EDJ, again. Yes, I searched.

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someonewouldntexpect's picture
Joined: 2008-10-25

I did search for this and I couldn't find a topic related to my question.I'm doing the interviews with Jones and I can't help but notice that the interviewers are selling the company to me rather than asking me hardball questions like at the wires. Usually, this sends up red flags to me. But, I'm still curious about Jones. Do they just hire anyone off the street? Are they picky at all? Is there a reason why they seem to be selling the company to me rather than asking me how good of a closer I am, etc?That said, I do like the conservative culture of the company so far and the people I've talked to are top-notch.

chief123's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-28

How do you prove how good of a closer you are?

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OS
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If they're moving you along in the interview process it means they feel like you have potential.  They'll ask some more common behavioral questions in your phone interview.  I was impressed in their interview process with how happy everyone was and how proud they were of the company.  It's definitely a good company with a conservative reputation, which is going to be attractive to investors who've lost trust in the market in recent years.

someonewouldntexpect's picture
Joined: 2008-10-25

chief123 wrote:How do you prove how good of a closer you are?Current sales role and success? I don't know, but that was the very first question I was asked by one of the wires, "why do you think I should hire you and can you close?" followed by lots of probing. So far, I haven't faced that at Jones. Thanks for the replies.

chief123's picture
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What have you been through so far at jones?

buyandhold's picture
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someonewouldntexpect wrote: chief123 wrote:How do you prove how good of a closer you are?Current sales role and success? I don't know, but that was the very first question I was asked by one of the wires, "why do you think I should hire you and can you close?" followed by lots of probing. So far, I haven't faced that at Jones. Thanks for the replies.
 
Jones believes that if you are ethical and hardworking they can teach you to close. ... Jones is not looking for somebody with a great business plan or even a history of sales success. They want you to be honest, because you will be on your own most of the time, and hard-working, because they believe their recipe works if you stick with it.
 
 

Tincup's picture
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While I agree with buyandhold's last comments I can tell you that Jones is very aggressive to hire and does suffer more attrtion yr 1 then the street average.  Not having an office to work out of from day 1 in most cases having to earn one after 4-8 months is a problem.  

someonewouldntexpect's picture
Joined: 2008-10-25

Interesting. Where do potential leads sign paperwork, at the home of the lead/client? They told me retention is around 17%.I've been through the 3rd stage.

Tincup's picture
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Joined: 2008-12-13

This they is mistaken and not remotely close, take your percentage and double it, 10 % alone is lost in the series 7 study and exam months.  A prospect will ask you where your office is located. My advice is to ask another of your Jones competitors to use there conference room prior to earning your office.

Tincup's picture
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The attrition rate I mentioned was 1st year advisors

someonewouldntexpect's picture
Joined: 2008-10-25

Tincup wrote:This they is mistaken and not remotely close, take your percentage and double it, 10 % alone is lost in the series 7 study and exam months.  A prospect will ask you where your office is located. My advice is to ask another of your Jones competitors to use there conference room prior to earning your office.I've got the 7, so I guess I've got an advantage, but any mutt can study hard enough to pass it. I can attest to that considering who has it where I'm currently located.My question to them was how many new hires are retained through year 3. They (interviewer) said 17%. So, they retain better than that or worse? I was expecting the standard answer, 10% make it. But, of course, everyone will tell you better than what it really is. I'm just intrigued by the difference in interviewing styles. Met with a BOM at a wire, and he was direct and to the point, "if you don't produce, you'll eat my profits and I'll get rid of you." I'm cool with that, and I like that style. With Jones, they keep talking about how much money I can make and how great it is, and how awesome it is to run "your own business." That type of discussion made me a little concerned.

Tincup's picture
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Joined: 2008-12-13

Big brother gets a healthy cut of your business revenue. Be sure to get the specifics of your benefits costs.   Make sure you like being solo at all times, this market is not fun when your on an island by yourself. 

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Tincup wrote:
Big brother gets a healthy cut of your business revenue. Be sure to get the specifics of your benefits costs.   Make sure you like being solo at all times, this market is not fun when your on an island by yourself. 
 
