Market Knowledge Tools

Access a collection of Market Knowledge Tools (MKT)—reports designed to help inform business decisions for your firm and chart your strategic direction.

An investment advisor reflects on the current state of the market.

Featured topic

Expanding ownership—Leveraging firm equity to maximize talent and accelerate growth

An effective equity ownership program can play an essential role in both talent strategy and succession planning, two key ingredients in an independent advisory firm’s long-term success. This comprehensive Guiding Principle Series (GPS) Insight paper provides a step-by-step framework, deep case studies, and hypothetical firm illustrations to help investment advisors navigate their options and create or evolve a program that fits their firm.

An investment advisor explains to his client how offering firm equity can help with talent recruitment and retention.

Most recent MKT reports

  • Maximizing firm growth—Five keys to building a successful referral strategy

    Firms that grow faster than industry averages take a deliberate approach to generating referrals. This report explores five common principles successful firms incorporate into their referral strategy to drive firm growth.

  • Driving organic growth—Results from the 2018 RIA Benchmarking Study from Charles Schwab

    The results from Schwab's 2018 RIA Benchmarking Study highlight strong net organic growth, which indicates that firms are successfully employing strategies to actively win new client assets. This white paper looks at how firms leverage marketing and outreach to communicate their value, elevate their brand, and drive growth.

  • A compensation strategy is a sound investment—Results from the 2018 RIA Benchmarking Study from Charles Schwab

    Using results from the 2018 RIA Benchmarking Study, this report provides a comprehensive look at compensation to help firms develop a strong compensation strategy and plan. Effective compensation planning serves as a primary tool for attracting, motivating, and retaining a firm’s most important strategic asset—superior staff.

  • Automated investing—Key considerations and opportunities for RIAs

    This white paper outlines considerations for integrating an automated investment platform into an advisory practice. It explains key opportunities, important considerations, and how to assess if a firm is ready to adopt a digital offer into its strategy.

  • Leveraging centers of influence—Creating a successful COI program

    Establishing deep relationships with centers of influence (COIs) to drive high-quality referrals is critical to firm growth. This MKT examines how a structured approach to generating referrals from COIs can spur significant growth and superior results for RIA firms.

  • Best-Managed Firms: Mastering strategic planning—A practical guide to charting your firm’s future

    This white paper highlights the discipline of strategic planning as a powerful tool many RIA firms use to grow profitably. Adapting concepts from thought leaders in the field of strategic planning and strategy, the report breaks down the strategic planning process into manageable steps.

  • Internal succession planning—Transitioning employees to ownership

    A succession plan limits business risks while protecting—and potentially increasing—the value of the firm and an owner's ability to harvest their investment. This report examines key considerations and best practices for the most popular succession planning option: the transfer of ownership to an existing firm employee.

  • Transition planning—A guide to understanding valuation and deal structure

    With the growth and maturation of the RIA industry, valuation and succession planning are top of mind for firm owners. Most investment advisors want to know what their firm is really worth. This white paper addresses topics related to external sales or internal succession transactions. Learn about basic valuation methods, potential deal structures and their uses, and how the balance of risk and reward can ultimately affect the price of a business.

  • Best-Managed Firms: Client segmentation strategies—Optimizing client experience and firm performance

    This MKT provides a comprehensive overview of how client segmentation strategies can help RIAs serve a diverse client base while building a profitable and scalable business. Hear about best practices and strategies used by top-performing firms to help them create an optimal client experience, while also achieving their own business goals.

Other useful resources

  • Establishing an effective owner compensation plan

    This report explores the challenges firm owners experience when establishing a compensation plan. Learn best practices to help firm principals develop or refine existing owner compensation plans to match their firm’s unique needs.

  • Read more MKTs

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  • Insights for investment advisors

    If you’re not yet a client of Schwab, you can still unlock access to exclusive insights, expertise, and analysis from Schwab Advisor Services.