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The Model FA

Aug 24, 2021

Richard Chen is the Founder and Managing Partner of Richard L. Chen PLLC. Through his law firm, Richard provides practical legal advice to financial advisors, investment managers, and other financial institutions, helping them focus on serving their clients better. Richard completed his undergraduate degree in Government, with honors, at Harvard University and received his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. Richard is a person with blindness, but his visual disability only fuels his passion for serving others - whether it’s through motivational speaking, mentoring other people with disabilities, or providing free legal counsel to the underserved.


Richard joins me today to discuss why it’s vital for financial advisors to seek legal counsel when starting their own independent financial advisory firm. He explains the different provisions a financial advisor may need to agree with before leaving their current employer and starting their own business.  He describes many strategic and legal points a financial advisor will need to consider in succession planning. He also shares his advice on running a small business for the entrepreneurial financial advisor and highlights how his faith and desire to help others have inspired him to achieve great things in life.


“It’s important to get legal counsel when navigating these transitions. Depending on where the financial advisor is coming from, transitions can require some coordination.” - Richard Chen


This week on The Model FA Podcast:


  • Legal matters financial advisors should consider before starting an independent firm
  • Confidentiality, non-solicitation, and other legal obligations financial advisors may need to agree to before going independent
  • Why financial advisors need to enlist the help of legal counsel when starting their own business
  • What constitutes trade secrets and understanding the parameters of disclosure
  • The Broker Protocol and how non-solicitation provisions vary in different states
  • What counts for a violation of non-solicitation restrictions
  • Strategic and legal considerations for succession planning
  • The E-Myth, why it was impactful for Richard, and how to avoid getting overwhelmed as an entrepreneur
  • Where Richard found the motivation to accomplish great things despite blindness
  • Facing discrimination and proving doubters wrong
  • The importance of taking things one step at a time


Resources Mentioned:



Our Favorite Quotes:


  • “When a financial advisor is considering a transition from the broker-dealer space to the independent space, seeking legal counsel is the first step to take.” - David DeCelle
  • “Being an entrepreneur means understanding the importance of working on the business as well as in it. Otherwise, it’s just another job.” - Richard Chen
  • “Focusing on our higher purpose makes whatever we’re going through tiny compared to what we’re called to do.” - David DeCelle


Connect with Richard Chen:




About the Model FA Podcast


The Model FA podcast is a show for fiduciary financial advisors. In each episode, our host David DeCelle sits down with industry experts, strategic thinkers, and advisors to explore what it takes  to build a successful practice — and have an abundant life in the process. We believe in continuous learning, tactical advice, and strategies that work — no “gotchas” or BS. Join us to hear stories from successful financial advisors, get actionable ideas from experts, and re-discover your drive to build the practice of your dreams. 


Did you like this conversation? Then leave us a rating and a review in whatever podcast player you use. We would love your feedback, and your ratings help us reach more advisors with ideas for growing their practices, attracting great clients, and achieving a better quality of life. While you are there, feel free to share your ideas about future podcast guests or topics you’d love to see covered. 


Our Team:

President of Model FA, David DeCelle


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