Leave Jones after 3 months?

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Caring1's picture
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I've been at EDJ for 3 months.
I've started in the biz in 1999, at another firm, then was indy for the last year-and-a-half before joining Jones.  Took over an existing office after being referred by an EDJ IR who is a friend.
I'm having major 2nd thoughts about EDJ and their sales ethics. I have never (and will never) sell investments over the phone to prospects (especially to people I barely know except for what their front door-step looks like).  It just feels wrong. I care too much about people to call them from a noisy eval/grad class and sell them something I'm not even sure they need! 
My question: should I go back to being indy while I still can? I was doing well as an indy, my b/d will take me back with open arms and my old office is still available - all my previous office stuff is still there.
I feel I was greatly mislead into believing that since I was experienced and taking over an existing office, I would be mostly exempt from high door knocking expectations. I have a database of over 3,000 qualified prospects from the past 7 years and I'm now told that doesn't matter. Still must door-knock. I'm very torn up about this. I hope someone can help.
 
 
 

Starka's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

I would suggest two things...get out your employment contract with Jones to see if there's any language in it regarding training costs or non-compete, and second, seek legal counsel.
Best of luck to you!

NASD Newbie's picture
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Why did you join them in the first place?  Why not go to a wirehouse?

The Judge's picture
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Caring1- Frankly, your thoughts don't come across as genuine.  I have clients I've never met that are up over 50% on their investments- what is the shame in that?  Granted, I DO try to meet all clients' of significance.  Still- just do well by them and don't worry about the face time.  Besides, with some clients' your likely better off never meeting.  Sounds bizarre but often it's true in my experience.
Why would EDJ care what you are doing on a daily basis if you are gathering assets and producing?  Most firms could care less how your generating revenue as long as it's being done in a manner appropriate for the client.  Besides, 3000 "qualified prospects" should keep you very busy.

justcheckin's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-21

I was less than thrilled when I learned about the "boiler room" at eval/grad.  I have accepted it by rationalizing that I only have to do it twice (PDP) and while a thirty year muni doesn't suit a lot of people, it's not a penny stock either.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Regarding the door knocking, ultimately, they want you to get contacts.  If you have 3000 names, enter in 25 a day and spend the rest of you time doing what YOU think is productive.
 

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

From one Jones guy to another, have a discussion with your DL or your Regional Leader.  I can't imagine that if you are meeting expectations or better anyone from home office is giving you any trouble.  They have other fish to fry. 
You have 5 days of PDP coming up.  Set up some phone contacts with some of your prospects and the existing clients you took over.  Set some appts, do the sales pitch and then forget about it.  I know lots of people who hate the dialing for dollars approach, so you're not alone.  If I were you I'd call your RL or your mentor and see what they say. 
I was an ATL at the home office before I jumped to the field.  I didn't care, or didn't know, where the prospects came from.  As long as the results were there no big deal.

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

Sounds like there's more to this story...if you were doing well as an indy, why on earth did you jump to Jones in the first place?!!

brothaK's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-18

Yes, something is smelling kind of fishy.

NASD Newbie's picture
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Indyone wrote:Sounds like there's more to this story...if you were doing well as an indy, why on earth did you jump to Jones in the first place?!!
Because Jones is actually a great firm, in spite of the negativity on this forum.
Those of you who left there left because you're grabbing at the only thing you can to survive, the siren song of the higher payout.
You're busily cutting corners at every opportunity scrambling to live like a million dollar wirehouse producer on 300,000 worth of production as an independent.
Who needs a place with a lot of light?  The thermostat can be set at 80 in the summer and 65 in the winter--just wear short sleeve shirts in summer and a sweater in winter.
Who needs to share an assistant who is there all day, why not have Mrs. Jones come in two hours a day and putter around.
Clients don't really notice that you converted an old closet into a conference room or that your conference table is actually a discarded four top table from the diner next door--your wife's idea of buying a really nice table cloth was a stroke of genius.
Who needs a copier that copies more than 10 pages a minute when there are such great machines that act as a scanner, fax and copy machine-all in one.  Perfect for the one man office.
The clients are really fooled by the wife answering the phone with a recorded voice, why with VMail a one man shop can appear to be a Fortune 500 company.
Plus nobody cares if you show up or not.  No unnecessary branch manager, no unnecessary regional manager, nobody to wonder where you are when you're hung over, or want to go to the noon movie, or even goof off for a couple of hours.
If the clients need you they can leave you a message on voice mail, your cell phone will vibrate to let you know they called.  They can wait, right now you're busy trying to remember to keep your left arm locked and your head down throughout the swing.
Yep, you don't need anything--certainly not the name recognition and credibility of a household name like Merrill Lynch.

entrylevelFA's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-05

Spaceman Spiff wrote:
I was an ATL at the home office before I jumped to the field.  I didn't care, or didn't know, where the prospects came from.  As long as the results were there no big deal.

