After all, news headlines blaring that robo-advisors could lead to obsolescence for flesh-and-blood money managers and that low-cost, passively-managed index funds are eating away at industry revenues, are commonplace these days.
But instead of reaching for the Advil, registered investment advisor seem to be taking industry obstacles in stride, and are actually bullish on their industry as 2017 rolls on.
So says TD Ameritrade's latest RIA Sentiment Survey, which shows RIA's "are gearing up for stronger growth in 2017."
Advisors are especially bullish about the U.S. economy - 70% tell TD Ameritrade they are "optimistic" about it (that's the highest level in eight years, the report states). Another 53% expect the already roaring U.S. stock market to keep on rising.
"These are good days for independent RIAs, yet we can't expect market tides will always rise. RIAs need to deliver a great experience, build firms that are more scalable and make sure they are compensated for all the services they provide," says Tom Nally, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional, which works with 5,000 investment advisors. "By investing in themselves, embracing technology and articulating all the value they deliver, RIAs can increase their firms' chances for sustainable growth."
Much of that optimism comes on a highly personal level - assets under management are climbing for RIAs, and significantly so. According to TD Ameritrade, 70% of advisors surveyed said their assets grew by 17% in 2016. Even new client asset growth is up, with 56% of RIA's reporting new business growth averaged 17% last year.