But both types may need help developing the skills required to build a growing firm. Jonathan Foster, founder of Angeles Wealth Management, calls himself one of the former: He started out in the wirehouse sector, shifted to a series of roles at
"Accidental entrepreneurs," he says, are advisors who go independent to maximize current income for their practices, while intentional entrepreneurs set out to build a business.
A panel at the
"Let people fail,"
But don't focus on the failures, cautioned CEO
6 TIPS FOR RIAs
Several advisors offered Financial Planning their tips for RIA entrepreneurs.
1. Design and deliver a great elevator speech. "When people ask you what do you do, the deck is often stacked against you if no one has heard of your firm," says Los Angeles HighTower advisor
2. Be prepared to do every job in the firm. Even if you don't know how to do it, learn it and do it, Foster says. "Entrepreneurship is an all-hands-on-deck experience, every day," he says. Know what's going on in all parts of the company, he adds, so you can step in and teach new staff as the firm grows or loses key people. As CEO of a firm with
3. Accept a slow startup. You will not be as productive while you're building your firm, warn Foster and other RIAs, so be prepared to make
4. Accept automation. Buying software is a lot cheaper than hiring labor, says
5. Build a succession plan immediately. In order to build a successful business and gain equity, Foster says, RIAs need to let other people take authority. "Until you're willing to accept the risk that work might go out that's only 90% as good as you can do, you'll never find someone who's better than you," says Foster. Try to hire people who you think could do your job, so that you can make yourself obsolete, he adds: "I always try to hire people who are better than I am."
6. Stay focused.
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