Fiduciary duty is the No. 1 reason clients choose to work with independent registered investment advisors, according to a recent advisor sentiment survey released by TD Ameritrade Institutional. Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed said they chose to work with an RIA because they offer advice that is in the best interest of their clients. Twenty-one percent said they hired an RIA for more personalized service and a competitive fee structure, and 19 percent said they moved to an RIA because they were dissatisfied with full commission brokers.

Nine in 10 RIAs reported their total number of clients either increased or remained steady over the past six months. 

And, while 50 percent of RIAs said they were pessimistic about the outlook of the U.S. economy in the next three months, job satisfaction remains high: eight in 10 RIAs are somewhat to completely satisfied with their careers.

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