The best way to learn?

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Vendredi's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-27

I'm a prospective FA wannabe, and am trying to find the best way to learn what I need to know. I've gathered from searching the posts here that the training provided by the big wirehouses isn't usually to be counted upon unless there's a fabulous branch manager in the picture, and that, while an MBA can be great, hands-on sales experience is generally better in terms of making your business succeed. I'm not yet clear, however, what the best way is to get going if one has really no background at all in finance save that gleaned from the WSJ and a lifelong amateurish love of money and economic theory. I'm only 23 with no dependents, which gives me time and freedom enough to do this properly, and while I have a BA in the mostly unrelated field of International Studies, I'm a very quick learner, am willing to work my tail off to get ahead, and am thick-skinned enough that I can handle brutal teachers, be they jobs or otherwise. That being said, however, I don't want to pour my time and resources into endeavors that, like my BA, aren't necessarily going to help me; I'm an obsessively hard worker and definitely self-motivated, but I need some guidance as to where best to start. Long-term benefits are definitely more important right now than short-term comfort.
So my question is, if those of you who've been in this industry were going to do it all over, how would you go about teaching yourself what you needed to know to make it? Have you found hands-on experience to be the best ground-level teacher, and if so, where would you recommend as the best place to get it? Should I start, say, as an assistant to a FA to see how s/he does things and learn by example, or just jump in myself if I can get an offer, and count on the good ol' work ethic? Would a entry-level position in banking be more useful, or would I be better yet starting in a completely unrelated field that allowed for heavy sales/business experience? For those of you with fleshed-out academic backgrounds, do you come from programs geared toward finance, business, etc., and how useful have you found your degrees and/or certifications as preparation? And for all of you, how much did you know about this industry before you began, and how has that impacted you? What kind of backgrounds do you come from, and what would you change about the career path you've followed if you could?
Any advice you could give would truly be appreciated.

keith121883's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-02

I was in your situation a year ago, I was a communications major with no financial services experience at all. I met a great branch manager when i graduated and he put me on a team of big money producers. Being that I am so young, only 23 as well its important to join up on a team and use there experience to help build my business. Right now Im working like an animal but I am really learning the business from the guys who took me under their wing. In my opinion if you wanna learn the business and do not have a lot of financial liabilities, joining a team would be great way to go. PM me if you have any questions.

entrylevelFA's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-05

I am also 23 and have found that without a team, my chances would be little to none to succeed in the business.  The biggest thing is being able to pitch someone, when they doubt you for your age, you simply reply "well all assets we manage are by the effort of our entire team, why don't you come by the office and meet them."  Without a team, the best you have is "yes I'm young, but don't you want an FA that will still be working through your retirement?"  Just a hint, it sounds good in theory, but most people will reply "I'll take my chances

WealthManager's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-16

I hate to say it but your age would be a real obstacle to overcome if you went at it on your own.  I’m 33 and many initially feel that I’m too young.  If you can gain leverage by joining up with a team of older and more experienced FAs then you will increase your chances of success.  The problem will be finding a team willing to take you on.  Outside of relatives or existing FAs bringing books of business, I have not seen anyone take on a rookie as an FA on their team.  I have however seen (and heard of) CAs (Merrill’s administrative assistants) migrating to the FA position.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
 
--WM

NOFX's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-22

If I could do it all again -
Go into the Merrill program - learn the right way (I didn't ).  Spend 5 years there and you will be in great shape to move anywhere (you'll probably want to stay put).
Good luck.

vbrainy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-26

Agreed, don't start out on your own.   Sign on as an assistant or join a team.  You are smart.  Good luck.

anabuhabkuss's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-02

Absolutely get with a team. I'm 3 months in production and have just been assigned $12 MM in assets by a wonderful group of people (with a 50/50 split). I was also handed 2/3 of someone's book after that person left. I am in such a state of relief right now. Granted I still have to work my buns off but I can't imagine how I'd get through this year without that kind of support.

BondGuy's picture
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What happened to the good old days of building your own business?
There's nothing wrong with getting some help here and there, but being handed assets and books? Wasn't there a book written about those kind of people "How to succeed in business without really trying"
Is bootstrapping yourself up from zero dead?

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

BondGuy wrote:What happened to the good old days of building your own business?
There's nothing wrong with getting some help here and there, but being handed assets and books? Wasn't there a book written about those kind of people "How to succeed in business without really trying"
Is bootstrapping yourself up from zero dead?similar thoughts crossed my mind....I'd love to know the quality of those assets....

anabuhabkuss's picture
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BondGuy wrote:
What happened to the good old days of building your own business?
There's nothing wrong with getting some help here and there, but being handed assets and books? Wasn't there a book written about those kind of people "How to succeed in business without really trying"
Is bootstrapping yourself up from zero dead?

Dunno. Why not scratch your book and try it all over again and find out? Situations may vary.

planrcoach's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-13

Instead of joining a cattle herd at a "training house", try to learn the business from a solo or group of independent practitioners.
When I graduated college 20+ years ago, and could not find a job for my international studies, I just cold called sales businesses. Owners and managers were really impressed that I just called them up. It lead to non-financial sales work, and one year getting hired into Merrills training program.But a lady broker at Merrill told me, "get the heck out of here and go live overseas, this broker stuff will be here after you have some adventures and get tired of travel.  I left that when I got a hot international sales job, and did live overseas for three years, but came back to this fantastic industry!
If I was starting today, I would call the owners of local independent or franchise broker dealer affiliates. I am amazed that I never receive calls from people wanting to get into the business, even though I have a distinct phone book listing for the (solo) office. Directly calling someone shows so much confidence and initiative. If the person you call is rude, they are a loser, go on the the next one. Winnners will respect and help you.

whitewlfz's picture
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joedabrkr wrote: BondGuy wrote:
What happened to the good old days of building your own business?
There's nothing wrong with getting some help here and there, but being handed assets and books? Wasn't there a book written about those kind of people "How to succeed in business without really trying"
Is bootstrapping yourself up from zero dead?
similar thoughts crossed my mind....I'd love to know the quality of those assets....
 
