Advisory-dependent assets have been growing for years, as affluent investors recognize the increasing complexities of investment management and financial markets. Underlying that trend has been a rapid migration from transaction-based to fee-based advice. This growth in fee-based practices has been a powerful client-driven phenomenon tied to three main catalysts.

Market trends: The investment business and the advisory relationship entail significant client inertia. The 1980s and 1990s produced strong absolute returns, often in the double digits. Such returns masked costs. But with equity and bond returns of this past decade significantly below historical averages, the catalyst was set to break that client inertia.

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