Is it time to leave the FINRA broker dealer
or wirehouse for freedom to run your own
shop? Is it time to conduct financial asset management on your terms? This site has everything you need
to know on these various issues:
Understand the Difference
Stockbroker vs Registered Investment Advisor
Any type of advisor accepting commission for securities business must be licensed through a broker-dealer with the FINRA. However, there is a completely separate way to be in the securities business. It has nothing to do with the FINRA, and you do not need a broker dealer.
A Registered Investment Adviser is licensed through their state or the SEC to provide investment advice for a fee. That includes:
Collecting a fee for giving hourly advice (like a CPA or attorney)
Collecting fees for managing portfolios (e.g. 1% annually of the portfolio value)
Collecting fees for a financial plan that includes investment advice (Note--if the plan does not include investment advice, you don't need to be a registered investment advisor. However, your state may require a special license to give fee-based insurance or estate planning advice)
What are the trade-offs?