The majority of RIA firms — 78% — expect their assets under management to rise in 2018, with nearly half saying assets will grow faster than in 2017, according to a telephone survey of advisers conducted for TD Ameritrade.
Registered investment advisory firms surveyed said their revenues grew, on average, by 15% during the second half of 2017, while assets under management grew by 16%. Sixty-five percent of RIAs gained new clients last year, for an average growth rate of 16%.
To keep pace with the growth and enhance the client experience, RIAs predict they will make their biggest investments in marketing and hiring in 2018, as well as in technology for enhancements in the areas of digital documents and e-signature, and CRM.
The survey also found that seven in 10 RIAs continue their 2017 exuberance for the U.S. and global economies in the new year. The sectors they predict will see the best performance are financials, materials, industrials and technology. About half say equities have more room to run, and a similar amount expect bonds to decline in value in the current interest rate environment.
RIAs say their clients are most concerned about retirement issues, followed by taxes and estate planning, the survey found.