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Schwab Advisor Services Expands Campaign Educating Investors on the Advantages of Working with Independent Advisors

Online directory that helps investors find and research RIAs now features advisors who custody with TD Ameritrade.

Schwab Advisor ServicesTM continues to expand and enhance its trailblazing Independent Difference campaign, an education and advertising campaign that uses national TV, print, digital and social media advertising to raise awareness among high-net-worth investors about the many advantages of working with an independent registered investment advisor.

Schwab has long championed the RIA model through advertising that profiles actual independent advisors who custody with Schwab. The campaign articulates why many investors, as they explore their options, owe it to themselves to understand what makes independent investment advisors stand apart from other financial professionals.

The campaign has generated more than 2 billion ad impressions and attracted over 3 million visitors to, Schwab’s independent advisor education center, where investors can learn about the RIA model and how to make an informed choice when choosing an advisor.

“We firmly believe independent RIAs play a vital role in providing trusted financial advice that helps investors achieve their life goals, which is why we’ve been champions of the RIA model for more than 30 years,” said Bernie Clark, head of Schwab Advisor Services. “As the leading custodian to independent advisors, we’re proud to dedicate our energy and resources to raise awareness of the independent difference.”

Directory adds advisors who custody with TD Ameritrade

The website also hosts an advisor directory of more than 2,300 RIA firms, through which visitors can conduct a zip code search to find independent advisors in their community. Since the directory was launched in 2013, investors have conducted more than 300,000 searches, of which 65 percent led to a phone call, website click or email to an advisory firm.

And even before Schwab completes its integration with Ameritrade, the Independent Difference campaign this year profiles some independent investment advisors that use Ameritrade’s custody services and has added some Ameritrade firms to the advisor directory.

Schwab’s ad campaign and educational website have helped elevate investor awareness about the many benefits of working with independent RIAs, including customized guidance, competitive fee structures and the opportunity to build deeply personal and trusted relationships. And by walking through key questions investors should ask when seeking an advisor who is right for them, the program has helped shine a positive light on the broader RIA community.

“When we first launched this campaign, many investors were unfamiliar with the difference between independent advisors and traditional brokers, so we put our education and advertising muscle to work on behalf of our RIA clients. We are passionate about this work,” said Susan Forman, head of marketing for Schwab Advisor Services. “Our ads and educational website showcase how independent advice can make a positive difference for high-net-worth investors.

Investing in ads that celebrate RIAs

Schwab began educating investors on the independent difference in 2011 when it introduced the “RIA Stands for You” campaign, putting actual advisors front and center while highlighting the values and standards they uphold. The campaign, rebranded “Independent Difference” in 2016, has continued to evolve and expand over time. The first national TV ads debuted in 2017, for example, while today Schwab reaches high-net-worth investors through social media channels and interactive digital experiences.

“When investors choose an advisor, it’s critical to understand how they’re compensated, the standards they uphold, and whether their financial interests are truly aligned,” said Thomas Meyer of Meyer Capital Group, a Marlton, New Jersey, advisor who is an advocate for the fiduciary approach. “A lot of financial professionals these days claim to be client-first, but that may not always be the case, which can create confusion for investors.”

To learn more, visit Those attending Schwab’s IMPACT® conference in Denver, November 1-3, can visit the Independent Difference booth at the Schwab Advisor Services center of the exhibit hall, where they can engage with interactive experiences, learn more about the campaign and explore the significant results it has generated for advisors.

The Independent Difference campaign was developed in collaboration with TRG, a Dallas-based agency.

About Charles Schwab & Co.

At Charles Schwab we believe in the power of investing to help individuals create a better tomorrow. We have a history of challenging the status quo in our industry, innovating in ways that benefit investors and the advisors and employers who serve them, and championing our clients’ goals with passion and integrity. More information is available at Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.


Through its operating subsidiaries, The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW) provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC), and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; compliance and trade monitoring solutions; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through Schwab Advisor Services. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides banking and lending services and products. More information is available at and

TD Ameritrade Institutional, Division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, a subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation. TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

The above-mentioned firms and their employees are not affiliated with or employees of Schwab unless otherwise noted. Mention should not be construed as a recommendation, endorsement of, or sponsorship by Schwab. The views expressed are those of the third party and are provided for informational purposes only. Experiences expressed are no guarantee of future performance or success and may not be representative of you or your experience.

Schwab Advisor Services™ serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading, and support of Schwab.

Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affiliated with, or supervised by Schwab or TD Ameritrade, Inc.

Information in the advisor directory is made available by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. as a convenience. Inclusion in the Directory does not constitute a recommendation, endorsement or sponsorship of the RIA by Schwab. Each RIA in the Directory is responsible for the content of its own listing, has voluntarily agreed to be included, and does not pay to or receive from Schwab any compensation relating to their listing. The Directory includes some, but not all, of the RIAs that have an agreement with Schwab and/or TD Ameritrade, Inc to provide custody, trading and other support services relating to RIA client accounts that are maintained at Schwab. The Directory is not all-inclusive and there may be other RIA firms in your area.

©2022 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”) All rights reserved. Member SIPC.


Independent advisors play a critical role providing trusted financial advice that helps investors achieve their goals. That's why @Schwab4RIAs has championed RIAs for more than 30 years and invests in advertising to promote the Independent Difference.


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