Registered Investment Advisor

Registered Investment Advisors are often referred to as RIAs. Registered Investment Advisors are financial professional who are registered either with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the state in which their business is located. RIAs with more than $25 million in client assets register with the SEC, and those with less than $25 million are registered with their state. Registered Investment Advisors are subject to a fiduciary standard. This fiduciary role means that RIAs are legally obligated to represent their clients’ best interests. RIAs provide investment advice through something called an advisory account. Advisory accounts and the fiduciary standard make the role and responsibilities of a RIA very different from that of brokers who work through brokerage accounts and are subject to suitability standards. RIAs must also provide clients with a Form ADV which describes how they do business, reveals any potential conflicts of interest, and clearly describes how they are compensated. RIAs charge a fee that is a percentage of assets rather than a commission for managing investments. Fees can range from less than 1 percent to more than 2 percent of assets under management. RIAs may also offer investment-related financial planning services.

Understanding the Differences between RIAs and Traditional Brokers

Those interested in understanding the differences between Registered Investment Advisors ("RIA") and traditional stockbrokers should read this Bloomberg article --this is one of the clearest and best articles that I have seen on the topic. Coverage of this issue is typically slanted in favor of the RIA because they are held to a fiduciary standard. The thinking is that the RIA model will be relatively objective and free of conflicts because it is largely fee-based . The Bloomberg article does a...

Survey Reveals High Levels of Confusion about Fiduciary Status

A survey conducted this past August confirms that consumers are confused by the different standards that apply to various types of financial advisors. 76 percent of the 1,319 survey respondents mistakenly believe that brokers are required to act as fiduciaries and serve the best interests of their clients.
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Veritat Offers Comprehensive, Fee-Only Financial Planning Services that are Affordable and Scalable

Veritat is a start-up seeking to leverage process and technology innovation to scale a business model that is typically saddled with persistent and burdensome variable costs.  If successful, Veritat will be able to deliver premium services to a mass audience.

As a registered investment advisor (RIA) that adheres to the fiduciary standard, Veritat provides comprehensive financial planning services through financial advisors who are employed by the company and share a common sense of mission.

We spoke with Dr. Kent Smetters who is the President of Veritat and a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. 


Annuity Digest: How did Veritat come into existence?

Dr. Kent Smetters:...


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