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RIA Registrations Are Surging... Here's Why

By Alex Padalka October 4, 2018

The independent model is increasingly attractive to financial advice practices, as the number of new SEC-registered RIAs jumped 21% in 2017 compared to the year prior, according to a recent Schwab report.

Last year, 238 new RIAs registered with the SEC, which also represents a jump of 59% over the 150 new RIAs registered in 2013, according to Schwab Advisor Services, which provides services including custody, trading and support to advisors transitioning to independence.

“A decade after the onset of the financial crisis, it’s evident that the independent model has flourished along with investors’ demand for fiduciary advice,” Jonathan Beatty, senior vice president of sales and relationship management at Schwab Advisor Services, says in the press release.

In all, the 238 new RIAs oversee around $84 billion, according to Schwab’s analysis of SEC registration filings from 2017. Larger firms, or those managing more than $300 million, made up close to 30% of the 2017 SEC registrations in 2017, compared to 12% in 2013, according to the report.

In 2017 overall assets managed by RIAs have grown to $82.5 trillion dollars — a 16.7% jump over 2016, according to a recent survey by the Investment Adviser Association and National Regulatory Services.