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Independent Advisors Will Unlock the Future (If They Can Hold Onto the Keys)


Even though it had been in the works for years, last month’s Schwab/Ameritrade merger left both organizations’ advisors wondering what it meant for them. The good news is that the transition has been seen as largely successful, with only some tech snafus which, let’s be honest, is to be expected when you’re talking about huge platform changes for millions of accounts. Adapting to change rarely happens overnight.

Advisors and client accounts have made a–mostly–smooth transition, but some advisors have decided to seek brokerage elsewhere in order to stay aligned with their business goals. There’s always going to be a tradeoff in a merger, and for some the pros might not outweigh the cons. 

That’s the beauty of being an independent advisor. You have the choice to use the platforms and organizations that best serve you and your clients. 

Independence means more control over your business, but that control comes with its own challenges. Not least of which is ensuring the path ahead of you will continue to be prosperous and rut-free.

Huge industry changes like this one–whether it directly affects you or not–should have you thinking about what’s next for your own business. This last quarter of 2023 is exactly the right time to be taking a look at your progress and goals to make your plans for 2024. 

A few important considerations to ensure your critical business foundations are set to stand up to–or take advantage of–any big waves rolling your way:

-    Value and Benchmarking – Knowing your business value as well as its strengths and weaknesses can help you make strategic decisions about which organizations and resources are the best tools for the success of your business. They allow you to make those decisions quickly and make any necessary changes with as little disruption as possible.

-    Organizational structure – A team of advisors that are truly a team and not just a group of individuals under one roof ensures that disruptions and changes won’t threaten to capsize the boat. This includes operational processes in place for managing technological change as well as any talent changes made as a result of, say, an industry merger.

-    Acquisition Readiness – Whether you’re actively seeking acquisition targets or not, big industry changes can shake out advisory practices who are ready to wind down. Having an acquisition strategy in place along with financing pre-qualifications and a strong value proposition allows you to act fast and jump on any of the opportunities that may pop up. 

Whether it’s the merger of two industry giants, the introduction of new investment opportunities, or a new of wave of wealthy investors to service, change is always right around the corner. As an independent advisor, you’re in the position to best prepare for any change and turn it into an opportunity for growth and success.

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Want to learn more? Here are some additional articles we found most informative about the Schwab/Ameritrade merger and what it means for advisors:

4 Things TD Ameritrade Advisors Should Do Before Schwab Conversion

What to Do When Your Brokerage Merges

TD Ameritrade To Schwab Conversion Tips For Financial Advisors

What’s Happening To TD Ameritrade?

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