When I meet advisors who are considering moving to the RIA world, I hear a few recurring concerns and objections. The first is one that we’ve discussed before: Not wanting to make the effort. The second is what I’m here to talk to you about today: they’re just plain scared.
If this sounds like you, perhaps you’re afraid you’ll lose clients who are unwilling to transition from a commission-based model to an advisory-based model. Or, maybe you worry your clients won’t embrace the new custodial relationship.
I get it. These are valid fears—to a point.
My biggest fear was how I would transition my 90/10% transaction-based business to a profitable advisory-based business. I feared that clients who’d been commission-based for over thirty years would never go for a fee-based model. Turns out, that fear was unfounded, as today I’ve got an 80/20% advisory-based book. As a matter of fact, not one client balked at the transition. A few even preferred the advisory-based model, likening it to their 401k.
As for the other objections, it essentially comes down to two key factors.
First, most advisors doubt the strength of their client loyalty. Once again, I’ve been there, and I get it. But for me, that concern was nothing more than just that—an unfounded concern. Turns out, I had a skewed perception of my clients’ loyalty. In fact, the vast majority of my clients have since expressed immense respect and appreciation for all that I’ve done for them through the years and are loyal beyond my expectations. In my experience, we take our own fears and concerns and project them onto our clients. We assume—falsely. The fact is, most advisors that I know continue to enjoy long-term relationships with their loyal clients.
Second, many advisors make the mistake of allowing a client or two to dictate their future. I frequently hear things like, “Eric, I have a pretty good client who told me that he would never go advisory,” or “I have a client that doesn’t like my new custodian.” While I understand how those objections might spook you, my response is this: To allow one, a few or even more than a few clients to control your life and career is foolish. Should you allow your business and the resulting impact will have on you and your family to be ruled by a small subset of clients? I think not.
Don’t let your fears hold you back from what could be a transformative career move.
Key Client Fiduciary Advisors, LLC (“KCFA”) is an SEC-registered investment adviser located in Fairfield, New Jersey. This blog post is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to KCFA’s investment advisory services. The information in this blog post should not be construed as personalized individual advice. A copy of our KCFA’s written disclosure statement as set forth on Form ADV, discussing KCFA’s business operations, services and fees is available upon written request.