In its July 2007 issue, Financial Advisor magazine published its second annual ranking of independent advisory firms that offer financial planning and related services along with investment management. The survey revealed that the independent registered investment advisor (RIA) business enjoyed brisk growth in 2006, with the average firm realizing a 25 percent rise in revenues, which outpaced most of the financial services business by a wide margin despite tepid market conditions.
   More than 450 firms pa rticipated in the survey. Eligible advisory firms had at least $50 million in assets under management. The magazine's goal was to identify the fastest-growing independent advisory firms in the country and to spotlight the characteristics and practices that have made them successful.
   "What we found confirms that the independent advisory business remains the fastest-growing segment in the delivery of personal financial services," said Evan Simonoff, editor-in-chief of Financial Advisor. "This growth was very evenly distributed across firms of all sizes with only a 3 percent gap between the mean and median firms."

Some pertinent facts include:

· Assets of the average participating RIA firm climbed 25 percent in 2006, compared with a gain of just 15.7 percent for the S&P 500 index and an increase in assets of 16 percent for the mutual fund industry. The median firm in the survey saw revenues increase 22.1 percent.

· The largest independent firms, those reporting $1 billion or more in assets, expanded by 23.9 percent, while those with $500 million to $1 billion showed a gain of 26.58 percent.

· Fourteen of the 47 firms in the largest category, $1 billion and over, are based on the East Coast. Of all metropolitan areas, Chicago had the highest representation in this category, with four firms based in or near the city.

Robert Casey, former editor of Bloomberg Wealth Manager magazine, developed the survey and analyzed the results for the second straight year. "We are privileged to have someone of Bob's caliber working with us," Simonoff said. "Discovery, a database firm and our partner located in Red Bank, N.J., compiled the results."

Financial Advisor, published by privately owned Charter Financial Publishing Network (CFPN), is a monthly magazine serving over 80,000 independent reps and RIAs. FA ranked amongst the top most widely read publications for independent reps and RIAs in separate, comprehensive studies by Tiburon Strategic Advisors, AdvisorBenchmarking and Aptura Research Focus on Financial Media. Charter Financial Publishing Network also publishes Private Wealth, a recently launched, bi-monthly magazine targeting advisors to the "super affluent," FAnews, Nick Murray Interactive, the Journal of Indexes, ETFR, and co-produces the Financial Advisor Las Vegas and Chicago Symposiums, an investor education Web site, and, an exclusive referral service for investors and advisors (via a strategic alliance with Discovery). For more information, call 732-450-8866, ext. 10, or visit