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Fourth Annual Advisor Authority Study Reveals Ten Traits of Highly Successful Advisors to Help RIAs and Fee-Based Advisors Earn More and Manage More AUM


Fourth Annual Advisor Authority Study Reveals Ten Traits of Highly Successful Advisors to Help RIAs and Fee-Based Advisors Earn More and Manage More AUM

New Special Report Highlights How Top Performers Adapt to Industry Change to Drive Growth and Leave the Competition Behind

PR Newswire

LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and fee-based advisors can adopt ten traits of highly successful advisors to help them earn more and manage more AUM, according to the latest findings from the fourth annual Advisor Authority Study commissioned by Nationwide Advisory Solutions, formerly known as Jefferson National. This new Special Report, conducted online by The Harris Poll through an online survey of roughly 1,700 financial advisors and individual investors, highlights how top performers build and run their practice to create greater value for their clients and their firms. It concludes that the RIAs and fee-based advisors who recognize the trends driving industry change and proactively adapt can achieve greater growth and leave the competition behind.

(PRNewsfoto/Nationwide Advisory Solutions)

"Serving RIAs and fee-based advisors for more than a decade, we understand the many challenges they face as change continues at an unprecedented rate, driven by the power of consumer demand, advances in technology, the expanding digital economy and regulatory reform. The race is on—and there is no turning back," said Craig Hawley, Head of Nationwide Advisory Solutions. "The most successful RIAs and fee-based advisors, who earn more and manage more AUM, are already a step ahead by putting clients first with a fiduciary standard and more holistic planning, and they further differentiate themselves by harnessing prevailing trends—from artificial intelligence to demographic shifts to industry consolidation—to create their own unique competitive advantage. To keep pace, all advisors must adapt, or be left behind."

This new Advisor Authority Special Report, "Path to Success: Adapt—or Be Left Behind," defines successful advisors as those who earn a personal annual income of $500,000 or more from their advisory business, or individually manage a total AUM of $250 million or more. By studying the way these top performers adapt to change and leverage their strengths, advisors can define and ruthlessly refine their own path to success in an increasingly competitive industry. From among the ten traits of successful advisors which can be found in this new Special Report, RIAs and fee-based advisors can start to create their own competitive advantage by considering these five:

BE A TECH INNOVATOR: One factor which sets successful advisors apart from all other advisors is their focus on technology. Successful advisors rate adding new technology the second most important factor for driving profitability over the next 12 months, while all other advisors rate it fourth. They also rate integrating technology the second most important practice management priority over the next 12 months, while all other advisors rate it fifth.

HARNESS THE COMPETITIVE EDGE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI): Among advisors who are at least somewhat familiar with AI, successful advisors, as compared to all other advisors, are far more optimistic about AI's impact on financial planning (68% vs 54%), far more likely to use AI in their practice (49% vs 30%), and far more likely to add AI or add more AI in the next 12 months (65% vs 47%). They use AI to transform every aspect of the customer experience, from the front-end to the back office, opening the door to a new category of client, offering a new universe of products and solutions—and ultimately gaining an edge over the competition.

PUT CLIENTS FIRST: Successful advisors know that putting clients first is the foundation for a thriving practice. It all begins with a fiduciary standard. Successful advisors, as compared to all other advisors, are far more likely to strongly agree that there should be one federal fiduciary standard across the financial industry (53% vs 35%). By aligning with their clients' best interest, successful advisors earn their trust, deepen the advisor/investor relationship—and bring more assets under management.

TARGET AN EMERGING MARKET OF NEW CLIENTS: Year-over-year, the pursuit of profitability is a top priority—and the push for new clients remains a top driver of profits for successful advisors. Many experts say successful advisors take the extra measure to define their ideal client—identifying who they are, what they do and their top concerns—to customize their practice and specialize their services to meet clients' most important needs.

BE A MARKETING INNOVATOR The most successful advisors are far more likely than all other advisors to change their marketing strategies to attract the next generation of investors (69% vs 60%). This year, successful advisors say increased use of mobile technology is their top solution to attract the next generation of investors (33%), followed by increased use of social media (30%) and working more with a client's family and children (28%), to build a foundation for the future.

To learn more about all ten traits of highly successful advisors, financial professionals can download the Advisor Authority 2018 Special Report, "Path to Success: Adapt—or Be Left Behind":

For more insights on the top traits of successful advisors, financial professionals can also download the latest Advisor Authority 2018 infographic at:

The fourth annual Advisor Authority study explores the investing and advising issues confronting RIAs, fee-based advisors and investors—and the innovative techniques that they need to succeed in today's complex market. It features a special focus on the most successful advisors and the most affluent investors. These latest findings are to be followed by a series of ongoing reports that will be released through year-end 2018.

About Advisor Authority: Methodology

The fourth annual Advisory Authority Survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Nationwide Advisory Solutions from January 3February 21, 2018 among 972 financial advisors and 827 investors, ages 18+. Among the 972 financial advisors, there were 508 Registered Investment Advisors and 464 Broker/Dealers. Included in this group of financial advisors is a new segment of 212 Wirehouse Broker/Dealers that is excluded from trended data to allow for year-over-year comparisons. Among the 827 investors, there were 208 Mass Affluent, 206 Emerging High Net Worth, 208 High Net Worth and 205 Ultra High Net Worth. Results of this new research are compared to results from a similar 2017 and 2016 study conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Nationwide Advisory Solutions. Detailed methodologies from these studies are available upon request.

Investors are weighted where necessary by age by gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, income, marital status, household size, investable assets and propensity to be online to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population.

About The Harris Poll

The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963 that is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. We work with clients in three primary areas; building twenty-first-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible. To learn more, please visit

About Nationwide Advisory Solutions

Nationwide Advisory Solutions, formerly known as Jefferson National, is a recognized innovator with a mission to help RIAs and fee-based advisors build their practice by helping their clients to potentially accumulate more wealth and reach their financial goals. The company does this by developing and delivering value-added investment products, services and technologies that fit the fiduciary standard—wrapped in an industry-leading customer experience. To learn more, please visit

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit

Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side, the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2018

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