RIA self-assessment

RIA self-assessment

Is the RIA model right for you?

Take this 8-question assessment to find out.

Going independent is a big decision. Schwab Advisor Services™ has helped more than 7,500 advisors make the move to the independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) model with Schwab as their custodian.* This self-assessment will help you discover whether it's time to define yourself as an RIA.

RIA self-assessment

Is your growth limited by the structure of your firm?

Flexibility and autonomy with regard to portfolio construction, operations, fee structure, and technology are just some of the benefits of the RIA model. RIAs make their own business decisions, creating opportunities for greater income potential and faster growth. Cerulli data as of 2014 indicates this is a significant factor in the rise of the RIA channel in recent years. Between 2007 and 2012, more than 10,000 advisors joined the industry.1

RIA self-assessment

Do you have the freedom to communicate with clients the way you want?

RIAs act as fiduciaries and can manage client accounts on a discretionary basis. They can communicate with clients on their terms — whenever and however they want. RIAs can offer performance reporting, send an email, text a note of congratulations, drop a card in the mail, and do what it takes to develop a valuable and lasting relationship.

RIA self-assessment

Do you have enough control over your technology to be successful?

RIAs have access to leading technology solutions so they can choose platforms and programs that maximize efficiency and offer a high-quality client experience. Plus, RIAs pay only for the technology they want and use.

RIA self-assessment

Are you able to offer products that meet the needs of your clients?

RIAs are free to create customized solutions for their clients. Doing what's best for clients requires having the flexibility and control to choose the right products.

RIA self-assessment

Are you comfortable with the leadership direction of your current firm?

During the financial crisis, many advisors discovered that their firms' priorities were not always in alignment with what's needed to best serve clients. Owning your own firm and operating as an independent RIA means you determine what is in the best interest of clients.

RIA self-assessment

Do you believe you are being compensated appropriately?

As owner of an RIA firm, you decide how much revenue you keep — up to 100%. You control fees and expenses, choose only the products and services you need, and can build equity, potentially leading to a higher long-term payout should you choose to sell the business at some point.

RIA self-assessment

Do you have a well-developed personal and professional network of friends, family, or clients?

Though advisors have been known to begin from the ground floor, starting out may be easier if you have contacts and clients in place. Having a business plan for how you'll succeed — and the determination to get there — is equally important.

RIA self-assessment

Do you like the idea of owning your own business and controlling your brand?

RIAs today have more options than ever when it comes to how much control they have over the business operations of a practice. You can open your own firm, affiliate with a financial partner, join an existing firm, or evaluate other choices for independence.

Independence may be in your future.

You're ready to define yourself as an RIA.

RIA self-assessment


Your answers to the self-assessment suggest that you are ready to start learning more about independence. Use the links below to discover what being an RIA is all about.
Your answers to the self-assessment suggest that the RIA model may better suit your needs and ambitions. Use the links below to learn more about taking the next step.

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