Financial industry research firm, Cerulli Associates, conducted a study showing that as of the beginning of 2010, independent registered investment advisers tripled their assets under management to a collective $1.7 trillion during a single 10-year period. This has caused the biggest brokerage and investment advisory firms to take notice, even as their salaried advisers continue to manage some $13 trillion in client assets.
A 2010 survey by TD Ameritrade published in the Wall Street Journal found that investment advisory firms are seeing a major increase in assets, with 70 percent having experienced growth in the six months leading up to the report. The survey revealed that 64 percent of new inflows were coming at the expense of larger broker dealers, often referred to as wirehouses. Not surprisingly, the survey showed that 77% of investment advisers expressed a high degree of satisfaction with their career.
The industry as a whole has experienced explosive growth and, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is expected to see a 30% increase in the
number of jobs over the next eight years as investment markets become trickier to navigate and consumers look to professionals for help with managing their investment portfolios.
Investment Adviser Career Paths
The most common path to becoming an independent investment advisor is to first work as an investment adviser representative (IAR) at another firm. Using this path, the advisor gains valuable experience working under a seasoned IA before joining the rapidly growing arena of independent advisory firms. After the IAR gains experience and builds a client base, they may elect to open their own practice.
Advisers who go independent often continue to work with some or all of their existing clients in their newly formed firm. This is a win for clients who usually prefer to continue working with the advisor they’ve grown to trust, while also allowing these independent advisers to establish their new business with an existing client base, which should generate enough income to get their businesses off the ground.
Investment Advisor Information By State