The term ‘structured products’ covers a wide range of complicated investments created to address specific investment needs. Some structured products provide exposure to a specific security or asset class, while others are designed to hedge against existing exposure. Structured products typically have two components, a note and a derivative, and have fixed maturity.

In general, the structured products offered through LPL Financial Services are notes issued by an investment bank that offer the investor some protection from downside risk in exchange for the investor’s forgoing some upside potential to achieve that protection.

http://www.mwboone.com/library/LPL_Investing_Insights_2_16_09.pdf