How much can you (reasonably) make in this biz?

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gabe's picture
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Yes, I realize that there are superstars everywhere, and some people will become millionaires no matter what they do. But realistically how much can an average FA expect to make? I read some of the responses to how much people made in their first year. What about after 5 or 10 years? What should be a reasonable expectation?Thanks in advance

troll's picture
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It depends upon whether or not they are selling what people want to buy or not. 

someonewouldntexpect's picture
Joined: 2008-10-25

Don't expect to be around long if you're goal is "average". 

gabe's picture
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hmmm...OK. 

gabe's picture
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Anyone else who can provide some numbers? Sarcastic commentary I can get elsewhere.

MaryJL37's picture
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haha, Gabe, I think the national average is between 70-90K, but that's factoring in the new, old and in-between. I think that if you're at the 5 year mark and aren't making a six digit salary (or anywhere near it), then this probably isn't for you, but that's just my opinion

troll's picture
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gabe wrote:Anyone else who can provide some numbers? Sarcastic commentary I can get elsewhere.
Gaybe, you won't find better sarcasm than you will right here.

gabe's picture
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Yeah, it's some good quality sarcasm!

voltmoie's picture
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gaybe .. haha1st year avg is $66,500.00   .. Also, there was nothing sarcastic in any of the posts.  You want "avg" income find another career.  I'd want to know what the top 25% make the first year but that's just me.

gabe's picture
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OK then. What's does the top 25% make?

troll's picture
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.

voltmoie's picture
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wind3574 wrote: voltmoie wrote: gaybe .. haha1st year avg is $66,500.00   .. Also, there was nothing sarcastic in any of the posts.  You want "avg" income find another career.  I'd want to know what the top 25% make the first year but that's just me.

If you want average go somewhere else, Voltie can only give you advice on watching porn on his couch.*yawn*  Windy, I'd argue with you but I seriously consider you a retard.  I'm wondering if people only invest with you because they think they're supporting the special olympics.  BTW: do you have an issue with porn?$101k is the average, windy did that last month.

gabe's picture
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Thanks, but I don't need advice on watching porn.Unless you have some good recommendations?

voltmoie's picture
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gabe wrote:Thanks, but I don't need advice on watching porn.Unless you have some good recommendations?Windy, can you hook Gabe up to that site with your wife and that midget? 

BerkshireBull's picture
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voltmoie wrote:
gabe wrote:Thanks, but I don't need advice on watching porn.Unless you have some good recommendations?Windy, can you hook Gabe up to that site with your wife and that midget?  I've got a buddy that tells me he's got an account on adultfriendfinder.com and he's just killing it with the women right now...

gabe's picture
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Hmmm... is that a good looking midget?

anonjones's picture
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Guys ofr the sake of not becoming trollish can we either stay on topic, or take it to the lounge, because this childish bashing is on par with junior high bulls***. We are all adults, and i wouyld rather not know about your personal fetishes.

gabe's picture
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Well, my question stands. Anyone care to give me an idea of what you can expect in this business?For example, if I understood correctly a million dollar producer at a wirehouse is at the top of the game, and that person takes home about $450k a year. Is that correct?

badmove?'s picture
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7-10 years in biz you should have 50 million under mgmt and be doing approx 500k a year...w-2ing between 150 and 200k. If you are not making 6 figures after 4-5 years, quit ,you will be doing yourself a favor.

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B24
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Gabe, on a serious note, it is very difficult to define "average" in our line of work. It's like saying "how much does a college graduate earn?" Seriously. It depends on so many things. Primarily, the big variable will be (1) did he inherit some assets (or a LOT of assets), (2) did he join a team, (3) what firm does he work for, (4) is there a large salary for the first few years (like at a wirehouse), (5) does the guy have some sort of leg-up (i.e. his Dad is the biggest attorney or CPA in town), etc.

The real question (which I THINK you may be getting at) should be, "what does the typical first-year scratch starter with NO assets make, not including salary/bonus?" You can sort of back into it buy figuring out reasonable production, payout %, and how much is in fee-based versus commissioned accounts (since commissions will likely average about 2.5% up-front, while fee-based might average 1.25% per year, but it takes a full year to earn all those fees).

I know this doesn't answer your question, but that's why you get a lot of vague answers. And most big firms that encourage fee-based business will pay scratch-starters some sort of salary or bonus to get going.

So, all things considered, it is probably reasonable to assume 55-100K first year, all-in. A few may make quite a bity more, but it's tough to make much less and still have a job. I would guess 65K is about average.

3rdyrp2's picture
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Made $37k the first year, $57k the 2nd year.  We won't go into 3rd year numbers but I think the natural progression goes:  $40k, $55k, $70k, $90k, $110k...This is probably an average (Of those that make this a long term career) and there will be those that say they were making $100k by the 4th year and that may be so, but they are probably above average producers.  If you're not making $50k by the 3rd year then its probably not a career you should stick with.

