Hundreds of sales assistants reveal what they daydream about getting from their brokers and firms.

"What is the one most important thing your broker or firm could do to help you with your job?"

It's an open-ended question, but one-third of sales assistants who answered it ended up writing the same thing - more training. At 30%, training is regarded as the most critical thing brokers and firms could provide to help their assistants, according to Registered Representative's exclusive Sales Assistant Study tabulated in August 2000.

Next on the list is more pay at 17%, followed by more appreciation, recognition and respect at 10%, and better communication at 10%. About 9% mention that hiring more assistants to help with their workload would be great, and 7% suggest that a more understanding and supportive environment is desired.

Another 21% of respondents had different wishes. Here are a few of their ideas in their own words:

- Allow me to meet with other assistants who work with big producers to exchange ideas.

- Allow e-mail communications with clients to eliminate constant phone interruptions.

- Automate paperwork.

- Be open to casual dress.

- Improve the computer system to be quicker, more reliable and more user-friendly.

- Listen to what I'm saying because it's usually for the good of all concerned.

- Give me goals with incentives and teach me a new product monthly.

- Give me paid time off to get registered.

- Include us in the incentive trips brokers get.

- When contemplating changes to customer statements or systems, speak first with the people who use them daily.

- Offer and encourage career advancement within the industry.