An Invitation from our Founding Principals

We consider ourselves lucky to be right in the middle of a wonderful wave of INDEPENDENCE in our industry. We are humbled by the success our firm has enjoyed over our first 16 years, yet we are passionate that our success is no accident. We started as Advisors ourselves, and from the beginning all we wanted to do was build a firm that we would have wanted as a broker/dealer.

J.W. Cole Advisors each own their own business, and are free to make the business decisions that are best for themselves and their clients. Just as the best Advisors are focused on their clients and not the size of their own firm; we too, are not focused on the size of our firm, instead we want to be the absolute best for those we serve. Our choice is quality over quantity, and we grow almost exclusively through word of mouth and Advisor referrals.

In our mission statement we acknowledge that our existence is dependent on our partner Advisors, when they succeed we succeed, and that our goal is to help our partners build great businesses. We realize that mission, and promise to stay true to those ideals as we grow together in the future.

Our roots began back when our industry was controlled by both product and distribution. It was often common that Advisors defined themselves by their product choices, as entire practices were associated as a mutual fund, annuity or life insurance based office. Sometimes, it wasn't the product that defined the practice, but a large corporation or insurance company distribution that was the brand identity. As you are today, we were Advisors during that time, and the idea of J.W. Cole was born.

We believed that an Advisor should have an identity that relates to themselves and their clients, not to a product or sponsor company. We were not alone and that wonderful wave of INDEPENDENCE began to wash across our industry, creating a new breed of Independent Broker/Dealer. J.W. Cole was launched to give Advisors freedom and autonomy to make their own business decisions and create the practice they felt best served their client base. J.W. Cole was there to serve our Advisors, not the other way around.

At first, our entire goal was to run an efficient Broker/Dealer that offered great transaction capabilities, a spotless but Advisor-friendly compliance process, and a great payout to our Advisors. As J.W. Cole has grown, we have personally enjoyed working and learning in every home office role you can imagine. In time, when there was need to add procedures, products, and services, our barometer for every decision was based on our personal experience as Advisors. We constantly asked: "Is it fair?" and "How would I feel as an Advisor?"

Our growth, lack of turnover, and wonderful friendships developed with our Advisors have given us the confidence that we are staying true to our initial goal of creating a firm that we would have wanted as a broker/dealer.

Currently, our industry is marketing the "idea" of INDEPENDENCE, but the story lines are getting blurred. Once again, opportunistic forces are pushing consolidation, and large corporations, private equity groups, and publicly-traded firms are branding themselves Independent. While we strongly believe there are many wonderful firms in our industry with multiple ownership structures, we also firmly believe that true independence needs ownership to be engaged in day to day operation of the Broker/Dealer and completely free from outside influence.

We are proud that J.W. Cole is free of proprietary products, technology and outside ownership that may have interests different than our own. As we watch large firms attempt to commoditize every part of our industry and maximize their own value often at the expense of their Advisors, we are supremely confident that personal relationships cannot be commoditized. We enjoy the success of our Advisors, and make our mission to achieve our own success along with our Advisors, and not at their expense.

Thank you for giving us a chance to tell our story, and we hope you will consider us as a worthy choice to be your partner.


John Carlson
Founding Principal

R.J. Wood
Founding Principal



Read More: Our Mission Statement


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