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B24
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gabe wrote: Well, my question stands. Anyone care to give me an idea of what you can expect in this business?For example, if I understood correctly a million dollar producer at a wirehouse is at the top of the game, and that person takes home about $450k a year. Is that correct?

A 1mm producer should net (before taxes) a bit more than that. 500K is probably more likely. And a big variable is the bonus (and at Jones a 1mm producer will get excess profit sharing above IRS limit paid out to them in W2 bonus, on top of branch-office profit bonus)

Kudlowfan's picture
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What if you started 18 months ago.  I have found my production mirroring the market or lagging one month.  I think it's a great time to start in the business but I dont think those numbers are accurate today.  Maybe 5 years ago they were. 

Popeye $'s picture
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he real question (which I THINK you may be getting at) should be, "what does the typical first-year scratch starter with NO assets make, not including salary/bonus?" You can sort of back into it buy figuring out reasonable production, payout %, and how much is in fee-based versus commissioned accounts (since commissions will likely average about 2.5% up-front while fee-based might average 1.25% per year, but it takes a full year to earn all those fees).

Somebody is not selling Equity Linked Index Annuities with 15% year surrenders.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

I don't think most fee-based heavy advisors average 1.25%.  If your book follows the 80/20 rule, then 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients.  You may have a boat load of clients paying 1.25% or 1.5%, but your 500K, $1MM, and up clients probably are paying 1% or less. 
 
To the OP - I think it's reasonable to bring in $4 - 6MM a year.  I know it's hard to pick an "average" in this biz.  There are those making nothing, and there are those making millions - even tens of millions.  But the average guy that works hard, with the "mass affluent" but has no connections, inherits no assets, isn't phenominal on the phone, works 50 - 60 hours a week for the first 3 - 5 years and then gradually backs down to 30 or 40 by year 10, probably has $40 - $70MM in assets 10 years in.
 
So, simple math:
 
$40MM @ 1% = $400,000/yr gross
$60MM @ 1% = $600,000/yr gross
 
Your net payout from there will probably range from 45% - 65%, depending on the type of firm you're with.
 
Hope that helps.
 
Note:  There are people that never bring in $1MM, and fail.  There are also people that bring in $10 - $20MM per year.  The above is just what I would consider "average."

bb44's picture
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Registered Rep mag stated in a recent article from FA's they surveyed that the avg rep is 49 yrs in age and has approx. 44.9 AUM w/ production at $345k and compensation after deferred etc. around $172k. Also, the avg time in the biz was 17 yrs or so, but like someone else posted if your not pulling down $100k after 5 yrs quit and do yourself a favor. The avg Morgan Stanley-Smith Barney FA produces in the mid 600s. So by doing the math the avg FA with them is making over $200k. I know the avg is higher at Merril but I don't know it off the top of my head. FA's at Jones are lower on avg. but their overall production avgs will be climbing due to the inception of ways for them to annuitize their businesses etc. w/ map and advisory solutions. The avg Jones FA that is 7yrs out and meeting or beating goals/expectations make $207k on avg as stated by Jones.

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bb44 wrote:Registered Rep mag stated in a recent article from FA's they surveyed that the avg rep is 49 yrs in age and has approx. 44.9 AUM w/ production at $345k and compensation after deferred etc. around $172k. Also, the avg time in the biz was 17 yrs or so, but like someone else posted if your not pulling down $100k after 5 yrs quit and do yourself a favor. The avg Morgan Stanley-Smith Barney FA produces in the mid 600s. So by doing the math the avg FA with them is making over $200k. I know the avg is higher at Merril but I don't know it off the top of my head. FA's at Jones are lower on avg. but their overall production avgs will be climbing due to the inception of ways for them to annuitize their businesses etc. w/ map and advisory solutions. The avg Jones FA that is 7yrs out and meeting or beating goals/expectations make $207k on avg as stated by Jones.
 
I assume that you mean grosses 207K.....I thought the number would be more like 216K. The net on that would be 86,400 IF everything was at 40% payout.

henryhill's picture
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Gabe,
 
Many brokers after they hit a certain income level begin to try and make the same money and work less hours.  When the market was booming, I played a lot of golf and still maintained a six figure income.  Now I am having to work more to maintain my income goals.  This job can give you two things; money or time.  In the begining, you work your arse off to make it.  Once you do, you may want to spend more time with the kids, travel, golf, fish, whatever. 

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bb44 wrote:Registered Rep mag stated in a recent article from FA's they surveyed that the avg rep is 49 yrs in age and has approx. 44.9 AUM w/ production at $345k and compensation after deferred etc. around $172k. Also, the avg time in the biz was 17 yrs or so, but like someone else posted if your not pulling down $100k after 5 yrs quit and do yourself a favor. The avg Morgan Stanley-Smith Barney FA produces in the mid 600s. So by doing the math the avg FA with them is making over $200k. I know the avg is higher at Merril but I don't know it off the top of my head. FA's at Jones are lower on avg. but their overall production avgs will be climbing due to the inception of ways for them to annuitize their businesses etc. w/ map and advisory solutions. The avg Jones FA that is 7yrs out and meeting or beating goals/expectations make $207k on avg as stated by Jones.
 
