But LPL`s revelations reveal a large number of conflicts of interest – clearly stated as such – and give an insight into how the company makes money. None of this distinguishes LPL from other brokers, but it shows how brokerage firms use commissions, fees and other sources of revenue to take advantage of them. LPL also points out that cash sweep accounts (which use investors for liquidity) and money funds on their platform are more of a profit center for the company than its customers. LPL`s communications indicate that it receives a fee of up to 0.35% from investment fund sponsors (for example. B the withdrawal of trades). It is a cash compensation that LPL does not share with consultants and ends up coming out of the pockets of clients. For non-sweeping money markets (which customers can always buy), LPL says it chooses “in many cases” stock classes with higher commissions than identical funds outside its platform. According to the company, investors could see negative “negative total investment returns” on cash reserves. LPL communicates conflicts related to its lending practices to clients. If a client needs cash to, for example, rebuild a house or pay for university, they may have to sell some assets. But LPL is encouraged to recommend that the client lend money and mortgage his financial assets against the loan. According to him, LPL benefits from a 0.75% discount for secured loans. And LPL has deals with Bancorp Bank, Goldman Sachs (GS) and TriState Capital Bank to make the loans.
Because of its relationship with these banks, the company says, customers may not be able to “negotiate the most favourable credit terms.” LPL is by far the largest independent broker, and as such, its practices offer a window on the business. The company does a lot of things right: it has been a success with clients and consultants, and its stock has been a winner that has gained an average of 20% over the past five years and has surpassed the S-P 500 index by 9.5 percentage points. Its advisory and brokerage assets reached $719 billion in the third quarter of 2019, up from $509 billion at the end of 2016. Since 2016, it has welcomed 2,000 councillors into its ranks and reached 16,349, almost all of whom are independent contractors. None of this is illegal; Indeed, it is commonplace throughout the sector. When companies circumvent the rules, they generally pay fines and agree to reduce or eliminate certain practices. LPL has disclosed millions of dollars in fines since 2011 for lax surveillance and sale of complex products such as pensions. LPL provided $119 million in 2018 to partially cover “estimated costs of investigating, resolving and resolving regulatory issues.” Rich Steinmeier, Managing Director and Division President, says the company has made “significant investments” in compliance and monitoring procedures and “we feel very strong in the compliance and monitoring environment we have created.” LPL generates almost equal parts of commission and advisory revenues and earns a total of approximately $2.8 billion in the first nine months of 2019.