“I am not ready to retire just yet.”
Many advisors enjoy their job and have spent most of their lifetime building a book of business consisting of clients and friends they truly care about and wish to continue to serve. The good news is that monetizing your business doesn’t mean you must fully retire. LPL’s Strategic Business Solutions team can help structure deals that allow you to monetize today and retire later. These are commonly called “sell-and-stay” or “sell-and-service” models, and they’re growing in popularity.
“The sales multiples on revenue are not attractive enough for me to sell now.”
Misconceptions about sales multiples are another factor that leads some advisors to sell their practice past its peak value. Although the average sales multiples are hovering around 2- to 2.5-times recurring revenue and 1- to 1.2-times transactional revenue*, it’s important to note that these multiples are based on gross revenue before expenses and tax, rather than on take-home pay. Once expenses and ordinary income tax are factored into the equation, the sales multiples typically range from 4- to 5-times net income when expressed in terms of take-home pay.
Tax implications on income are another factor to consider**. The income earned from operating each additional year is subject to ordinary income tax, whereas income earned from the sale of your practice is subject to a much lower capital gains tax rate.
Is the value of your practice growing at a rate that outpaces the tax advantages of selling your practice at its current value? Does the estimated terminal value of your practice plus the net cash flows (take-home pay) from working additional years exceed the current market value of your practice? These are important questions to consider when assessing the appropriate time to monetize your business. Operating risk should be monitored and assessed as well. For example, market level risks and individual health status risks should also be considered when determining the marginal value of continued operation.
Be Informed and in Control of Your Decision to Sell
Whether you are eagerly awaiting exciting new ventures in your retirement, or can’t bear the thought of walking away from your work any time soon, it’s important to plan your succession responsibly, in the best interest of your clients, and so that you can obtain the value that your life’s work deserves.
Here are a few best practices to follow in order to monitor and maximize the value and marketability of your practice:
- Plan: Create a business plan and track your progress at regular intervals by using metrics to determine if you’re meeting your goals. Revise the business plan as part of the planning cycle; treat it as a living document.
- Monitor: Have a valuation performed in order to understand the current value of your practice and gain awareness of the drivers that determine its value, and obtain an updated valuation annually. Consider participating in LPL Financial’s Valuation Consulting Program. Contact the Strategic Business Solutions team for more details.
- Create: Take time to consider how you envision exiting the business, and form a strategy. Discuss this openly with important stakeholders such as your business partner(s) or spouse in order to create an exit strategy that will satisfy your goals while maximizing or at least preserving the value you’ll receive upon the sale of your practice.