UK Accounting Glossary
An RIA is a Registered Investment Advisor. The term refers to a firm in the business of managing investments or giving investment advice. Individuals who act on behalf of an RIA are known as Investment Advisor Representatives (IARs).
A small RIA, with less than $25 million under management is generally regulated by the state in which it is based. An RIA with $25 million or more under management falls under the regulatory purview of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Firms who wish to become registered as an RIA must submit a form ADV with the SEC. This form must also be updated on a regular basis for any RIA wishing to continue operations. The form ADV lists important information regarding an RIA to include assets under management, types of accounts, disclosure of relationships with broker/dealer firms, any history of regulatory discipline, as well as methods of compensation.
Before an investor begins dealing with an RIA firm it would be a good idea to gather as much information possible about the firm and its staff. The form ADV for any RIA can be accessed by visiting the SEC’s website.
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This glossary post was last updated: 6th February 2020.