LPL vs. RJ vs. _________

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Jan 11, 2010 3:03 pm

I've read all the old threads, Indyone's in particular.  I'm wondering what current thoughts are on LPL and RJ, and if there is anyone else that should be considered.


I was initially leaning towards a small BD.  I liked the small feel and knowing everyone.  However, I've come to the realization that there are more tools out there than they have, and when the president of the BD knew less than I did about some issues I was having, it spooked me a little.  I want to be able to get sound advice from the BD, I don't want to be the one educating them.


So right now I'm looking at RJ and LPL primarily.  I know I should take the due dilligence trips, but for reasons I don't want to go into on the board that isn't an option for me.  Not surprisingly, RJ and LPL recruiters both have plenty of reasons why they are the best and I should choose them.
My biggest concern with LPL is that they are so big that service will be a problem.  Kind of like EDJ, when you never knew if the 25 year old on the phone had any idea of what he was talking about.
For different reasons, and I can't quite put my finger on why, RJ makes me nervous.  I don't like what they have done with annuities, and I get the feeling that compliance has more of a "we know best" attitude, rather than a "how can we make this work" attitude (also like EDJ).  Maybe LPL is the same, but my impression is that RJ is more controlling.  I also worry about keeping my nut over the $250,000 the first year or two after I switch, and having to ask everyone to do another BD change in a year because my numbers aren't as high as I hoped.
Any thoughts, especially from anyone familiar with both systems?  I find myself needing to make this decision under time pressure, which I do not like.  However, I really to get this figured out in the next week or two. 
Jan 11, 2010 3:35 pm
EDJ4now:
My biggest concern with LPL is that they are so big that service will be a problem.  Kind of like EDJ, when you never knew if the 25 year old on the phone had any idea of what he was talking about.
For different reasons, and I can't quite put my finger on why, RJ makes me nervous.  I don't like what they have done with annuities, and I get the feeling that compliance has more of a "we know best" attitude, rather than a "how can we make this work" attitude (also like EDJ). 
 
We have not found any service problems at all with LPL.  Even after they laid off all of those people last year.  We get our quesitons answered and business processed without fail.
 
As for your concerns about RJ, this was one of the top reasons we chose LPL.  We had a phone conference with two RJ Complaince VPs and they let us know, in no uncertain terms, that THEY were in charge.  On this call, they treated us as if we were employees of theirs.  So, what's the point of going indy?
 
After a year, we have not been disappointed with LPL.
Jan 11, 2010 5:09 pm

Service issues with LPL are much better today then two years ago.

Jan 11, 2010 9:51 pm

I am not really familiar with LPL i stayed away from them when doing my due dilligence due to their size. I found RJ to be a good balance between not being too big and not being too small. Maybe i should have looked at LPL more closely, i''ll never know.

But i can only speak to my experience with RJ and so as to the two issues you guys bring up...
1. on the service side, i have absolutely no complaints - they have been terrific. I dont get put on hold, and if someone i speak with doesnt have the answer, he/she gets it and gets right back to me. They really make you feel like you are the client, something i was not used to.
2. as far as compliance, i will say that on many levels, they are simliar to the wirehosue i left. In some ways more strict, but in other ways a little more relaxed. They have a lot of rules, i know most of them are FINRA rules, but they run a conservative ship. It hasnt bothered me, the rules are there to protect us both and i havent come up with anything unreasonable.
I recently submitted a two page letter to be sent to clients whcih i expected to be returned to me after compliance castrated it. But they made only 1 very minor change. From that, i got the sense that they were trying hard to recognize me as an indie.
Just my two sense. PM me if you want to ask more.
Jan 12, 2010 12:16 am

If you are worried at all about meeting the $250k RJ minimum, I would lean LPL...their lower minimum does mean they have more marginal producers, that doesn't affect you except extremely indirectly. And clearly if you produce, say $275k, LPL by definition will give you more love than RJ (you will be higher up the food chain there).

Jan 12, 2010 8:36 am

RJ doesnt require the 250k t-12 (actually its 240) until the beginning of the third year

Jan 12, 2010 12:13 pm

I thought 250K was for new RJ branches only... I think independent is less.

Jan 12, 2010 1:37 pm
iceco1d:

Other medium sized ones you should be looking at are Cambridge & Commonwealth (not necessarily in that order).  I'd also take a look at Harbor as well if you're looking for something a little different.  

I was impressed with Cambridge as well, but gave more consideration towards a smaller firm. I believe Commonwealth has a firm line on $250K though ($200?); I might be wrong on the number, but not on the flexibility.

 


I'll assume you've already spoken with and discounted Fast Freddie VDA and don't want the RIA path. If you haven't spoken with MrClutch, I'd recommend you speak with him.
Jan 12, 2010 10:12 pm

LockEDJ, thank you again for the recommendation.  I've tried to remain fairly quiet on the forum, but would obviously love to speak to anyone who is interested in learning about a boutique BD/RIA.  We have a great model with true open architecture, competitive fees and personal service.  Feel free to PM, if you want more info.

Jan 12, 2010 10:50 pm
chief123:

I thought 250K was for new RJ branches only... I think independent is less.

If you are an existing branch, and do less than 240, they dont close you down. You pay a monthly maintenance fee, which is anywhere from 500-1500 a month, till you get your t-12 back up above the threshold.
At least thats the way i understand it.
Jan 13, 2010 8:47 am

Thanks to everyone on the forum who gave me and Trade-PMR such high praise.  Always willing to help any Advisor receive honest to goodness educational info on the RIA & Hybrid side of the house.

Jan 19, 2010 5:54 pm

Hey EDJ, Your concerns with RJ were mine also, although the VA issue cropped up after my due diligence and just served to make me more convinced that I made the right decision.  SFB is with RJ and loves them.  It's obviously a good fit for them so there is no one size fits all.  LPL is certainly big, but if you don't need a lot of handholding after getting through the first big wave of transferring and repapering your accounts, their service is just fine and as Greenbacks stated certainly better than awhile back.  The end result is that your gut will tell you what is best for you.  Do your homework, read extensively, make your decision and don'l look back.

Jan 20, 2010 6:11 pm

Thanks for the advice.  I'm going through the paperwork for LPL right now.  I guess I am not 100% committed because nothing has been filed, but at this point probably north of 95%. 

 
 
Jan 20, 2010 8:42 pm
Indyone:

. Do your homework, read extensively, make your decision and don'l look back.







Great post.



I went with a smaller indy B/D and it's been great. But, I have some fellow brokers that are with LPL, Commonwealth..etc. They are all happy despite certain small annoyances.



Bottom line is that no place is perfect, but being Indy is. So, pick a place, move on and enjoy a life of freedom and wealth!

Jan 22, 2010 5:18 pm

I would go to harborfs.com
you pay a monthly fee and get 100% payout
all business gets run through RJ , all statement, confirms, systems...

They handle compliance as a small firm...

Really a nice program.

My 2c

Jan 22, 2010 8:58 pm

Look at Woodbury and H. Beck too.

Jan 22, 2010 11:46 pm

I've had conversations with LPL, RJ, Fidelity, and TD Ameritrade Institutional.

 
TDA is the front runner.
 
RJ & Fidelity were pricks. LPL is #2, but I'm leaning RIA...
Jan 22, 2010 11:59 pm
mlgone:

shrek...............try McDonalds

 
mlfailed..........suck my c***
Jan 23, 2010 12:40 am

-

Jan 23, 2010 1:25 am
SoapySmith:

Look at Woodbury and H. Beck too.

 
Yeah... No...