You know I started in the business at the age of 25 ...(35 now) ..knocking on doors with EDJ ..you know the thing is .. You do acquire a bit more repsect for yourself for sweating it .. I don't know I just think there is something to be said for sacrafice...and when you are young it is the best time to get gritty and learn all you can before you step into REAL bills and the like.. just my 2 cents.. as for where to learn it ..as long as you are somewhere with VAST resources to learn from .. I don't think it matters... (Mother Merril UBS EDJ ect)
 

BondGuy's picture
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anabuhabkuss wrote:BondGuy wrote:
What happened to the good old days of building your own business?
There's nothing wrong with getting some help here and there, but being handed assets and books? Wasn't there a book written about those kind of people "How to succeed in business without really trying"
Is bootstrapping yourself up from zero dead?

Dunno. Why not scratch your book and try it all over again and find out? Situations may vary.

Well, let's see. The advice on this thread was/is leaning toward get a handout and/or ride on someone elses coattails to insure success. As someone who boatstrapped themselves up from nothing, who doesn't take inherited accounts, I believe my statement is valid.
There is no varied situation, you either have what it takes or you don't. In my 24 years in this business I have yet to see a focused hard working trainee fail. Of course my definition of hard working may be different than that of those who fail. Probably is.
Problem is too many people enter this business wearing rose colored glasses. They fail to connect the dots between the high potential income the business can generate and the ball busting hard labor it takes to deliver that income. This business may be simple, but it's not easy.
There is nothing wrong with mentoring partnerships, in my view, as long as the trainee applies the knowledge gained to build a strong practice. Case in point my wife. She entered the business ten years ago. I had her join a competitor so as not to interfere with her building her own business. I supplied the plan and the guidance, she supplied 100% of the labor.  She became not only the top new account opener in her training class, but also one of the top new account openers at her wirehouse firm. By the way, for any trainees out there who may be reading this, opening new accounts is the only thing you need to be doing as a trainee. With these accounts, in my wife's case, there were no hand outs, no books changed hands, no assets handed over. Just a focused committment to hard work. And yes, there were days she came home and cried. Nothing is easy in this business.
 

troll's picture
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whitewlfz wrote:joedabrkr wrote: BondGuy wrote:
What happened to the good old days of building your own business?
There's nothing wrong with getting some help here and there, but being handed assets and books? Wasn't there a book written about those kind of people "How to succeed in business without really trying"
Is bootstrapping yourself up from zero dead?
similar thoughts crossed my mind....I'd love to know the quality of those assets....
 
You know I started in the business at the age of 25 ...(35 now) ..knocking on doors with EDJ ..you know the thing is .. You do acquire a bit more repsect for yourself for sweating it .. I don't know I just think there is something to be said for sacrafice...and when you are young it is the best time to get gritty and learn all you can before you step into REAL bills and the like.. just my 2 cents.. as for where to learn it ..as long as you are somewhere with VAST resources to learn from .. I don't think it matters... (Mother Merril UBS EDJ ect)
 Building your book on your own you learn to handle adversity, and how sweet can be the rewards of a plan fulfilled.  These are lessons that can carry you through tough times once your business is established.  If a book is gifted to you, those lessons are never imprinted on your brain.And....your peers will always wonder if you really have what it takes....IMHO.

anabuhabkuss's picture
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I'm sorry, I'm confused. I thought t this job was about helping people and putting financial plans together for them. I am in the opinion that all of you have your sights in the wrong place.
Bondguy said it best: There is nothing wrong with mentoring partnerships, in my view, as long as the trainee applies the knowledge gained to build a strong practice.
How does my way of acquiring assets reflect my implementation of fulfilling those client's needs?
I Know that situations DO vary. I know brokers across the board from different companies that are richer beyond belief, each of the individuals having acquired their book in different ways. Don't say it matters because it doesn't. Don't be a whiner. Get the job done. Afterall, companies only see the bottom line. **** what peers think. They don't pay the bills.

troll's picture
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anabuhabkuss wrote:I'm sorry, I'm confused. I thought t this job was about helping people and putting financial plans together for them. I am in the opinion that all of you have your sights in the wrong place.
Bondguy said it best: There is nothing wrong with mentoring partnerships, in my view, as long as the trainee applies the knowledge gained to build a strong practice.
How does my way of acquiring assets reflect my implementation of fulfilling those client's needs?
I Know that situations DO vary. I know brokers across the board from different companies that are richer beyond belief, each of the individuals having acquired their book in different ways. Don't say it matters because it doesn't. Don't be a whiner. Get the job done. Afterall, companies only see the bottom line. **** what peers think. They don't pay the bills.Get back to us in a year or two and let us know how you're doing...whether you have any assets you've raised on your own.I think it's ironic that you're offering advice on how to best prospect(cold calling versus doorknocking) on the other thread.

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Will do. I have my own goals to bring in $4 Mil of my own assets ($600,000 which I've done already). The book is there to provide a cushion, not to say "Mission Accomplished". It's not my place to tell anyone how to prospect. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa. I think it's ironic you, having been in the business for awhile, do not know that.

AirForce's picture
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Planrcoach and Bondguy.. Nice posts.
FOCUSED is important. Like going into a business without a business plan.

planrcoach's picture
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Yeah, Airforce, focusing on the business plan takes new on new levels of meaning when you are established and trying to take it to the next level.
When you are starting, you have to choose a training situation for yourself - choose wisely. But when you are established, focus is still one of the most important things. Like, a one page business plan - maybe just a few key activiteies for 2007 - well executed. I am talking to myself.

BondGuy's picture
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anabuhabkuss wrote:
I'm sorry, I'm confused. I thought t this job was about helping people and putting financial plans together for them. I am in the opinion that all of you have your sights in the wrong place.
Bondguy said it best: There is nothing wrong with mentoring partnerships, in my view, as long as the trainee applies the knowledge gained to build a strong practice.
How does my way of acquiring assets reflect my implementation of fulfilling those client's needs?
I Know that situations DO vary. I know brokers across the board from different companies that are richer beyond belief, each of the individuals having acquired their book in different ways. Don't say it matters because it doesn't. Don't be a whiner. Get the job done. Afterall, companies only see the bottom line. **** what peers think. They don't pay the bills.

