LPL Financial Holdings was hit hard by market volatility in the fourth quarter and the country's largest independent broker-dealer is girding for more rough waters in the early months of 2016.

"The market environment was volatile and challenging in 2015, particularly for brokerage sales," Mark Casady, LPL's CEO, said in a statement accompanying the earnings results. "So we focused on bringing assets onto our platform and executing on our operational, efficiency and capital plans."

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