The Freedom of an RIA Practice

Becoming a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) supported by Schwab can bring you a new level of freedom. You’ll be in charge of all decisions affecting your firm and control your business the way you want.

  • Realize the potential to keep more of what you earn
  • Find the flexibility to make investment choices and manage expenses as you see fit
  • Enjoy more freedom to engage and communicate with your clients
  • Rely on a team of experienced professionals to provide support that helps you run your business more effectively

Exploring the RIA Models

If the choice and control of the RIA model appeals to you, learn about the multiple paths to becoming independent.

Starting a Firm

If you want to run your own business, consider starting your own independent financial advisor firm. You may want to see your name on the door and in exchange, be willing to accept the responsibilities and risks associated with owning a business, such as staffing and revenue and expense and compliance management.

Joining a Firm

If you want to have input on—but not sole responsibility for—important aspects of the business such as compensation, expense management and marketing, consider joining an existing RIA firm. This may allow you to gain a partnership or an equity stake.

A Hybrid Practice

Becoming an independent financial advisor doesn’t mean you need to abandon your traditional brokerage business. With the hybrid model you can offer advisory-based services to clients as an RIA, and keep your traditional brokerage business by affiliating with an independent broker-dealer (IBD).

Schwab works with IBDs that provide open-architecture tools and resources to offer you the best of both worlds, so that you have the flexibility to run your business the way you want.

Learn more about the hybrid model: