Nearly a third (33 percent) of registered investment advisors’ new clients in 2018 came from commission-based brokers, according to a new survey by TD Ameritrade Institutional. A quarter of new clients came from self-directed platforms, while 23 percent left wirehouse brokerages in favor of independent advisors.

TDAI’s 2019 RIA Sentiment Survey was based on a telephone survey of about 300 RIAs, both clients and non-clients of the custodian.

Last year, RIAs also brought in new clients from independent broker/dealers (10 percent), other RIAs (9 percent) and banks (3 percent), the survey found. Just 1 percent joined from robo advisors.

Despite the market volatility, RIAs reported a 14 percent increase in new clients in 2018, 18 percent revenue bump, and 18 percent growth in assets under management. Nearly half (48 percent) of independent advisors expect to grow faster this year.

“In times of market uncertainty, investors seek out financial guidance from knowledgeable professionals—independent advisors who focus on their goals, risk tolerance and other details of their financial lives,” said Vanessa Oligino, director, business performance solutions at TD Ameritrade Institutional, in a statement. “RIAs help clients understand their choices for weathering different market cycles so they can keep pursuing their goals.”


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