RIA Rising

Secret shame? Financial advisors who lack key plans

Advisors often recommend that their clients set up financial plans. An RIA benchmarking study by Fidelity Investments suggests advisors could use some plans of their own when it comes to managing their businesses.

The study, conducted with Quantuvis Consulting Inc., surveyed more than 375 registered investment advisor firms managing more than $200 billion in combined assets. Most of the firms said they saw marketing as critical to future growth, Fidelity said this week, but less than 30 percent had prepared a written marketing plan.

And while 81 percent said they relied chiefly on the firms’ principals for generating business, half of those firms said they lacked a succession plan in the event the principal left the practice. That could be changing. Last month TD Ameritrade said it surveyed 500 RIAs in August and found that the share of advisors who lacked succession plan dropped from 56 percent a year earlier to 38 percent. Twenty-two percent of the RIAs said they were working up a succession strategy, up from 4 percent.

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