Registered Investment AdvisorsInvestment Management with Registered Investment Advisors

At first blush, everyone seeking investment advice wants the same thing.  They want an investment that offers high returns with low risk and protection for the principal. When smart potential investors start to look deeply into the idea of investing their funds, they begin to realize that investment management means a long-term relationship between the investor and advisor.

Let’s take a closer look of the benefits of choosing a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) over a broker.


The number one advantage to opting for an RIA for investment advice is their independence.

  • RIAs are not subject to any products or shareholders like brokers are. That independence translates into the ability to offer you a unbiased range of investment options.
  • RIAs’ independence has another substantial benefit for you. They have access to all the technology and financial products available. This makes it easier to serve your best interests.

In other words, RIAs work for you. They provide you with advice and  investment management in a way that is completely independent of personal financial gain and unencumbered by limited products.

Multiple benefits surface when your financial advisor is independent:

  • RIAs work for you. Period. They make recommendations that align with your investment goals and financial needs at each stage in life.
  • RIAs offer customized solutions. Their advice and fiduciary services always are tailored to your unique needs. This includes your investment level, your personal financial plans, your stage in life, and your risk tolerance level.

The bottom line? Brokers essentially buy and sell securities. They may not be free to choose the product or products that would optimize your investment goals. Whereas independent RIAs are free to do that.

The legal mandate

RIAs legally must act in your best interests. It is known as a fiduciary duty. That means their sole interest lies in helping you meet your personal financial goals based on your full, personal financial picture.

  • Note that RIAs must disclose any potential conflicts of interest as well as any fees they may charge based on a commission.

Brokers, on the other hand, need only look for the suitability of financial products for their clients. When you think about it, suitability differs significantly from a legal obligation to serve the client’s best interests.

Compensation structure

The third key benefit of choosing an RIA is how they receive compensation for services.

RIAs’ compensation is for investment advice and asset management. They can be compensated in a number of ways: an hourly rate, a fixed fee, a percentage of the assets being managed for you, or a combination of these.

  • RIA fees are transparent, predictable, and aligned with your personal financial goals.

On the other hand, Broker’s get compensation by earning commissions as they buy and sell financial products.

  • You pay a broker’s fee each time a broker buys or sells a product for you.

Transparency is a key by-product of the compensation structure of RIAs. Your long-term fiscal relationship with your RIA is transparent in that you know exactly how much you are paying and why.

RIAs’ compensation encourages them to grow your assets.

Note that fees based on a percent of managed assets involves a built-in incentive for the RIA to grow your investment. As your assets grow, so does the fee for your RIA.

In cases where fees are based on commissions, financial incentives are tied to moving products. Brokers receive financial compensation incentives from increasing the number of product sales.

RIAs are in it for the long-run

Relationships with brokers tend to only involve transactions. On the other hand, RIAs pride themselves on long-term financial partnerships with clients. This is combined with a holistic view of a client’s financial needs and goals at every stage in life.

RIAs are able to put the financial needs of their customers by tracking all their activities on the incredible CMR software about which you can learn more here and customize a short-term and longer-term plan that meets clients’ needs at different life stages.

  • RIAs stand ready to support you as your financial needs and goals change over time. Because they see their role as a long-term partnership, they expect that there will be adjustments to your portfolio from time to time.
  • RIAs also have a high level of financial expertise. At the Wealth Guardian Group, RIAs also have immediate access to a range of ancillary financial services to strengthen their investment advice and maximize the returns of your asset management over time.

Independence. Customized advice. Responsive relationships. Why wouldn’t you choose an RIA for advice and investment management?

The Wealth Guardian Group understands how important investment management is for you and your family. Contact us for more information on the benefits of turning to RIAs for a responsive long-term investment partner.