The biggest independent broker-dealer is winning applause for growing on a year-over-year basis, but August's market disaster knocked a lot of the momentum out of LPL's third-quarter results.
LPL attracted 12% more asset flows in the recent quarter than it did in the summer of 2010, but total AUM declined 7% on a quarter-to-quarter basis.
These numbers reflect the third-quarter slump we have seen from other massive national advisory firms, UBS and Raymond James being notable exceptions.
Interestingly, LPL also seems to be shifting toward high-net-worth markets. Its new recruits are managing a lot more money -- 50% more, on average -- than their more established colleagues.
While those new advisors still account for only a small proportion of the firm's overall production, they are definitely changing its formerly middle-class profile.
And with LPL's resources behind them, they might pose a more serious competitive threat than ever to advisors who've built their own business catering to these relatively scarce clients.