RIA Trend Report

For more than a decade, our RIA Trend Reports have provided the financial advisory community with analyses of advisor performance and attitudes across a variety of areas critical to their business practices—and offered a current assessment of how the top performing practices differ from their peers across these areas.

This year, the study results are being published on WealthManagement.com in 8 individual chapters providing a comprehensive look at the survey’s most relevant measures: practice management and operations; ETFs; alternative investments; marketing and client relations; financial performance; investment management; best practices; and economic and advisory business outlook.


Exchange Traded Funds

In this chapter, we present key findings and insights from our 2016 survey questions on exchange traded funds, including how and why ETFs are used, which research resources are most popular, and how advisors describe their own knowledge and understanding of the key aspects of the ETF market.

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 Financial Performance

In this chapter, we present key findings and insights from our survey questions on financial performance, to which advisors responded with metrics for the year ending 2015 and projections for 2016, including a number of clients and assets under management, key income statement line items, and advisor compensation. In a few instances, we also compare to 2014 survey responses.

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Practice Management & Operations

In this chapter, we present key findings and insights from our survey questions on practice management and operations, including advisors’ top initiatives for their business, services offered, functions outsourced, their most time-consuming activities, documentation trends and the recent Department of Labor fiduciary ruling.

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Best Practice of Top RIAs

In this chapter, we present key findings and insights from our 2016 survey questions on advisors’ best practices, including top initiatives, elements of practice management, marketing and client relations, utilization of ETFs and alternative investments, and competitive response to robo advisors.

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