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I have heard a lot throughout my career that financial advisors are afraid to make a broker-dealer change out of fear of losing clients.  This is an area that I feel strongly about.  Mainly, because a client is not with you because of the broker-dealer you are partnered with.  Most clients don’t even know the responsibilities of a broker-dealer!

If you, as a financial advisor have always looked out for the best interest of your clients, then that client is with you because of you, not your broker-dealer.  If you lose clients during the transition, those are likely clients you don’t want in the long-term anyway.

I also don’t believe you need to be with a specialized broker-dealer that focuses on one area of business in our industry.  For example, if you primarily handle advisory business, you don’t need a broker-dealer that only focuses on advisory business.  If you are doing mainly insurance business, you don’t need to be with an insurance owned broker-dealer.  Similar to you diversifying your clients’ portfolio, you should be with a diverse broker-dealer partner.

Most importantly, being with a broker-dealer that is going to be in the space long-term is critical.  You don’t want to put your clients through another transition unless it benefits them and your practice in the long term.  Make sure it is your choice, not the result of outside, avoidable circumstances.