LPL Service

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Jan 18, 2008 9:44 am

I've heard good and bad about LPL service. what's the real story today - not years ago, but today - how are they?

Jan 18, 2008 9:59 am

It is way better than I ever had at UBS, but it is less excellent lately...slipped a bit.  Hopefully it is only temporary.

Jan 18, 2008 11:04 am

My assessment is much the same...it's not what it was, but it's still better than what I was used to with my old B/D (ING PrimeVest).  The recent expansion has meant some less experienced service people in the pool, and hopefully that will be resolved by time.  The most frustrating thing is that I've had to follow-up on outstanding matters recently and re-fax information on multiple occasions when I'm confident the original fax is buried in a stack on someone's desk.  It used to be that this almost never happened, but I've had stuff like this happen 2-3 times recently (since September).

Jan 18, 2008 1:41 pm

The only thing that Jones has over LPL is the back room.

Jan 18, 2008 5:28 pm

If your comming from Jones--it takes some getting use to

Jan 18, 2008 7:56 pm

not even the back room

Jan 22, 2008 5:02 pm

I know all you Jones folks would love to get us Indy folks---here is one for you:  At LPL the insured Cash Account is Tiered to the amount invested in the family linked accounts:  as of 1/18/2008 the rate for someone who has $149,999.99 invested in their accounts is 1.440% and someone who had $500,000 to 749,999 invested would have been 2.87%...on the same day Edward Jones money market (which is really Federated) was 4.2%...now that the fed has dropped rates .75 you can expect all these to go down also.   At the same time Putnam Money Market was 4.5% with a minimum opening amount with no loads on CL A with unlimited checking.  It only takes $500 to open up the money market at Putnam. 

 
LPL needs to get their act straight on the money market--my clients are not happy with the rates so I'm sending them to Putnam.  I open up a shell account at Putnam and put a ACH on demand through Putnam to the Insured Cash Management at LPL--it works without any cost.
 
LPL, we talked yesterday--I have no problem taking every cent out of LPL money market and moving it directly to the mutual fund companies.  So yes Spiff--this is one area when Jones has done a much better job than LPL!  Now I'm going to throwup!
Jan 22, 2008 5:31 pm

I've done the same with AmFunds MMKT fund with all accounts except those on the very highest tiers.  It IS nice to have an FDIC insured MMKT, but the lower tiers S-U-C-K...even if you have substantial direct business with the client (VA's, direct MF's, etc.).  The fund companies are also generally easier to work with on setting up ACH drafts, etc.

Jan 22, 2008 5:53 pm

Hmmm...didn't I read recently where the mutual fund mmkts owners were putting money into them to keep the nav at 1$....in this enviroment of very shaky financials...I sleep a little better with insured cash accts...If my clients want return on cash..how about a cd.  Isn't this what happened in Florida..when there was a run on the cash acct...or am I wrong.

Jan 22, 2008 6:00 pm

You are correct -- however, if you look at the investments in the money markets you would feel a lot better about Putnam, America Cash Management ect...those companines would put money into the accounts if they had to in order to keep the $1.00 share price.  But even you have to amit that a 3% spread in rates on Insured Cash Account vs a Putnam Money Market is hugh---LPL is making a lot of money$$$$$ on the Insured Cash Accounts!

 
A CD provides a good rate, but the liquidity and ability to write a check S U C K s!
Jan 22, 2008 6:06 pm

Spears...that is possible, but as conservative as AmFunds is, I highly doubt they'd get caught in that kind of mess.

Jan 23, 2008 9:12 am

did they just fire their head of customer support again?

Jan 23, 2008 10:21 am

Spears, I really don't have a problem offering an insured cash account--some people do like that...but I would bet the same people have some of their money invested in equity mutual funds with you...so just for a tad bit of risk (more than the insured cash account) you can get 3% more for your clients!  So what we should be able to do at LPL is offer a brokerage account money market more in line with traditional mutual fund money markets for those who want them.

 
But it is quite easy to set up a direct mutual fund money market and link it to the brokerage account.  I just like to whine about the extra work to do it!
Jan 23, 2008 12:32 pm

Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing..just mining for info...Do you ask or tell your clients they aren't insured??  I find it hard to even quote our insured rates, but then when I ask, " do you want the money insured or not"...I more times than not get the "Insured" answer. I know...hell would probably have to freeze over to lose money in the mutual fund mmkts...but....just when I say it can't  happen..the only thing I have is reputation...and if that ever goes bad...I'm toast...

Jan 23, 2008 2:41 pm
bspears:

Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing..just mining for info...Do you ask or tell your clients they aren't insured??  I find it hard to even quote our insured rates, but then when I ask, " do you want the money insured or not"...I more times than not get the "Insured" answer. I know...hell would probably have to freeze over to lose money in the mutual fund mmkts...but....just when I say it can't  happen..the only thing I have is reputation...and if that ever goes bad...I'm toast...

 
Aren't the MMKT's covered by SIPC?
Jan 23, 2008 2:56 pm

MMKT's are covered by SIPC if the firm fails but that doesn't stop a money market from going below $1.00 per share and that isn't covered by SIPC...but Spears if you ask that same client how would they like to earn say 1.5% on your money and it will be covered by FDIC insurance or would you like to put it in a money market fund paying 3% more?  Also bring up the fact that no money market fund has ever failed---as a matter of fact remember that the cost of running the fun and everthing else comes out the earnings first to keep up the $1.00 per share NAV--all additional earnings are what they pay out.  On a $50,000 money market that could mean the difference of about $1,500 and a bitchy client!

Jan 23, 2008 3:04 pm
Broker24:
 
Aren't the MMKT's covered by SIPC?
 
 
Yes, but if I'm not mistaken, they're discussing the remote possibility of the NAV falling below $1.00 per share.
 
SIPC would cover the money markets of American Funds, Putnam, etc., if they went bankrupt.
Jan 23, 2008 4:44 pm

IT may be a good call right now to my clients with cash.....

Feb 29, 2008 3:12 pm

I have been at LPL since March of 2000.  They WERE great.  Now they are absolutely terrible and arrogant!  I am not trying to overstate this either.  I'm a ok producer at $500k year.  I will be leaving.  I have also talked to more than a handful of people who are leaving and have been at LPL for awhile.  It is getting out of control.  I can't even imagine what it is going to be like in a year when they go public.  Good luck.

Feb 29, 2008 3:51 pm

Dan, I understand how you feel, although I'm not quite to the level you are...yet.  The people I talk to are mostly very nice, but lately, the crap slipping through the cracks and the system outages are unacceptable.  Recently, some idiot scanned an ACAT form and labled it something else.  After a month, we went looking and found this error, drew it to their attention and finally got the account transferred.  I don't have time to babysit incompetence and if things don't improve, I might do the unthinkable (at least it used to be the unthinkable) and make a jump myself.  Do us all a favor and tell us where you go and how it is in comparison.  I have two candidates in mind personally, but as of today, I've not done much due diligence...yet.



 
Good luck, man...