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FAQs

Frequently asked questions

 

General Questions

Pricing varies by each solution and the level of service your business requires. Specific services and levels of support will be confirmed in an agreement. Your Business consultant will review your options based on learning your business needs.

We bill in arears by pulling fees from commissions earned. For example: a February service fee is pulled from March commission payments.

There are two commission cycles each month. You can choose whether to have fees pulled from the first, the second, or split between the two.  

 

Admin Solutions

Our admins can handle all the typical functions you may expect from an office assistant such as: manage your calendar, schedule appointments, proof documents, send emails, and coordinate meetings. They can also manage tasks specific to operating a financial practice like managing standard account activity, processing new account opening documents, account maintenance, transfers, and cash management. They have expertise in using ClientWorks, Account View, Move Money, AdvisoryWorld, and WealthVision so that they can help serve and answer questions for your clients.

Yes! We will arrange to have a direct-dial contact for you and your clients.

Yes! Your admin can handle customer inquiries, follow-up on transactions, set up conference calls, schedule appointments, and more.

You will have a dedicated admin professional who will learn your business and consistently represent your firm. Your admin is backed by a team of trained professionals so your business needs are always met.

Yes, we do have options to provide multiple levels of support. Let your Business consultant know about your specific needs so that we can invite each advisor to participate in the onboarding process to ensure your admin is prepared to meet all advisors’ business needs.

During the onboarding process, our team will work closely with you to learn about your business needs and personal working style to match the appropriate person to fit within your office culture.

Our admins are only scheduled to work normal business hours, Monday through Friday and observe the same holidays as LPL & Wall Street.

Your Admin is an LPL employee who is required to undergo background checks, drug testing, and sign a confidentiality agreement to protect your business and your clients’ private and sensitive data. With your permission, your admin is granted administrative assistant level access to your LPL accounts such as ClientWorks to perform only administrative level tasks. Admins should only be given access to information allowed under federally regulated compliance standards.

 

Marketing Solutions

Yes. A successful marketing plan starts with a clear strategy. As the business owner, you’ll work with your marketing consultant to define your goals, and identify your target consumer, so that he or she can design a plan aligned with your goals and then execute the plan to bring your campaign to life.

Your Marketing Consultant will help you increase the time you can spend on revenue-generating activities by providing the following marketing support:

  • Increase and amplify your overall visibility in social media to attract prospects and engage clients
  • Run digital ads to attract new prospects
  • Engage leads through ongoing social media publishing, blogging, and mass email campaigns
  • Develop a consistent monthly digital marketing content strategy 
  • Create tailored marketing material for your clients at scale
  • Develop automated lead nurturing campaigns to generated highly-qualified leads
  • Provide general website maintenance

During the onboarding process, your Marketing Consultant will conduct an in-depth discovery call with you to learn about your practice. Based on the information you share, your Marketing Consultant will then be able to pull and tailor content relevant to your clients and target prospects from our exclusive Marketing Solutions content library curated from a wide variety of financial content vendors and subject matter experts.

Your online presence is critical. Your Marketing Consultant can make professional recommendations for improving your website and SEO performance. He or she can also create landing pages and forms that generate leads and develop effective online messaging to differentiate your practice from your competitors.

Yes. Your Marketing Consultant will develop and post blogs on your behalf up to four times per week. The blog will increase your firm’s visibility online, attract more people to your website, and position your team as thought leaders and subject matter experts.
Your Marketing Consultant can create tailored messaging to segmented clients in your database and direct them to relevant content shared in your blog, for example, or mass email communications such a monthly newsletter to keep clients engaged with your firm.

Yes. Your Marketing Consultant will work with you to create a customized content calendar for sharing content that resonates with your audience and draws attention to your practice through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you don’t already have these social media profiles created for your practice, your Marketing Consultant can create them for you.

 

CFO Solutions

Your CFO can provide a wide range of strategic and financial services, from creating and implementing a strategic business plan to reviewing budgets, forecasting, and advising you on reducing expenditures. Your consultant can help you raise capital, establish cash reserves, maximize your growth and profitability, and demonstrate how following a business plan can impact short- and long-term cash flow, overall profitability, and the valuation of your business.

Your CFO will often work with your CPA as a strategic partner, providing financial insight and implementation that a CPA may not be qualified to provide. Your CFO focuses on financial strategies for growth and measurable outcomes like resolving cash flow issues and optimizing margins, shaping and helping execute short- and long-term financial plans for your business.

If your business is on a growth path, a CFO can help you make wise business decisions to minimize risk and optimize your growth potential to meet short- and long-term business objectives. We suggest that you have a conversation with a Business consultant to assess your business needs so we can make a recommendation.

Your CFO will work with you to develop a long-term business strategy that will be measured by short-term accomplishments, each of which will bring your business closer to your ultimate goals. Our CFOs are most effective when they have an ongoing relationship with you and your business, and meet with you regularly to set measurable goals and objectives. Unlike other consulting services, your CFO will go beyond merely identifying areas to focus on, but will partner with you to implement and execute against your own customized, strategic plan.

None. Your CFO has all the tools he or she will need to analyze and report on the business data you provide. There are software add-ons you can consider, and you can purchase them using our volume discount if you choose. If you wish, your CFO will also review your vendor relationships and see what savings we can pass onto you as part of the onboarding process.  We don’t profit from or accept any fees or gifts from manufacturers to recommend certain brands or products.

 

Technology Solutions

We use a customized enterprise version of Box.com to meet  the security needs dictated by the financial industry.

No. You will need a file server first to connect your files to the cloud.

No, we do not charge for migrating your business data to the cloud.

It depends on the amount of data and the internet speed at the time of the migration.  However, in most cases, the migration process only takes a couple of days.

