A plethora of investment products are available to investors, including mutual funds, exchange-traded products (ETP), variable annuities, and alternative investments—all of which have many moving parts that can be a daunting task to track and monitor. The LPL Financial Research team is responsible for taking on this task in order to make the most suitable recommendations. For example, many investments may appear sound on the surface, but require further research to determine if their performance is truly the result of investment acumen (and not luck). In addition, we believe that not all investment managers and products are appropriate for everyone. Some investments carry higher risks, and are appropriate for those who understand the complexities and issues involved, and are financially and emotionally willing to take on those risks.
Our goal is to help vet the vast universe of available products and provide guidance around which ones we believe are sound, and help define which investments are best suited for various types of investors. To accomplish our goals, we are not conflicted in our decision making. We do not believe reliable investment decisions can be made if conflicts are present. LPL Financial Research has no conflicts that may impede us from providing unbiased research. We are compensated based on what is most important to you: the performance of our recommended models and investments. Our role as due diligence provider is conducted by our Manager Due Diligence team. Our analytics conduct traditional due diligence, which consists of both quantitative and qualitative research. Our main focus is to evaluate investment firms, portfolio managers, and other investment personnel, as well as their investment strategies and processes. We use both proprietary and third-party analysis to accomplish these goals. The analytics provide in-depth due diligence and recommendations on open-end mutual funds and separately managed accounts. Additionally, this team approves ETPs, separately-managed account managers, third-party investment advisors, and alternative investments.