Give an advisor an account and he'll have a good month.
Teach an advisor to prospect and he'll have a good career.
Of course there are rich beyond belief brokers who've made careers out of calling everyone else's clients. The operative word when referring to one of them is whore. But being whores doesn't change how rich they are or whose best interest they have in mind when offering you help. Whores, generally speaking, don't make the best mentors whether we're talking business building or client advisory issues.
 Be careful who you sell your soul to.
As for the best way to learn, which is what this thread is about, I'd offer this: Find a mentor, watch, listen, observe and then do. Don't accept handouts as they will only slow you down. Your business plan should take up 100% of your time. There isn't enough time in the plan to call someone else's clients. The time taken to cultivate someone elses book is time taken away from developing your own book. Want to learn this business, if you build it , you'll know everything you need to know to survive whatever comes. And business killing things will come.
 
Inherited accounts slow down the natural selection process.

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anabuhabkuss wrote:I'm sorry, I'm confused. I thought t this job
was about helping people and putting financial plans together for them.
I am in the opinion that all of you have your sights in the wrong place.

Helping people and putting financial plans together for them doesn't pay the bills. You need assets and sales. 

anabuhabkuss's picture
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BondGuy wrote:anabuhabkuss wrote:
I'm sorry, I'm confused. I thought t this job was about helping people and putting financial plans together for them. I am in the opinion that all of you have your sights in the wrong place.
Bondguy said it best: There is nothing wrong with mentoring partnerships, in my view, as long as the trainee applies the knowledge gained to build a strong practice.
How does my way of acquiring assets reflect my implementation of fulfilling those client's needs?
I Know that situations DO vary. I know brokers across the board from different companies that are richer beyond belief, each of the individuals having acquired their book in different ways. Don't say it matters because it doesn't. Don't be a whiner. Get the job done. Afterall, companies only see the bottom line. **** what peers think. They don't pay the bills.

Give an advisor an account and he'll have a good month.
Teach an advisor to prospect and he'll have a good career.
Of course there are rich beyond belief brokers who've made careers out of calling everyone else's clients. The operative word when referring to one of them is whore. But being whores doesn't change how rich they are or whose best interest they have in mind when offering you help. Whores, generally speaking, don't make the best mentors whether we're talking business building or client advisory issues.
 Be careful who you sell your soul to.
As for the best way to learn, which is what this thread is about, I'd offer this: Find a mentor, watch, listen, observe and then do. Don't accept handouts as they will only slow you down. Your business plan should take up 100% of your time. There isn't enough time in the plan to call someone else's clients. The time taken to cultivate someone elses book is time taken away from developing your own book. Want to learn this business, if you build it , you'll know everything you need to know to survive whatever comes. And business killing things will come.
 
Inherited accounts slow down the natural selection process.

Is this real? These are some of the most disturbing things I have ever read here. The whiners you hang out with that fed these ideas in your head were having a field day with you. You call your peers (or maybe in some cases superiors) whores while you accept money from clients whom you probably have no idea how they earned their wealth.
Keep calling others whores. It's good for you.
Hard work and prospecting are mutually exlclusive. Getting assets does not give me a free ticket by any means. Not enough time in the day? Probably because you're busy posting on this board 4 in the afternoon.
Sickening.

anabuhabkuss's picture
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meant "Though" instead of "whom". Man I'm tired. Just got home 30 mins ago, but how short was your day?

BondGuy's picture
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Is this real? These are some of the most disturbing things I have ever read here. The whiners you hang out with that fed these ideas in your head were having a field day with you. You call your peers (or maybe in some cases superiors) whores while you accept money from clients whom you probably have no idea how they earned their wealth.
Keep calling others whores. It's good for you.
Hard work and prospecting are mutually exlclusive. Getting assets does not give me a free ticket by any means. Not enough time in the day? Probably because you're busy posting on this board 4 in the afternoon.
Sickening.

Offended? Apparently you are offended, not my intention.
Someday you may leave your firm as matter of career choice. Your reasons could be as simple as grabbing a front check, or as altruistic as wanting a better home for your clients. Most likely it will be a bit of both. Point is that when you take that step a process will begin at your former firm to keep your clients from joining you at your new firm. They will call clients you worked your ass off to bring on board. Clients you sweated to get and keep. Clients you care about. Your former peers will question every position in your client's accounts and ask the client what they were thinking when they bought X? They will do everything in their power to make you and your new firm look bad, to drive a wedge between you and your clients. Everything is fair game including your reputation as these richer beyond belief advisors hone in on your book, your future, to seperate you from your wealth to add to theirs. This isn't about you being strong enough to overcome the assault. Fact is you will lose a substancial percentage of your assets to your former peers. Afterall, who wants to deal with a dope dealer or a tax cheat or an adulterer or someone with client "ISSUES"? Yeah, it gets that ugly. And while this is not about your ability to overcome this, it is about the type of person who is so greedy that they would make those calls. Even if they don't lie about you they are still sticking their hand into your pocket and doing their damnedest to hurt you. What kind of person thinks that's OK? Whiners?
Plug these numbers in
AFC  $402,000
JC    $840,000
BH    $930,000
EP    $960,000
AD  $2,500,000
Those are the 06 numbers of some people in the business who I'm close to. We came up together. None takes inherited accounts. Not today, not ever. These people sound like whiners to you? They're not. They are talanted hard working people who don't need your assets to succeed. And there's a message there.
Just how much respect are these people, who have earned every dime, suppose to have for those who survive on the backs of others?
We may have to accept the whores as part of the business environment, but we don't have to like them.
Having your peers pound your clients into leaving you is part of the business. Its an ugly part. When it happens to you get back to us with your opinion of the people making those calls. I'll bet that whore will be one of the tamer names you use.
Again, my intention was not to offend you.

Indyone's picture
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BondGuy wrote:Plug these numbers in
AFC  $402,000
JC    $840,000
BH    $930,000
EP    $960,000
AD  $2,500,000
Those are the 06 numbers of some people in the business who I'm close to. We came up together. None takes inherited accounts. Not today, not ever. These people sound like whiners to you? They're not. They are talanted hard working people who don't need your assets to succeed. And there's a message there.
Those are impressive, but I'm curious...what are BG's 2006 numbers?

