General Questions About XYPN and Membership
I don’t have a firm yet – can I join XY Planning Network?
Absolutely! We will help you set up your firm, register it with your state regulator, and help launch, market, and grow your business.
What level of compliance support is provided to members?
We provide full compliance support to all of our state registered members. For members without a firm, we will walk you through the state registration process. All members receive access to the compliance section of our members-only forums which allows you to interact with our compliance team. Each year, we will help you update your ADV and file the annual update which is required for all firms.
What is the process for joining XY Planning Network?
Step 1: Fill out Membership Application. This will take 5-10 minutes.
Step 2: You will receive an e-mail that contains a link for you to sign a Fiduciary Oath, Fee-Only Agreement, and Compliance Terms of Service.
Step 3: XYPN staff will review and process your application within 24-48 hours.
Step 4: You will receive a Welcome to the Network email with information on how to get started with your XYPN Membership.
I currently work for another firm. Can I join but keep my membership status private?
Absolutely! We do not list or distribute any member information to the public, as we know this transition time can be sensitive for members.
What does the process look like if I’m leaving an existing firm (and one that is commission-based) and launching my own fee-only RIA?
The first step is to join XY Planning Network. As soon as you join, you’ll meet Maddy who will host an Intro to the Network call to show you how to use the forums, introduce you to the staff/coaches, walk you through the technology, and get you started with the compliance process.
Then, we’ll prepare you for transitioning and launching your own firm. During this stage, you’ll work with compliance to pull together your ADV, financial planning and investment agreements, and all other paperwork. The process takes about 8-10 weeks, and nothing will be public at this time.
Once paperwork is ready, you need to have a conversation with your broker/dealer before submitting to the state regulator to inform them of your intent to go fee-only and launch an RIA. If you own your own book, you can also notify your clients that you are moving to fee-only.
Finally, you’ll move into the filing stage. Once you click submit and your paperwork goes to the state regulator, the information will be available publicly. The state regulator wil either approve or ask for clarification/updates to the paperwork. This takes 2 weeks on average. Then, your RIA will be live!
Do I need the CFP® to become a member of the XY Planning Network?
No, you do not! We are supportive of the CFP® designation, and view it as a certification that all financial planners should obtain. However, the only member benefit tied to having the CFP® is the ability to be listed on our Find-An-Advisor profile.
When do I get access to the various member benefits?
You will get access to the technology suite, marketing benefits, compliance, E&O insurance policy, the members-only forums, and more immediately upon being accepted into XYPN. Download our Member Benefits Directory to learn more about all the benefits of membership.
What are the details of XYPN’s relationship with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.?
Our relationship with Schwab allows financial advisors who are members of XYPN to access Schwab’s custodial platform—without the pressure or obligation to meet asset targets.
XYPN members instantly receive access to the platform and are under no commitment to increase their assets under management while with the custodian. Schwab will also provide dedicated service and business development support to XYPN’s membership of more than 1,500 independent advisors who employ the innovative monthly retainer model and offer services that cater to the needs of younger investors. XYPN members can use their own 1-800-number to reach support staff.
These materials have been independently produced by XY Planning Network. XY Planning Network is independent of, and has no affiliation with, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. or any of its affiliates (“Schwab”). Schwab is a registered broker-dealer and member SIPC. Schwab has not created, supplied, licensed, endorsed, or otherwise sanctioned these materials nor has Schwab independently verified any of the information in them. XY Planning Network members provide investment advice, while Schwab maintains custody of assets in a brokerage account and will effect transactions for your clients’ account on your instruction.
Can XYPN expedite the compliance process and my RIA registration?
If you need to launch your firm quickly, we do offer an expedited option for the compliance process and RIA registration. This option is available for a one-time $2,500 fee, and includes scheduling 1 – 2 phone calls with a compliance expert to draft and file your necessary compliance documents with the state, within 2-3 weeks on average, at which point your registration application is submitted to your state for review, feedback and necessary changes, and then approval. The full registration process will typically take 6-8 weeks on average, depending on the state’s current volume of applications and staffing.
Do members have to be fee-only to join XY Planning Network?
Yes, you must be fee-only.
How do you define fee-for-service?
Fee-for-service means you are paid directly by your clients for their services, be it a flat fee, hourly rate or a percentage of assets under management. You don’t sell product or make commissions from your clients.
Do I need to wait until I have the CFP to join?
No! In fact, we recommend that those working through the CFP® curriculum join XY Planning Network before they plan on launching. Those who don’t have their CFP® or choose not to get the designation, will enjoy all member benefits of XYPN except a listing on our Find an Advisor Portal.
