As a long-time observer, I thought it was time to join and contribute. I decided a year ago (after a year or so of doing my homework) to leave the wirehouse I was with and go independent. It was a difficult decision and I tried to talk myself out of it and into it many times before. I was with the same wirehouse for more than a dozen years and enjoyed my time there and still have fond feelings for the place. With that said, I am so happy I made the change for myself, my family and my clients. Because of the amount of homework I did prior to leaving, I have not faced too many surprises. I did leave 6 months ago and I am proud to say I have landed on my feet. Most of the transition was done in about 3 months and there are still some loose ends (clients I am still working on). The main reason for my post is to encourage those of you out there who are considering going independent to do your homework, think it thru, write out your plan, be realistic with who will come with you (who you need) and take the leap. I must say that the only regret is that I wish I left sooner. Of course nothing is perfect, there are some things I miss about the wirehouse (friends etc.) but I couldn't be happier with the move and the pride I have in it really now being my business.