BondGuy's picture
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Indyone wrote:BondGuy wrote:Plug these numbers in
AFC  $402,000
JC    $840,000
BH    $930,000
EP    $960,000
AD  $2,500,000
Those are the 06 numbers of some people in the business who I'm close to. We came up together. None takes inherited accounts. Not today, not ever. These people sound like whiners to you? They're not. They are talanted hard working people who don't need your assets to succeed. And there's a message there.
Those are impressive, but I'm curious...what are BG's 2006 numbers?

HMMM, you want to know BG's numbers? Now, why would I tell you that?
Then again, maybe I already have.

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Yo,
I read through that post too fast and got riled over nothing. Sorry for the confusion. However  Despite what you may think, situations DO vary.
Look the point is this, and again I'm going to use these terms, prospecting, hard work AND inheriting accounts are mutually exclusive.
You say , generally speaking, those who inherit do not learn to prospect unless they're signed on under a good mentor. But realitically, the only way for a person inherited accounts to survive is by *GASP* doing a good job servicing the clients he inherited to generate *GASP*...referrals?
Oh my, if that's not a form of prospecting then what is? I treat the clients right, they throw my name to two people who know two people who know two people. How is that not prospecting?
You're losing perspective of this whole situation. Everyone who stays in this business is a good prospector in one form or another. Whether he/she starts from scratch or not, if we do not service the client, why are they going to come back and mention your name to their friends?
But going back to "Whores" i see your point. To me a whore is that one guy who lingers outside the managers office while said manager is firing somebody and having to worry how to spread this person's book to the branch. The "Whore" runs right in before the firee has even completely walked out of the office. I've seen it and I hate it.
I'm not offended by your post because my case is entirely different :)
Another example,a firm's training program hires 10 kids, 3 whom had a book established from the firm they left and 7 who have nothing. Let's say come 7 months from now the 3 with the prior book do well thanks to their ehad start and only 1 from the 7 with nothing to begin with survives. You think the company cares that there were apples and oranges in the mix, and that 3 had a head start and slight advantage over the rest of the group?
Oh but it's what my peers think of me, that's what should keep me up at night
The fundamentals do not change. You do not prospect and service, you're out....whore or not.

anabuhabkuss's picture
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Quote: Having your peers pound your clients into leaving you is part of the business. Its an ugly part. When it happens to you get back to us with your opinion of the people making those calls. I'll bet that whore will be one of the tamer names you use.
 
See and again Bond guy, I missed that point entirely. I ddi not mean to defend these people you're attacking 'cause I concur. I just do not think someone who was offered an opportunity and took advantage of it by working hard with a team does not make that person any less talented or hard working than someone who starts from scratch. No way.

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anabuhabkuss wrote:
Quote: Having your peers pound your clients into leaving you is part of the business. Its an ugly part. When it happens to you get back to us with your opinion of the people making those calls. I'll bet that whore will be one of the tamer names you use.
 
See and again Bond guy, I missed that point entirely. I ddi not mean to defend these people you're attacking 'cause I concur. I just do not think someone who was offered an opportunity and took advantage of it by working hard with a team does not make that person any less talented or hard working than someone who starts from scratch. No way.

I agree, I am all for hard work but not taking a book when it is offered is like telling your clients that you don't want referrals.

BondGuy's picture
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anabuhabkuss wrote:
Quote: Having your peers pound your clients into leaving you is part of the business. Its an ugly part. When it happens to you get back to us with your opinion of the people making those calls. I'll bet that whore will be one of the tamer names you use.
 
See and again Bond guy, I missed that point entirely. I ddi not mean to defend these people you're attacking 'cause I concur. I just do not think someone who was offered an opportunity and took advantage of it by working hard with a team does not make that person any less talented or hard working than someone who starts from scratch. No way.

Taking handouts from a mentor is not the same thing as working a departed reps book. Unless the handouts are a departed reps book. Some mentor relationships work that way. There's nothing wrong with a giving a new advisor a leg up by throwing them some accounts to work AS LONG AS IT"S NOT THAT ADVISOR'S SOLE CHANNEL OF BUSINESS. To be successful advisors need to be able to develope business from the ground up. Those who can't do that are in the wrong place.
There a 1000 ways to get this job done. IMHO the best way to do it is to learn from the mentor and then build it yourself. Not one person on the list above took any handouts of any kind. They didn't need too. And believe me, when you reach that level of production you get first dibs on the inherited accounts. Yet we've all passed on it. That said, let's agree to disagree on how best to build a career.

BondGuy's picture
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ExPropTrader wrote:anabuhabkuss wrote:
Quote: Having your peers pound your clients into leaving you is part of the business. Its an ugly part. When it happens to you get back to us with your opinion of the people making those calls. I'll bet that whore will be one of the tamer names you use.
 
See and again Bond guy, I missed that point entirely. I ddi not mean to defend these people you're attacking 'cause I concur. I just do not think someone who was offered an opportunity and took advantage of it by working hard with a team does not make that person any less talented or hard working than someone who starts from scratch. No way.

I agree, I am all for hard work but not taking a book when it is offered is like telling your clients that you don't want referrals.

Explain? A referral is gleaned from the trust developed over time by proving to a client that your are in fact trustworthy. You've earned that referral. Conversely, being handed a book may not have anything to do with your trustworthyness or your work ethic. You may not have earned anything and you may be, depending on circumstances, helping destroy a fellow advisor's career. So I don't see how the two are related.  

anabuhabkuss's picture
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BondGuy wrote:anabuhabkuss wrote:
Quote: Having your peers pound your clients into leaving you is part of the business. Its an ugly part. When it happens to you get back to us with your opinion of the people making those calls. I'll bet that whore will be one of the tamer names you use.
 
See and again Bond guy, I missed that point entirely. I ddi not mean to defend these people you're attacking 'cause I concur. I just do not think someone who was offered an opportunity and took advantage of it by working hard with a team does not make that person any less talented or hard working than someone who starts from scratch. No way.

