The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors has 2,000 members, and after it tapped into the RIA database from Discovery-The Financial Information Group, it identified an additional 8,000 comprehensive, fee-only financial advisors who could qualify for NAPFA membership. But the organization doesn't necessarily expect to corral all of them into its ranks.

   "We don't want to grow for growth's sake," says Nancy Hradsky, special projects manager at the Arlington Heights, Ill.-based association. "We realize just how tough NAPFA's requirements are."

   Those requirements include providing comprehensive fee-only service and taking a fiduciary oath. 

   After after it teamed up with Discovery, a Shrewsbury, N.J.-based provider of sales and marketing information to the financial services industry, NAPFA finally has a good handle on the number of fee-only advisors in the marketplace. "Discovery's database gives us a comfort level with that number that we've never had before," Hradsky says.

   What it does with that information remains to be seen. NAPFA has grown almost threefold since 2002, even though its $4 million budget doesn't give it a lot of marketing heft. Instead, the group says it has relied on word-of-mouth advertising through the years to expand its ranks. But that could change somewhat with its relationship with Discovery.

   "With their database we could create an outreach newsletter from this pool of people and they can handle it for us," Hradsky says.

   In addition to plugging NAPFA into its RIA database, Discovery recently expanded its relationship with NAPFA by providing various outsourcing services at discounted rates to NAPFA members.