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How and why I'm starting an RIA from scratch and what I'm spending to make it happen

A former institutional bond broker and Navy lieutenant is now eight months into the RIA game. Here's what the view from the starting line looks like in 2013

Author Guest Columnist Lyman Howard February 22, 2013 at 4:28 PM
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Lyman Howard: We have been floored by RIAs' willingness to share not only advice, but sometimes even business opportunities.

Lou Day

Lou Day

February 22, 2013 — 7:22 PM

Lyman,
We too chose to start an RIA from scratch in late 2008, how’s that for timing, so I applaud your effort. I can tell you from experience that is isn’t and won’t be easy and will cost more than you think. That said we are still here and very optimistic about our prospects.
I want to share with you something that you didn’t mention which probably represents your greatest strength, you have no legacy issues to defend,you may not have had any assets to start with but you also don’t have assets that can be baggage. Assets that travel and are based poor pre sold mutual funds and junk science always get in the way of change and change has to be what a startup is all about or it will never be worth the effort. Assets like those are a legacy trademark of “advisors” going from a wirehouse to a 'independent’ BD to then becoming and “independent” RIA on the Schwab, Fidleity or TD custody platform (all BD’s with all the standard conflicts the last time I looked).
Your biggest advantage is that starting new allows you to be independent without the quotes which means you are able to craft your own value proposition that adheres to an ethical standard that you impose on yourself as opposed to having to dodge and weave through the conflict of interest landmines that define this industry.

You have chosen a difficult path, I know from experience, that said having no legacy issues, no conflicts of interest and being truly independent are what makes overcoming the challanges of a startup worthwhile for us and I hope the same will be true for you. Lou

9

Peter Giza

Peter Giza

February 23, 2013 — 5:59 PM

Wow, I think I’ll stick to software start-ups :-) I applaud the agile thought process. Worthwhile start-ups are rarely easy and you can count on 5-10 years of growing pains. But in the end it is worth the effort.

Pete

Lou Day

Lou Day

February 23, 2013 — 6:21 PM

Pete, you will like this quote

“It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubltful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who would profit by the old order and only lukewarm defenders, this lukewarmness arriving partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favor: and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything until they have an actual experience of it. Thus it arises that on every opportunity for attacking the reformer, his opponents do so with the zeal of partisans, the others only defend him half-heartedly, so that between them he runs great danger.” THE PRINCE

No where is this more true than in retail financail services.

dennis rockhold

dennis rockhold

February 23, 2013 — 6:25 PM

All true Lou—-all true!

Peter Giza

Peter Giza

February 23, 2013 — 6:50 PM

So true!

David Middleton

David Middleton

February 27, 2013 — 7:08 PM

Congrats on taking a risk and living free. I wish you the best of luck!

Andrew Ghezzi

Andrew Ghezzi

February 28, 2013 — 5:08 PM

Thank you for sharing your story. Love the way you are leveraging the available technology out there. Best of luck!

Jennifer Goldman

Jennifer Goldman

March 1, 2013 — 6:14 PM

Lyman, thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with us. Best of luck in your new endeavor, sounds like you’re heading in the right direction. I agree with your take on cloud technology, being able to access files from anywhere definitely increases productivity, speeds up the process, and lets you focus on growth. In that vein, I’d recommend looking at outsourcing services so you and your partner can continue growing the business. Much like the cloud, outsourcing streamlines your business and gives you back one of the most precious resources: time.

Jennifer Goldman

Jennifer Goldman

March 1, 2013 — 6:18 PM

Lyman, thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with us. Best of luck in your new endeavor, sounds like you’re heading in the right direction. I agree with your take on cloud technology, being able to access files from anywhere definitely increases productivity, speeds up the process, and lets you focus on growth. In that vein, I’d recommend looking at outsourcing services so you and your partner can continue growing the business. Much like the cloud, outsourcing streamlines your business and gives you back one of the most precious resources: time.

Lyman

Lyman

March 2, 2013 — 12:35 AM

Hey, you guys are great. Thanks so much for the support and encouragement. It really helps us maintain a super positive attitude. I want to add that we are tackling some of the business elements in house for now. We might indeed outsource certain tasks in the future, but we want to get our hands dirty so that we learn how things are done prior to relying on others to accomplish them for us. Perhaps more on that subject later. Best of luck to you all, as well!

jim

jim

January 15, 2014 — 4:01 AM

Looks like this guys firm has already failed. How stories like this get published I’ll never know.

http://fsienergy.com/mc.html

http://fsienergy.com/mc.html

June 25, 2014 — 10:55 PM

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