Becoming an Independent Financial Advisor Just Got Easier

Last Edited by: LPL Financial

Last Updated: February 22, 2022

Financial Advisor Mike Ashworth image

Wealth Management talks to Advisor Mike Ashworth and LPL SVP Kimberly Sanders

“Fast forward 18 months later and I could not be any happier than I am right now.” That’s how Mike Ashworth describes his experience transitioning to independence in a recent episode of Wealth Management’s Fast Chat series. Ashworth had spent his career at a wirehouse firm and knew if he were going to make a change, it would be to go independent. He just didn’t know how. Then he learned about LPL Financial’s Strategic Wealth Services model.

A supported independence model, Strategic Wealth provides financial advisors a team of expert practitioners who handle the daily logistics of running a business. The advisor is an entrepreneur and business owner, and the LPL team functions effectively as their staff. Launched in 2020, Strategic Wealth allows advisors to experience the benefits of independence—like autonomy and building equity—without the stress of running a business solo.

In the episode, Ashworth sits down with Wealth Management and Kimberly Sanders, SVP, Business Development - LPL Strategic Wealth Services, to discuss his journey from the wirehouse to independence. Here are few highlights:

Why go independent?

Mike Ashworth shares his reasons for going independent with Strategic Wealth:

The first thing that I’ll tell you, and most important to me, has been that I had very little I could do on a marketing front when I was at the wirehouse.

I couldn’t use social media at any wide degree. I certainly couldn’t do digital ads, and things like that. I had a marketing person assigned to me directly [at LPL], and she does a fantastic job. She takes all these things. She runs with them. She puts out my social media blogs and posts every week. She just handles that part of the business for me. And it’s not anything I have to hardly deal with except for having a call with her once every other week to go over things. So, that’s been the biggest thing it’s just so smooth and easy to do, and it was so NOT where I was prior. …

Technology is certainly another thing. I mean, moving in the middle of a pandemic, without something like electronic signatures to be able to utilize, I don’t know if our business would have ported nearly as we ported it over during this time. So, their technology has been phenomenal.

How does independence compare to the wirehouse?

“I’ve heard, it sounds sort of cliché,” said Ashworth, “if you’d known what it was going to be like to be independent, you’d have done it a lot sooner. And indeed, that is really the case for me.”

He shared a story about how his family notices a change:

When your own family picks up on the fact of changing your demeanor within the first day of you making a transition, you know something probably needed to happen.

But no question about It, when I was back at the wirehouse, I really … I saw no vision for my family being in this industry. And, now you fast forward to where we are today, I have one of my kids asking about coming into the industry, and I’m really excited about that. My wife and I met in this industry and I think she’s going to come back and start working with us some too, so I can definitely see this becoming a family-oriented adventure again when at one time I would have never envisioned anything like that.

Why choose Strategic Wealth?

“What’s different with Strategic Wealth Services is that we immediately assign an interim COO, a project manager, who’s going to take the advisor through this entire process,” said Sanders. “They’re going to manage all of the different aspects of this move and the vendors and they’re going to do it at zero out-of-pocket close for the advisor. So, it’s been designed to really answer the need of the advisor who comes in and says, ‘Look, I don’t know what I don’t know’ … And it is the most common thing I hear from advisors. So, that is why we’ve built what we’ve built.”

Learn more

To hear the full episode, listen on To learn more about LPL Strategic Wealth Services, visit the Strategic Wealth business model. And, to start a confidential conversation about how LPL Strategic Wealth Services can support your independent practice, contact your business development consultant.


The views and opinions expressed by LPL Financial Advisor(s) may not be representative of the views of other Financial Advisors and are not indicative of future performance or success. Neither LPL Financial nor the LPL Financial Advisor can be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss incurred by applying any of the information offered.

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