Research Studies

Research Studies Available for Purchase

We collect lots of data, but it’s what we do with it that counts. FA Insight conducts proprietary research across the financial services industry, enabling us to stay ahead of market trends and offer you the chance to gain a broader perspective on your business, determine areas that need improvement, and gain new ideas that help you make progress.

The FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms is produced annually, this report gives advisory firm owners critical data for benchmarking their firm’s performance against peers. In addition, the report offers consultative prescriptions for success.

TD Ameritrade Institutional clients are invited to visit the Education Center Page page for additional FA Insight resources available on a complimentary or discounted basis.

Mergers & Acquisitions Activity 2018 Year End Update
RIA-Initiated Deals Dominate M&A Market


Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity jumped 24% in 2018 to reach a record high. RIAs dominated the market with 72% of total 2018 transactions. Despite an uncertain economic climate, the pace of deal-making should continue, given an expanding breadth of active acquirers. For complimentary access to the this white paper, click here.

Now Available: The 2018 FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: Growth by Design


The 2018 FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: Growth by Design aims to provide access to the latest trends and best practices of Standout firms for identifying the key factors that contribute toward sustaining growth and building a business with real value. The objective of this 10th Annual FA Insight Study is to understand attitudes and experiences related to growth including strategic planning, pricing, marketing, client demographics, technology, operational practices and more.

Mergers & Acquisition in the RIA Industry: Overcoming the Big Disconnect (Whitepaper)

For well over a decade now, the independent financial advisory industry has been abuzz with discussion about a pending merger and acquisition boom. Industry maturation, competitive pressures and aging founders were to be the catalysts behind a looming wave of transactions. After a few false starts this trend appears to have finally taken hold.

For complimentary access to the this white paper, click here.

The 2017 FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: People and Pay

The 2017 FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: People and Pay aims to provide meaningful insight that can be applicable for any advisor interested in pursuing better business performance. FA Insight's ninth annual industry study intends to provide best practices for organizing, motivating, developing, and retaining people including detailed information on staffing and compensation.

News & Press

TD Ameritrade Agrees to Acquire Assets of FA Insight, Delivering Big Data Capabilities to Independent RIAs

ORLANDO, Fla. – TD Ameritrade, among the largest providers of custody and brokerage services to independent registered investment advisors (“RIAs”), has agreed to acquire the research, benchmarking and consulting capabilities of FA Insight, a combination that will give advisors ready access to some of the industry’s deepest and most comprehensive collection of business information.

Click here to read the full press release. (PDF)

TD Ameritrade to Acquire FA Insight for Big Data

“The acquisition…will make available more than a decade of survey data as well as three industry studies for advisers, including ‘Growth by Design,’ ‘People and Pay’ and a mergers and acquisition-focused report. Research on areas such as client acquisition, staffing and compensation, pricing strategies, operational efficiency and risk management also will be provided to advisers.”

Alessandra Malito—InvestmentNews, February 4, 2016

About FA Insight

About the Research

The FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms Research Series is widely recognized as an industry leading resource for insights into trends, challenges and opportunities impacting advisory firms today.  The series strives to translate research findings into actionable insight and is composed of two studies, each produced on a bi-annual basis, Growth by Design and People and Pay.

Growth by Design:

A big difference exists between simply growing and growing well. Mastering sustainable growth requires growth by design; where purposeful growth takes precedent over growth at any cost. Growth by Design aims to guide the many firm owners who struggle with growth, whether it is in terms of how to achieve it, how to manage it, or how to sustain it.

People and Pay:

Firms often overlook the specific activities that must take place in order to achieve a firm’s overarching business goals. A prime example is people practices, where putting the right people in place and incenting them to work in alignment with the overall vision of the firm are vital stepping stones for implementing any firm’s growth strategy. People and Pay offers insight into the best practices related to organizing, motivating, developing, and retaining people.

About the FA Insight Study of Advisory Firm Series Founders

Drawing upon both our research findings and years of experience consulting in the field, Eliza De Pardo and Dan Inveen created The FA Insight Study of Advisory Firm Series in 2008 in response to demand from advisory firms wanting to better understand their competitive environment, assess strategic options and apply best practices of standout firms to achieve their business vision.

The series is viewed as an invaluable resource to advisory firms and the industry at large and will continue into the future. Now brought to you by TD Ameritrade under the direction of Eliza and Dan.  For more information on TD Ameritrade’s acquisition of  the research, benchmarking and consulting capabilities of FA Insight read the press release.

About TD Ameritrade Institutional

TD Ameritrade Institutional is a leading provider of comprehensive brokerage and custody services to more than 5,000 fee-based, independent registered investment advisors and their clients. Our advanced technology platform, coupled with personal support from our dedicated service teams, allows independent advisors to run their practices more efficiently and effectively while optimizing time with clients. TD Ameritrade Institutional is a division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., a brokerage subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation.

Our Founders

Dan Inveen                        Eliza Pardo

FA Insight is a product of TD Ameritrade Institutional, Division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. FA Insight is a trademark owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc.

© TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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