Despite the overcast skies in San Diego Thursday, the future looks bright for the 3,000-plus advisors in town for TD Ameritrade Institutional’s annual meeting.
The “steady movement” of investors and advisors to the independent side “sees no sign of slowing,” said Tom Nally, president of the RIA custody unit at today’s opening session.
Over the last five years, asset growth in the independent side, including hybrid advisors, has beat the wirehouse side by a factor of two to one, he said.
TD Ameritrade’s RIA Sentiment Survey, which surveyed advisors in the fourth quarter of 2014, shows that half of RIAs’ new clients are dissatisfied full-service brokerage customers.
“In four short years, independents will overtake wirehouses and become the market share leaders,” Nally said.
But can that trend continue if there aren’t enough advisors?
“We don’t have enough young people entering the field to meet the demand from consumers,” Nally said.
The advisory industry is growing at double the rate of other occupations, yet fewer than 6% of advisors are under the age of 30, he said.When Nally asked the under-age-30 advisors at the session Thursday to stand, only a handful rose.
TD Ameritrade makes $2 million in financial grants and scholarships to support future advisors, and is introducing two new scholarships focused on diversity. The firm is also providing funds to Texas A&M to help the university build a financial planning program.
Nally also promised that the firm would continue to advocate for RIAs on issues like the fiduciary standard and enhanced RIA exams.