Completed Application Process!

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FA Prospect's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-05

After spending countless hours performing research, preparing, shopping for clothes, testing, and interviewing I have now completed the final stages at both SB and EJ for a FA position. A final hiring decision is expected from SB as early as Monday (Aug 28) and either this week or next from EDJ (5 - 10 working days). I will keep everyone posted on the results - sincere thanks goes out to everyone for sharing experiences and offering advice to a wannabee.
 

NASD Newbie's picture
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Joined: 2005-08-01

Assuming SB is Smith Barney and not Seth's Brokerage, you don't even wait to hear from EJ--you accept Smith Barney's offer.
If you were a high school girl would you turn down a date with the Captain of the football team hoping that the President of the Chess Club calls?
You have seen Smith Barney show up on this forum as either the number one or the number two retail brokerage firm in the country--and therefore the world.
Tell that manager that you'll let him know in a week to ten days and that offer will evaporate as if it were a mirage.

dude's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-15

Exactly.  Would you like a Mercedes or a horse and carriage?

Cowboy93's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-10

Full disclosure--neither of the commentators above has or had or long
career as a real live producing broker/FA/FC/whatever. If you want to focus
on upscale accounts, SB is the place to be. Other than that, you can do well
at either place.

NASD Newbie's picture
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Joined: 2005-08-01

Cowboy93 wrote:Full disclosure--neither of the commentators above has or had or long career as a real live producing broker/FA/FC/whatever. If you want to focus on upscale accounts, SB is the place to be. Other than that, you can do well at either place.
I had a thirty-five year career--all of it on the retail side.
Look at what you have to say.  If you're going to focus on large accounts SB is the place to be, but other than that you can do well at either place.
So what argues in favor of Jones?  Jones should only be chosen if you don't have what it takes to get on with a better firm--and there are a lot of them that are better.

Philo Kvetch's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-17

You had a six year career on the retail side, with two different firms, 29 years ago.  The rest of the time, by your own admission, was doing surveys on the best training, flying overseas to work on "big deals", committee work, etc., none of which was actually nuts and bolts of the retail brokerage industry.
Stop lying.  It doesn't lend any credence to your extravagant claims.

FA Prospect's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-05

I will absolutely accept the position with SB (Smith Barney) when and if offered. As of matter of fact, I will have to control my joy at least a little or I will be jumping up and down in the BM office and maybe giving her a big old hug!  Probably not the way to start my career at SB though.  Really, the only question is whether I should say yes without even looking at the offer or ask for a chance to discuss with my wife and look at the contract? Either way, I know I will accept the contract with no negotiation required. I feel extremely fortunate to make it to point that the BM is asking for a training slot from the region for me. Even if the offer is to start training in November rather than October, my answer will be a resounding yes.

dude's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-15

Cowboy93 wrote:Full disclosure--neither of the commentators above has or had or long career as a real live producing broker/FA/FC/whatever. If you want to focus on upscale accounts, SB is the place to be. Other than that, you can do well at either place.
Cowboy, SB does not have account minimums or reduce payout on small accounts like MS and Merrill do.  Everyone is targeting larger accounts and it makes sense to do so unless you think you can reasonably service 3000 clients as a lone ranger. 
You must not have ever worked for a sophisticated firm before.
Just because I've only been in the business 4 years doesn't mean that I'm ignorant concerning the diffences between brokerage firms.  I have competed extensively against Edward D. Jones brokers and was consistently underwhelmed by the quality of investment advice dispensed by them as  a whole.  Their concept of diversification is driven by their desire to win trips based on having multiple types of products as opposed to different asset classes.  I could go on and on, but if someone wants to really understand money management, Smith Barney is undisputably a higher class and more comprehensive firm.
To say otherwise is ignorant.
BTW, this is not to put down brokers at Ed Jones or any other firm, it's just my  2 cents.  There are plenty of good brokers at Eddie Jones, I just haven't seen many.

FA Prospect's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-05

As I see it, SB is the clear choice if offered, but EJ does offer two main advantages: 1) Over 50% of FAs earn vacations and 2) more indendepence and the chance to have your own branch office.
It seems to me that working in a controlled atmosphere and under the the guidance of an experienced branch manager would help a new FA more than it would hurt. I have read horror stories about veteran FAs hovering like vultures hoping the new guy/gal fails, but in my limited experience in my branch I did not get that feeling. I am not naive enough to believe the veteran FAs will have my best interest at heart (rather than their own) - but at least the BM should have my (and the firm's) best interest in mind. I got the sense that she would take an active part in my professional development and really look forward to getting started.