Good points, Tincup.
 
Regarding Jones' conservative philosophy and the assertion that that benefits clients in this market: it's total fiction. We're a stock and bond shop--mostly via mutual funds--and as a result, the majority of our clients have been hammered. We have numerous clients who lost all of their principal in Lehman bonds and many who are unfortunate owners of GM and Ford bonds. Noone has been immune from this meltdown.
 
Second, while some people see the independence of having their own office as a benefit, I find the isolationism to be brutal at times. Sure, you can always pick up the phone and call another Joneser, but they have stuff going on too and you often find yourself in a long, drawn out game of phone tag.
 
Being a part of either an independent or wirehouse team would be ideal, and even if you couldn't join a team immediately, it would be a good situation to have veteran advisors in the same office as you to be able to bounce ideas off of and learn from.
 
I realize we're all responsible for our own professional development, but for those who prefer to learn from face-to-face interaction from folks who have "been there," Jones ain't the place for you.
 

Tincup's picture
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Joined: 2008-12-13

Borker Boy,
You are one of the very few at Jones who answers with a true and objective response, I don't know why that is..but it is refreshing to see.

6160's picture
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Joined: 2008-12-03

One important thing about interviews - you're not always being judged on your answers to their questions.If I told you more, it would be cheating

Lapide's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-26

EJ claims to have the same acceptance rate of applicants as Harvard, maybe they are using psychology on you without your knowledge via their questions.  Seriously though, I don't think the questions have changed much in the 5 years since I was hired, they are a bit strange.  I think the leadership teams are trying to hire as many people as possible to meet the 5 year goal to go from "Good to Great".  I think they should just be trying to maintain a healthy sales force right now, but that's just me.  It's been a great experience and good training at EJ, but I am getting ready to move on and go Indy.  If you don't have much industry experience then I would definately recommend the Jones'.  Just my 2 bits.
 
BTW.  I have read the forums since I was hired 5 years ago, and I have always gotten a big kick out of everyone bloviating online.

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Tincup wrote:Borker Boy,
You are one of the very few at Jones who answers with a true and objective response, I don't know why that is..but it is refreshing to see.We are all liars.  Atleast almost all of us are.  Very few of us are "objective".  He is the only person at Jones that tells the truth and has no bias at all.  It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he gave the response that you wanted.Another idiotic Edward Jones conspiracy theory....How do the 1000's of us liars (except your buddy Borker) keep our lies straight?  Does Jones only hire liars or do "they" teach us to be liars?

Tincup's picture
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We are all not liars. I didn't ask for his response although it was honest and accurate.  These are my personal observations and I don't expect them to mean anymore to you then yours do to me. 

someonewouldntexpect's picture
Joined: 2008-10-25

6160 wrote:
One important thing about interviews - you're not always being judged on your answers to their questions.If I told you more, it would be cheating
Good point, but the questions I ask are met with an answer about how great the company is and how great it is to run "your own business."I guess maybe I'm just used to being cussed out all day? lol.I appreciate the responses.

monopolybet's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-18

I too have been out about 3 years at Jones, the isolation is brutal. There are good regions and bad regions. I am a minority so I do not fit in our region. They way the FA interact reminds me of the 70's or 80's. They are trying to recruit women, but their door to door sales tatics are not the best for young attractive women. There was a women in a large city who had the police called on her. There was a group that was doing breakin's in the area and they where using a young attractive female to see if anyone was home. The fa got hauled into the police station, needless to say she never was heard from again.  Now that I look back over my interview process it was a bunch of promises, big money, big trips and "your" own business. Just one problem, you don't know what you are doing.....and in this market that is brutal. It is a very weird sales/office set up.  You really are not accepted until you are a seg 4 or 5, 3 and under have no value to the "hairy 5 year goal".good luck to you. At least at 3 years you are free to do what you would like...you know a lot more then you did at the beginning. It feels REALLY good to be past the magical 3 year time period. Just waiting for the right opportunity now..

someonewouldntexpect's picture
Joined: 2008-10-25

What do you mean by, "you don't know what you're doing?"

