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2016 has already been a big year for me as a business owner and entrepreneur!

After seven years as an independent financial advisor affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services, I launched The Stanich Group, a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm in early 2016.
My readers and clients are generally not part of the financial industry so I would like to share why I decided to make this change and what it means for my clients.

Why RIA?

I believe the RIA business structure is the best way to serve my clients. Federal and state law requires that Registered Investment Advisors (RIA) be held to a Fiduciary Standard. This is the highest standard of care in my industry and requires an advisor to act solely in the best interest of the client at all times.

Although I was already working with clients in this way, I have technically been “dually registered” as both a “broker” and an “investment advisor”. So this change in my business means that I dropped my “broker” license (called the Series 7). That license allowed me to “sell” securities and accept commissions. I chose to give this up for several reasons:

  • I think it can be confusing for clients
  • I think it’s the “old way” of doing business and will eventually be phased out
  • I wasn’t really doing business this way anyway

I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset, and this felt like the next logical step in our development.  This is a change I have frankly been considering for years, but had to put on hold due to personal time constraints (hello twins!).

What Stayed the Same

Although I considered alternatives, I chose to keep the broker-dealer (Raymond James) I had been affiliated with as my custodian for client assets. I have had a good experience with them and continuing to work with them has made the business transition easy for my clients and my team. My clients’ account numbers stayed the same, though they did need to sign paperwork to acknowledge the change.

What Changed

This was an opportunity to upgrade and modernize our technology, operations, and marketing!  I have much more freedom to do things “my” way, as opposed to following the lead of my broker-dealer firm or branch manager.

  • New Office.  I left my old branch office and started my own! So of course we have new emails and phone numbers too.
  • New Technology. It was time to step up our game. We’ve upgraded email, calendars, customer relationship management software and online scheduling as well as tools we use to gather client information—even our phones. More seamless and efficient technology gives us more time to spend with clients.
  • Better Investment Tools. I have more account management options, for example allowing me to rebalance client accounts periodically.  This can be more efficient for us and our clients.
  • Improved Marketing and Client Communications. I’ve already revamped this website and launched a new one!  PowerOverDivorce is a new blog focused on the Divorce Financial Planning portion of my business, which will be easier to find online for clients who need my help in that area.  I’m also looking forward to rolling out fun quarterly client events (both in person and online) and more regular email communications. You’ll see more of me on Social Media (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) too.

Thank you for your trust and support — we are excited for the future and look forward to continuing to serve you!

Sara Stanich