Choose between advisory and brokerage services
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is how you want to work with LPL Financial. LPL Financial is a registered investment advisor and a broker/dealer, which means that an LPL financial professional can offer you both investment advisory and brokerage services.
Make sure you understand what each type of service entails when determining which will best help you pursue your investment goals.
Your initial meeting with a financial professional
Your initial meeting with a financial professional is a great time to get know him or her and ask questions. Learn more about preparing for your meeting and what to expect.
The new account agreement
Before any investing takes place, you’ll sign a new account agreement with your LPL financial professional. Don’t sign it unless you thoroughly understand and agree with the terms and conditions it imposes on you. Don’t rely on verbal representations from your financial professional that aren’t contained in the agreement.
To complete the agreement, you’ll need to make some critical decisions, such as:
1. Who will control the decision-making?
You can control the investment decisions made in your account or give discretionary authority to the financial professional to make them for you.
Discretionary authority allows a third party — the financial professional — to make investment decisions based on what he or she believes is best for you. The financial professional doesn’t have to consult you regarding the price, type of security, amount, or when to buy or sell. Don’t give discretionary authority to a financial professional or anyone else without considering whether this arrangement is appropriate for you.
2. How much risk should you assume?
You’ll also need to specify your overall investment objective in terms of risk. Risk is the possibility of losing some, or all, of the money you invest. Be sure that the risk level you choose accurately reflects your investment goals.
If you have a high-risk tolerance, you’re probably more willing to risk losing money to get potentially better results. If you have a low risk tolerance, you’ll probably lean towards investments that maintain your original investment.
A financial professional will also talk to you about other forms you may need to complete.
Find a financial professional
If you haven’t already selected an LPL financial professional, you can find one by using our financial professional search tool.