Direct-to-investor assets have nearly doubled since 2008, outpacing traditional advisory channels, according to new research from Boston-based consulting firm Cerulli Associates.

While still the smallest segment of the market by assets, direct investing, which includes online providers such as E*TRADE and Charles Schwab, has grown to account for around $4.3 trillion of $26.6 trillion of total investable retail assets, Cerulli reported. That number approaches the $5.2 trillion held by wirehouse firms, which still hold the largest market share according to the study.

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