Taking handouts from a mentor is not the same thing as working a departed reps book. Unless the handouts are a departed reps book. Some mentor relationships work that way. There's nothing wrong with a giving a new advisor a leg up by throwing them some accounts to work AS LONG AS IT"S NOT THAT ADVISOR'S SOLE CHANNEL OF BUSINESS. To be successful advisors need to be able to develope business from the ground up. Those who can't do that are in the wrong place.
There a 1000 ways to get this job done. IMHO the best way to do it is to learn from the mentor and then build it yourself. Not one person on the list above took any handouts of any kind. They didn't need too. And believe me, when you reach that level of production you get first dibs on the inherited accounts. Yet we've all passed on it. That said, let's agree to disagree on how best to build a career.

They didn't need to? Fine. So accepting them would have portrayed an image of desperate "need"?
It's funny you talk about trustworthy in your last post and work ethic.
You know: You could have said they passed on the assets because:
1)There were younger FA's who could benefit from them and do a great job servicing those accounts
2)They didn't have time to service said accounts
But your choice of words were "They didn't need to"
God forbid anybody call on those clients who need servicing without sacrificing their dignity.
Your choices are made off of ego. If you justify that as a way to build your business and then turn around and use "trustworthy" and "work ethic" then...well 'nuff said.
Or maybe I'm just pulling your leg because I need a breather after a hard ass week. :)

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anabuhabkuss wrote:BondGuy wrote:anabuhabkuss wrote:
Quote: Having your peers pound your clients into leaving you is part of the business. Its an ugly part. When it happens to you get back to us with your opinion of the people making those calls. I'll bet that whore will be one of the tamer names you use.
 
See and again Bond guy, I missed that point entirely. I ddi not mean to defend these people you're attacking 'cause I concur. I just do not think someone who was offered an opportunity and took advantage of it by working hard with a team does not make that person any less talented or hard working than someone who starts from scratch. No way.

They didn't need to? Fine. So accepting them would have portrayed an image of desperate "need"?
We passed on them as trainees because most, as in almost all, of these accounts were from brokers who had left our firm to join another firm. Taking time out of our days to help a manager fulfill his agenda just wasn't on the list. Still isn't.
Let me paint a picture for you. With the exception of AFC, everyone on that list, as trainees, was cold calling using either NYSE stocks or Munis. Every month, and I mean every month, this group opened anywhere from 25 accounts to as many as 90 apiece. The record, if memory serves, was 112 new accounts in one month. That's volume calling from about 7:30 am to 9pm, five days a week. The account sizes ranged from $10,000 to as high as $500,000 on what we called a first trade. AD was the absolute king of the hill in opening large accounts over the phone. Once opened we worked to penetrate the accounts. Today i have million dollar plus accounts that were opened as $10,000 or $25,000 accounts in the eighties.  Now imagine if you will, the manager comes into our office and says "Joe Doaks has left our office to join Merrill Lynch across the street and I want you guys to call his clients to get them to stay here. I'm going to give you some of his accounts to call." We look at each other. None of us wants Joes' accounts. An hour later the manager comes back in with a pile of account pages and hands them out to us. We look at the accounts, and they're filled with bond mutual funds, leveraged closed end funds, stocks I wouldn't buy with your money , and all sorts of other assorted crap. From my POV it's going to cost me at least two days and three to five new accounts to derail myself to do this and then I've got to live with the accounts so I pass and give the accounts back to the mgr. The manager doesn't like that, but hey, I'm the number two trainee at the company, so what's he going to do? AD gives his back too. He was the number one trainee at the firm so again the mgr was stuck. And so it went. From then on policy was we don't take these accounts. Why would we? While the rest of the office was floundering in the wake of the 87 crash we were opening one, two, three, or more new accounts everyday.
Taking these accounts would not have portrayed any particular image. The load they represented would have definately clogged the gears of the money printing machine we were as trainees. The very best accounts we could open were with the top quality prospects we were pursuing. that's were we spent our time.
It's funny you talk about trustworthy in your last post and work ethic.
You know: You could have said they passed on the assets because:
1)There were younger FA's who could benefit from them and do a great job servicing those accounts
Yup i could have said that but that's not why we passed. My take today is that a young FA should do what we did and pass.
As for excellent account service, no one can do a better job of servicing these clients than the advisor who brought them on board. That advisor is intimately familiar with the client's needs and in all probability designed and fulfilled the plan they are using. That in this particular advisor's view, the client can be better served by his new firm, shouldn't interfere with the broker/client relationship. The client in this case is much better served following the veteran advisor to his new firm than turning his/her assets over to a rookie who doesn't know them, doesn't know their needs, and doesn't know much about the markets. Trainees can't possibly do a better job than a knowledgeable veteran advisor. Wouldn't you agree?
2)They didn't have time to service said accounts
But your choice of words were "They didn't need to"
God forbid anybody call on those clients who need servicing without sacrificing their dignity.
I'm trying to figure out what you mean by sacrificing dignity? Taking these accounts or not is a business decision. if the accounts are coming from a departed advisor who has moved firms then there is a slimy aspect to it. People who work hard to bring these accounts in get this. regardless of what your manager tells you account ownership is a very grey area. If it wasn't noone would ever leave their current firm. That said, I'm firmly in the advisor owns the account camp. It's the firm's agenda to keep the assets from fleeing. the only assets i care about are the assets under my control. That's more than enough to keep me as busy as i want to be.
Your choices are made off of ego. If you justify that as a way to build your business and then turn around and use "trustworthy" and "work ethic" then...well 'nuff said.
You've lost me here? There is no ego in this. As I've said this is a business decision. There is a cost to taking these accounts. By my math they are way too expensive.
Plus there is this: I have to know every security in my book. I keep a very tight control on what goes into client's accounts. It's really the only way to do the job right. When it comes to inherited accounts, these clients have all sorts of stuff tacked to the side of their ship. While trying to tackle this problem within these accounts could lead to some nice days at the cash register, for the most part, inventory control becomes impossible. If nothing else it's a burden. As a businessman I chose not to take that burden on. And then there's the liability question. 
Or maybe I'm just pulling your leg because I need a breather after a hard ass week. :)
or maybe your not

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Quote:
I agree, I am all for hard work but not taking a book when it is offered
is like telling your clients that you don't want referrals.
Quote:
Explain? A referral is gleaned from the trust developed over time by
proving to a client that your are in fact trustworthy. You've earned that
referral. Conversely, being handed a book may not have anything to do
with your trustworthyness or your work ethic. You may not have earned
anything and you may be, depending on circumstances, helping destroy a
fellow advisor's career. So I don't see how the two are related.  

