Critical advice for new advisor needed– p

13 replies [Last post]
maverick's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-28

Hello all, I’m new here and I’m impressed at the wealth of wisdom I’ve found in these forums.  I need some guidance on making my career decision. I’m a 25 year old registered associate at a big wirehouse. I have become an expert at the products at my firm, mutual funds, smas, financial planning, and the new wealth management approach, but have no experience in prospecting, cold calling, finding new business, etc. What I do know is that I want to go into production immediately. I’m sick and tired of working my ass off servicing clients to grow someone else’s book. Considering my lack of experience in business development and sales, what would you recommend I do, go to a bank that provides referrals, try to get hired in a wirehouse, independents? What do you think is the best firm to start at? Any advice would help. <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
 
Also, does anybody know anything about fidelity investments?

Boomer's picture
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Joined: 2005-04-01

Just wondering....do you feel that your experience as a registered associate was worthwhile. I am wanting to get into production also, but I am 23. I have heard that the track you took would provide me with quality training for a year or two to gain industy knowledge etc...Thanks for any insight.

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

go to your FA's, have a conversation with them, express to them exactly what you just posted, and gather your thoughts.... Or, go to your director and do the same thing....

maverick's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-28

I think the experience I gained is invaluable. I worked for a high production team that focuses in servicing the high net worth client. I learned everything from mutual funds, to managed money, alternative investments, etc. At this point I feel I am well versed to service high net worth clients, even though at the start of my production years i'll probably be servicing middle class clients with simple financial needs. Regardless, the 4 years I spent as an associate is where I learned everything I know about the business.

Big Easy Flood's picture
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Joined: 2005-08-29

I think a good place to start would be to stop thinking you're an "expert" as you stated in the opening salvo.
If you were interviewing with me the curtain would close the second you said that.
But then I am 61 years old and have only been around since the early 1970s so what do I know?

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-31

Big Easy Flood wrote:I think a good place to start would be to stop thinking you're an "expert" as you stated in the opening salvo.
If you were interviewing with me the curtain would close the second you said that.
But then I am 61 years old and have only been around since the early 1970s so what do I know?
 I was thinking the same thing...it is amazing what I thought I knew at 25...I honestly believe that I am less confident at 40+ that I was back then.  I don't think I'm quite as overconfident at least.  No doubt this candidate has gotten a wealth of good information working for a successful HNW team, but at the same time, he/she will be surprised at what can still be learned after 25...I'm still amazed at some of the things I come across...

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

maverick, you deserve to get abused for your "expert" comment, but the
truth of the matter is that you are enough of an expert to make tons of
money. 
You get paid in this business to do the thing that you are currently
clueless about...bringing in new business.
You are going to need to find a good mentor.  Those guys are all about
bringing in business.
Boomer, same thng.  Industry knowledge take a distant backseat to sales
ability if your goal is to make tons of money.  If you want to be an internal
salary type person, then it's the reverse.

skeedaddy's picture
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Joined: 2005-06-16

Just ask yourself....how many millionaires know who I AM? Your answer will
determine your fate!

No hard feelings, OK?

maverick's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-28

I read the comments from bigeasy and indyone, no hard feelings. Let me clear up my expert statement, what was on my mind was that relative to my business development/sales experience and skills, I am an expert at the products I sell, that's because I have viturally no bus dev/sales experience. I didn't mean to come across as an arrogant know-it-all. There is way too much to learn in this business to be an expert at everything. I do appreciate all the constructive criticism I've heard. By the way, anonymous, I agree with you completely regarding industry knowledge taking a backseat to sales ability.
The truth of the matter is, if you want the opportunity to show prospects your knowledge and what you have to offer, you first have to learn how to get in front of them and learn to close.

maverick's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-28

Here's another question for you seasoned producers. I have a few months before I start an FA job on my own, considering I have to research firms, interview and accept the best offer for me.
In the meantime, i want to start prospecting for the future, any ideas on how to prospect without knowing who you will be working for and the depth of products/services you will have access to?

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-31

"I read the comments from bigeasy and indyone, no hard feelings."
You're a good sport about us poking at you for being a bit "cheeky" right off .  I think you've got a great start into the biz with the folks you've been around, even if you sometimes find them a bit hard to deal with (just an assumption based on your tone).  What about talking to your branch manager about branching out on your own at your current firm?  In general, I hesitate to suggest joining a team, as it is almost inevitable that conflict will eventually arise (just too many egos in the biz), so wherever you land, try to fly solo if possible.  Somewhere on here, there are several good books on sales listed...you might try reading some of those for starters. If you move on, banks are an easier place to break into sales, but many programs are ran by bankers who don't understand the industry.  Banks also tend to have an abundance of jealous bankers who will tend to think you make too much money, and thus management will be constantly tempted to tinker with your payouts.  If you find a bank program without such problems, consider yourself fortunate.
If the wirehouse environment is not to your liking, you might consider a super-regional like AG Edwards or Raymond James.  In general, it seems there are mostly positive comments on those firms, and most likely, you'll find the production hurdles to be a bit easier to hit than those at a wirehouse.
As far as prospecting without knowing where you'll land, don't start with products.  Talk more about your approach and how you work with clients.  That should be universal pretty much wherever you land.

maverick's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-28

Thanks for the help Indy, it's very much appreciated.

rightway's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

We have hired a dozen people this year, and sadly what your are an
"expert" on can be taught relatively easily.  The part your are
missing, as per your post, is more natural and less teachable. 
When we hire, we look for the natural ability and experience to
prospect, build trust, close, and deliver.  Blarm is right. 
You should go to your team and ask to spend a considerable amount of
time with the members who do your business development.  It may
just not be your thing, which is fine.  Then you have to find a
team who will be willing to take you on in the roll you are good
at...product.  There are plenty, especially large solo producers,
who are better at selling and hate the service.  Good luck.

Captain's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-07

Regarding your question on Fidelity Investments.

Are you thinking about joining their retail division? Or, are you thinking
about going the RIA route and joining their Fidelity Registered Investment
Advisory Group (FRIAG)?

I don't think that the FRIAG route is for you, due to the fact that you don't
have your own clients. Additionally, Fidelity and Schwab (two prominant RIA
platforms) don't have an interest in working with new, non-established
advisors. They are looking for new practices with existing books of
business.

C

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