Just as the cobbler's children go without shoes, two-thirds of independent advisors ignore succession planning. Such advisors could fall into an “annuity trap,” watching the value of their business degrade as they near the exit from their practice.

Avoiding such a trap requires time and effort: “A succession plan that maximizes sale value, could take more than 10 years, from beginning to end,” John Furey, principal of Advisor Growth Strategies, a consulting firm in Phoenix, told Financial Planning.

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