A number of powerful undeniable factors continue to drive financial advisor demand for a truly independent, modern and flexible investment management platform. Most prevalent among these factors is advisor need to escape stifling bureaucracy.
“The platform that makes it easy to do business the way I determine is best for my clients and that helps me build equity value in my practice will be my partner.”
Cobbling together multiple systems from different companies, including corporate RIAs, custodians, asset managers, and software applications is consuming precious time advisors should be spending advising investors. But as trusted stewards of client investment portfolios, the critical operational, administrative, and compliance functions must be completed precisely with great care. Someone must do this time-consuming work, but it does not have to be the advisor personally.
How do I select the right platform?
The same care and discipline you adhere to in your advisory process with clients, from discovery to goal setting to due diligence to establishing the plan, you must follow for selecting the right platform. Start by articulating what you need to have the advisory practice you desire.
If what you need is everything in one seamless system that makes it easy to do business, freeing you to do what you do best, then put that at the top of the list. If it is a platform that has your name and brand front and center, put that on the list. If it is imperative that the platform provider truly knows you and how you want your practice to function, put that on the list.
It can be illuminating to list out all the frustrations and hindrances holding you back that you want to rid of to have the advisory practice you desire. Is it incessant delays in processing, constantly changing rules and forms, client follow-up always left to you, long hold times on the phone, having to repeat yourself over and over, or strangers on the line who do not understand you and your practice? Is it limitations in the investment offering? Is it gaining mobility for your practice, not being tied to an outside company or system?
Write down what you need and what you want to eliminate. Then you are equipped to evaluate potential platforms. Here is a 30-factor Platform Selection Checklist template to get you started. You can add or delete factors and overweight more important factors.
After I select the right platform, what's next?
Once selected, you should expect the platform provider to prepare a plan for transitioning your practice in areas that include onboarding, client communications, administration and support, and training. You should also expect the platform provider to handle much of this work independently.
Selecting the right platform is one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your practice. The time you invest upfront defining what you need and want and conducting deep due diligence to identify your perfect platform will pay dividends for years as you strengthen client relationships, and your business grows.
We encourage you to explore Freedom Advisors’ 30-factor Platform Selection Checklist template throughout your discovery process and would be honored to be considered the right platform for you.