We asked advisors to list their expected top growth driver for the next five years. The responses reveal that referrals from existing clients are, by a wide plurality, the leading driver to sustained growth, with at least 43% of responses from each channel. The response is even stronger for W/R advisors, 55% of whom report existing client referrals as the key driver of growth. The previous second place growth driver, increasing marketing/networking, remained in the number two spot, with responses in the 18% to 26% range. This observation is interesting when viewed in the context of advisors’ view of organic growth due to stock market appreciation, which tallies responses of only 1-2% across all three channels. This indicates that advisors are proactively taking steps to ensure they continue to grow their practices even if the equity market momentum begins to wane. With respect to other key growth drivers, RIAs and IBDs are more focused on referrals from professional network and building the right team of people, while W/R advisors tend to expect new assets from existing clients.
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