More and More Advisors Are Going Independent



Over the past decade, we have seen an increase in brokers and advisors wanting to break away and become their own Registered Investment Adviser (RIA). According to TD Ameritrade Institutional Break Away to Independence Spring 2020 Survey, more advisors are motivated to go independent.

In this Spring 2020 Survey, 120 brokers who planned on becoming independent within two to three years were surveyed. The average age of the broker respondents was 50 years old and their approximate assets under management (AUM) was $100 million. Amongst the brokers surveyed, 19% were open to joining an existing RIA firm, 17% were open to partnering with a firm that provided technology, and 25% wanted to start their own firm.

In addition, about 330 advisors who were already at an independent RIA were surveyed. This group also had an average age of 50 and reported their AUM was approximately $320 million. Amongst this group, 77% said they had a better quality of life after the move to independence, 80% say the transition was easier than they expected, and 72% reported that RIA technology is better than they initially thought.

With companies like RIA Innovations, the transition to independence should be easier than expected. RIA Innovations helps investment advisors establish and operate their own independent practice. They supply infrastructure and a broad range of services, such as back office, asset management, technology packages, compliance, virtual support, marketing, and billing. Given the growing number of RIA experts who are now a part of the industry, advisors should have the help and support they need to make the move and become independent.


TD Ameritrade Institutional is separate from and not affiliated with NWAM, LLC -- d.b.a. Northwest Asset Management and RIA Innovations -- and is not responsible for its services, opinions, products or policies. No endorsement of NWAM services, opinions, products or policies should be inferred. TD Ameritrade Institutional is a division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA / SIPC, a brokerage subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.


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NWAM, LLC dba Northwest Asset Management is an SEC Registered Investment Adviser.

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