I agree with you that it depends on the circumstances, if a rep is
leaving the business completely someone has to service those clients and
if it's offered to me by the powers that be, I assume it's because I'm doing
something right, or at least they see potential.  If I get a referral from a
customer I know I'm doing something right, so to me both come from
doing right by the client.
If however someone informs me that one of my coworkers is moving
and trying to take clients and gives me a list to contact, I think I would
have a very hard time doing that, I still gotta sleep ya know.
I am hoping and assuming that will not happen alot at the indy firm I
hope to be starting at, but I could be wrong.

troll's picture
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BondGuy wrote:I'm trying to figure out what you mean by sacrificing dignity? Taking these accounts or not is a business decision. if the accounts are coming from a departed advisor who has moved firms then there is a slimy aspect to it. People who work hard to bring these accounts in get this. regardless of what your manager tells you account ownership is a very grey area. If it wasn't noone would ever leave their current firm. That said, I'm firmly in the advisor owns the account camp. It's the firm's agenda to keep the assets from fleeing. the only assets i care about are the assets under my control. That's more than enough to keep me as busy as i want to be.I was a naiive babe in the woods when I got into the business, but ultimately I developed the following approach between hearing the management line and what other advisors did, including particularly those I respected:"Mr. Jones, this is joedabrkr from XYZ securities, I am just calling as a courtesy to let you know that Bob Smith resigned (yesterday, last week, etc-as i got busier the time frame got longer....) and that if you need anything from us I wanted you to know how to contact me.""Well I wouldn't be surprised if Bob would be in contact with you soon...it's probably a very hectic time for him. Again, if there is anything I can do I'm happy to help, but ultimately it's your money and you have to do what you think is best for you".Well...some folk weren't overly happy with Bob, and now and then it turned out to be a decent relationship, but not that many for the time investment.  A very few just didn't click with Bob( and if we were reasonably friendly I might tip Bob off so he didn't waste his time) but most really appreciated the low-key low-pressure approach, and moved along.But once, when I moved, a guy I didn't even really like just totally topped it.....Shortly after the move I got an incoming phone call from a client who I'd categorized as "iffy" and he's laughing his arse off.  I ask why, and he says, "Well, Greg called me from AGE and says "Well I was just calling because joeabrkr left and your account was assigned to me. And he asks, 'Why should I stay with you?' and Greg says "Honestly I have no idea........why would you?  Joe knows you at least.  I called because my manager asked me to......"ROFL  Greg handled it with a bit of humor and total class.........

ExPropTrader's picture
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First off I apologize for my previous sloppy post, was trying to cut down the repost and missed editing a quote.
Second BondGuy, I went back and read your previous rebuttal to anabuhabkuss and I have to say you do make a lot of sense, I really appreciate you and the rest of the vets helping guide us newbies through this very complicated biz.  I do realize that some people (me) need some brutal honesty sometimes to make things sink in.  I really respect 95% of the people in the forum even if I don't always agree. 

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There is no 'business' decision or 'cost' for not accpeting assets as a trainee?
The only cost for you, at the time, was having to spend more hours in the office.
A trainee turning down assets and calling it a 'business decision'? What a freaking joke.

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Sorry let me put it in clearer words.
So as trainees, you had a lot to LOSE (a cost as you put it) if you had accepted these assets?
Yeah you made a business decision, but a dumb one at that. You had a chance to turn some accounts into goldmines and deepen some relationships but opted to look at your buddy and say "We don't need them HIGH FIVE!".
I'm guessing you've refused to buya  cold call list or use any marketing technique to prospect for clients because "we don't need them HGIH FIVE!"
My point? Ultimately, it could be implied that you never ever brought in assets that were housed by a different firm. What's the difference between attaining some handed assets (which, arguably could be seen as just another lead list whose assets are held elsewhere) vs doing it on your own (outside of ego)?
All of your prospects whom are now your clients had no financial plan put together whatsoever?
You were offered "leads" and you turned them down. Like someone else mentioned, turning down assets is like turning down a referral. You're ego just won't allow you enough space in the head to grasp the notion that your prospecting for new clients via marketing is no different than calling assets that are offered to you.
Who is to say those handed down clientele would have liked you anyway?

troll's picture
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anabuhabkuss wrote:Sorry let me put it in clearer words.
So as trainees, you had a lot to LOSE (a cost as you put it) if you had accepted these assets?
Yeah you made a business decision, but a dumb one at that. You had a chance to turn some accounts into goldmines and deepen some relationships but opted to look at your buddy and say "We don't need them HIGH FIVE!".
I'm guessing you've refused to buya  cold call list or use any marketing technique to prospect for clients because "we don't need them HGIH FIVE!"
My point? Ultimately, it could be implied that you never ever brought in assets that were housed by a different firm. What's the difference between attaining some handed assets (which, arguably could be seen as just another lead list whose assets are held elsewhere) vs doing it on your own (outside of ego)?
All of your prospects whom are now your clients had no financial plan put together whatsoever?
You were offered "leads" and you turned them down. Like someone else mentioned, turning down assets is like turning down a referral. You're ego just won't allow you enough space in the head to grasp the notion that your prospecting for new clients via marketing is no different than calling assets that are offered to you.
Who is to say those handed down clientele would have liked you anyway?You don't get it, which is no surprise, because you don't have a business that you built yourself.  So, you don't know how much it sucks when someone tries to pilfer your hard earned book.  There's a lot of sharks out there in our business.

