Becoming an Independent Financial Advisor Just Got Easier

Wealth Management speaks with Advisor Mike Ashworth and SVP LPL Kimberly Sanders

“Fast forward 18 months later and I couldn’t be happier than I am right now.” This is how Mike Ashworth describes his experience of transitioning to independence in a recent episode of Wealth Management Quick Chat series. Ashworth had spent his career in a CCTV company and knew that if he was going to change, it would be to become independent. He just didn’t know how. He then heard about LPL Financial’s Strategic Wealth Management services model.

A supported independence model, Strategic Wealth provides financial advisors with a team of expert practitioners who handle the day-to-day logistics of running a business. The Advisor is an entrepreneur and business owner, and the LPL team functions effectively as its staff. Launched in 2020, Strategic Wealth allows advisors to enjoy the benefits of independence, like autonomy and equity building, without the stress of running a solo business.

In the episode, Ashworth sits down with Wealth Management and Kimberly Sanders, SVP, Business Development – ​​LPL Strategic Wealth Services, to discuss her journey from telephone exchange to independence. Here are some highlights:

Why become independent?

Mike Ashworth shares his reasons for going independent with Strategic Wealth:

The first thing I’m going to tell you, and the most important thing for me, is that I couldn’t do much marketing when I was at the power plant.

I couldn’t use social media on a large scale. I certainly couldn’t do digital commercials, and things like that. I had a marketing person directly assigned to me [at LPL], and she does a fantastic job. She takes all these things. She runs with them. She publishes my blogs and social media posts weekly. She just runs that part of the business for me. And it’s not something I barely have to deal with other than having a call with her once every two weeks to go over things. So that was the biggest thing, it’s so smooth and easy to do, and it was NOT where I was before. …

Technology is certainly something else. I mean, moving in the middle of a pandemic, without something like electronic signatures to use, I don’t know if our business would have fared nearly the way we did during this time. So their technology has been phenomenal.

How does independence compare to wirehouse?

“I’ve heard it sounds like kind of a cliché,” Ashworth said, “if you had known what it was going to be to be independent, you would have done it a lot sooner.” And indeed, it really is for me.

He shared a story of how his family notices a change:

When your own family realizes that you changed your behavior from day one of your transition, you know something was probably going to happen.

But there’s no doubt, when I was back at the wirehouse, I really… I didn’t see any vision for my family in this industry. And, now as you fast forward to where we are today, I have a kid of mine applying to get into the industry, and I’m really excited about it. My wife and I met in this industry and I think she’s going to come back and start working with us too, so I can definitely see this becoming a family affair again when at some point I never would have imagined something like that.

Why choose strategic heritage?

“What’s different with Strategic Wealth Services is that we immediately assign an interim COO, a project manager, who will walk the advisor through this process,” Sanders said. “They’re going to manage all the different aspects of this move and the vendors and they’re going to do it at zero cost to the advisor. So it’s been designed to really meet the need of the advisor who comes in and says, ‘Look, I don’t know. not what I don’t know”… And that’s the most common thing I hear from advisors. That’s why we built what we built.

Learn more

To listen to the full episode, listen on Wealthmanagement.com. To learn more about LPL Strategic Wealth Services, visit the Strategic Wealth business model. And, to start a confidential conversation about how LPL Strategic Wealth Services can support your independent practice, contact your business development consultant.


The views and opinions expressed by LPL’s financial advisor(s) may not be representative of the views of other financial advisors and are not indicative of future performance or success. Neither LPL Financial nor the LPL Financial advisor can be held liable for any direct or incidental loss suffered in applying any of the information offered.