What is a Registered Investment Advisor?

A Registered Investment Advisor, or RIA, is a regulatory definition given to an advisor who offers investment advice on securities which is more than solely incidental than the professional relationship to the client. Registered Investment Advisors are regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (or state regulatory authorities) via the Investment Advisor Act of 1940. A Registered Investment Advisor is, by law, held to a fiduciary standard of care in dealing with his or her clients—a standard which put the client’s interests above those of the advisor.