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Launch RIA Firm Which Custodian To Use?


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Anyone on this board own their own RIA? If so, who do you use as a custodian?

I've considered using interactive brokers but I have heard they are difficult to get the account setup and the assets transferred. The prospective clients that I will be contacting aren't very tech savvy, I don't want them just saying "forget it" out of frustration if it is a hassle.

I'm thinking of using Schwab as I've heard even people that don't know technology can setup the account and do a transfer.


I'm not considering TD as once the merger goes through they will probably push everyone to Schwab anyway.


I've heard Fidelity is fine but not as easy to use as Schwab.



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We've been happy with Fidelity. Almost went with Schwab, but our firm uses eMoney financial planning software which Fidelity owns. That integration was important for us.


I do like the fact that Fidelity is privately held. I think it give them more flexibility in making long-term decisions. But, Schwab has a good reputation in the RIA space. I'm sure you'll be fine either way.


One strike against IB, in my opinion, is their website. I have a separate account there that someone on this board manages. I just find the website clumsey to navigate. Schwab and Fidelity seem to have far better platforms particularly for non-savvy retail investors.

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