The Primary Difference between an RIA and a Stock Broker

The primary difference between and RIA and a stock broker is how we are compensated.  RIAs are compensated through a fee, based on the assets in the account and stock brokers are compensated through commissions, based on the products they sell.
An investment advisor must work in the client’s best interest and disclose any conflicts of interest.  A stock broker only has to determine if the investment is suitable for the client. 
What Our Clients Want
Our clients want a relationship with a financial advisor where they know they are both working toward the same goal.  Lowell Road Asset Management is a fee-based Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm and our objective is to help you achieve your goals. 
Personalized, Focused Financial Advice
Our clients have chosen to work with us for a number of very important reasons

They want a financial advisor who:

  • Puts their interests first
  • Understands their specific situation
  • Offers straightforward advice that reflects their long-term goals
  • Recommends investment solutions that best fit their unique needs
  • Uses a fee-based structure that encourages unbiased advice
What We as an RIA Deliver
An independent relationship for the long term
Whether we are helping you plan for retirement or save for your children’s education, we focus on your best interests:
  • As an RIA, it is our fiduciary duty to act in your best interests – we are legally bound to put our clients’ interests first
  • We will take time to understand you and your specific financial situation
  • We will strive to ensure your needs are being met through a personal relationship and committed pursuit of your investment goals
  • We will make portfolio recommendations consistent with your objectives
  • And, our compensation for asset management is aligned with your goals
  • We charge for our services based on a percentage of your assets managed, so it’s important to us that your investments continue to grow
How we differ from Registered Representatives
Registered Investment Advisor
Registered Representative
Primary Function
Investment advice for my overall financial circumstances
Facilitate securities purchase and sale transactions for their clients
Charge a percentage fee based on the amount of assets in the account
Usually commission-based
Responsibility to Client
When providing investment advice, investment advisors are fiduciaries and are legally bound to work in their clients' best interests and they must disclose conflicts of interest
When making a recommendation registered representatives must determine that the investment is suitable for the client
RIAs are overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or state regulatory agencies
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the SEC and state regulatory agencies
Which Option is Right for You?
Questions you should ask yourself
  • What am I looking for – assistance with buying/selling individual securities, investment advice, or both?
  • How do I want to pay my financial professional?  Fees?  Commissions?
  • Do I want to take a longer-term, holistic approach to the management of my investments or make it more transaction oriented?
  • How important is it that my financial professional have a fiduciary responsibility to put my interests first?
  • 60% of individuals surveyed said they are more comfortable receiving financial advice from someone who is paid a flat fee or percentage of assets versus 23% for a person who is paid on commission for products they sell. 
Lowell Road Asset Management
To learn more about the advantages we have over broker-dealers please contact us at 516-767-1099. 
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