Despite this year’s arduous business environment, independent RIAs remain optimistic, according to the results of the 2009 Charles Schwab RIA Benchmarking Study. In fact, 84% of advisers surveyed expect to grow moderately or faster over the next five years, with 35% predicting aggressive growth and 49% seeing growth at a more modest pace looking forward.

Now in its third year, the Charles Schwab RIA Benchmarking Study measures the trends and best practices in the RIA industry. For this year’s study, 600 firms managing more than $1.75 billion in combined assets and 52 firms managing $1 billion or more in assets were surveyed. Participating firms had an average of 325 clients, $380 million in assets under management and $2.5 million in revenue.

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