Much has been said about the differences between broker-dealers — particularly wirehouse reps — and Registered Investment Advisors.
RIAs often tout their independence and fiduciary duties to their clients as setting them on a higher plane of existence, all the while pointing an accusatory finger at broker-dealers who sell portfolios packaged by the home office. And certainly, when you compare top portfolio construction strategies used by indie RIAs versus the wirehouses, there seem to be considerable differences.
Indie RIAs are much less likely to use a strategic allocation with a tactical overlay (37% of the time) compared to wirehouses, which use that composition in 43% of client portfolios. And indie RIAs are far more likely (26% of the time) to use a strategic allocation compared to wirehouse brokers (18%).
But what might seem striking, if you look at the pie charts below, is just how similar hybrid RIAs — who operate both as RIAs and broker-dealers — are to other types of brokerages. In fact, when it comes to the portfolio construction strategies used by hybrid RIAs, you could be forgiven for confusing them with wirehouse advisors ... but it would be difficult to mistake them for an indie RIA.