monopolybet's picture
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You cannot possibly know what you are doing with having studied for the 7 and no practical knowledge. After you are licensed there is so much that you need to know. Even after 3 years there is so much to learn. You will meet with wholesalers, and you have a  "required" monthly meeting but there is a lot to this business. Your monthly new fa meetings biggest concern is your 25 contact, not if you REALLY know what to do to help the people you meet.  When people look to you for knowledge and advice and you are new, your boa is there and Joneslink. I still feel that I am  in way over my head, bigger accounts are coming my way and I call for help but you can get 5 different opions of what to do.  Ultimately, you are making those decisions all by yourself. I feel I am still way out of my league and have doubts that Jones' buy and hold no matter what happens may not be the best in all situations? They will tell you that you will have a "just in time" knowledge and not to worry about what you do not know................that's a really big excuse to cover up for what you should know. The vets love to have you learn the HARD way like they did...anyway best of luck to you.

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MB,
Hate to break it to you, but your experience is pretty much how it is around the rest of the industry. Unless you join a team as a newbie, you are pretty much on your own no matter where you start. Yeah, you might have BOM's and co-workers, but you're still going to get "5 different opinions of what to do." Example - there are two Merrill offices in my area (one is a small "satellite" office) - in one of the offices, they do all managed mutual fund accounts. At the other office, 65% of their business is annuities. So, depending on which office you start at will dictate your entire approach to investing, maybe for your career.

Tincup's picture
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Joined: 2008-12-13

Many Vets are scratching there heads in this market..Client contact has been and continues to be #1 on the list.  Monopoly best of luck in your search, I found my current home after 5 years with EDJ and haven't looked back.  However, you have to find whats right for you and your clients, by the way make sure you have them understand the relationship is with you not your firm.

Anonymous's picture
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B24 wrote:MB, Hate to break it to you, but your experience is pretty much how it is around the rest of the industry. Unless you join a team as a newbie, you are pretty much on your own no matter where you start. Yeah, you might have BOM's and co-workers, but you're still going to get "5 different opinions of what to do." Example - there are two Merrill offices in my area (one is a small "satellite" office) - in one of the offices, they do all managed mutual fund accounts. At the other office, 65% of their business is annuities. So, depending on which office you start at will dictate your entire approach to investing, maybe for your career.

 
That's probably pretty accurate.  It's a shame there aren't higher barriers to entry to this business.  I'm finding, in my area at least, incompetence is the standard, not the exception. 
 
Edit:  Make that, it's a shame for the investing public.  For me, it just makes my job easier!

someonewouldntexpect's picture
Joined: 2008-10-25

I'm not too concerned about isolation, I've learned it's best to know what I don't know and do the hard work to find the answer to something I don't know .What's concerning me the most is all the talk about how great the company is and "running your own business." To me, that screams of those pyramid scheme type companies you see all over the internet, or something like Primerica. I don't mean to equate EDJ to that, because I don't believe that's how they operate. But, I'm just puzzled by the odd rhetoric.Thanks for all the help.

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B24
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You just have to look at the facts and ignore the "hype".  Most of what people at Jones tell you is the truth, it's just not a reality for most people (it's only a reality for those that make it - like at any firm).  And you actually do RUN your own business, you just don't OWN it.  Point is, your income is theoretically uncapped - it's a matter of what you make of it.  But you are usually (always) going to do your "office visit" with a veteran that has "made it".  And many of them are bringing home 200K without working very hard.  If you were making 200K working 30 hours a week, you might have good things to say.  Just look at it that way.  As someone said on this board before - it's the easiest 200K job, but the hardest 50K job.
 
I suggest that if you are serious, you try to talk to  a few FA's that are still in their first 5 years.  You will get a picture of what it took to get to that 200K.

TwoTour's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-10

Interesting thread.  I'm a guy who recently accepted a position with EDJ, and while I certainly received the happiness and sunshine, I was also given a very good dose of the work and hardship. 
 
