Starting out at an RIA. What are my best options going forward?

AMIBHFPE_STFU's picture
Rank: Chimp | 2

I am an associate at a reputable RIA (~$1 billion AUM) and I'm looking to develop a plan for the next five years. I graduated from a semi-target in May.

My internship experience was in PWM and my job search was fairly directionless. Having received zero call-backs from larger PWM shops, I eventually hear back from a RIA firm where I previously interned. They offered me an associate level position and I essentially took it on the spot. The firm has a great culture, a large book, and a fairly experienced group of advisors that came over from "name brand" shops. I figured this would be an awesome place to get my feet wet, learn the business further, and eventually reevaluate other opportunities down the road.

I'm a few months in and the job is going great. The bottom line is I'm given a lot of responsibility relative to my experience. Taking Series 65 soon and my firm wants me to study for a CFP thereafter.

My questions are fairly broad, as are my considerations.

-Option 1: Stay at current shop for approximately 3-4 years, get my CFP, and pursue advisory role at a bigger PWM firm. I am leaning toward this option, though will I be a competitive applicant at places like GS or JPM? Will the CFP help my chances?

-Option 2: Stay at current shop for 2-3 more years, pursue analyst or associate position at a larger PWM firm where I'd likely have less responsibility off the bat. Again, would I be a viable candidate?

-Option 3: Stay at current shop for 3-4 years, get MBA, and pivot to IB, PE, or AM at a mutual fund (think Dimensional).

-Option 4: Stay at current shop for 5+ years, get my CFP, and potentially take over some accounts and build my own book. At least 1 or 2 advisors are at the verge of retirement. This is probably my "safest" move within the PWM career path, with possibly less upside unless I split off at some point.

In some ways, I understand that playing a long game at my current shop is a golden opportunity. There are advisors that are clearly on their way out and I could potentially inherit some of their accounts. On the other hand, I don't want to pigeon hole myself into a firm (or career) with fewer exit opportunities and lower upside.

Open to any and all insight! Thanks in advance.