LPL to lower its stock and ETF fees dramatically

B-D to cut transaction costs from $15 a trade to $9

Aug 8, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

By Lavonne Kuykendall

LPL Financial LLC will lower its equity and ETF transaction fees to $9 a trade, from $15, at the beginning of next year, Bill Dwyer, president of national sales and marketing for LPL Financial, said at its annual conference in Chicago.

Mr. Dwyer, addressing an audience of about 2,600 advisers, said the change in part reflects the growing popularity of trading in ETFs. The crowd gave a healthy round of applause to the announcement. Conversely, the advisers offered a more muted reaction to the announcement that the firm's 12,600 representatives and advisers will be receiving a free one-year membership to the Financial Services Institute, the lobbying group for independent broker-dealers and their reps.

The addition of LPL's troops will push membership in the lobbying group to over 28,000 broker-dealers and reps, and will give the group a little more clout in Washington, executives said at the conference.

LPL Financial, which is a unit of LPL Investment Holdings Inc., offered a high-wattage lineup of speakers at its four-day conference. Speakers included Michael Eisner, former chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Co., and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, as well as a performance by rocker John Mellencamp.

Despite the lower transaction fees, LPL has seen its fixed costs rise in the past few years, and “periodically we need to pass those on,” said Mr. Dwyer, though he didn't give any specifics as to when that might happen.

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