I thought the EDJ home office was in St. Louis...

entrylevelFA's picture
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entrylevelFA wrote:Spaceman Spiff wrote:
I was an ATL at the home office before I jumped to the field.  I didn't care, or didn't know, where the prospects came from.  As long as the results were there no big deal.

I thought the EDJ home office was in St. Louis...

Nevermind, I thought that said "I was at ATL at the home office"

Starka's picture
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Newbie, what you're describing sounds more like an Edward Jones office than anything else.

NASD Newbie's picture
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Starka wrote:Newbie, what you're describing sounds more like an Edward Jones office than anything else.
When you're not successful yourself it is unlikely that you would have had an opportunity to associate with those who are.
You should never judge an organization by observing its lowest common denominator.

Starka's picture
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Ah, but there lies the rub...I'm not unsuccessful, and I have associated with other successful brokers across the spectrum of firms.  In fact, I'm far more qualified to make these observations than a middle manager.

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Starka wrote:Ah, but there lies the rub...I'm not unsuccessful, and I have associated with other successful brokers across the spectrum of firms.  In fact, I'm far more qualified to make these observations than a middle manager.
I have been in offices all over the world--not only for my firm but for competitors as well.  My job was to know what other firms were doing, and in doing that job I interacted with those at other firms who were to know what we were doing.
As for your statement that you're successful.  That is, of course, in the eyes of the beholder.  One thing that acts to deny your statement is that you waste time on this format--that is not something truly successful people would do.
Discipline and all that.

Starka's picture
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People such as yourself?

NASD Newbie's picture
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Starka wrote:People such as yourself?
If you haven't heard I am my only account--I am devoting 100% of my attention to my client.
There is no way I would have wasted time like this when I had responsibilities to others.

hubbabubba's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-03

As for your statement that you're successful.  That is, of course, in the eyes of the beholder.  One thing that acts to deny your statement is that you waste time on this format--that is not something truly successful people would do.
 
Classic, newbie! 
 

Starka's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:
Starka wrote:People such as yourself?
If you haven't heard I am my only account--I am devoting 100% of my attention to my client.
There is no way I would have wasted time like this when I had responsibilities to others.

Have you forgotten that you were posting here when you were still employed?  In the event that it's slipped your memory, you were posting on these boards under the screen name "Put Trader", and you claimed at the time that you were a big shot at a major wirehouse.  Were you lying then, or are you lying now?

NASD Newbie's picture
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Starka wrote:
Have you forgotten that you were posting here when you were still employed?  In the event that it's slipped your memory, you were posting on these boards under the screen name "Put Trader", and you claimed at the time that you were a big shot at a major wirehouse.  Were you lying then, or are you lying now?

Why do you think I was posting as Put Trader?

Starka's picture
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LOL...nice try, Put.
Obfuscate when you're in a corner.
Again I ask...were you lying then, or are you lying now?

vbrainy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-26

NASD Newbie wrote:
Starka wrote:Ah, but there lies the rub...I'm not unsuccessful, and I have associated with other successful brokers across the spectrum of firms.  In fact, I'm far more qualified to make these observations than a middle manager.
I have been in offices all over the world--not only for my firm but for competitors as well.  My job was to know what other firms were doing, and in doing that job I interacted with those at other firms who were to know what we were doing.
As for your statement that you're successful.  That is, of course, in the eyes of the beholder.  One thing that acts to deny your statement is that you waste time on this format--that is not something truly successful people would do.
Discipline and all that.

 
Are you currently a Financial Advisor anywhere???  Somewhere??  If not, shut up.  Go sniff on My Space

NASD Newbie's picture
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How many of those who post on this forum are not even licensed?
It's absolutely crawling with college kids who are thinking of coming into the business.
Every day there are questions about what to use to study for exams, those who are asking those questions are not even registered.
If I hurt your feelings by pointing out truths that you want so desperately to deny I'm sorry--but you can always just ignore what I have to say.

babbling looney's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

Meanwhile......Back to the OP's question.
If you leave Jones at this point they probably will go after you for the training costs.  As to the boiler room atmosphere, I hated it too.  What I did was prearrange calls to good clients to let them know I would be calling from a training class.  They were expecting my call and if they didn't buy (some did) they at least acted interested so the trainer who was listening in would be satisfied.  The other thing I did was to use that time to blow up those prospects that I knew I would NEVER do business with.
Once you are in your office you can do what you want. As long as you are producing, they don't give a rat's behind how you make the money. 

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babbling looney wrote:
Meanwhile......Back to the OP's question.
If you leave Jones at this point they probably will go after you for the training costs. 

