As the wealth management industry continues to evolve, financial advisors have a broader range of choices than ever before in determining the structure and growth trajectory of their own practices. Competition for successful advisors with strong books of business among the wirehouses remains fierce, while opportunities for ownership in that world remain elusive. For advisors seeking to go independent, ownership is close at hand but it rarely includes a big payday on the front end, aka “The Check.”

In working with advisors who are seeking to identify the best path forward for themselves and their practices, I have witnessed the tug-of-war some experience as they move toward a decision point. When considering cases of this nature in retrospect, there is usually a consistent strategic gap that is identifiable. It is simply this, as skilled as advisors are in navigating the investing world for their clients, they often fail to think like an investor when building their own businesses.

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