LPL (formerly Linsco/Private Ledger) is the largest independent broker in the country, with about 12,000 brokers and 2500 back office. They basically provide back office support for a fee to brokers, as well as providing an RIA framework and trust services. They also provide brokerage platforms to a lot of the community banks.Their major competition is Raymond James, which has a somewhat similar model. The biggest key here will be the advisor. LPL provides the structure for the advisor to conduct his/her business. They have no propreitary products, shelf space agreements, etc.Check out the firm at http://www.finra.org/Investors/ToolsCalculators/BrokerCheck/...Do this for anyone you will be dealing with.If you are dealing with an SEC registered RIA (LPL would qualify) check them at http://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/(S(lwtbaobd53plje3vcpb5wl45))...These sites will let you know of any actions taken by FINRA or the SEC regarding the individual advisor or the company.
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