What training costs does Jones incur with people who are already in production at other firms?

babbling looney's picture
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Assuming the OP already had a series 7 and not a 6 that needed to upgrade, they send you to these stupid and worthless training classes in St Louis to teach you how to do it the "Jones way".  You learn about the technology system, how to run an office and most importantly (to EDJ) how to sell on the phone. When I was there, those classes last for a week. Then they send you back into the field to prospect some more and open accounts after your registration is completed. "Can Sell Date" is the charming terminology for it.  After you have opened enough accounts and generated some revenue they bring you back for more training.
The cost of the plane fare, room, food and of course the time of the trainers would most likely be the costs.  Who knows how much they would try to recover if you already had your Series 7.
I found the training a complete waste of time but was still  forced to attend. I felt very sorry for the new IRs who had no clue about the inadequacy of the program.

NASD Newbie's picture
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Do they put you up in hotels, or do they have apartments that they either own or long-term lease?
A week hardly sounds onerous--when I started I was in New York for sixteen weeks.

Caring1's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-15

Sounds like there's more to this story...if you were doing well as an indy, why on earth did you jump to Jones in the first place?!!
Indy1 and NASD Newbie: Thanks for your questions. I left the "Indy" gig ( to take over an existing office at Jones) because I was attracted to to 3 things. 1. Office and BOA are paid for by EJ. 2. A farily large book of existing clients, many of which I already knew, and 3. The great support system that exists in my region. The other IR's are good people and have been very supportive and helpful.
I also know that Jones has a good reputation and is a recognizable household name.  It feels good to have a company like that behind you.  All of these reasons for making the "jump" are advantages that I didn't have as an independent, even though my income was good.
Also, thanks to others for your suggestions. Some of them I've considered myself already, such as tapping into my database of 3,000 prospects and entering 25 of those a day.  When I asked if those would qualify I was told a resounding "NO." And I was told that if I didn't make the required number of "real" door-knocks" I would fail eval/grad.  If I could have been using those previous prospects to reach my numbers, I would have been doing it all along.  I wish I could! 
And regarding the fact that PDP is the last time I'll have to participate in the "boiler room," I have been told that before but after having checked with other 2-yr and 3-yr IR's, I found out that there are more weeks of training in St. Louis that follow (BDW? or something like that?) and that the expectations for increasing production and prospecting will continue. I'm not here to bash Jones or any other companies, etc. I was just looking for some input and got some. Thanks! 
In all honesty, I like other things about Jones and I think they are a great company for brand new advisors. The training is top-notch and the support systems (IT, business processes, contacts at home office) are impecable. The JonesLink system is very impressive. It's just that I come from a fee-based planning background and I prefer to work in an advisory capacity rather than mostly transactional.  Maybe the fit just isn't right for me.
One more thing- regarding what The Judge said about my not sounding very genuine: I'm not sure what you meant by that. I just mean that I care much more about my clients personally than I do about my commissions, how many accounts I open, contests, etc. What drives me in this business is wanting to help people, not the number on my paycheck. 
Thanks, again, everyone!

JCadieux's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:babbling looney wrote:
Meanwhile......Back to the OP's question.
If you leave Jones at this point they probably will go after you for the training costs. 

What training costs does Jones incur with people who are already in production at other firms?We all know that the acutal costs and effort are a separate issue from the paper costs that they can try to hang on you.Back to the question; you have several options (IMHO):

  • Stick it out with Jones.  Try to work things out.  There's always the chance that they will fix things, or perhaps you can agree to an amiable separation.  No guarantees, but this may be worth a shot.
  • Get a good lawyer.  Then go back to your indy office and fight them over the fees.  (But don't be surprised if nobody wins but the lawyers).
  • Go back to your indy office and settle with EJ.  Yes, you're buying your freedom.  But at this point your freedom may be worth the price.
  • Go with a better firm.  Most wirehouses will cover any settlement with your previous firm (yes, even at the trainee level).  Be sure to negotiate this up front as part of your package.

There are several recruiters on this board that can help you with the wirehouse option.  Yes, I am one of them.  Drop me a note if you want to look into finding a better fit.Ultimately the decision revolves around a key unanswered question: What do you want your practice to look like in 10 years?  Answering that question will help you evaluate your options.Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Registered Rep's picture
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Given the fact that you signed a non compete, there is a good chance Jones will threaten to  come after you if you bail back over to the indy side.
You state that Jones IT is "impeccable" but everything I hear about Jones IT states just the opposite...Makes me wonder when you were an independent what broker/dealer did you clear through & what wat their IT & support systems like?

FreedomLvr's picture
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And if you think the technology at Jones is good, you really might consider going to a different indy firm instead of the one you originally came from.  Jones is notorious for having some of the worst tech interfaces in the industry.

JCadieux's picture
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JCadieux wrote:

  • Go with a better firm.  Most wirehouses will cover any settlement with your previous firm (yes, even at the trainee level).  Be sure to negotiate this up front as part of your package.

