Advisors are having an ongoing conversation about reassessing risk tolerance with their clients, TD Ameritrade Institutional President Tom Bradley told attendees at the firm's annual conference in Las Vegas.

The amount of cash in advisor clients' accounts has climbed from 7-8% to 17-18% in the last year, Bradley said, while assets allocated to fixed-income investments have risen from the 17-18% area to the 27-28% range.

However, he said, 60% of advisors affiliated with TD Ameritrade added clients in the last year, while another 29% managed to retain the vast majority of their clients.

He said among clients with big cash balances, advisors seem to be selectively adding to their positions in equities, trying to take advantage of perceived bargains in recent months.

Among advisors' new clients, 68% seem to be coming from wirehouses, Bradley added.

On the breakaway broker front, Bradley says, interest among wirehouse brokers in becoming independent RIAs is at an all-time high. However, he said, it's a long lead time and a long sale, and some decide ultimately to jump from one wirehouse to another for upfront money.

"These guys are dealing with the same issues as RIAs, but they are also dealing with instability at their own firms," Bradley said.