The Schwab Difference

To find out what going independent could mean for you, click here

The numbers tell a one-of-a-kind story. Only Schwab has been in the trenches with independent financial advisors for over 30 years. We have been a tireless advocate for the independent model and have committed thousands of people and millions in resources to make sure independent advisors of all sizes have everything they need to grow and succeed. 

30 Years

That’s how long Schwab has supported the independent advisor industry. 

$1.5 Trillion

More assets under management than anyone in the industry.1


We’re focused on your firm’s total success - whether you’re considering independence or working towards your next billion in AUM.

24/7, 365

The technology and services you need to deliver an exceptional experience for your clients.


With Schwab, you are part of a learning community of over 7,500 firms. 

$1 Billion

We’re the leading custodian for small and midsize firms and nearly 3 out of 4 firms with over $1 Billion also custody with us5. 


Firms participating in Schwab's RIA Benchmarking Study. This industry leading study provides deep insight into where you stand relative to peers.


Number of Schwab team members dedicated to custody, trading and operations support.6

1 and Only

We’re the leading custodian for independent advisors.7 Ready to go independent?

The RIA Roadmap.


Complete this form, and the guide is yours to download.


This form helps us connect with the right people to answer your questions about transitioning to an independent advisor.  



RIA Roadmap



We’re proud to be a part of the fastest-growing segment of the financial services industry.

Thirty years ago, Schwab supported a small group of entrepreneurial advisors who challenged the industry with a fundamental belief: Independence is a better way. Today, our entire business is built to fuel the independent spirit of advisors. We’re always looking out for what’s next and innovating on advisors’ behalf.


Investment Advisor Association formed, followed by the Investment Advisors Act three years later


3,500 investment advisors


Charles Schwab launches, bringing Wall Street to Main Street.


Congress enacts ERISA; IRA introduced


Schwab is the first to offer 24/7 order entry and quote service.


Schwab introduces Mutual Fund MarketPlace® with 140 no-load funds. The company launches SchwabQuotes® and introduces The Equalizer®, a DOS-based technology solution that points the way toward an online future.


Schwab officially launches Schwab Financial Advisor Service, with a trading desk exclusively for advisors.


Schwab introduces Account Access Link (later becoming SchwabLink), a platform offering a wider range of online network services to advisors.


Schwab launches the annual IMPACT conference, bringing together and highlighting independent advisor firms from across the country. To this day, it’s the largest conference for registered independent advisors of its kind. In 2007, Schwab announced the winners of the first IMPACT Awards™.

See Highlights >


12,000 investment advisors

  • Advisor Services launches web-trading platform with alerts.
  • Schwab Charitable launches (as “Fund for Charitable Giving”).

Schwab launches the annual RIA Benchmarking Study, allowing participating independent advisor firms to gain key insights on their business metrics and performance relative to their peers. Over 1,000 firms participate each year in this industry-leading study.

Learn More >

  • Dodd-Frank Act
  • 16,000 investment advisors

Schwab launches a multiyear, multimillion-dollar ad campaign educating investors about independent advisors and the fiduciary standard. In 2013, a directory is added to help investors find independent advisors near them.

See It Live >

  • Schwab transforms the way advisors do business on our platform with eSignature, eAuthorization, and mobile.
  • Executive Leadership Program launches – the first MBA-caliber program for the next generation of RIA firm leaders.

Schwab launches Cybersecurity Resource Program.

Learn More >


30-year anniversary serving advisors.

What's holding you back?

Talk with Schwab Advisor Services about the questions you have on becoming an independent advisor. It's never been a better time to go independent.

1. As of Q2 2018.
2. As of May 2018.
3. As of May 2018
4. As of July 2016.
5. Schwab Corporate Strategy estimates based on industry data sources. Single custodian RIAs only.
6. As of February 2017.
7. As of Q2 2018.