LPL Financial has introduced a no-transaction-fee trading platform for exchange traded funds, allowing advisors to trade over 450 ETFs from State Street Global Advisors, Invesco and WisdomTree for free in advisory accounts, effective Friday. The changes, for those particular partners agreeing to the zero fee, will apply to all Strategic Asset Management (SAM) and Strategic Wealth Management (SWM) platforms, according to the firm.
Recent moves by Schwab, TD Ameritrade and others to eliminate commissions on online stock, ETF and option trades, factored into LPL’s decision to launch the platform, said Rob Pettman, executive vice president of investor and investment solutions at LPL.
“That was a factor, albeit our businesses are very different; we don’t have a focus on direct-to-investor business,” Pettman said. “Pricing is a strategic lever for us; we’re very deliberate in what we do. We want to make sure we had price-competitive options for RIAs and advisors, combined with great technology capabilities and investments in great service.”
LPL is currently in talks with other ETF providers, and the firm expects to expand the platform in 2020 and beyond. It currently includes a blend of traditional indexing product options, such as those tracking the S&P and Nasdaq, as well as smart beta products and fixed income.
In May, the independent broker/dealer announced it would reduce ticket charges from $9 to $4.95 for State Street, Invesco and WisdomTree ETFs.
And last year, the firm launched a no-transaction-fee mutual fund network, which now encompasses over 70 mutual fund companies.
Earlier this year, LPL also reduced the threshold of assets custodied on its Strategic Asset Management advisory platform needed for advisors to qualify for a flat administrative fee.