We ensure that our service meets or exceeds the industry's best standards for storing PII in the cloud. Our solution adheres to the policies set by Compliance. We configured all the service settings in advance to ensure your cloud storage solution is compliant with the Branch Office Security Policy section 6.4.

We will provide your business with unlimited cloud storage.

When you are working online, your files save in real time to the cloud. 

You can connect directly to the cloud through a secure login we provide you. The login is separate from your ClientWorks account?

Compliance and cybersecurity are two different things. Financial professionals today are required to navigate increasingly complex waters when it comes to regulatory compliance. Having client data in a digital format has made compliance issues more complicated that even those who follow the rules to the best of their abilities can still step out of bounds on occasion. That’s why LPL offers firms 24/7 compliance monitoring so that your practice stays in bounds.

Firms in compliance have fallen victim to cyber-attacks. LPL has discovered that a majority of the firms who reported a cyber–attack were compliant with LPL’s Branch Office Security Policy at the time. That’s because cybersecurity experts report that the security walls used by most advisory firms are still relatively weak. LPL created Remote Office Solution to answer this need to provide enterprise-level security programs to monitor for potential threats 24/7 and provide a way to respond and mitigate them to avoid the impact of an attack.

Financial firms are particularly vulnerable due to the amount of personal and sensitive data they possess. A study produced by Forbes Magazine states that nearly two-thirds of all cyber-attacks target small businesses, costing a business, on average, $85k.

Investing in cybersecurity to ensure the safety of clients’ data is an investment in protecting the firm’s assets and reputation. Rigorous training procedures and education for staff members on security issues are also important. That’s why we provide firms with periodic security awareness training as part of Remote Office Solution. 

The age of the computer is not as important as ensuring all of the security patches and updates are applied and maintained. For example, a four-year-old computer that is kept up to date with all the security patches and updates with a high-end protection software installed is more secure than a computer that is six months old and does not have proactive systems to ensure updates are applied using a consumer-grade anti-virus program.

Depending on the incident, you would be responsible for hiring legal counsel to represent your business and a data forensics firm to investigate and report on the systems breached, the data left vulnerable, the notification to clients of the data compromised and paying for them to be enrollment in ongoing credit monitoring. Also, you will need to cover the costs associated with restoring data and your office systems to resume business as usual.

Please note that any cybersecurity event, security incident, or violation of an LPL Branch Office Security Policy, whether confirmed or suspected, needs to be reported immediately to the LPL Privacy Office via the Security Incident Hotline at 1-866-578-7011.

LPL monitors over 10,000+ devices daily using the latest end-point protection tools used by many of the largest financial services companies and government entities in the world. Secure Office is a program that allows LPL to extend access to these protection tools and offer 24/7 security monitoring and a response team to thwart potential threats actively. Management software is included in Remote Office Solution to make software updates in real-time to apply security patches and securely back up all data on your device. It is also used to make updates to keep your device compliant to withstand a branch audit.

No. Remote Office Solution specifically provides programs to support cybersecurity and compliance. A local provider can provide you with hands-on computer technology support.

Yes and no. Whether you are using a Mac or PC by any major manufacturer, desktop, or laptop, we can help. The only requirement is that your computer’s operating system is the Windows 10 or Mac OSX version 10.x or higher. The computer requirements for Remote Office Solution is the same as the minimum computer requirements necessary to use Clientworks.

Yes. The $124 a month fee includes up to two computer devices (PC, laptop) per person.

No. Remote Office Solution supports Windows or macOS computers.

If your state has unique requirements, we will work with you to help you meet those obligations, even if it is to provide a template for manual submissions the state requires. We are currently working with our Compliance and Information Security teams to develop a comprehensive solution to implement tools to automate individual state requirements.

Remote Office Solution customers are afforded the added benefit of a higher level of coverage and lower deductible than an LPL advisor, not in the program. It is our way of providing our thanks for entrusting your cybersecurity needs to us. LPL’s E&O default coverage changes annually, so we estimate the coverage to increases to $750K, and the deductible reduces to $7k with Remote Office Solution. The E&O policy is provided upon request.

 

The Assurance Plan

Unplanned exit or incapacity is defined as your involuntary exit from the industry due to death or an accident, injury, or medical condition that prevents you from working due to physical or cognitive impairment.

Notify LPL of the change in circumstances and provide substantiating documentation such as death certificate or certified medical records. Start the process by emailing us at Licensing@lpl.com.

The initial valuation will take place within six months of purchasing The Assurance Plan. The valuation will be assessed annually during a three-year contract. After the triggering event, a new valuation will be conducted to help guide fair market value for potential buyers.

It is based on a 1.5x multiple of your recurring revenues. Recurring revenues are defined as existing trail commissions and advisory fees generated through LPL (and do not include off-platform assets such as TAMPs).

The initial payment is typically paid out via check to the beneficiary within 45 days of LPL being notified of your death or incapacity.

The payout should be treated as capital gains. Consult with your accountant or tax professionals regarding your situation.

Whether you sign up for a one-year or a three-year agreement, you will be notified 60 days in advance of the agreement end date and have the option to continue coverage by signing a new contract or terminate at the end of the original contract.

The Assurance Plan cannot be canceled early. However, should you decide to sell your practice while you are covered, we will waive any remaining months on the contract.

All LPL corporate and hybrid financial professionals are eligible. Future options for other affiliation models are being explored.

LPL may sell the book to another qualified LPL advisor and, if so, will deliver the proceeds above the guaranteed floor to you or your beneficiary. If a sale does not occur, LPL will retain and service the book.

For Broker/Dealer Use Only, Not for use with the public.

Tracking #1-902219