back to top
HomeBusinessA simple guide to RIA financial services

A simple guide to RIA financial services

A registered investment advisor is a specific type of financial advisor. This role isn’t just a job title. It is a legally-recognized position, and RIA must register either at the federal level with the Securities and Exchange Commission of an individual’s state’s equivalent regulatory agency.

If you’re looking for someone to provide a broad range of investment advice with significant depth, an RIA can be an immense resource. However, you should understand the basics of what an RIA is, how the law regulates one’s work, and what you can expect. Here is a simple guide to get you started.

Financial Services

Most individuals or businesses that ask for RIA financial services are looking for guidance regarding the disposition of considerable assets. You or a group might turn to an RIA for advice if you’re planning to invest several million dollars in a company. The company in question doesn’t necessarily have to be a publicly-traded one, but advisors frequently do provide guidance regarding stocks and similar equities.

Registered investment advisors also frequently guide companies through mergers and acquisitions. They can address questions regarding capitalization, understanding reports, projecting long-term value, and even acquiring financing for investing activities.

Fiduciary Duties

Notably, an RIA is a fiduciary. This means the law expects an RIA to look out for the best interests of its clients. More importantly, a client has the right to damages if an RIA is negligent. Also, complaints against RIAs are publicly searchable so you can check advisors out ahead of hiring them.

Suppose your company was planning to acquire a recent startup business with limited financial reports. Perhaps your interest in the acquisition centers on projections for the startup’s lifetime customer value. A fiduciary should investigate the basis of that projection and alert their client if something seems amiss. If an RIA didn’t take such a basic step while assisting a client during an acquisition, the client would have strong legal standing to sue the advisor.

It also is worth looking at what non-registered advisors do so you can understand the value of an RIA. Dealer brokers, for example, often provide many of the same financial services. However, they don’t have to look out specifically for the client’s interests. As long as they don’t commit outright fraud, the client has no recourse if a dealer-broker fails to provide due diligence or elects to take a commission from someone selling a recommended security. While this does help to grease the wheels of the financial system, it means you should assume the worst whenever a non-registered party tells you anything.

Due Diligence and Reporting

Whether you’re making a speculative investment in a portion of a company or attempting to buy enough shares for a takeover, you should perform due diligence. Fortunately, that’s a job an RIA can do well. They can do background on financial reporting, industry performance, company rumors, and other factors that might affect an investment’s potential value.

Similarly, an RIA can assemble reports on different companies. If you have a broad strategic goal like investing in shipping companies based on cyclicality, you can ask an RIA to compile reports on all of the players in the sector. They can then tell you which operations appear to offer best-in-class value.

Financial Advice

The phrase “not financial advice” has become something of a meme in the modern investing world. It is a lazy and often false defense for activities, especially on the internet, that often amounts to outright shilling or even overt fraud.

A registered investment advisor, however, provides financial advice. Everything they tell you is legally classified as financial advice, and there are consequences if an RIA doesn’t work accordingly. For investors, the unambiguous nature of the relationship provides structure and surety. Whenever an investor talks with an RIA, they can rest assured that the advice will be grounded in due diligence and motivated by the client’s best interests.


Finding good advice is one of the hardest parts of investing. Seemingly everyone advising you has a stake in their recommendations, and these don’t necessarily represent your best interests. Likewise, it’s just difficult to learn everything you can about the investability of securities. Working with an RIA, though, is one of the best ways to confront investing in this complex environment.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for general education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal, tax or any other advice specific to you the user or anyone else. TurtleVerse does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information and shall not be held responsible for any action taken based on the published information.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular