Trust and customer service are the most important reasons why clients opt to work with registered investment advisors, according to TD Ameritrade’s latest RIA survey.

The quarterly query of 502 RIAs found that 29% of clients using RIAs said their fiduciary responsibility to work in the best interest of clients was the No. 1 reason they got their business. More personalized service and a competitive fee structure came in second at 21%, just ahead of dissatisfaction with their current or former full commission broker (19%).

“The survey results support what we believe is a long term trend of investors gravitating to the fiduciary model,” Tom Bradley, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional, said in the report. “Investors may increasingly seek the confidence that can come from working with independent RIAs who sit on the same side of the table and are required by law to put their clients’ interests first.”

The telephone survey of 502 RIAs was conducted between Aug. 15 and Aug. 26.

On a more concerning note, the survey found that more than half of advisors said they are “pessimistic” to “very pessimistic” about the outlook on the U.S. economy over the next three months, up from just 18% the previous quarter.

Other findings included:

-- Nine in 10 RIAs said their total number of clients has increased or remained steady over the past six months.

--55% of new RIA assets are coming from traditional full-commission firms

--Average revenue and client growth improved 18% and 13%, respectively

-- Eight in 10 RIAs said they are “somewhat” or “completely” satisfied with their careers.