LPL vs RJ

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eb29's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-10

Can someone give me a true comparison on LPL and RJ.  It seems LPL is willing to offer more assistance but RJ is much more turnkey.  Is it wrong to like RJ because they have nicer statements?  I once read that if you leave a firm to go independent be sure to come across as an upgrade.  LPL statements are the worst in the industry.  How do you go to a place like LPL from a company like Morgan or Merrill and come across as anything other than a research and technology downgrade.  

American Flag's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-03

eb29 wrote:Can someone give me a true comparison on LPL and RJ.  It seems LPL is willing to offer more assistance but RJ is much more turnkey.  Is it wrong to like RJ because they have nicer statements?  I once read that if you leave a firm to go independent be sure to come across as an upgrade.  LPL statements are the worst in the industry.  How do you go to a place like LPL from a company like Morgan or Merrill and come across as anything other than a research and technology downgrade.  You bring up an interesting question.Just what is so great about having the worst statements in the industry?Printed on vintage 1970's printers with type the size of a microdot, all mailed via junk mail so they arrive two weeks after the fact to boot.  I must be missing something.However, they are free of advertising clutter. My old firm's monthly customer statement included so much advertising and junk mail fliers, I thought it was the Sunday paper. 

Indy8's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-13

Go with RJ since they got a better looking stadium...

XCitiFA's picture
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Joined: 2009-12-09

You're all Wrong!!Their statements are excellent and you can personalize them with your OWN Business Logo as well. They allow you to control what info you want shown as well as personal messages (Pre-Packaged) from you to YOUR clients. They're not mailed like junkmail and allow you to bundle all clients accounts to one summary statement with full statements behind, all in one envelope.If you want to control YOUR Business and work with YOUR clients the way YOU see fit, LPL is the way to go.It's true there is no LPL Stadium but if that's your motivation..................................

alexus's picture
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Joined: 2011-03-24

Printed on vintage 1970's printers with type the size of a microdot, all mailed via junk mail so they arrive two weeks after the fact to boot.  I must be missing something.

XCitiFA's picture
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Joined: 2009-12-09

That's absolutely False!Looks like most everyone's statements. Except we have the ability to customize info shown on statements ourselves.  Where did you get your 1970's Printer info?? and 2 weeks late??My clients rave about the convenience of our statements (Monthly if divs pay), all in one convenient envelope without all the BS ads that ALL other B/D's stuff their clients statements with.What you are missing is the truth!!Why would LPL be the biggest and fastest growing Indy if the client experience wasn't better than where they were before??

American Flag's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-03

Look, I also think LPL is an excellent company, in many ways the best in the industry. But eb29's point was on how it appears to clents when you change from a top tier firm.I don't know what firm you came from, but the print on LPL statements is smaller than on EJ's, I think the print looks low quality, I think the format is more confusing, and for our location it takes about 2 weeks for the statements to arrive from where they are sent from in California. I suspect this will be corrected and improved... and I already commented about how to LPL's credit their statements are devoid of advertising.Also, RJ has an established brand name. LPL is more unknown to clients as a brand. Not bad - just not as well known. I find people familiar with LPL think highly of it, but it is not branded like RJ to consumers.I could talk about all the good things at LPL, the open platform, the home office support, the innovation, the commitment to independence, but that wasn't the question, and I'm not here as a recruiter.I do believe in some ways LPL is a "B" or "B+" platform. It's an A+ company, but currently a B+ platform as it appears to clients. This is due to the customer statements, the online access portal, late tax information, even brand recognition when compared to an established name like RJ.Now who would I choose, RJ or LPL? No question, LPL. Because of the firm's other strengths.But that is me. Everyone is different, and maybe for someone else another firm is a better fit.   

XCitiFA's picture
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Joined: 2009-12-09

American Flag,I agree with most of what you've stated except that RJ is an established brand. Except for the stadium in Tampa and a few recent commercials on CNBC, who has heard of them?Within the industry they're a known name, but from a clients perspective, I don't think they're a Brand Name.

American Flag's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-03

XCitiFA wrote:American Flag,I agree with most of what you've stated except that RJ is an established brand. Except for the stadium in Tampa and a few recent commercials on CNBC, who has heard of them?Within the industry they're a known name, but from a clients perspective, I don't think they're a Brand Name. In my geographical area, they are well known, but they have a strong presence here. This may not apply to all locales. Remember, too, they are different,  in that they are a firm that also does investment banking, captive brokers, etc.

