Here’s one problem advisors face when deciding to break away from a large firm and start their own RIA: timing. How soon is too soon to make the move? Can it be done without a very large book of business? This topic has recently come up on Financial Planning's discussion pages — if you’d like to add your own thoughts, you can join in here:

by KLewis

As a new advisor to the business, I have found a lot of disappointment with working with a couple firms and I am wondering, does it make sense to start an RIA based firm being very new to the business and without a huge book of business?

 by Bradly T.

Your age, skill level, skill set, natural markets, personal savings, capital for start-up, and a business plan are all critical elements in determining "if it makes sense". Hopefully some successful RIA start-up can give better advice. Want to describe nature of "disappointments" you've encountered??

by KLewis

Well in terms of disappointments, I have been with two firms that I feel lack the management skill to really assist new advisors such as myself to grow. I feel I have the innate ability to build contacts but the guidance from upper management and such is what I feel lacks. I had an issue with the lack of clarity in terms of how payouts worked or was told one thing to get me in the door and once in then I am told that, 'Hey, there is this one caveat to that scenario I forgot to mention.' I always had the intention of venturing on my own and catering to a niche market but my goal was to really do it after five years or so in the business. I feel my mindset now is to do it on my own as soon as possible. I am currently working on my business plan.

In your opinion what is a legitimate amount of startup capital to get started?

by Bradly T.

Your disappointments may not be universal but they are pretty common. Advisor success comes DESPITE management "help and training" far more often than because of management. Local associations of other professionals may help you find a mentor and trail guide to help you. Hopefully you'll get more and better responses from others. Do check the archives here on the Board and the on-line magazine.....been lots of articles around your query. Check out Bob Veres’ new article - "Chicken and Egg" for some useful info for start-up help. 

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