How to become and profit as a fee-based registered investment advisor
Does the registered investment advisor need a broker dealer? No, not in the capacity of an overseer. Every RIA needs a broker dealer to custodian their client portfolios. The most well known custodians are Schwab Institutional (http://www.registered-investment-advisor.com/schwab_institutional.htm), TD Waterhouse (www.advisorservices.com), Ameritrade Institutional (http://www.ameritradeinstitutional.com/ria-home.html), Fidelity Investment Advisor Group (www.ibg.fidelity.com). In order to sign on as an RIA with these firms, you need a clean ADV and typically at least $5 million in clients assets (although Ameritrade will take less).
The tools you need as an RIA may be financial planning software, portfolio management software (enables you to rebalance, report and bill your clients) and potentially an outside compliance service to insure you have all the compliance documentation you need. You will also need a system for practice management since you now own a business; you're the CEO. http://www.registered-investment-advisor.com/portfolio_management_software.htm Last, as a fee-only advisor, you may want to join the National Association of Personal Financial Planners (NAPFA), a very good support organization especially for those who have recently converted from registered rep to RIA. http://www.registered-investment-advisor.com/index.htm.
Often, people refer to registered investment advisors as investment advisors or investment managers or money managers. It really is a different position than selling stocks, bonds and mutual funds. http://www.registered-investment-advisor.com/money_manager.htm. The fee-based advisor looks after the investment portfolio and has two objectives: to retain the client and have the client's portfolio grow. Only by fulfilling these two objectives will the advisor see his income rise. The broker on the other hand, seeks typically to generate "gross" this month and may not have the same long term view. http://www.registered-investment-advisor.com/investment_advisor.htm.
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