The RIA Benchmarking Study

Why do more than 1,000 firms participate in Schwab's RIA Benchmarking study every year? They receive in-depth data and insights customized to their business—all at no cost.

If you participated in the 2024 RIA Benchmarking Study, look for your customized peer report this summer. If you completed the compensation section, look for your compensation report and access to the compensation tool soon after.

The number one reason that we participate in the Benchmarking Study, and will continue to, is that it provides us with an objective, reliable, consistent source of data against which we can measure ourselves, and, hopefully, make good decisions. 

I'm Ben Dickey. I am one of the founders and principals of Resident Capital Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm in Madison, Wisconsin. 

We have used the Benchmarking Study data consistently to evaluate the growth of our firm. In particular, we have honed in on two particular data points. The first is the growth in assets from our existing clients. We're never more proud than when an existing client entrusts us with more of their capital to manage. The other is the growth of new assets from new clients. And when we put, of course, the two of those together, and also measure attrition, we have a very good view of how we're doing. And we have really used the metric of additions by existing clients to reinforce coaching points about client service, about communication, about technical specialties across the entirety of our employee base. 

We have seen such incredible accretive benefit from participating initially, and then year over year. I think that there is almost no argument that would convince me that an independent firm should not participate in the study if they have the option to. In fact, I would probably encourage many of them to participate at the expense of other things that they may be doing. That's how great I think the value is.

Video Transcript

RIA Benchmarking Study: Actionable Insights, Year Over Year

The number one reason that we participate in the Benchmarking Study, and will continue to, is that it provides us with an objective, reliable, consistent source of data against which we can measure ourselves, and, hopefully, make good decisions. 

I'm Ben Dickey. I am one of the founders and principals of Resident Capital Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm in Madison, Wisconsin. 

We have used the Benchmarking Study data consistently to evaluate the growth of our firm. In particular, we have honed in on two particular data points. The first is the growth in assets from our existing clients. We're never more proud than when an existing client entrusts us with more of their capital to manage. The other is the growth of new assets from new clients. And when we put, of course, the two of those together, and also measure attrition, we have a very good view of how we're doing. And we have really used the metric of additions by existing clients to reinforce coaching points about client service, about communication, about technical specialties across the entirety of our employee base. 

We have seen such incredible accretive benefit from participating initially, and then year over year. I think that there is almost no argument that would convince me that an independent firm should not participate in the study if they have the option to. In fact, I would probably encourage many of them to participate at the expense of other things that they may be doing. That's how great I think the value is.

In-depth insights you can use

Haven't participated in the Benchmarking Study before? See sample excerpts of the custom reports with peer and compensation information that study participants receive.

Explore 2023 survey results

Curious how the industry fared? Take an interactive tour of key insights from the 2023 study. 2024 results will be released this summer.

See how your peers use the study

Use these articles and videos to see how to turn data insights into business strategies.

From the archives

The largest study in the RIA industry is also the most respected—with good reason. Take a look back and see what's pushing firms forward.

Data to inform your critical decisions

Why does this firm consider the RIA Benchmarking Study an essential tool for their business? Because "the data points are critical to making good business decisions." Learn how they do it.

Read the case study >

The Benchmarking Study is a requirement in order to keep our business managed in an optimal way and growing as best we can.

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About the RIA Benchmarking Study

Schwab designed the RIA Benchmarking Study to capture insights in the RIA industry based on survey responses from individual firms. The 2023 study provides information on topics such as asset and revenue growth, sources of new clients, products and pricing, staffing, compensation, marketing, technology, and financial performance. Since the inception of the study in 2006, more than 4,500 firms have participated, with many repeat participants. Fielded from January to March 2023, the study contains self-reported data from 1,300 firms that custody their assets with Schwab and represents over $1.7 trillion in assets under management, making this the leading study in the RIA industry. Schwab did not independently verify or validate the self-reported information. Participant firms represent various sizes and business models. They are categorized into peer groups by AUM size. The study is part of Schwab Business Consulting and Education, a practice management offering for RIAs. Grounded in the best practices of leading independent advisory firms, Business Consulting and Education provides insight, guidance, tools, and resources to help RIAs strategically manage and grow their firms.

1 Top Performing Firms are those that rank in the top 20% of the Firm Performance Index. The index evaluates all firms in the study according to 15 metrics to arrive at a holistic assessment of each firm's performance across key business areas.

Past performance is not an indicator of future results.