Brokers may have idealistic visions of the benefits of breaking away from their wirehouses to go independent, but they should be extremely cautious before making the move, according to industry executives speaking at a roundtable forum sponsored by Schwab Advisor Services.

"The amount of due diligence [necessary to become an RIA] is incredibly overwhelming," said Christopher Forte, who left Wells Fargo Advisors with his wirehouse team to launch Integrated Investment Consultants in 2015. "For around a year, you're running an existing business with clients, while starting a new business at the same time."

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