JCadieux's picture
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Joined: 2005-01-23

FA Prospect wrote:As I see it, SB is the clear choice if offered, but EJ does offer two main advantages: 1) Over 50% of FAs earn vacations and 2) more indendepence and the chance to have your own branch office.1) The average successful SB broker makes a LOT more money than the average successful EJ broker.  That extra cash will buy you several nice vacations.2) This is a big advantage to EJ.  You need to balance that along with compensation, training, and other factors mentioned above.
FA Prospect wrote:It seems to me that working in a controlled atmosphere and under the
the guidance of an experienced branch manager would help a new FA more
than it would hurt.  I agree.  I think you've just answered item two above by yourself.
FA Prospect wrote:I have read horror stories about veteran FAs
hovering like vultures hoping the new guy/gal fails, but in my limited
experience in my branch I did not get that feeling. I am not naive
enough to believe the veteran FAs will have my best interest at heart
(rather than their own) - but at least the BM should have my (and the
firm's) best interest in mind. I got the sense that she would take an
active part in my professional development and really look forward to
getting started. A good relationship with your branch manager is a HUGE advantage, and should be a primary factor in making your decision.Another top factor is your likelihood of success.  You've probably got business plans for both firms.  (Either you wrote one or they handed one to you).  Ask yourself:  Which plan is most likely to help me reach high-net-worth investors?  Does this plan fit me?  Can I do the things it requires (seminars, cold walking, etc).Most of us on this board (myself included) think that the answer here is obvious.  For me, the deciding factor was your apparent good rapport with the SB branch manager.  You also seem to have convinced yourself of the best way to go.  I wonder why you're looking for affirmation from us  (a bunch of strangers).  Is there something you aren't telling us?  Or are you just uncertain with your own decision?

FA Prospect's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-05

JCadieux wrote: A good relationship with your branch manager is a HUGE advantage, and should be a primary factor in making your decision.Another top factor is your likelihood of success.  You've probably got business plans for both firms.  (Either you wrote one or they handed one to you).  Ask yourself:  Which plan is most likely to help me reach high-net-worth investors?  Does this plan fit me?  Can I do the things it requires (seminars, cold walking, etc).
I prepared a business plan for SB with some help from the BM on the numbers. Of course I submitted the numbers to reach tier one! I am experienced in training classrooms of up to 35 students (military) and preparing executive level presentations, so I am almost certain that I will be able and actually enjoy conducting seminars. I also do not mind cold walking and really like to meet people...so I really think that I can "fit" in this business. I am really going to give it my best shot. Most of us on this board (myself included) think that the answer here is obvious.  For me, the deciding factor was your apparent good rapport with the SB branch manager. 
I received a phone call from EJ today offering me a position. I also received an email (that I opened when I got home at 7:00 p.m.) from the BM at SB congratulating me and asking me to call her to discuss details of the offer...yippee! You also seem to have convinced yourself of the best way to go.  I wonder why you're looking for affirmation from us  (a bunch of strangers).  Is there something you aren't telling us?  Or are you just uncertain with your own decision?
I have now convinced myself of the way to go. I have discussed this with my family, IRs at EJ, and the BM at SB. Discussing it here with other professionals gives me a chance to bounce my ideas off of all of you. The mere act of organizing my thoughts in a post also forces me to think about the situation and clears my mind. Thanks so much for this and previous posts.
I certainly plan to accept the SB offer tomorrow...maybe I will be moving from prospect to newbie! Then again, can this forum handle another newbie?

JCadieux's picture
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Joined: 2005-01-23

FA Prospect wrote:JCadieux wrote: A good relationship with your branch manager is a HUGE advantage, and should be a primary factor in making your decision.Another top factor is your likelihood of success.  You've probably got business plans for both firms.  (Either you wrote one or they handed one to you).  Ask yourself:  Which plan is most likely to help me reach high-net-worth investors?  Does this plan fit me?  Can I do the things it requires (seminars, cold walking, etc).
I prepared a business plan for SB with some help from the BM on the numbers. Of course I submitted the numbers to reach tier one! I am experienced in training classrooms of up to 35 students (military) and preparing executive level presentations, so I am almost certain that I will be able and actually enjoy conducting seminars. I also do not mind cold walking and really like to meet people...so I really think that I can "fit" in this business. I am really going to give it my best shot. Most of us on this board (myself included) think that the answer here is obvious.  For me, the deciding factor was your apparent good rapport with the SB branch manager. 
I received a phone call from EJ today offering me a position. I also received an email (that I opened when I got home at 7:00 p.m.) from the BM at SB congratulating me and asking me to call her to discuss details of the offer...yippee! You also seem to have convinced yourself of the best way to go.  I wonder why you're looking for affirmation from us  (a bunch of strangers).  Is there something you aren't telling us?  Or are you just uncertain with your own decision?
I have now convinced myself of the way to go. I have discussed this with my family, IRs at EJ, and the BM at SB. Discussing it here with other professionals gives me a chance to bounce my ideas off of all of you. The mere act of organizing my thoughts in a post also forces me to think about the situation and clears my mind. Thanks so much for this and previous posts.
I certainly plan to accept the SB offer tomorrow...maybe I will be moving from prospect to newbie! Then again, can this forum handle another newbie? Congratulations! 

NASD Newbie's picture
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Joined: 2005-08-01

Has the offer been made, or is it anticipated that it will be made?

JCadieux's picture
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Joined: 2005-01-23

NASD Newbie wrote:Has the offer been made, or is it anticipated that it will be made?It sounds like there is intent to make a verbal offer...   which means absolutely nothing in a legal sense.  But it's a very good sign.Prospect: NASD Newbie is just being paranoid, but he has a point.  Don't decline anything until you have paperwork from SB.

FA Prospect's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-05

Good point, Gentlemen. I have a set appointment to review the details of the offer tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.
BTW, I notice that most people do not mention their firms on the board. I take it that it is a wise practice not to let people know what firm that you work for?
 

opie's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-15

You'll have to decide that for yourself.  Some, but not all, of the best posters here make their affiliation quite clear.  Others do not.

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