BondGuy's picture
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anabuhabkuss wrote:
Sorry let me put it in clearer words.
Do you mean to speak more clearly?
How many drinks before this post?
So as trainees, you had a lot to LOSE (a cost as you put it) if you had accepted these assets?
Yes, we would have lost the time it takes to cultivate relationships outside the business model. What is it that you don't get about this?
Example: I'm looking for business people who can invest $500,000 to $1,000,000 on a phone call. The average inherited account= Velda Bluehair with $100,000 in CDs, and $200,000 in mutual funds. So lets see... I spend how many hours CULTIVATING a relationship with Velda, a very nice, talkative little old lady? And while I'm doing that how many millionaire business people who meet my standard am I talking to? If you answered zero you're starting to get it.
Yeah you made a business decision, but a dumb one at that. You had a chance to turn some accounts into goldmines and deepen some relationships but opted to look at your buddy and say "We don't need them HIGH FIVE!".
Exactly. We're able to develope our own goldmine accounts. We don't have to leech off another advisor's hard work. And if that's a dumb decision, at least it's one I can live with.
I'm guessing you've refused to buya  cold call list or use any marketing technique to prospect for clients because "we don't need them HGIH FIVE!"
Actually ,we have purchased lists. But the best leads come from lists we develope ourselves. This is the part of the program where I have to tell you that top producers think differently than does the average producer. Please note the use of the word producer. What do you think that means? It means that instead of standing around waiting for a handout we are out there developing new business. Our career trajectory isn't inversely related to that of others. Try it. it will open up a whole new universe. It's good, iIm not kidding, Come on, take that step.
My point? Ultimately, it could be implied that you never ever brought in assets that were housed by a different firm. What's the difference between attaining some handed assets (which, arguably could be seen as just another lead list whose assets are held elsewhere) vs doing it on your own (outside of ego)?
Ultimately you're showning how upset you are by being totally ridiculous. That you can't or don't see the difference is scary.
All of your prospects whom are now your clients had no financial plan put together whatsoever?
You were offered "leads" and you turned them down. Like someone else mentioned, turning down assets is like turning down a referral. You're ego just won't allow you enough space in the head to grasp the notion that your prospecting for new clients via marketing is no different than calling assets that are offered to you.
You keep mentioning ego. It's not ego but another 'E" word that keeps me from taking inherited accounts. That word is Ethics. Look it up.
Who is to say those handed down clientele would have liked you anyway?
I guess we'll never know since I don't take second hand clients.
I think Joe summed it up best. You don't get it because you don't work to develope your own accounts.
That's Ok, look at it this way. On one side we have the producers and rainmakers. On the other side we have the leeches and the ticks. In clearer words you've made your choice obvious.

anabuhabkuss's picture
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You think that if it makes you feel better. You're obviously more intent on putting others down to stroke your ego and that's your problem. I'm talking about assets that are not being worked on and you're suggesting they do not deserve servicing.
I'm not talking about stealing assets while an FA is still working on them. Are you freaking dull?
I find it hard to believe that all of your clients were prospects that had no financial plan put together whatsoever (because if they did, why would you work with them having posted earlier you have to know every security in their portfolio- another reason why you pass on assets).
What more would you expect from somebody who refers to any client as "second hand clients"
Passing on assets that are not being worked on (you keep avoiding this and instead refer to sharking instead) is no different than passing on prospects whom you find out are unhappy with their current FA.
you: "I'm sorry I'd help you but I haven't had any input in your portfolio to begin so for "ethics" sake (ego) I can't help. Oh and if FA "A" decides to be your contact moving forward because you're unhappy with your current performance, well FA "A" is a shark and an unethical ass."
Right. Anyways keep posting during market hours. If I'm interested in anything else you have to say I'll let you know after I get off work from my 7pm nights.

anabuhabkuss's picture
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Oh and that's cute, you attacked me for not being a rainmaker. I forgot I had posted that I am required to bring in $4MM of my own assets this year $1.3 which I've done working with accountants in all but 5 months into production. Assets given to me is more time and work on my hands (saturdays and sundays wha?)
**** me for being retarded. Don't me an assumptous know it all ass. Your clients will drop you faster than Fat Albert reimbursing a huge mexican dinner.

troll's picture
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BondGuy wrote:That's Ok, look at it this way. On one side we have the producers and rainmakers. On the other side we have the leeches and the ticks. In clearer words you've made your choice obvious. I'll  second that.  Sums it all up in a paragraph!

AllREIT's picture
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joedabrkr wrote:You don't get it, which is no surprise, because
you don't have a business that you built yourself.  So, you don't
know how much it sucks when someone tries to pilfer your hard earned
book.  There's a lot of sharks out there in our business.

As I see it, the accounts in exbrokers books were ours to lose, and at
the very least we had a funded account and some built in credibility.
So mining these accounts with a simple low pressure approach can be a
very good idea.

There's really nothing sharky about it, if you quit our company you can't expect huge loyalty from us to you.

planrcoach's picture
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As I see it, the accounts in exbrokers books were ours to lose, and at the very least we had a funded account and some built in credibility. So mining these accounts with a simple low pressure approach can be a very good idea.
Getting established in the business, there is no silver bullet. A few assigned accounts helped a lot of us learn the business, and over a longer time frame, with a simple low pressure approach, turned into some very nice assets under management.
With a high payout rate, most money under management looks pretty good after you pay your fixed costs. The 80/20 principal applies bigtime in this business if you are a generalist (20% of your clients provide the most revenue, but the other 80% of clients helped get you there).

BondGuy's picture
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anabuhabkuss wrote:
You think that if it makes you feel better. You're obviously more intent on putting others down to stroke your ego and that's your problem. I'm talking about assets that are not being worked on and you're suggesting they do not deserve servicing.
I'm not talking about stealing assets while an FA is still working on them. Are you freaking dull?
I find it hard to believe that all of your clients were prospects that had no financial plan put together whatsoever (because if they did, why would you work with them having posted earlier you have to know every security in their portfolio- another reason why you pass on assets).
What more would you expect from somebody who refers to any client as "second hand clients"
Passing on assets that are not being worked on (you keep avoiding this and instead refer to sharking instead) is no different than passing on prospects whom you find out are unhappy with their current FA.
you: "I'm sorry I'd help you but I haven't had any input in your portfolio to begin so for "ethics" sake (ego) I can't help. Oh and if FA "A" decides to be your contact moving forward because you're unhappy with your current performance, well FA "A" is a shark and an unethical ass."
Right. Anyways keep posting during market hours. If I'm interested in anything else you have to say I'll let you know after I get off work from my 7pm nights.

