Focus Point Solutions RIA Solutions

Learn from these advisors' robo experience

Our company helps advisors who are ready to transform their business models. Season 4 of InvestmentNews’ Practice Makeover series was especially impressive, compelling, and timely. The advisors profiled this season really opened up and shared their journey with the audience. Their main goals? To educate themselves enough to make an informed decision about whether and how to incorporate a robo into their practice—and then to construct and execute a plan to make it happen, effectively and in a manner that wouldn’t disrupt or negatively impact their client experience. This story provides an excellent example of what you can accomplish when you are willing to 1) take a step back to determine where you want to go, then 2) hit the ground running, all the while 3) accepting there are going to be hurdles and obstacles—both expected and unanticipated—along the way.

Change is never easy, but it is necessary if you truly want to take your business to the next level. If you’re interested in changing your business model, then yes, there’s going to be some short term hurt. But you need to trust that you’ll experience significant long term gain as a result of your decision to take proactive steps leading you in a better direction.

This season offers evidence that in order to set yourself up for serious future success—and build in the right systems to create capacity for growth, if growth is your goal—you’ve got to commit some energy into staying ahead of the curve. This involves educating yourself about the landscape, designing a serious, well-thought out plan, and then...once you’re in the middle of the plan’s implementation, remembering there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a given that throughout a transition like the one shown this season, there are going to be issues, snafus, and hiccups. Yet another thing advisors can learn from these advisors’ experience is that you can’t allow yourself to get stuck in the mechanics or minutiae.

This advisor team did a great deal of research and soul-searching as they developed their transition support team and big picture plan. Having the right partner(s) at your side means you’re much more likely to succeed throughout a major business change. Over the years, we have worked with dozens of advisors to develop and implement their transition plans. The process can be daunting and it’s easy to get “stuck” along the way. In an effort to help advisors who are considering taking steps to improve or significantly change their situation and business model, we’ve shared some examples of advisor case studies on our website. As this season demonstrates, with good coaching, planning, and serious commitment, a LOT can be accomplished within a three-month timeframe!

If you’re serious about making a transition, ask for help—starting with other advisors and your custodian. By doing a bit of homework, you’ll start opening up a world of solution options that might be right for you. There are many advisors who have been through a transition to a new business model such as the one you may be considering. As we see in this season of Practice Makeover, change like this can be spurred on by the desire to utilize a robo, but advisors often make large, sweeping changes as a result of choosing to, for example: 1) make a broker/dealer or custodian change; 2) move some or all clients to slightly varying model portfolios (rather than customizing for every client which, with time and growth, becomes impossible at some point); 3) change CRM or other technology; 4) form their own RIA (with or without a broker/dealer relationship; or 5) to outsource one or more parts of their business.

Advisors often come across our firm or other consultants like us who can point them in the right direction depending on their goals. Many consultants who can be recommended to advisors offer expertise with no out of pocket expense to the advisor. If you’re considering a change to your business, start putting your feelers out—you might be surprised by all the resources available to you.

At the end of this season, one profiled advisor wisely states: “Don’t let ten years go by and then look back wishing you’d made a change a long time ago.” If you know something would improve your business today, take steps to look into the feasibility of incorporating it or making changes today.

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“As a traditional ensemble firm with over 20 years in the business, we could afford to bring on our own employees, but then we’d have to find the right people, make sure they were trained and had the right systems, supervise them, manage the human aspects that come with that type of working relationship, create an investment committee, and more. Frankly, I don’t want the headaches that come with more people and systems.”

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