Fee-Based Financial Advisors (RIAs):
The Fastest Growing Financial Services Market & Distribution Channel

Recently Released!!!
Date Published: July 12, 2017
Summary Power Point Deck: 56 Slides
Reference Power Point Deck: 716 Slides

The purpose of this research is to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the fee-based financial advisors (RIAs) market, the fastest growing financial services market & distribution channel. This research provides a top down view of the market, including historical & projected numbers of fee-based financial advisors, and their number of clients, accounts, assets under management, net flows, revenues, & net profits. A parallel Tiburon research topic, called A Comprehensive Overview of the Product Usage, Business Models, & Best Practices of Fee-Based Financial Advisors, provides extensive bottom up analysis of the specific actions of fee-based financial advisors. Some fee-based financial advisors are dually registered, hanging a brokerage license at a friendly independent broker/dealer; those fee-based financial advisors are referred to as dually registered financial advisors in this research and are likewise addressed in Tiburon's independent reps research. This research is a part of Tiburon's coverage of independent advisors.

This research begins with a broad market background explaining the reasons that measuring this market is difficult, including:

  • Overlapping Federal & State Regulation Processes
  • Non-Fee-Based Financial Advisors, Included in Registered Investment Advisors (RIA) Definition
  • Some Fee-Based Financial Advisor Look Alikes Not Counted in Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) Definition
  • Dually Registered Financial Advisors Often Double Counted
  • Use of Multiple Custodians

The research presents two methods of measuring the market, including:

  • Bottom Up
  • Top Down

This research then addresses the historical phases of fee-based financial advisors, including:

    • Formation Phase
    • Expansion Phase
    • Maturation Phase

The research highlights fee-based financial advisor market growth & the leading firms.

This research defines distinct markets segments of fee-based financial advisors, including:

  • Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Registered Fee-Based Financial Advisors (RIAs)
  • State Registered Fee-Based Financial Advisors (RIAs)

This research then defines the key service providers to fee-based financial advisors (RIAs), including:

  • Custodians, Independent Broker/Dealers, & Clearing Brokers
  • Mutual Fund Companies & Other Investment Product Companies
  • Technology Companies, Turnkey Asset Management Programs (TAMPs), & Outsourcing Service Providers

And this research makes several predictions, including:

  • Moderate Growth in the Number of Fee-Based Financial Advisors (RIAs) & Rapid Growth in their Assets Under Management
  • Continuing Central Role of Custodians, Including those Beyond the Big Four
  • Growing Use of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Alternative Investments, & Wealth Management Products
  • Continuing Search for the Technology Holy Grail & Opportunities in Outsourcing
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