How should I work towards owning an RIA firm?
I am an Active Duty service member that has a desire to begin financial counseling and asset management. The width and depth of articles I have read have ultimately led me in circles as to what is absolutely needed. As I do not plan on leaving active duty, this would be something I pursue at a slow pace, over time, ideally allowing me to retire from the military already managing $2-3 million in assets. I have began my series 65 preparation and am also studying for the CRPC designation. I only have interest in doing this on a fee basis.
Once registered as an RIA, with my own business, am I able to take assets under management? What can I do with those assets if I do not posses the series 6 or 7 licenses?
You can begin managing money even before you are registered as long as you don't take on more than fifteen clients. You do not need a Series 6 or 7 in order to manage assets; passing the Series 65 exam is sufficient. You will have to register in the state where you live, and if you end up with six or more clients in another state then you will have to eventually register there also.
You should immediately begin contacting potential clients and having them refer people to you. It will probably be slow at first, but eventually you should be able to build up a book of business.
The most important thing is to develop a solid reputation.
Check out the resources at https://www.xyplanningnetwork.com/ They have podcasts, blogs and a lot of information to help guide you through this. But I would also suggest reaching out to fee based firms in the area you want to live and ask for a meeting. You may find someone willing to bring you in and help you get started instead of having to create it from scratch.
I was in your shoes just a couple of years ago. I started before I retired also. It was a great move and let me hit the deck running when I retired. Let me know if you would like to schedule a call. I'd be more than happy to discuss how I got started, and give you some things to think about and avoid. Shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to setup a call.
You want to check out the XYPN planning network. They offer a lot of resources for folks launching thier own RIA firms.
If you have your 65 you should be able to take AUM.
RIA is the future of financial planning advice. As a financial planner I really like your plan of starting slowly while still in the military. It will make the transition easier, and if you want to work with other military members you will be in a good position to meet many of them, and speak their language and understand their needs.
Passing the Series 65 is the first requirement. After that, you’ll need to register as an RIA in your own state. Check with your state for specific registration requirements. Some states even have a modest capital requirement, most don’t. You’ll likely need to file notices with any states where you have clients. Although it’s not too expensive or complicated, if you work with military people, that could be several states! Federal registration isn’t necessary until you reach a pretty high threshold (Assets Under Management), and that’s unlikely as you start based on what you’ve explained. As an RIA, you can manage accounts without a Series 6 or 7. Those are license exams required to sell securities. I’d also encourage you to consider passing the CFP exam to become a CFP Professional. As a fee-only provider, you’ll want to consider joining the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) for continuing education and support. Good luck!