Are you about starting an investment advisory firm? If YES, here is a complete sample investment advisory firm business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting an investment advisory firm. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample investment advisory firm marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for investment advisory firms. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Table of Content
- Why Start an Investment Advisory Firm?
- 1. Industry Overview
- 2. Executive Summary
- 3. Our Products and Services
- 4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- 5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
- 6. SWOT Analysis
- 7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- 8. Our Target Market
- 9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- 10. Sales Forecast
- 11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
- 12. Our Pricing Strategy
- 13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
- 14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
Why Start an Investment Advisory Firm?
If you are already in the financial industry or you have a degree or background in mutual funds and investments, then you can build a career as a certified investment advisor. Becoming a certified investment advisor might not come cheap, but it is worth pursing if indeed you want to earn big in the financial industry.
You can be sure that your services would always be in demand by those small businesses, corporate organizations and individuals that can’t afford to hire the services of well – established financial cum investment consultants. One good thing about this business is that you can handle up to 20 clients per time depending on how organized and hardworking you are.
If you are interested in starting an investment advisory firm, then you should be ready to conduct thorough feasibility studies and market survey before committing your money and other resources to it. Below is a sample investment advisor business plan template that can help you to successfully write your own with little or no stress.
A Sample Investment Advisory Firm Business Plan Template
1. Industry Overview
Investment advisor firm is under the financial planning & advice industry and establishments in this industry provide investment planning, investment advice and wealth management to individuals and business clients. Investment advisors also offer advice in conjunction with other activities such as portfolio management, protection planning and brokerage services.
Please note that the investment planning & advice industry does not include mutual fund companies, hedge funds, discount brokers, insurance brokers or other companies that deliver these services, outside the context of a written financial plan.
Investment advisors as the case may be provide a multitude of services to individuals, businesses and government organizations. To qualify for inclusion in this industry, these products and services must be provided in the context of a written financial plan, which is the core product of this industry.
In fact, according to the Investment Advisers Association, an estimation two-thirds of firms registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission are not engaged in any business other than giving financial advice. Financial planning provides tools to identify a client’s current situation and future goals and then proposes recommendations to meet those goals.
The Financial Planning & Advice industry is a thriving sector of the economy of the united states of America and the industry generates over billion annually from more than 51,73 registered and licensed investment advisor companies scattered all around the United States of America.
The industry is responsible for the employment of over 141,733 people. Experts project the Financial Planning & Advice industry to grow at a 5.4 percent annual rate between 2013 and 2018. It is important to state that Ameriprise Financial Inc., Bank of America and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management are the organizations with a lion share of the industry.
A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that growth in the Financial Planning and Advice industry has compounded swiftly over the five years to 2018. Advisers generate revenue in a variety of ways, including financial planning fees, investment commissions, insurance commissions and other fees.
Over the past five years, economic growth and rising employment has pushed the industry upwards. Over the five years to 2023, revenue is projected to continue to increase as financial markets improve.
IBISWorld forecasts that the growing number of affluent households and rising equity markets will help increase total assets under management for the industry and raise revenue generated from fees charged on the value of assets under management.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own investment advisor business is that the business has low level entry requirements and it can be started with very little startup capital especially if you choose to start from the comfort of your home or from a shared office.
In a nutshell, as an investment advisor, you can afford to partner with other smaller firms that are into finance and investment related services. You can partner with financial coaches, mutual fund companies, hedge funds, discount brokers, insurance brokers or other companies. The bottom line is that if you have a robust network and you are well positioned, you can indeed maximize your investment advisor business.
2. Executive Summary
Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC is a registered and licensed investment advisor services firm. The business will be based in Miami-Hialeah – Florida and we are able to secure a standard office facility in one of the most patronized office complexes in Miami-Hialeah.
Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC is a result driven investment advisor firm that provides broad – based services such as general investment coaching, business and government investment planning and management, personal investment planning and advice, personal investment management and other related services such as portfolio management, protection planning and brokerage services at an affordable fee.
