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The Model FA

Oct 3, 2023

Michelle Atlas-Quinn, J.D. is the Vice President of RIA Operations for AdvisorLaw. She is an  Attorney licensed by the Colorado Supreme Court to practice law (active registration). She earned her Juris Doctorate from University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Michelle formerly held FINRA licenses Series 7, 63, and 24 and former Colorado life and health insurance license. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Colorado.


David and Michelle discuss the transition from working with a broker-dealer to becoming an independent registered investment advisor (RIA). Michelle shared her career journey which led her to founding the RIA division at AdvisorLaw. She discussed some of the benefits of being an RIA like lower fees, less regulatory oversight, and more freedom in marketing. However, she cautioned that as an independent advisor there is more responsibility to ensure compliance. Michelle provided tips on complying with regulations and working with a compliance partner like AdvisorLaw. Overall, the discussion focused on helping advisors understand the opportunities and responsibilities involved in making the shift to the RIA space.


"The SEC Rule is, am I doing what's in the client's best interest? Am I being careful with their money and making decisions that I think are careful." - Michelle Atlas


This week on The Model FA Podcast:

  • Career journey and RIA services with Michelle Atlas.
  • Transitioning from broker-dealer to RIA.
  • Regulatory changes and compliance in the RIA space.
  • Marketing in the financial industry with a focus on compliance.
  • SEC compliance for financial advisors transitioning from broker-dealers to registered investment advisors.

Our Favorite Quotes:


"Anything that you collect a fee on, is Ria, anything you could collect a commission on, is a broker-dealer. And so you look at your book and you say, well, what else am I still collecting commissions on?" - Michelle Atlas


“From a marketing standpoint, in the RIA space, it's just nice that you can market your business more in alignment with the way that businesses are marketed today.” - David DeCelle


"So there are some challenges, but I think  85-90% of most people's books these days, if you look at them, are fee based, because they are using managed money." - Michelle Atlas


"FINRA derives their jurisdiction from the SEC. So instead of having three regulators, and if you're doing insurance, maybe four, you're down to three." - Michelle Atlas


Connect with Michelle:


  • LinkedIn:
  • Website:
  • Email:


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. 


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Our Team:

President of Model FA, David DeCelle


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