In my final interview, the gentleman spent at least half of it telling me of the demands and sacrifice that would come if I expected to be a success.  He told me of the roughly 50% first year attrition--from date of hire.  He also expanded the timeline that is on the company site by several months for getting an office.
 
Now, I'm in my early 40's and have spent the whole of my adult life in the Army, and the past several years in places I'd rather not be, so my perspective on hardship may be a bit off, but I expect the next 3-5 years to challenging none the less.

Tincup's picture
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Joined: 2008-12-13

Two Tour,
First I want to say Thank You for your service..This would then qualify as the Third hardest thing you have ever done. Your interviewer was correct in sharing the info they did, it is very accurate information.

jkl1v1n6's picture
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TwoTour,
 
Thanks for your service!  Step-sister currently in Afghanistan.

darner's picture
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Joined: 2008-12-31

What is this talk about "3 years" and Edward Jones? Is there a period of time in which you are an indentured servant in return for their training? Or is it something else you are referring to.
I am a complete newbie leaving the real estate business for FA.
You input is welcome.

chief123's picture
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Nope it's the indentured servant thing

darner's picture
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3 years indentured. I have not yet seen any references to such in their presentation. Can you refer me to someplace where this is written, or expand a little about this please? Or is it simply a no-compete clause? Which is unenforeceable in Pennsylvania, although they can drag you through the courts in an attempt to enforce one.

darner's picture
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OK, I got it. 3 years or pay for the training.
Well, you get alot. They are on the hook if you leave. If you were coming up with the money what would you do?
Pay them to get training while they contribute little. Once they are trained they walk and that's it?
I understand this policy. Not sure if I agree with the numbers they assign to it at this point.

B24's picture
B24
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Keep in mind, they will only come after you if you take your license and clients to another firm.

maddmatt's picture
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<<>>
 
I am new here and not even licensed yet. I start studying with EDJ in February. So, all I can say is this:
 

1. Top 100 places to work by Fortune
2. Best model portfolio
3. Highest advisor AND customer satisfaction ratings
 
Hope this helps.
 
 

chief123's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-28

So you haven't passed a test, have done no prospecting or opening of accounts, might not make it, but want to recite magazine articles ("Top 100 Places to work" "Best model portfolio" "Higest Advisor and Customer Satisfactions")

You hope this helps what?

UNDERMINDED's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-14

ok, I hate being a jerk so take this at face.
 
Matt. you dont have a clue.... period.  you'll hate your life in 3 months when you start hitting the doors.  Hate it worse in 6 when you start selling, and hate it even more in 9 when the koolaid wheres off and you open your eyes.  I was there, your RL was there, your Field Trainer was there, we all were... believe me when I say, you have no clue yet.
 
we are not a pyramid, no, not even close.
we probably aren't any harder to make it at then other firms.
Jones has fine customer service, client exellence and is a "top place to work"... ok fine, that means nothing to someone that is actually doing the job.
 
Just hold off the motivational stuff until you've been out a while.

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Well, I suppose I could expand on my 20 years of experience as a life insurance agent and finance director at a car dealership. Two very tough fields with the same attrition rate as the finance industry. However, that is irrelevant. The point of my post was to point out the upside. What else does a newcomer have other than positive news about the company they are working for? If it gets your rocks off to shoot someone down, have at it. I would rather point out the positive. BTW, one doesn't need experience to do this. 

UNDERMINDED's picture
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I didn't realize car dealers doorknocked and had call sessions to unload a Taurus, my bad.

buyandhold's picture
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UNDERMINDED wrote:I didn't realize car dealers doorknocked and had call sessions to unload a Taurus, my bad.
 
Sigh.
Maybe selling cars is a more dignified profession.
 
