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The Misconceptions of Independence- Volume 4

"I Don't Want To Worry About The Lights."


August 2016

Erik Mora

“I don’t want to worry about the lights.”



Last month I had coffee with an old friend. This friend is a successful advisor at a local wirehouse office. After interviewing him about the state of his firm and his general attitudes toward them, I asked about his perception of independence. His immediate reply was, “I like the idea of higher payouts, but I don’t want to worry about the lights.” Like most of our prior misconceptions this was the umpteenth time I heard this same phrase. I asked him to elaborate and his explanation was simple. He explained that all his frustrations with his current firm were very real and “day-to-day,” but he also appreciated the ease of showing up and leaving and not having to think about landlords, lights, and in his words, all the other “behind the scenes.” Right or wrong, he felt he was trading his frustrations for these amenities. I joked with him saying, “It sounds like you checked into a Four Seasons where daily frustration is part of the white-glove experience.”  My friend laughed and confirmed that was well put.

Think about that analogy for a minute. It was “well put,” which I take as there was a lot of truth in it for him. I don’t think he, or any advisor at a similar firm, gets frustrated with the bureaucracy every day, but it seems like it is regular enough to alter the day-to-day experience for some advisors. I could not imagine checking into a great hotel and paying top dollar to have a great bed, food, and other luxuries, only to have the “hotel policies” alter the experience. I think advisors at large firms sometimes forget they are paying to be there. They are paying to “not worry about the lights.” They are paying top dollar so their advisor and client experience should match the price tag. I imagine there are many advisors at these big firms that are completely happy with their experience. For those that aren’t, I hope they realize there are other ways. The myth that independence means you have to worry about the “behind the scenes” and “lights” is no longer. There are many solutions that address this concern. The evolution of independence has created options and these options put the advisor in control of their experience. The reality is you can create an environment that you control and most importantly enjoy. Given the fact that we spend most of our adult life at work, I would think you would want your experience to be the best it can be.


About Freedom Partners

Freedom Partners is the premier service provider for financial advisory firms in Southern California. 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. 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 regular hands-on and in-office support they believe advisors want and need. To learn more about how Freedom Partners may be able to help you, please contact us here or at 949.751.7407.