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Finance Dictionary and Glossary of Investment Terms
Registered investment adviser
SEC-registered individual or firm that substantiates completion of education and work experience in the field, and pays an annual membership fee.
An RIA is an individual who has registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and holds himself or herself out to be an investment advisor. Registration is required of anyone who, for compensation and as part of a business, gives advice, makes recommendations, issues reports or furnishes analysis on securities either directly or through publications. If a planner is an employee of an advisory firm such as a brokerage house, the brokerage house will have a blanket registration with the SEC for all employees. They are required to present a copy of the filing. RIA is not a credential. It simply means that an individual or a firm has submitted certain filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission and paid a modest fee. They can become registered without passing a test or demonstrating a degree of skill.