 

chief123's picture
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maddmatt wrote:. BTW, one doesn't need experience to do this.[/IMG] 

You should lead with that when calling prospects or doorknocking.

darner's picture
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Some of the dialog on this board seems to indicate there is no filter for juvenile involvement.
It is a little dissappointing.

voltmoie's picture
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darner wrote:Some of the dialog on this board seems to indicate there is no filter for juvenile involvement.
It is a little dissappointing.I've learned there are three camps that post about Edward Jones:Camp A: Those who work at Jones, enjoy it, and like working for a larger company that gives you a fair amount of freedom.Camp B: Those who worked for Jones, thought it was something else, and left a bit bitter - they now seek to rag on the company and anyone who is excited to work for them.  Or those who work there and hate it.Camp C: Hank MoodyYou want to know about a company?  Just call people at random and ask.  Make a few dozen calls all over the US and within your area and you'll know if it's for you.

maddmatt's picture
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I didn't realize they gave securities licenses to morons. Perhaps this explains the current debacle on Wall Street.

maddmatt's picture
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No, just longer hours.

Squash1's picture
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voltmoie wrote: darner wrote:Some of the dialog on this board seems to indicate there is no filter for juvenile involvement.
It is a little dissappointing.I've learned there are three camps that post about Edward Jones:Camp A: Those who work at Jones, enjoy it, and like working for a larger company that gives you a fair amount of freedom.Camp B: Those who worked for Jones, thought it was something else, and left a bit bitter - they now seek to rag on the company and anyone who is excited to work for them.  Or those who work there and hate it.Camp C: Hank MoodyYou want to know about a company?  Just call people at random and ask.  Make a few dozen calls all over the US and within your area and you'll know if it's for you.
 
There is another camp.. Those who have worked there, enjoyed it, but wanted more freedom, more products to use and chose to leave. I don't hate EDJ, some of my good friends stil work there.
 
However most people don't like to listen to comments about firms from people who have never been in the business(not licensed, no clients, no accounts) and hear about how great their firm is and how easy it will be for that person to work their.
 
I got my start and Jones and enjoyed every minute (ok except new IR meetings) right up until I left. I think it is a very good firm to start at, and stay at if those are the products you want to offer. I wanted more.. But I recommended a friend to start their the other day, good training, not insane to get started.. 
 
By the way Hank is  just funny...

jkl1v1n6's picture
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I'll second what Squash1 has to say.  Not everyone who leaves Jones is a "Hater".

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I've been reading posts for several months now about EDJ.  I am also a new hire, a 22 year old student who graduates in May w/ a Fin. degree and begins training in June.  The main reason I accepted Jones' offer as opposed to some of the other larger firms I was speaking with was because they seem to line up with all of my personal goals.  Though I may not know much about how Jones will be when I start, I am very optimistic about the opportunity I was given.  I do not have my licenses yet, but I have worked at Merrill and AXA (intern positions, doing mostly asset allocations) and I do have substantial knowledge about the financial markets.  I do not expect this to be an "easy" job at all, in fact, I completely understand that my next 3 years are going to be miserable.  The one thing I'd like to point out though, is even if I do endure an unsatisfying time of employment with Jones, I don't think I'm going to be on message boards thrashing the firm all day long.  There's a good chance that some of you who hate Jones have found a much better company to work for, whether it be better for you, or better in general.  Congratulations.  I suggest posting on one of their forums of your positive experiences, or better yet, focusing on your current work.For all of you whom have provided valuable information to myself and others, I give you my thanks.

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Its so funny. Describing what it is like to go door to door to someone who has never done it, is impossible. Its like trying to explain marriage to a person who is not married. I am meeting expectations and a little proud of it. However, sometimes I struggle to get out of bed in the morning. This industry is tough. This market is tough. I know its better to start in a down market. I think I probably am catching a lot more flack because everyones 401ks have dropped off a cliff and there mad. Wahhh Wahhhh This is the best and worst thing I have ever done. I am meeting a ton of people. Very interesting.

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buyandhold wrote:UNDERMINDED wrote:I didn't realize car dealers doorknocked and had call sessions to unload a Taurus, my bad.
 
Sigh.
Maybe selling cars is a more dignified profession.
 
 
 
No more dignified than selling mutual funds door to door. I remember my first sales job when I was 14. I sold candy door to door. Some dude in a van would pick a bunch of us up and take us to a different neighborhood. Every two or three blocks he would drop one of us off. I sold all of my candy within an hour. When he picked me up he asked me if I had eaten any of it. No respect, I'll tell ya'!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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