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By using Riskalyze, the financial advisor is able to systematically assess an investor’s risk tolerance and then build a portfolio that aligns to the client’s risk tolerance.
 

IRetire by Blackrock
iRetire shows clients where their retirement portfolio is today and how to start closing any retirement income gaps that they might have. 

LPL Financial is the broker/dealer we utilize to support us in taking care of our clients’ needs.
 
 
LPL Financial has a team of expert analysts, strategists, economists, and investment specialists who make up the LPL Research team. 
 

The House of Charts includes charts and infographics on investments, markets, and the economy previously featured in our communications with clients.
 
 
 
 
 

JP Morgan is a leading asset manager and a strong component for many of our client’s portfolios.
 
 
 

eMoney is a leading wealth management and financial planning software package leveraged by our advisors to help guide our clients in financial planning decisions. 
 
 

Check the background of investment professionals associated with this site on FINRA's BrokerCheck
 
We know that in order for you to make sound financial decisions, you need to be well informed. As part of our commitment to keep our clients informed, we publish a bi-monthly newsletter which contains up-to-date information about the market and economy as well as other financial tidbits.  Please contact us if you would like to receive this newsletter.
 

WORKING WITH AN LPL FINANCIAL ADVISOR

The Choice Between Advisory Services and Brokerage Services

 LPL Financial is a registered investment advisor and a broker/dealer, which means that an LPL advisor can offer you both investment advisory and brokerage services.  We want to make sure you’re aware of some of the important considerations to take into account when deciding which type of service best serves your investment goals and needs.
What It Means to Work with an LPL Advisor in an Advisory Relationship
LPL is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  As an investment advisor, LPL has a fiduciary responsibility to its advisory clients and, as such, is obligated to act in the best interests of clients and make full and fair disclosure of all material conflicts of interest.  LPL advisors offer a number of investment advisory programs and services, including discretionary programs such as Strategic Asset Management (SAM), Model Wealth Portfolios (MWP), and Personal Wealth Portfolios (PWP); mutual fund asset allocation programs such as Optimum Market Portfolios (OMP); and planning services.
 
Under its investment advisory programs and mutual fund asset allocation programs, LPL advisors provide ongoing investment advice and monitoring of client portfolios.  These services may be on a discretionary basis, which means that you don’t need to direct your advisor to make trades, rebalance your portfolio, or make other investment decisions for your account.  For such services, clients pay LPL a fee for investment management, brokerage, custody, and administrative services.  The fee, which is negotiated between the LPL advisor and client, is typically a percentage fee based on the value of the assets in the account.  These ongoing services and fees are set out in the Investment Advisory Agreement between LPL and the clients, which the client can terminate at any time.
 
As an alternative, or in addition to ongoing investment advice in an advisory program, clients may engage with an LPL advisor for planning services.  The client pays a flat fee or hourly fee for this type of service, which is not ongoing.
 
As noted above, when LPL acts as an investment advisor, it’s required to disclose all material conflicts of interest between LPL and its advisory clients.  At the time of engagement, advisory clients receive a Form ADV disclosure brochure that contains important information about LPL and the LPL advisor, the advisory services to be provided, the fees to be paid for such services, and material conflicts of interest.  Such disclosure brochures may be obtained by visiting www.lpl.com and selecting “Disclosures” and then “LPL Financial Firm Brochure and Program Forms for Advisory Services.”  When considering whether to engage an LPL advisor, it’s important that you carefully read the account agreements and disclosures that are provided to you.
What It Means to Work with an LPL Advisor in a Brokerage Relationship
LPL is also a broker/dealer registered with the SEC and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  In addition, LPL is registered as a broker/dealer with each of the 50 states.  As a broker/dealer, LPL includes the following services:
  • Taking customer orders and executing securities transactions
  • Making recommendations to buy, sell, or hold securities
  • Custodial services 
Unlike an investment advisory relationship in which clients pay an ongoing asset-based fee, in a brokerage relationship, clients typically pay a commission to LPL on each transaction in the account.  Clients don’t pay commission in an advisory relationship.  The amount of the commission in a brokerage relationship varies depending on the security or investment product selected by the client.  For mutual funds, the commission or sales load is typically paid up front, is charged directly against the investment, and is based on the amount of assets invested.  For example, if you have $1,000 and want to invest it in a mutual fund Class A share with a 5% front-end load through a brokerage relationship, the $50 sales charge you must pay comes off the top, and the remaining $950 is invested in the fund.  Mutual funds typically offer multiple share classes that have different fees and expenses and pay brokers in different ways.  The applicable sales charge is described in the prospectus or other offering document of the investment product provided to the client in connection with the investment.  As a broker/dealer, LPL may also receive other types of fees and compensations, such as trail payments (also called 12b-1 fees) and markups.
 
When LPL acts as a broker/dealer it has a duty to deal fairly with its brokerage clients.  When an LPL advisor makes a recommendation about a security in a brokerage relationship, LPL has an obligation to determine that the recommendation is suitable for the client based on the client’s stated investment objective, risk tolerance, tax status, and other information provided by the client.  Unlike an investment advisory program account, the LPL advisor does not have a duty to provide ongoing investment advice with respect to a brokerage account.  LPL does not take discretion from its brokerage clients; in other words, LPL will only place transactions for its brokerage clients upon direction from the client.  LPL’s obligation to disclose detailed information to clients about the nature and scope of its business, fees, conflicts of interest, and other matters is more limited than in the context of an investment advisory relationship.
Important Things to Consider When Deciding Between an Investment Advisory or Brokerage Relationship
Here are some questions you may wish to ask yourself when deciding whether to work with an LPL advisor in an advisory or brokerage relationship:
  • Do you want or need an advisor to manage your investment portfolio?  If so, an advisory relationship may be the right choice.
  • Do you prefer, instead, to make the investment decisions yourself and are just looking for the advisor to execute on your orders?  If so, a brokerage relationship may be the right choice.
  • Do you want to engage an advisor in a fiduciary capacity with a duty to provide you ongoing investment services?  If so, an advisory relationship may be the right choice.
  • Do you desire, instead, only occasional advice or recommendations on particular investments from an advisor?  If so, a brokerage relationship may be the right choice.
  • What do you expect will be the number and size of the holdings and transactions in your portfolio?  If you plan to hold a number of securities and to be transacting and rebalancing the portfolio on a frequent basis, an advisory account may be the right choice.  However, if you plan to buy only a few securities and follow a buy-and-hold strategy for a long period of time without ongoing advice from an advisor, a brokerage relationship may be the right choice.
  • Do you wish to work with an advisor where the fee is consistent, and not tied to the number or type of transactions in the account?  If so, an advisory relationship may be the right choice.
  • Do you prefer, instead, to pay your advisor for each transaction that you place?  If so, a brokerage relationship may be the right choice.
In some cases, an advisory relationship may cost you more than a brokerage relationship.  However, in other cases, a brokerage relationship may cost you more.  These questions and the information above will help you determine what level of service and pricing structure is appropriate for you.  Keep in mind that your needs and goals may change over time, and how you transact business with your advisor may change as well.  As such, this should be a topic you review with your advisor over the course of your relationship.  If you have any questions about the differences between and advisory and brokerage relationship, ask your LPL advisor, who is a valuable resource to help you make the investment decisions that are in your best interest.