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The Misconceptions of Independence- Volume 2

Understanding Your Investment Options

June 2016

Erik Mora

“I don’t think independent firms have the same scope of investment options.”


There is a belief by many advisors out there that the large wirehouse firms have the biggest scope of options. I have personally transitioned 13 advisors in the past 3 years and this was always their initial thought as well. Whether they focused on individual bonds, annuities, alternative investments or just general money management, the belief was they might be taking a step down. Once they made their transition they soon realized that their universe of options became larger. Many of you may think that is not possible. One of our current advisors put it in perspective best for me. He said, “My old firm was like a big brand name department store. The shelves were packed with different products from a multitude of different companies. The universe of options felt robust and endless. When I took a step back and started to think about it, the ‘department store’ controlled what went on the shelves. The endless options were, in fact, limited to who was allowed to be on the shelf. There was little transparency on why those products were approved and whether or not conflicts of interest existed.”

True independence means your investment options include the full universe of what is available. You are only limited to the investment strategies or products that you choose to accept. We feel in order to be a fiduciary there needs to be a true “open architecture” that allows advisor’s to act in the best interest of their clients. The advisor should have the ability to do their own due diligence, as well as leverage both their custodian partner’s due diligence. At the end of the day, the advisor creates should be able to control the products and services that will be on “their shelves” and decide what is best for their client.

When an advisor makes the decision to explore being independent it is important to see how your business translates in an independent world. This means not only your approach to managing your clients’ assets, but also the specific funds and strategies you use for your clients.  You will quickly see that most, if not all, of your funds and strategies will translate well.  The only investments that typically don’t translate are proprietary strategies created specifically for your firm.  


About Freedom Partners

Freedom Partners' mission is to be the premier service provider for financial advisory firms in Southern California. Freedom Partners provides hands-on support and training that focuses on enhancing and refining the people, processes, and poetry of the partner advisory firms they serve. Their goal is to increase revenue, reduce costs, and help increase enterprise value. Freedom Partner’s A-Z back-office support is delivered by their team of professionals that have had long-standing careers in financial services.  Their experience has been in roles working closely with advisors, but also as top-tier sales representatives in client-facing sales roles. They have successfully helped build and run a RIA and have experienced the full life cycle of a firm.

Freedom Partners believes these experiences are their competitive advantage in the marketplace. Freedom Partners attributes their success to offering a transparent solution that incorporates technology but also delivers the in-office support they believe advisors want and need. FreedomPartners’ Co-Founders have successfully transitioned over $1 billion of assets from Wirehouse firms since 2014. Freedom Partners currently has over $900 million of assets under contract. To learn more about how Freedom Partners may be able to help you, please visit us at or contact us at 949.751.7407.