Among other findings in the report, and as referenced above, the main source of RIA compensation comes from a percent of AUM. All told, 95% of all advisors charged asset-based fees as of early 2009, or identical to
the prior three years.

Other compensation sources included fixed fees (44%), hourly charges (36%) and performance-based fees (29%). Only 9% reported receiving fees from commissions.

As for advisory services, portfolio management for individuals and/or small businesses topped the list (75%). Next were portfolio management for businesses or institutional clients (63%) and financial planning services (40%).

And when it comes to geographic distribution, New York and California have the largest number of RIAs among states, with 1,514 and 1,455, respectively. The next closest are Texas (595), Massachusetts (523), Illinois (473), Florida (436), Pennsylvania (424), and Connecticut (410).

Excepting Guam (1) and the Virgin Islands (4), the fewest number of RIAs were in South Dakota (4), followed by North Dakota and Alaska (7 each).

Debt Increasing For Retirees And Near-Retirees
Just when they need it least, more folks at or near retirement are facing higher debts than people at that age in the early 1990s.

According to a study published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), one of the main culprits is higher housing debt, and that's a particular problem for the lower-income elderly.

Using data from the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finance, the EBRI survey found the percentage of American families headed by someone 55 or older who have some debt was 63% in 2007, up nearly 10% since 1992. In addition, the average total debt for the 55-and-older group ballooned almost 120% during this time frame, to $70,370, while the median total debt zoomed 170%, to $43,000.

Credit card debt played a role in the uptick, though the largest contributor by far came from housing debt attributed to mortgage refinancing, people cashing out equity in their homes or those who bought homes priced at peak levels during the housing boom. Families headed by someone between the ages of 65 and 74 saw the biggest increases in housing debt, which rose 23% between 2004 and 2007 to almost $66,000.

When age and income are considered, the largest debt increases occurred in families headed by someone between ages 55 and 64, and whose income fell in the first through third income quartiles (the groups with the lowest- through second-highest incomes). The survey notes that debt by itself doesn't necessarily spell trouble for elderly or near-elderly families if they have high incomes. But high housing debt can be a problem because housing is often the biggest asset for many elderly families. And carrying hefty housing debt later in life could drain money needed to fund an adequate retirement.

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