What is an RIA?
A Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is a professional advisory firm held to the highest fiduciary standards in the industry.
- Many independent RIAs work with complex portfolios requiring highly customized investment management, strategy, and consultation.
- Many independent RIAs are owned by the individual advisors who run them.
- Many independent RIAs provide advice and services for a fee based on a percentage of their client's assets.
- RIA firms have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of their clients.
5 key benefits of independent RIAs
- Tailored advice based on your goals. Many RIAs believe that their independence is key to offering advice that's based on what’s best for you.
- You know what you're paying for. Typically, fees are based on a percentage of assets managed.
- Advice for your complex needs. A rich diversity of specialization among RIAs means you can likely find the type of advice you need.
- A different kind of relationship. RIAs typically form close relationships with their clients and have a strong sense of accountability.
- You know where your money's held. RIAs typically use independent custodians—such as large brokerage firms—to hold clients' assets and provide related services.
Tips for choosing an advisor
- Get referrals—from friends, your accountant, your attorney, or from a list of RIAs in your area.
- Do a preliminary screening—by checking advisor credentials online with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- Know your objectives—to help you select an advisor who is in tune with your ultimate goals and personal preferences.
- Make a list of questions—to ask each advisor you interview, and use it consistently so you can make a good comparison.
- Listen to your feelings—and choose an advisor you like, trust, and feel comfortable with.
Experience a different kind of relationship