We will offer professional investment advice to all to our clients at local, state, national, and international level. We will ensure that we work hard to meet and surpass our clients’ expectations whenever they hire our services.
At Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC, our client’s best interest would always come first, and everything we do will be guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hire professionals who are experienced in the investment industry.
Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC is an investment advisor firm with a Midas touch and will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a firm, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.
Our plan is to position the business to become the one of the leading investment advisor brands in the whole of Miami-Hialeah – Florida, and also to be amongst the top 10 investment advisor cum financial planning businesses in the United States of America within our first 10 years of operation. This might look too tall a dream but we are optimistic that this will surely be realized.
Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC is a partnership business that is owned by Richard Freeman and other partners. Richard Freeman has a degree in Economics from Princeton University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Richard Freeman is a member of Certified Financial Planner Board, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, the Financial Planning Association, and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
3. Our Products and Services
Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC is going to offer varieties of services within the financial planning industry in the United States of America. Our intention of starting our investment advisor firm is to work with individuals, smaller organizations (startups and mom and pop shops) and also well – established corporate organizations who would want to invest their money and get good returns.
We are prepared to make profits from the industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in the United States to achieve our business goals, aim and ambition. Our business offerings are listed below;
- General investment advisor services
- Business and government investment planning and management
- Personal investment planning and advice
- Personal investment management
- Fee-based financial investment advice
- Other investment related services such as portfolio management, protection planning and brokerage services
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our vision is to build an investment advisor brand that will become the number one choice for individuals and businesses in the whole of Miami-Hialeah – Florida.
- Our mission is to provide professional, reliable, trusted and result oriented investment advisor services that assist individuals, startups, corporate organizations to effectively invest their money and get good returns from their investments.
Our Business Structure
As a rule, we would have settled for two or three staff members, but as part of our plan to build a standard investment advisor firm, we have perfected plans to get it right from the beginning which is why we are going the extra mile to hire competent, honest and hardworking employees to occupy all the available positions in our firm.
The kind of investment advisor business we intend building and the business goals we want to achieve is what informed the amount we are ready to pay for the best hands available in and around Miami-Hialeah – Florida as long as they are ready to work with us to achieve our business goals and objectives.
Below is the business structure that we will build Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC;
- Chief Executive Officer
- Investment Planners & Advisors
- Admin and HR Manager
- Marketing and Sales Executive
- Customer Care Executive/Front Desk Officer
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Office:
- Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, appraising job results and developing incentives
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy
- Accountable for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Answerable to signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
Investment Planners & Advisors
- Responsible for handling services that revolves around general investment advisor services, business and government investment planning and management, personal financial planning and advice, personal investment management, fee-based financial investment advice services, investment planning services and other investment related services such as portfolio management, protection planning and brokerage services
- Handles any other related services as assigned by the firm
Admin and HR Manager
- Accountable for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
- Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carries out induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
- Oversees the smooth running of the daily office activities.
Marketing and Sales Executive
- Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
- Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects
- Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with company policy
- Responsible for handling business research, marker surveys and feasibility studies for clients
- Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
- Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding sales
- Documents all customer contact and information
- Represents the company in strategic meetings
- Helps to increase sales and growth for the company
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- creates reports from the information concerning the financial transactions recorded by the bookkeeper
- Prepares the income statement and balance sheet using the trial balance and ledgers prepared by the bookkeeper.
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the company
- Serves as internal auditor for the company
Client Service Executive/Front Desk Officer
- Welcomes guests and clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
- Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
- Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients
- Receives parcels / documents for the company
- Distributes mails in the organization
- Handles any other duties as assigned by the manager
6. SWOT Analysis
Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC hired the services of a professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist the firm in building a well – structured investment advisor service that can favorably compete in the highly competitive financial planning and advise industry.
Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC;
The track record of our senior partner and of course the skills that our carefully selected team will be bringing to the table will definitely count as strength for us. We are also confident of the fact that the location of our office is a plus for our business; we are located in a community that is known for investment.