I guess the only response to this is I"m getting a headache trying to understand your post.
Lets try this again.
To succeed in this business we need to deal with rich people. You know, people with money. Those of us who see this build a plan that puts us in front of these kinds of prospects on a regular basis. We strike out more than we succeed, but persistence pays off and gradually, piece by piece, a large practice is built. To do this, we are custom tailoring the type of person we are looking to do business with. An individual's ability ot fog a mirror doesn't qualify them. Nor does an investment personality that is contrary to our business plan. For example: I do few bond funds and meet a prospect who says that's all they'll buy. Not a fit. I'm conservative (mostly), and build portfolios that reflect that view, so what do I do when I meet a guy who wants the fast lane with stocks and options. I pass. Again, it's not a fit, regardless of how much dough the guy wants to invest. By prospecting for every client I get to hand pick who I do business with. I only do business with those who buy into my investment philosophy. It's that simple. Any other way leads to unhappy clients down the road.
Part two of the program is, because I have hand picked my clients, and because they have bought into my plan for them, I get to hand pick each security that goes into the portfolio. For better or worse, whatever happens from that day forward, I own it. Of course each security is vetted before placing it in the portfolio. Isn't this the way it's supposed to be doneL
Now match that against this: your manager hands you 20 funded accounts, each a different personallity type, investment philosophy, and each with a dozen different securities in it. let's say that just with these accounts there are a hundred different securites. That's not unreasonable. Except there's a problem. There is no way anyone can follow a hundred different securities. Not even you. To whittle it down you need to become an expert on each position to see if a sell is warranted. And then you've got to convince the client to sell. Good luck with that. And it's just as likely that a sell is not called for. Now your stuck with whatever it is and have to follow it. Very time consuming.  Meanwhile, while all this is going on job number one, developing your own book, has come to a complete halt.
As far as the cheap shots about posting during business hours, I'll deal with that in a seperate thread. Actually, you're not wrong. Even though it doesn't stop you from being a jerk for trying to impune me with it.
In reality your probably not a jerk, just someone who is really upset at what is being said. Let's move on.
 

anabuhabkuss's picture
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I agree with everything you just posted above but just disagree with you about servicing accounts that are not being touched  being a waste (even if their philosophies are different than mine). The reality is if clients don't click with you, they'll move with the FA no matter how awesome your presentation is. But I am not the first one in a managers door trying to steal accounts from someone who hasn't even finished packing much less moved do a different brokerage house (yes they are whores).
Being offered some !2MM from my mentor to manage is anything but a bad deal. If anything it helps me learn faster and maybe even further develop my own investment philosiphy and business practice. Further being asked to call on 2 MM of assets from someone who left the business entirely does not hurt my time away from prospecting. A simple thing like Time Management goes a long ways.
Message boards are the worst way to have discussions. I agree with you to let this die. PM me if you have anything else to add.

planrcoach's picture
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You both made some really good points. Anyone who takes from both points of view will get a lot of perspective.
There are so many trade offs as build my practice. Do I want to be a generalist or a specialist? To succeed in this business we need to deal with people with money, but not necessarily rich people. If your payout rate is high enough and your time frames extend over a long period, you can do pretty well with clients who are accumulating wealth.
As you go up the net worth ladder, specializing seems to become more important. For example, building individual bond portfolios versus using bond funds. (But competition presses in on even this idea, in the form of index bond funds, diversified strategic income funds, separate accounts, and so on.)
Specialization implies more team work, more staff, a bigger office, more overhead, maybe more stimulation and likely a lot bigger income. But more interdependence. Maybe more neckties and less freedom. (Freedom to work three hours on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and go meet someone on the golf course, because the weather is nice).
Conversely, if you own the neighborhood planning shop, being a good generalist matters, and you can make referrals to other professionals when you are over your head.
Hand picking your clients is nice, and it may suit your personality. It can help you keep control of your time and work more efficiently. You become known as a specialist.
I remember playing a pickup game of nine holes for the first time at the private golf club. After a while, my partner asked what I do for a living. He said, "Oh, your competitor here at the club only accepts accounts over one million". We just kind of looked at each other and laughed. I said, "Well, I'm the just the neighborhood guy". Right away he opened up and started talking personal finances.
Especially for someone learning the business, I think the social skills alone that you get from working on assigned accounts are worth it. Exposure to clients who, let's face it, in many cases, have been "worked over" by someone who was on their way to something bigger and better.
And those "dumb" little eighty thousand dollar accounts, once you take them over, get the bank authorizations in place, in wrap or C shares, and reallocate them once a year - and the client finally found a stable advisor who they like and trust - those babies will fit very nicely with the one five million dollar acount, a few two millions, a few millions, a bunch of five hundred thousand plus accounts, and a whole bunch of accounts below that which will become your future big mammas. I think they call they "marketing mix".

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planrcoach wrote:You both made some really good points. Anyone who takes from both points of view will get a lot of perspective.I know this post is old.Seems to be a lot of activity on the forums with people who have offers from firms, and people switching B/D's looking for advice. I felt this information was relevant and deserved to be freshly looked at.

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What I would do is search for "Series 7" or "Series 6" on monster.com.  Find a non sales job where you get a lot of product knowledge.  IMO this is tougher to attain than the sales skills with many FA jobs so it may be better to get a low salary where you can really learn a bit about the business first without trying to sell something you know nothing about.  With sales, it seems like either you have it or you don't have it.  I am not sure how much you can "learn" to be a better salesmen/prospector.  Getting you licenses in a salaried position where you can learn any part of the financial services industry is a great move.  Once you have your licenses, many doors will open for you in the industry.  Furthermore, once you have confindence in your product knowledge, you will probably be a better sales person because your knowledge will show to the client.   

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