Get more information about LPL Financial’s Independent Advisor Institute program, which trains new independent financial advisors.

Independent Advisor Institute FAQs

Interested in the Independent Advisor Institute but looking for more information? Browse our frequently asked questions to find out whether the program is the right fit for you.

Find out more about the LPL Independent Advisor Institute.

Why would I want to be a financial advisor?

  • Entrepreneurship: The financial advice industry allows you to build a book of business on your own terms and on your own timeline. Your level of success is entirely up to you.
  • Job security: Nearly half of current financial advisors are expected to retire over the next 15 years, so demand will only increase. There is an estimated $30 trillion expected to transfer to millennial and generation X investors, and they will need someone to help them navigate their financial future.
  • Community: Being a financial advisor allows you to connect deeply with your clients and cement a role as a leader in your community.

What is the IAI selection process?

The LPL Independent Advisor Institute begins with an initial screening process, then a series of conversations with LPL Home Office professionals, and experienced LPL advisors.

You’ll be appraised on your past experience, your willingness to learn and tenacity to grow, your interpersonal skills, and your ability to form strong relationships. That will allow us to match you with a managing advisor in your area who will help you through your training and guide you as you launch your new career.

How is the program structured?

You’ll spend the first year working in your managing advisor’s office—with competitive compensation—receiving on-the-job training, coaching, and guidance to help prepare you to pass the Series 7 and 66 licensing exams.

Preparation for the licensing exams will comprise the first three months of your training curriculum, which includes organized classroom sessions with LPL team members and other new associate advisors.

What does the Series 7 exam entail?

The Series 7 exam is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the independent regulator that governs our industry. The exam is six hours long and consists of 260 questions, covering topics such as suitability of recommendations, mutual funds, municipal bonds, securities regulations, and customer accounts.

What does the Series 66 exam entail?

The Series 66 exam is administered by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), an international organization devoted to investor protection. It is designed to qualify candidates as both securities agents and investment adviser representatives. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and 10 pretest questions, with each section weighted differently toward a passing score. You have 150 minutes to complete the exam.

How tough is it to pass the Series 7 and Series 66 exams?

As a participant in the Independent Advisor Institute, you’ll be well positioned to pass the Series 7 and Series 66 exams, but dedicated study time, including completion of various practice problems and practice tests, are generally required to ensure success.

What else will I learn during the program?

In addition to preparation for the Series 7 and Series 66 license exams, our curriculum includes detailed coursework on the specifics of investment management, compliance, marketing, sales, and other aspects of running a successful practice.

  • You’ll learn the fundamentals of investing; understanding the markets, products, and platforms; basics of portfolio construction; and niche products; and have access to advancing your licensing opportunities.
  • You’ll be able to tap into LPL’s vast network of subject-matter experts and thought leaders, who will impart best practices for running a business, using technology, and more.
  • You’ll work with leading consultants on how to attract and partner with clients, have in-depth conversations, and ultimately forge meaningful connections.

Your managing advisor will also expose you to other facets of the industry, such as networking and the art of building a client list. After your first year of training and successfully obtaining your Series 7 and 66 licenses, you’ll be ready to continue your growth and begin the process of building your own stable of clients—all with the experience of your managing advisor and the vast resources of LPL behind you.

What if I already have my Series 7 and/or Series 66 licenses?

You can still participate in the Independent Advisor Institute.

How much money will I make as a financial advisor?

The Independent Advisor Institute offers competitive compensation for the first year of the program. Upon completion of the first year, you’ll continue to work with your managing advisor, begin building your own book of business and growing your client base, and enjoy ongoing opportunities in launching your new career. Many financial advisors also receive compensation in the form of bonuses, profit sharing, and commissions.

Because of the increasing demand for financial advice, there is a high level of growth potential in this career path. How much you make in this field depends on how you choose to grow your career.

Why should I choose to work with LPL?

LPL has an industry-leading reputation for putting advisors first. For nearly 30 years, we’ve provided the tools, access, and infrastructure for advisors to grow their businesses on their own terms. As an independent firm, we don’t offer traditional propriety products or banking relationships, which gives you the freedom to offer customized, objective advice to your clients. As an LPL advisor, you’ll benefit from services such as research, technology, compliance, access to an ever-growing array of products, continuing education, and much more.

How are the managing advisors selected?

IAI managing advisors are chosen based on a variety of factors. In addition to industry tenure and practice size, they have a demonstrated passion for developing talent and a strong desire to invest in someone who can help them grow their business.

What resources will I have within LPL to support me?

As a program participant, you’ll work with a dedicated program manager who works in the LPL Home Office. You’ll receive a blend of in-person and distance learning, including exclusive access to leading industry experts and conference opportunities. And, you can tap into LPL’s network of independent financial advisors, a group whose skills were the reason LPL was recently ranked #1 in customer loyalty among 21 leading financial services providers.*

Other support includes competitive compensation and reward opportunities, access to innovative LPL technology, and a network of new-to-the-industry advisors like you.

Ready to take your next step? View our open Independent Advisor Institute positions and apply today.

* Market Strategies International, Cogent Wealth Reports, “Investor Brand Builder™: Maximize Purchase Intent Among Investors and Expand Client Relationships,” November 2017.