9, this is the easiest way to make a great living.  If you're self motivated, smart with money, good looking, stay in shape and can complete a sentence, you will be richly rewarded. 

[/quote]   So, how did YOU manage to stay in the industry for as long as you have?   Sorry, couldn't resist.  That was the fattest softball I've ever seen.  I would be wrong of me not to say anything.