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LPL Financial (LPLA) is the largest independent broker-dealers in the US and a Registered Investment Advisor custodian. The company is benefiting from a significant trend within the asset management space wherein many financial advisors are leaving their current broker-dealers and becoming independent Registered Investment Advisors (or RIAs). Investors in the company and those considering an investment have to weigh the benefits LPL is seeing from this trend against the rather rich valuation the company sports right now. With shares trading around 20X what the company will likely earn this year, LPL is roughly in line with peer firms, but above where the company has historically traded. After a 50% run in 2013, LPL's ability to keep moving higher...

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