Being a new investment advisor service, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and gain acceptance especially from corporate clients in the already saturated industry; that is perhaps our major weakness. So also we may not have the required cash to give our business the kind of publicity we would have loved to.
The opportunities that are available to investment advisor firms are unlimited. As a matter of fact, rising employment and disposable income have boosted consumer demand for investment advisor and planning services.
Please note that higher investor uncertainty gave rise to more consumers seeking the services of investment advisors and also fixed-income markets are expected to propel revenue for the Financial Planning and Advice industry. As a standard investment advisor service, we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.
Some of the threats that we are likely going to face as an investment advisor firm operating in the United States are unfavorable government policies, the arrival of a competitor within our location of operation and global economic downturn which usually affects purchasing / spending power. There is hardly anything we can do as regards these threats other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for our good.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
IBISWorld recently released a report that said that over the past five years, many internet-savvy consumers turned to an increasing number of free online services, hurting industry revenue. The report also stated that aggregate household debt slowly decreased over the period, along with the national unemployment rate, lessening the need for industry services.
Revenue for the Investment advisor industry will continue to decline in the five years to 2021. As the economy improves and unemployment rate continues to decline, the growth of consumer debt levels is expected to grow at a slower rate.
Consequently, there will be a narrower scope for growth in investment advisor service in the coming years. Please note that external factors such as Per capita disposable income and Median age of population will impact performance in the Financial Planning & Advice industry.
The financial planning and adviser industry landscape has begun to change, with consumer preferences increasingly trending toward establishments that offer online options. The recent improving economic conditions are expected to support the growth of revenue generated in the industry. Going forward, increasing product penetration and of course an expanding customer base is expected to drive growth in the industry.
Lastly, operators in this industry ensure that they get all the testimonials they can and publish them on their website and promotional materials. This usually goes a long way to give them credibility and also to attract more clients.
8. Our Target Market
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who need the services of investment advisors cut across both small businesses and large corporations and individual clients as well. Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC will initially serve small to medium sized businesses, but that does not in any way stop us from growing to compete with leading investment advisor firms in the United States.
Our target market cuts across businesses of different sizes and industries. We are coming into the industry with a business concept that will enable us work with the small businesses and bigger corporations in and around Miami-Hialeah – Florida and other cities in the United States of America. Here is a list of the businesses and organizations that we have specifically design our services for;
- Investment clubs
- Households and individual clients
- Blue Chips Companies
- Corporate Organizations
- Hotels and Restaurants
- The Government (Public Sector)
- Schools (High Schools, Colleges and Universities)
- Entrepreneurs and Startups
The level of competition in the financial planning and adviser industry depends largely on the location of the business and of course the niche of your investment advisor services. If you can successfully create a unique brand identity for your investment advisor firm or carve out a unique market, you are likely going to experience less competition.
The competition in the business is not just within same service providers but also other players in the financial planning and adviser industry. For example, it is now easier for mutual fund companies, hedge funds, discount brokers, insurance brokers or other financial related companies to also offer investment advise to its clients.
To be highly competitive in this industry means that we should be able to deliver consistent quality and result oriented services, our clients should be able to experience remarkable difference cum improvement in their credit ratings and we should be able to meet the expectations of clients.
Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC might be a new entrant into the financial planning and adviser industry in the United States of America, but the management staff and owners of the business are licensed and highly qualified financial coaches in the United States. We plan to have a loyal customer base and good reputation. These are part of what will count as a competitive advantage for us.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and objectives.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the financial planning industry and we are going to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis. Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC will generate income by offering the following services to our clients;
- General investment advisor services
- Business and government investment planning and management
- Personal investment planning and advice
- Personal investment management
- Fee-based financial investment advice services
- Other investment related services such as portfolio management, protection planning and brokerage services
10. Sales Forecast
We are well positioned to take on the available market in Miami-Hialeah – Florida and other key cities in the United States of America and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income/profits from our first six months of operation and grow the business and our clientele base beyond Miami-Hialeah to other cities in Florida.
