Independence: What It Means to the Advisors Who Embrace It
June 1, 2022
Who doesn’t love independence? From fireworks to parades, independence is cherished and celebrated in small towns and big cities alike across the US.
When it comes to financial advisors though, independence is not for everyone. Independent financial advisors are a unique breed. Part entrepreneur, part coach, all individual. For those with an entrepreneurial mindset, looking to control what really matters to them, the benefits of independence far outweigh the challenges.
While there’s no one reason to go the independent route, there are common threads that emerge consistently:
Freedom to offer products and services they’ve decided their clients need, not ones to fill a quota
Freedom to build a practice they want and serve the clients they want
Freedom to monetize their book of business, so they can take care of their own families, just as they’ve cared for their clients’ families
Freedom to choose a successor, to put the financial lives of their clients in the hands of someone they’ve selected, not the next available advisor at their wirehouse
Freedom to build a business that complements their lives instead of running it
What drives an advisor to take the independent path? And what do they find once they are on it? Going straight to the source, AssetMark asked successful independent financial advisors why they chose the independent path, the difference it has made in their lives and careers, and the benefits it offers to their clients.
What does independence mean to you as a financial advisor?
If we were mandated or controlled by a firm or an entity telling us what to do, based on quotas or sales, then we’re not being authentic to our clients. By being independent, we’re able to give them the best advice that’s available without any outside interference. - Financial Advisor Adam K.
Independence just gives you so much more flexibility to offer your clients what they need. We search out the companies that we want to work with that we think offer our clients the best solutions, and we have the flexibility to use who we want. - Financial Advisor Barbara T.
When a client comes to see us, they know they’re getting the guidance and the recommendations that are best for them because clients are the boss. We have no other bosses. - Financial Advisor Damon K.
I get to be who I am in the world. I get to put my schedule the way I want it to be. I want to spend the time that I want to, not only with clients but also with the rest of my world. And, if I’m not independent, then somebody else is calling all the shots on my life, as opposed to me calling all the shots on my life. - Financial Advisor Julie M.
I’ve embraced being independent. I can decide how much money I want to make, what hours I want to work, who I want to serve, and who I want to hire. It gives me the opportunity to lay my head down on my pillow every night and know that, for me, I’ve done the right thing by my clients, their children, and my family. - Financial Advisor Laura W.
For all the benefits, going independent can be a double-edged sword. Along with greater autonomy and unlimited income potential comes a lot more responsibility. Developing and maintaining operations, administrative, staffing, and technology resources are now the advisor’s responsibility—not to mention investment research, investment due diligence, and regulatory compliance. It sounds like a lot… because it is. But it doesn’t have to be. Advisors who work with an experienced outsourcing firm – well versed in addressing the needs of independent financial advisors – can reduce the burden and deliver the products and services their clients demand.
How Independent Advisors Leverage the AssetMark Advantage
The AssetMark platform empowers advisors to build their brand, offer objective investment guidance, and provide high-quality service to their clients. The firm’s intuitive and integrated technologies facilitate a better client experience. High-touch business consulting services and networking opportunities ensure that while advisors remain independent, they are never alone. Diverse investment solutions managed by institutional-grade money managers (many with low minimums) allow advisors to serve clients at all stages of the wealth management lifecycle. In short, advisors working with AssetMark reap the rewards of independence, while leveraging the industry-leading back office, administrative, and wealth management resources that can separate them from the competition.
AssetMark, Inc. ("AssetMark") is a leading provider of extensive wealth management and technology solutions that help financial advisors meet the ever-changing needs of their clients and businesses. The information on this website is for informational purposes only and is intended as an overview of the services offered to financial advisors, not a solicitation for investment. Information has been drawn from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed and is subject to change.
Advisors seeking more information about AssetMark’s services should contact us; individual investors should consult with their financial advisor.
AssetMark is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a subsidiary of AssetMark Financial Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AMK) of which Huatai Securities Co., Ltd. is a controlling shareholder. Visit our ownership page for more information.