Going Independent

With more control and the flexibility to set priorities, independence isn’t just the logical next step in a successful career—it’s what you’ve been building toward for years. Schwab helps Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firms of all sizes follow their own blueprints.


Make it your time.

Is it your time to transition to the RIA model? The question is, why wait?

The Rise Above white paper shares investment advisors' stories about going independent. Learn how the flexibility of the model helps them pursue their goals, even in times of turbulence.

Rise Above Whitepaper

Podcast: How I Became an Independent RIA

"I no longer felt like I could do what was best for the client without a lot of distractions or friction or conflict," explains Joe Zappia. What made them go? How did they feel? Hear Joe—and other advisors—tell their stories of independence. 

An investment advisor listens to the new Schwab podcast, How I Became an Independent RIA.

8 signs you're ready to move

Take this short assessment to know whether it's your time to make the move to the RIA model.

A computer screen shows the opening page of the RIA Self-Assessment.

Cover your bases

Going independent is a time to envision your future RIA firm's success. It's also a time to prepare for worst-case scenarios. By having the proper insurance, you can protect your firm against losses due to errors, dishonest or fraudulent acts by hackers or employees, network disruptions, or breaches. We asked three insurance agents for their insights.

An advisor stands with their arms crossed.

Busting RIA myths

There are many misconceptions about becoming an independent RIA. Get the facts straight before choosing your path forward.

Fact vs Fiction Going to the truth about the independent model

Through their eyes—Q&As with RIA industry visionaries

Many questions arise when advisors consider joining the independence movement. This video series explores key topics with industry experts and RIA owners. Get a look inside the model and different perspectives on the opportunities ahead.

Independent Perspectives: New views of the RIA model

Why the future is bright for RIAs

The independent RIA movement is growing—and so is the potential for financial rewards. Follow the story of growth, and see how advisors like you are reshaping the financial landscape.

graphic of hot air balloons

Quick insights from RIA industry leaders

Successful breakaways were once reserved for trailblazers and entrepreneurs. Not anymore. When it comes to independence, there’s what you thought you knew—and what you need to know now.


Ready to talk?

On their terms

The freedom of independence means something a little different to everyone. Hear advisors tell their own stories about why they made the move.

The potential value of independence

Keeping more of what you earn is one of many compelling reasons for going independent. Explore your earning potential.

Laptop image

Pursue what matters most

For many, independence is about seizing control of their careers and lives. As managing director of Three Bridge Wealth Advisors, Brett Sharkey can deliver more personal service to the clients who have trusted him with the future of their families.

Transcript Open new window

Why Schwab

Why Schwab

Home to advisors of every kind.

Learn more

  • Understanding the advantages

    RIA industry assets have grown steadily for over a decade.1 Find out why you shouldn't wait to join the movement.

  • Choosing the right path

    There are many ways to go independent. Explore the options, and learn the important questions you should ask to find the path that's best for you and your clients.

  • The support you need

    As an advisor at an independent RIA firm, you can choose from a robust, world-class menu of innovative providers to help you build something great.


Every journey begins with a conversation. Get answers today.

Talk to a Schwab Business Development Officer to learn how we can help you get to where you want to be.

All conversations are completely confidential.


1. The Cerulli Report: U.S. Intermediary Distribution 2018, Exhibit 2.07.