We have been able to examine the investment advisor market, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. Below are the sales projections Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC; it is based on the location of our business and the wide range of investment advisor services that we will be offering;
- First Fiscal Year: $250,000
- Second Fiscal Year: $350,000
- Third Fiscal Year: $650,000
N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and natural disasters within the period stated above. There won’t be any major competitor offering same services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
We are mindful of the fact that there are stiff competitions amongst investment advisor service providers in the United States of America; hence we have been able to hire some of the best business developers to handle our sales and marketing.
Our sales and marketing team will be recruited base on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of the organization. We will also ensure that our excellent job deliveries speak for us in the market place; we want to build a standard investment advisor service business that will leverage on word of mouth advertisement from satisfied clients.
Our goal is to grow our firm to become one of the top 10 investment advisor firms in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategies that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with.
Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;
- Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to corporate organizations, schools, households, courthouses and key stake holders in Miami-Hialeah and other cities in the United States of America.
- Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities and train stations et al.
- Use friends and family to spread word about our business
- Place a small or classified advertisement in the newspaper, or local publication about our company and the services we offer
- Leverage on referral networks such as agencies that will attract clients who would need our services
- Advertise our company in relevant magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations
- Attend relevant expos, seminars, and business fairs et al to market our services
- Engage in direct marketing approach
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied students
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries with the aim of marketing our services.
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
We have been able to work with our brand and publicity consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to take the investment advisor services industry by storm which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our investment advisor services firm.
Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC;
- Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events/programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our brand
- Install our billboards in strategic locations all around Miami-Hialeah – Florida
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
- Ensure that all our workers wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are well branded with our company’s logo.
12. Our Pricing Strategy
At Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC we will keep our fees below the average market rate for all of our clients by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance. In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to start – ups, nonprofits, cooperatives, and small enterprises.
- Payment Options
The payment policy adopted by Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.
Here are the payment options that Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC will make available to her clients;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via mobile money
- Payment via Point of Sales Machines (POS Machines)
- Payment via check
- Payment via bank draft
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our clients make payment for services offered without any stress on their part.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
Starting an investment advisor services firm can be cost effective because on the average, you are not expected to acquire expensive machines and equipment. What you should be concerned about is the amount needed to secure a standard office facility in a good and busy business district, the amount needed to equip the office, pay bills, promote the business and obtain the appropriate business license and certifications.
These are the area we are looking towards spending our startup capital on;
- The total fee for incorporating the Business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $3,300.
- The total cost for payment of insurance policy covers (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $9,400.
- The amount needed to acquire a suitable Office facility in a business district for 6 months (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) – $40,000.
- Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
- The total cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,500
- The cost for equipping the office (computers, printers, fax machines, furniture, telephones, filing cabins, safety gadgets and electronics et al) – $2,000
- The cost of launching our official Website – $600
- Budget for paying at least two employees for 3 months and utility bills – $30,000
- Additional expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $2,500
- Miscellaneous – $1,000
Going by the report from our research and feasibility studies, we will need about One Hundred and Fifty Thousand US Dollars ($150,000) to set up a small scale but standard investment advisor firm in the United States of America.
Generating Startup Capital for Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC
Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm is owned and managed by Richard Freeman and other partners. They decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.
- Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
- Source for soft loans from family members and friends
- Apply for loan from the bank
N.B: We have been able to generate about $50,000 (Personal savings $40,000 and soft loan from family members $10,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $100,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The prospect of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.
One of our major goals of starting Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.
We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer our investment advisor services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
At Richard Freeman® Investment Advisor Firm, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner of our business strategy.
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more as determined by the board of the organization. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry.
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Incorporation: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Leasing a standard office facility in the heart of Miami-Hialeah – Florida: Completed
- Generating part of the startup capital from the founder: Completed
- Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the needed software applications, furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with key players in the industry: In Progress
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