BigFirepower's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-09

Registered Rep analyzes the indy brokers each year, and so does JD Power. Read their research, and that should help quite a bit. Each rep has something that makes them unique, find a firm that matches up with what you do. RJ and LPL are huge, and maybe that suits you, or if you prefer something smaller, there are some great providers there too. Do your homework, because every hour you spend doing some homework is worth a fortune later.  

eb29's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-10

Thanks for your input. American flag or anyone else,  If RJ is perhaps a bit more turnkey and outwardly maybe their presentation is a little more up to date.  What is it that LPL provides that RJ cant? You mentioned for you LPL would still be the choice.  I know I am knitpicking but I am trying to understand what the plus would be for LPL over RJ. What is RJs weakness?I am basically down to both firms and I have them in a dead heat.  I think once I make a decision I will be happy either way.  

alwaysbullish's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-16

I joined LPL just over a year ago.  I did extensive due diligence before making my choice including talking/meeting with former colleagues who had joined both firms.  I chose LPL primarily because I got the sense that there was some proprietary element to RJ's product offerings that I did not want.  LPL on the other hand was totally non-proprietary.  LPL intentionally keeps their name in the background preferring instead to let the FA focus on the relationship with the client instead of the relationship with LPL.  I think highly of RJ and they would have been my second choice.  They do have a more publicly known name and that can sometimes make transition a little easier but I didn't think it would matter as much in the long run.  I will also add that I am in one of the LPL headquarters cities and I also thought that would be advantageous.

BigFirepower's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-09

EB, if that is the case, then look for local culture. In my area, the LPL guys are pretty tight, and do golf tournaments and trips together. They are close, without being too close if you know what I mean. My old bank was like that, and it is the ONLY thing I miss. But, since everyone left that old place finally, we've pretty much stayed in contact with each other. Quite a few of my old colleagues are friends for life. So, find the place that makes you feel like friends/family.  

Sportsfreakbob's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-24

I left a wire for RJ 2 years ago. I would say AlwaysBullish post was a good assesment (besides being well thought out).RJ has proprietary turnkey programs, like MF and ETF Wrap programs with a lot of RJ marketing material attached to it. And they have Consulting Services although their SMA program is not that robust, at least compared to what i was used to at the wire.They also own Eagle Asset Management (SMA's and MF's)With that said i would make two points1. i have never experienced any hint of pressure to use any of their proprietary stuff, other than sales pitches from the wholesaler who works in those areas. And there is no indication of desire on RJ's part to treat those wholesalers any differently than other outside MF Wholesalers.2. As far as identity, we have a choice. Because of the strong brand, many choose to use the RJ brand out front. Others choose an identity that is totally their own. In those cases, RJ has a marketing group to help with such things as custom marketing materials, etc, even designing logos, and creating your own brand.I'm not saying RJ is a better choice. Just pointing out some relevant comments. RJ might be a better choice for some, LPL might be better for others. 

mrclutch's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-23

AlwaysBullish .... RJ was #2???  Man, we weren't even close were we???  Did you see the article about us in FUNDfire last week??

Baron Automatic's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-26

I think there was a recent Smart Money poll putting Raymond James at # 1

EJorIndy's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-19

Hey All-Just went through the due diligence of both firms and home office visit.  I just yesterday committed to RJ.  I am at EJ now and really like the firm, just want to go independent and own the business.  I felt that RJ was more my style.  It was important to me to have ACATs picked up.  I liked the client facing material more(statement, website, etc).  I think the name sounds better in the client's ear, making the transition easier.  I am not nickel and dimed for every add on that I want.   The peeps from both firms were solid, but I felt at RJ they were a little warmer.The upfront money was more at LPL, but in the end I think it all even's out.  My gut was telling me RJ and that's what I ran with.

RainierAdvisor's picture
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Joined: 2011-11-07

I began my career with AGE and left WFA two years ago due to the merger mess.  I considered both LPL and RJ quite seriously, but settled with RJ.  Thus far, it has been a great experience.   I shared EB's concerns about perception.  One issue that left me feeling like LPL was not up to my standards was this - no checks could be issued from the branch.  The LPL recruiter explained to me that any checks issued to clients had to be mailed from the home office.  Sure, ACH authorizations can be set up and wire transfers sent electronically, but it bothered me that I would have to explain to clients that we weren't capable of handling their request to stop by the office to pick up a check.  Maybe that has changed since I moved.This wasn't the sole reason for my eventual choice, but it seemed worth sharing.  Good luck with the move. 

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