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In the 2016 RIA Benchmarking Study from Charles Schwab, firms have maintained a ten-year growth trajectory despite numerous and varied investment environments. Deep advisor-client relationships have been central to this growth with firms doubling down on existing client relationships over the past year. Increasing productivity and scale remains high on the list of goals for firm leaders. Sourcing the best talent to propel growth also continues to be a high strategic priority for firms in the year ahead.

According to Schwab's most recent Independent Advisor Outlook Study, advisors are very confident in the future of the RIA industry – 79% expect more opportunities than challenges in the coming decade. They are actively pursuing growth; nearly three-quarters either have a new client acquisition strategy in place or are considering one. Advisors are looking for ways in which they can differentiate by offering a broad range of services and carrying the critical role of trusted counselor to their clients during times of uncertainty.

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