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Does anyone have a link or checklist of steps to take when moving from a B-D to becoming an independent RIA? I've been looking into it, and yes, I think indie RIA is the way to go. With maybe having a B-D to sell product if you wish to.
This site makes a scathing attack on B/D's, which actually sounds a bit true:
If I set up a 401k with Vanguard, my B/D still wants their cut of 60%. For what? Filling out the agreement paperwork between them and Vanguard? I could that myself!
However, the site talks about how it is cheaper to be an RIA (in terms of fees), but then says the setup with them costs $1200.
Fact or Fiction?
riainabox.com is a decent option from what I understand.
It's going to cost you a few dollars to get set up no matter where you go.
If you want to be fully compliant $1200 will not get you very far. A solid compliance manual, advisor agreements, hourly fee agreements, firm brochure.......etc.. you will blow that budget quickly. Set up correctly your looking at $1500 E/O. 450 entitlement/registration, and 3-10k documents (drafted by attorney)
However if you do the bare minimum to get up and running you could probably do it yourself (leave legal holes) for less than 1200.
Be careful using cookie cutter documents.
Check out www.GoingIndie.com - a great resource and much valuable information for advisors in transition.
I would be more than happy to discuss the compliance aspects of starting your own RIA, including the registration process and establishing your compliance program. Generally, having your own RIA is more profitable, however the downside is that you're responsible for your own compliance program and it is an investment in outsourcing. The alternative is that you could do it yourself, however I would not recommend that unless you have compliance experience, as it could potentially pose a regulatory risk that something is missed. I have seen the fees run anywhere from just under $3,000 to $10,000 and the broad range depends on number of advisors, number of states, level of customization of documents, etc.
Please visit www.polariscompliance.com for additional information on the process of starting your own RIA. I am a former regulator and I have worked with many firms and advisors with compliance, and I am well-versed on the requirements.
Managing Director, Polaris Compliance Consulting, LLC