What Is True Advisor Independence?

Posted by Freedom Advisors on Dec 6, 2023 10:22:26 AM

Reflect on this for a minute: WHY YOU BECAME A FINANCIAL ADVISOR

You picked an excellent career for sure, one that most likely has been personally and professionally gratifying as well as financially rewarding. However, it is not a career without challenges and its share of stress. Advising clients on all aspects of their financial lives and managing their wealth (and emotions) over years of market cycles is not for the faint of heart.

You probably became an advisor for reasons beyond just financial incentive. You may have been intrigued by the industry and imagined carving out an expertise people would need and for which you would be admired. Perhaps one of your parents was an advisor, and you saw how much they enjoyed their work. Or you might have been recruited by a friend because they believed in your capabilities. Whatever the reason, you chose a career that has enabled you to impact and improve clients’ lives in profound ways.

The Early Years

Every advisor’s story is different, but many have a similar start. You might have been hired as an employee at a large national retail advisory firm. Or you may have started your career building an accounting business or insurance agency and later on added the advisor role. Whatever your path, you built your client base through tenacity and hard work and provided a comfortable living for your family. Yet something was not quite right.

Along the journey, you began to encounter some persistent business issues that robbed you of the joy in your practice. It became apparent that you were not in control of your own destiny nor had the level of choice needed to be truly objective. That became evident in a stream of common irritations that so many advisors like you encountered:

  • Being told what to do and how your results were not adequate or strategically in line with the company.
  • Adapting to constant changes in back-office functions and personnel.
  • Not being trusted to know and do what was best for your clients.
  • Adjusting to a new culture every time your firm has had a major organizational change or merged with another firm.
  • Having to make excuses for your firm when it was on the front page of the newspaper with regulatory settlements and defend your own interests.
  • Enduring declining payout schedules year after year.
  • Not being trusted to know and do what was best for your clients.
  • Adjusting to repeated reductions in resources.

Your frustrations mounted. You asked yourself why you should stay. And at some point, you answered that question by deciding to leave and become independent.

The Not-So-Independent Phase

You boldly stepped into the independent world, eager to embrace the autonomy, choice, and freedom it offered. As a freshly minted independent advisor, you associated yourself with a well-known, but not too large corporate platform. At last, you would be able to do things your way.

Your compensation got a lift. You loved having full control over how to conduct your advisory practice and the overall experience for your clients. For a while, your new life as an independent advisor was perfect. But before long, a new crop of business challenges began to appear.

Seemingly overnight your corporate platform merged, then merged, then merged again, changing names multiple times, becoming unrecognizable. Your chosen custodian grew then merged then grew some more, presenting unrelenting business processing challenges, and not showing interest in advisory practices that were not gigantic. Your chosen TAMP also grew to become a major institution with which it is not easy to do business. So much bureaucracy and red tape that you need two-factor authentication just to talk to anyone. None of your partners know you or your advisory practice anymore, and it is clear they have other priorities.

Had you just traded one set of headaches for a bevy of others? How could the promise of independence prove to be so empty?

True Independence Fulfilled

If this story sounds like yours, know that true independence is possible. You became an independent advisor because you wanted to own and run your own business and service your clients YOUR way, and you still can.

To be truly independent, demand your own platform, with your name on it and flexible enough for you to serve your clients as you require. Demand an open architecture platform that centralizes as much of your practice workflow and tools as possible. Demand proactive service from a capable team that is integrated into your practice, a team that knows you and how you like business processed. Your partner must provide:

  • Branding as your practice at every touchpoint so your clients see you front and center.
  • A variety of quality outsourced model portfolios or the ability to build your own branded models supported by a professional investment team and sophisticated risk management and due diligence processes.
  • A cutting-edge technology platform making it easy to do business.
  • Dedicated service teams that take care of all business and client related administrative and operational tasks.
  • Dedicated support staff to help you with everything from proposal generation to document e-signing.
  • Access to an in-house, full-service digital marketing team for outsourcing your lead generation and client acquisition program.
  • Multiple custodians.
  • A transparent and affordable fee structure that scales with your business and keeps costs in line.

Freedom Advisors has been serving independent advisors for 20 years with a focus on freeing advisors to do what they do best and to have control over their practices. Our turnkey asset management platform (TAMP) brings together all components of running your practice into one seamless, easy-to-use, flexible system that is accessible from anywhere on any device and can be private labeled with your brand.

We provide every advisor with the operational support they need to optimize the time they spend helping investors. Our service professionals handle everything from account opening, funding and transfers to portfolio construction, account maintenance and much more.

Schedule an introductory call with one of our Consultants and discover how easy true independence is to achieve.


Advisory services are offered through Freedom Investment Management, Inc. ("Freedom"), a registered investment adviser. Freedom does not provide tax or legal advice. The representations and opinions herein are the opinions and views of Freedom. This is not an offer to sell securities or provide specific investment advice.

Topics: Business Outsourcing, Advisor Support, TAMP

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