Thinking about going Indie

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Col Sharkey's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-11

I have worked for a large b/d for over 5 years and have $30mm book, all commission based.  I am considering going independent.  If I want to stay primarily commissioned based, who should I go with?  What is the process?  Any info will be appreciated!

Flyonwall's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-25

What is your T-12?The process is easy.  Find out who your options are, and call them to let them know of your interest, and find out what they are willing to offer in terms of payout, support, etc. Or, you could use a recruiter, if you are confident they are unbiased (good luck).    

BigFirepower's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-09

I'd start by using the search functions here. This subject, and the surrounding elements, have been debated at great length. If you suspect potential legal issues, be sure to study everything you can here, along with reading Finra Online Awards while you're at it. I've been indy 18mo, very happy, but it's been a learning experience. I applaud your efforts to learn before you make the leap. Trust me, it's a valuable investment.

Col Sharkey's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-11

I will show my ignorance, not the first time.  What is T-12?  Also, what legal issues should I be aware of.  Will my current b/d come after me?  If so, on what grounds?

BigFirepower's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-09

Col Sharkey, serious? You swim in deep and dark waters!Trailing 12 mos of production. Legal matters from breaching your contract regarding either solicitation of clients, competing, or violation of the United States Trade Secrets Act. Or, any other sh#t your former employer would like to accuse you of... Do you have a copy of your employment agreement? 

Col Sharkey's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-11

BigFirepower, yes, I am swimming in deep dark waters.  That's why I am asking for help.  T-12 is $210k.  I am a smaller fish I realize.  Dumb, didn't save contract.  My dream would be open a small shop, bring in child and get them licensed and spend the rest of my life working with him.  Don't know how much book will follow, would move to another location.  Thanks for info and patience with newbie to this.

BigFirepower's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-09

Somehow, you need to get a copy of your employment agreement...Seriously, take my advice and dig through the archives here EXTENSIVELY. When you're done with that, feel free and contact me, and I'd be happy to share some more thoughts with you. Look over your clients, and rank them 1 through 5. Your tops follow at 90%, 2's are bout 65-70%, 3s are about 50%, 4 and 5s not coming. That method, is extremely reliable in predicting assets following you. To have your own shop, I suggest 25m is a bottomline level. Less than that, and I'd highly suggest joining another indy rep to cut down on costs.  

Col Sharkey's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-11

Thanks for your advice!

Nova02's picture
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Joined: 2010-06-28

Col,Just made the move to indy myself (from a wirehouse).  So far, stress level is remarkably lower as I no longer have to worry about pleasing anyone but myself and my family.  With T-12 of over $200k, look to take home about 90% of that gross (before your expenses, most of which you can control, i.e., not have to "pay" for things you don't use, like in the wirehouse model).  So, I wouldn't consider yourself a "small fish," as in my opinion, the beauty of being an independent means you can make a lot more money without worrying about what your branch manager thinks of you. 

Slainte's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-17

Col,It can seem a bit of a daunting task looking into b/d's because there are a lot of them out there and a lot of them are really good firms, too. It comes down to finding a firm that matches up well your business mix/needs as well as your personality. If you're heavy on equities, you're probably not going to get the level of support you need with a firm that most of their reps sell mutual funds, packaged products, etc. Do you feel more comfortable with a larger firm that has economies of scale or do you like the idea of a being a "bigger fish in a smaller pond" at a smaller firm? One thing I would caution is don't chase the paycheck. Firms offering really high payouts are probably going to be out of business soon, lacking in service/technology, or making it up somewhere else (usually at your clients' expense). It's well worth spending the time to find the firm that is right for you. What I found to be a great resource going through this process was the book that Cantella has - Going Independent. It really gives you a great foundation of what independence entails and the process, as well as lots of good questions to ask firms that you are talking to. I just went to their site, www.cantella.com and requested a free copy. Best of luck in your search. It truly is rewarding.Slainte

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