Over the next quarter century, some $70 trillion in assets is expected to pass from one generation to the next—the largest wealth transfer in U.S. history. It’s an event spurring a new wave of innovation at independent RIA firms. Today’s RIA firms offer robust suites of financial services that go well beyond portfolio management, ensuring RIA growth and longevity.
With a track record of growth, RIA firms have proven that independence delivers long-term competitive advantages, and these advantages can shine in both bull and bear markets. While the responsibilities of managing a firm’s P&L may be high, so are the opportunities that come from asserting control. Agility, responsiveness, creative thinking, and clear communication—the hallmarks of a successful RIA—are needed now more than ever. In the coming years, while other channels are expected to shed investment advisor market share, RIAs and hybrid RIAs are projected to gain people power and be the biggest winners in asset market share.
Success on this scale was unimaginable when the first entrepreneurial financial advisors left traditional wire houses and broker-dealers. Yet, freed to execute their own bold strategies on behalf of clients, RIAs are reinventing the industry. Functioning like an accelerator for RIA firms and helping investment advisors find their independent voices, Schwab Advisor Services™ continually invests in the innovative products and solutions that today’s firms and investment advisors need. Five forces are helping to put RIAs in the driver’s seat. For investment advisors looking to capitalize on the moment, the time is now.
Data supports the client preference for the independent RIA model. According to a recent Schwab Advisor Services™ study, more than 75% of high-net-worth (HNW) investors surveyed said that working with investment advisors who make investment decisions that are “in their best interest at all times” is crucial. This same research shows that the independent RIA model aligns with what HNW clients expect: • Customized guidance based on their entire financial picture • An investment advisor who’s responsive, attentive, and personal • A fee structure that’s simple and transparent • An investment advisor who makes decisions that are in the best interest of clients at all times.