Do I need to have a LLC before I join?
No, you do not need to have a LLC before joining the Network. In most states, establishing your LLC can be done online at the same time your ADV paperwork is being completed to launch an RIA.
What is required to start compliance?
We require a 12 month membership agreement. That’s it!
I don’t plan to use all of the technology on your platform. Can I get a discount?
No. Our technology platform is included in membership and will not be discounted based on use.
Starting Your Own Financial Planning Firm
What licenses and/or designations do I need to register an RIA?
To begin your state registration, you will need one of the following licenses or designations:
- The Series 65 (most common); or
- The Series 7/66; or
- One of the following designations in good standing: CFP®, CFA, CIC, ChFC, or PFS
Does the Series 66 fit the requirement for Series 65 certification in order to register an RIA?
Yes, as long as your Series 66 has not lapsed, it can fit the requirement for Series 65 certification when registering an RIA. Note: some states require you to have also passed the Series 7 at some point in the past. The Series 7 drops off 24 months after establishing an RIA.
How much does it cost to start a firm?
It certainly depends on your unique situation, but we find most members spend $4,300 upfront and $650/month in their first year.This includes XYPN membership! You can see a sample 1st year budget projection here.
How long does it take to get a firm up and running?
It generally takes 10-12 weeks from the date you join XYPN to the date your firm is officially launched. This timeline will depend on how much time you have to dedicate to the compliance process, building your website, etc.
How much money can I expect to make in my first 1-3 years?
Follow this link to the 1st year budget projection. The 2nd and 3rd tabs contain estimated income projections. You can change the variables to personalize the projection.
How many clients should I expect to bring on in my first 1-3 years?
This will certainly depend on your hustle, but most of our newer firms bring on 18-24 clients/year for their first couple of years.
Should I have a side income when starting my firm?
One of the greatest predictors of success for your new firm is your ability to avoid taking a salary for 18-24 months. Having a partner with a stable income or adequate savings are great safety nets. Another option is to find a side job (or “side hustle”) so you have enough income to cover your personal expenses, and therefore avoid taking a salary early on. Not only does this take away the stress of paying your bills, but it will also give you something to focus on beside your business which can be really helpful.
I currently work for another firm. When do I have to tell them I’m leaving?
You can join XYPN and work with our compliance experts to prepare all of your compliance documents. You can be working on your website, defining your service model, and more — all while working for another firm. However, when you send your compliance documents to the state, your firm will generally be sent a notification that you are attempting to register with another firm. Because of this automatic notification, you will want to have a conversation with your firm before sending your paperwork to the regulators.
What support do you provide new firm owners?
In addition to all of the resources we provide, including access to current members through the forums, you will placed into a Launchers Study Group. We will connect you with 8-12 advisors planning to launch around the same time, and you can meet weekly to discuss your progress. This group will serve as your sounding board and cheerleader, while keeping you on track with your business launch. Download our Member Benefits Directory to learn more about all the benefits of membership.
Joining XYPN with an Existing Financial Planning Firm
Does membership make sense for larger firms?
We certainly think so! A large portion of our member firms have $20 mil AUM+. The vast majority of the member benefits prove very useful to a larger firms:
- Compliance – Access to compliance coaches that are experts in working with younger clients, online marketing, and next-generation service models which are foreign concepts to most compliance experts.
- Marketing – Access to marketing education, resources, and a listing on our Find an Advisor profile, all benefit your firm as you look to grow your base of next generation clients.
- NAPFA Membership – Members receive a paid membership to NAPFA. If you have multiple advisors in your firm that are members of NAPFA, we will simply pay your membership fee.
- Technology – We provide a suite of technology that is best-in-class for serving next generation clients, in addition to discounts on many of the most popular technology programs available.
- Community – All XYPN members can join the members-only forum, which will give you exclusive access to the only community of fee-only advisors dedicated to working with next generation clients.
Do you have a membership option for firms with multiple advisors that all want to join XYPN?
Advisors in a firm that has already joined XYPN will receive a discounted membership fee as shown in our Multi-Member Firm Pricing chart.
There are a couple of ways that you can learn more about XY Planning Network:
- Video: In Disrupting Financial Planning: The XYPN Movement, co-founder Alan Moore provides an in-depth view of the XY Planning Network.
- Talk to Members: Each month, we host a live Q & A call with active members of the XY Planning Network. Hear from the voice of experience, ask questions, or just sit back and listen. Participants can join the call anonymously. For information about our next call, check out our Events Page.