It Was Greek to Me

Vessenes, Peter M.
November 2002
Journal of Financial Planning;Nov2002, Vol. 15 Issue 11, p46
Academic Journal
This article presents the author's response to a letter about an article in the May 2002 issue of the Journal of Financial Planning asking for a description of the actual logistics of how a financial planning or financial services practice is organized and run. Let us start with how you run your practice. I think you are fairly typical of many financial advisors. You have a deep concern for your clients. You understand that there are several disciplines involved in serving them, and that you cannot master all of them on your own. To help serve your clients, you have built relationships with other service providers that fill in the gaps between their needs and your skills. On top of this, you must run your own practice, which means paying bills, wages and marketing expenses. You must manage the compliance aspects of your practice, maintain a healthy relationship with your broker or dealer, and evaluate the products that you recommend to your clients. Beyond that, you must keep ahead of constant changes in the market, products, regulatory issues and the economy. It is all of these factors that make increasing the valuation of your practice a challenge. There is no single way that most firms operate, but we are all governed by a myriad of regulatory requirements. Some advisors are registered investment advisers (RIA), and some work under an RIA. There are advantages and liabilities in each situation, but for the purpose of increasing the valuation of your practice, it is better to be your own RIA.


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