Before I get flamed too badly, let me clarify.  By "Better Firm" I mean a better firm for you.  Compatibility is a relative thing.

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Nah, there are better firms.  I'm not afraid to say it.
Also, I'd like to know what is so bad about the Jones technology.  How does it create negatives when it comes to selling?

jones&amp;out's picture
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I hate to say it but you probably won't be done with boiler room atmosphere.  The region I came from required the seg 1 & 2 reps to attend a "phone workshop" every week.  The region next to us was the same thing but once a month.  These workshops should just be called boiler rooms.

JCadieux's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:Nah, there are better firms.  I'm not afraid to say it.
I agree.  Some firms are better than others.  But in this case my comments were about compatibility.A lot of time on this board is wasted in flame wars over who's firm is better.  Mark McCormack said "Never wrestle with a pig.  You get dirty and the pig enjoys it."

brothaK's picture
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For an initial training to become an FA is there anything better? I know it is case by case and mentor by mentor, but for overall purposes, is there anything better?

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brothaK wrote:For an initial training to become an FA is there anything better?I know it is case by case and mentor by mentor, but for overall purposes, is there anything better?
Better than what?

brothaK's picture
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jones

brothaK's picture
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Edward Jones Financial Services

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brothaK wrote:jones
Of course there are better choices--the problem is getting hired by them.
Sometimes one has to be pragmatic and dance with the one who asks them.
Just don't go to work for a firm you have never heard of.
Nor should you go to work for a firm with a 28 year old branch manager who wears a lot of gold.
Nor should you go to work in a place that is actually just a big room with a lot of desks and a big TV tuned to CNBC.
Nor should you go to work for a place that talks about how much money you can make.
Nor should you go to work for a firm where you see long cords on the phones, as if they spend a lot of time standing up.
Nor should you go to work for a firm that has a white board at the front of the room with stock prices on it.
Nor should you go to work for a firm that is headquartered in Syosset, NY or Boca Raton, FL.
Nor should you go to work for a firm that has a name that sounds oddly similar to reputable firms--such as AS Goldman is similar to Goldman Sachs.

troll's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:brothaK wrote:jones
Of course there are better choices--the problem is getting hired by them.
Sometimes one has to be pragmatic and dance with the one who asks them.
Just don't go to work for a firm you have never heard of.
Nor should you go to work for a firm with a 28 year old branch manager who wears a lot of gold.
Nor should you go to work in a place that is actually just a big room with a lot of desks and a big TV tuned to CNBC.
Nor should you go to work for a place that talks about how much money you can make.
Nor should you go to work for a firm where you see long cords on the phones, as if they spend a lot of time standing up.
Nor should you go to work for a firm that has a white board at the front of the room with stock prices on it.
Nor should you go to work for a firm that is headquartered in Syosset, NY or Boca Raton, FL.
Nor should you go to work for a firm that has a name that sounds oddly similar to reputable firms--such as AS Goldman is similar to Goldman Sachs.I remember AS Goldman.I also remember the firm in Syosset.  They were in Jericho Quad, and boy they had some hot lookin' secretaries there.  They were big into small-cap oil stocks as I remember.  Too bad they didn't last until now  as maybe their clients would have finally made some $$!Can anyone say Woobistics?

JCadieux's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:
Of course there are better choices--the problem is getting hired by them.
Sometimes one has to be pragmatic and dance with the one who asks them.
Just don't go to work for a firm you have never heard of.
Nor should you go to work for a firm with a 28 year old branch manager who wears a lot of gold.
Nor should you go to work in a place that is actually just a big room with a lot of desks and a big TV tuned to CNBC.
Nor should you go to work for a place that talks about how much money you can make.
Nor should you go to work for a firm where you see long cords on the phones, as if they spend a lot of time standing up.
Nor should you go to work for a firm that has a white board at the front of the room with stock prices on it.
Nor should you go to work for a firm that is headquartered in Syosset, NY or Boca Raton, FL.
Nor should you go to work for a firm that has a name that sounds oddly similar to reputable firms--such as AS Goldman is similar to Goldman Sachs.Summary:  Go watch the movie Boiler Room.  If you ever interview with a company that reminds you of the firm in the movie, then leave.While you're at the video store, get a copy of GlenGary GlenRoss.  Realize that this industry is full of brokers and BOMs who are just like the salesmen in that movie (including Alec Baldwin's character).  If you think that's cool and begin to think these characters are role models, then please quit now.If you aren't scared yet, go rent either Dead Poets Society or Fight Club (whichever one suits your taste).  Realize that some day we will all be food for worms.  If that confuses or depresses you then quit now.  If that motivates you to get out there and do something extraordinary with your life, then call me.  I may have a job for you.Finally, go rent Wall Street.  You probably won't learn much, but everybody expects you to know all the good lines.  Wall Street is the Monty Python's Holy Grail of this industry. 

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