Beware! LPL Financial is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
LPL Financial’s website is filled with assurances that this forex broker deserves our trust. But even a basic fact check reveals that this is not the case.
In this review, we will look at the evidence that this is not a legitimate financial services provider and therefore it is in your best interest to avoid it.
LPL Financial Regulation and safety of funds
|Guaranteed Funds||Segregated Accounts||Negative balance protection|
|UK regulated brokers||£85 000||Yes||Yes|
|EU regulated brokers||€20 000||Yes||Yes|
|AU regulated brokers||No||Yes||Yes|
|US regulted brokers||Yes||Yes||No|
When you visit the website of a legitimate broker you can expect to find clear and detailed information about the company that owns and operates it, where it is based and what regulatory regimes it is subject to. Licensed financial services providers are also required to provide a comprehensive set of legal documentation.
LPL Financial does not provide access to Terms and Conditions or Customer Agreement. The only method of contact is email.
The “About” subsection states that LPL Financial Ltd is incorporated in the United States and licensed by the appropriate financial authorities.
To operate as a forex broker in the United States, a company must be registered as a futures commission merchant and foreign exchange dealer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and to be a member of the National Futures Association (NFA).
The NFA register shows that although there is a company called LPL Financial Ltd it is not a member of the NFA and is not subject to NFA oversight. This company is only registered with exemptions for commodity pool operator and commodity trading advisor, which prevents it from providing financial services in the US. This is a tactic often used by financial fraudsters to simulate credibility.
Registration with LLL requires a reference code. Genuine brokers make it easy to create a Demo account. On the other hand, many scams do not allow free registration because scammers prefer to hand-pick their potential victims in online forums.
Before investing your money in financial instruments, it is imperative to make sure you do so through a licensed intermediary and not one of the many scammers lurking online.
You should only trust legitimate brokers operating in one of the established financial centres like the UK, EU, USA or Australia. There, the activities of brokers are controlled by powerful regulatory bodies such as UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in US or Australian Securities and Exchanges Commission (ASIC). Clients of these brokers receive protections such as negative balance protection and segregation of the client’s funds from the broker’s funds.
In the EU and the UK, brokers must also participate in guarantee schemes that cover a certain amount of the trader’s investment if the broker becomes insolvent. These guarantees amount to up to 20 000 EUR in the EU and 85 000 GBP in the UK. However, the likelihood of such a bankruptcy is low because regulators also have significant net capital requirements that companies must maintain – EUR 730 000 in UK and Cyprus, AUD 1000 000 in Australia and at least 20 million USD in the United States.
LPL Financial Trading software
|Analytical tools||Auto trading||Custom indicators||Mobile apps|
|LPL Financial platform||❌||❌||❌||❌|
|cTrader||40+ indicators||✅||✅||Android and iOS|
The website claims that LPL Financial offers a trading platform named LPL TRADING, which is represented as “one of the world’s most recognized and widely used online trading platforms”.
Not only have we never heard of this platform, but the installation file that can be downloaded from the website is actually for another obscure trading software – Sirix Station. The trading platform does not have a Demo Account option, which is why we were unable to test its functionality.
It should be noted that the presence of a trading platform does not make this website any more legitimate and does not guarantee that this alleged broker offers real trading. Many scammers use rigged trading software to fool their victims that their money is being invested.
If you use the services of a licensed broker, you will get the opportunity to use established software with advanced features and versions for all types of devices and operating systems. The most widely used trading platforms in the industry are MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5).
These platforms have established themselves as industry standard because they offer a wide range of features, including a variety of options for customization, multiple account usage, designing and implementing custom scripts for automated trading and backtesting trade strategies.
LPL Financial Trading instruments
LPL Financial claims to offer trading with forex, equities, equity indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. But nowhere on the website do we find any information about the conditions related to this trade.
Legitimate forex brokers offer a variety of trading account types tailored to the needs of clients with different capital and investment intentions. These brokers also provide clear and detailed information on trading parameters – leverage, spread, commissions, order execution method, etc.
LPL Financial Spreads and cost of trading
As stated, LPL Financial does not provide any information on trading parameters. But it is also apparent that LPL Financial is offering fictitious, not real, trading.
LPL Financial Maximum leverage
|UK regulated brokers||30:1||5:1||❌||10:1||10:1|
|EU regulated brokers||30:1||5:1||2:1||10:1||10:1|
|AU regulated brokers||30:1||5:1||2:1||10:1||10:1|
|US regulated brokers||50:1||❌||❌||❌||❌|
The website gives an example for trading with a leverage of 1:100. Regulated brokers do not offer such levels to retail traders as trading with high leverage carries risks of sudden and excessive losses. A maximum leverage of 1:30 is allowed in the European Union and the United Kingdom and 1:50 in the United States.
Higher levels of leverage are only offered to professional clients who trade entirely at their own risk. If you don’t qualify as a professional trader but are willing to take the risk of high-leverage trading, the most viable option is to use the services of an offshore affiliate of an established brand.
LPL Financial Deposit and withdrawal methods
The lack of information also affects available payment methods and conditions for deposits and withdrawals.
Experience with scams of this type has shown that fraudsters direct their potential victims to payment methods that do not allow refunds or chargebacks, most commonly cryptocurrencies.
While there are some legitimate brokers that accept digital currencies like Bitcoin, they do so alongside other transparent payment methods such as credit/debit card, bank transfer or popular e-wallets like PayPal, Neteller or Skrill.
LPL Financial Minimum deposit
Given everything we’ve established about LPL Financial, there’s no doubt that it would be wiser to go with a diligently licensed broker. The leading brands in the industry offer starter accounts with a very low minimum deposit, sometimes as low as 5 USD.
LPL Financial Withdrawal requirements
|Trading volume||Fee/Tax on withdrawal||Minimum withdrawal|
|LPL Financial||No information||No information||No information|
|UK regulated brokers||No||No||No|
|EU regulated brokers||No||No||No|
|AU regulated brokers||No||No||No|
|US regulated brokers||No||No||No|
Since LPL Financial does not provide proper legal documentation, it is unclear what traps the fraudsters may have set. Typically, fake brokers make withdrawing money impossible through huge fees and impossible-to-fulfil traded volume conditions.