The term Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) is used to describe an Investment Adviser in the US who is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or a state’s securities agency. An RIA is defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission as an individual or a firm that is in the business of giving advice about securities. RIAs generally are paid in any of the following ways: a percentage of the value of the assets they manage for you, an hourly fee, fixed fee, a commission on the securities they sell (if the adviser is also a broker-dealer).