It's hard to compare, since the avg LOS at Jones vs. the Wires is so different, and the wires primarily only hire transfer brokers with substantial experience and AUM.
 
To give you an idea, this is based right from Jones financial statements:
Across ALL 11K+ FA's at Jones, the average FA has $48mm AUM and 300K production, which means approximately half of the FA's have MORE than 48mm and produce MORE than 300K.   These are 2007 numbers, so I am sure they dropped a bit.   I know it's a median vs. a mean, but generally speaking, I think about half our FA's have less than 5 years LOS.  So our more experienced advisors are pretty good producers.  Jones' biggest problem is increasing the average LOS.  Doesn't help much to hire 2000 and lose 1000 every year.  We are growing at about 1000 FA's per year.
 

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B24 wrote:
 
To give you an idea, this is based right from Jones financial statements:
Across ALL 11K+ FA's at Jones, the average FA has $48mm AUM and 300K production, which means approximately half of the FA's have MORE than 48mm and produce MORE than 300K.  
 
 
I thought you used to be a financial type??  Mean does not equal median in this case...the median is likely to be much lower based on having so many newbies, besides just general statistics (every 700k producer is offset by 2 100k producers, which "averages" out to 300k, etc).

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Hence, why I said "I know it's a median vs. a mean, but generally speaking".....
 
Since I have no way of knowing the median, the mean had to proxy for it.   I do not have the time or desire to figure it out, and didn't feel like explaining it.

Moraen's picture
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average all RR is $532,394

Median is. $399,902

Jones median production is approx = $192,344

Jones avergae production 2008 = $256,459

But this ties to B's point of LOS, Jones Achilles heel. Too much turnover, not enough producing transfers.

buyandhold's picture
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Half of Jones' advisors have been out four years or less, at least in the regions I've seen or heard about.Anybody out longer than that is probably doing 200k gross like Morean says. After that, it seems that some advisors go to 500-plus K and some stay at 200k.If Advisory solutions catches on, the numbers will get a LOT better. I know guys who have 50 million doing 500k just with new business, replacing bonds and insurance. Advisory Solutions will double their numbers.

Sam Houston's picture
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Eleventy kabillion dollars.

troll's picture
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bb44 wrote:Registered Rep mag stated in a recent article from FA's they surveyed that the avg rep is 49 yrs in age and has approx. 44.9 AUM w/ production at $345k and compensation after deferred etc. around $172k. Also, the avg time in the biz was 17 yrs or so, but like someone else posted if your not pulling down $100k after 5 yrs quit and do yourself a favor. The avg Morgan Stanley-Smith Barney FA produces in the mid 600s. So by doing the math the avg FA with them is making over $200k. I know the avg is higher at Merril but I don't know it off the top of my head. FA's at Jones are lower on avg. but their overall production avgs will be climbing due to the inception of ways for them to annuitize their businesses etc. w/ map and advisory solutions. The avg Jones FA that is 7yrs out and meeting or beating goals/expectations make $207k on avg as stated by Jones.
 
is somewhere else. Above avg even sooner.

bb44's picture
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buyandhold wrote:Half of Jones' advisors have been out four years or less, at least in the regions I've seen or heard about.Anybody out longer than that is probably doing 200k gross like Morean says. After that, it seems that some advisors go to 500-plus K and some stay at 200k.If Advisory solutions catches on, the numbers will get a LOT better. I know guys who have 50 million doing 500k just with new business, replacing bonds and insurance. Advisory Solutions will double their numbers.
buyandhold I have seen this as well. I know a guy that is putting up 50k months with mainly insurance and mortgages.

bb44's picture
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gabe wrote:Well, my question stands. Anyone care to give me an idea of what you can expect in this business?For example, if I understood correctly a million dollar producer at a wirehouse is at the top of the game, and that person takes home about $450k a year. Is that correct?
Gabe check this out it shows a comparative payout with all the firms, it will give you a good idea of what people net from production. http://www.onwallstreet.com/global/payout_grids.html

go_huskies's picture
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jones is a different animal than the wires.  from what i know, it's the under 250m households that make a jones office thrive.  the 250m+ is hounded by the wires.  i would be surprised to find many 1MM+ households at jones.
that said, the fee based model likely won't have much impact at jones. too much work and liability to make it worthwhile, and those boys have to pay the rent.
 
to answer the rook's question, if you give up your life for 1-3 years building the book and still like doing it once you have a book established, the sky's the limit. 
 
to echo henry hill, you may choose $$$,  freedom, or a bit of both...

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go_huskies wrote:
jones is a different animal than the wires.  from what i know, it's the under 250m households that make a jones office thrive.  the 250m+ is hounded by the wires.  i would be surprised to find many 1MM+ households at jones.
that said, the fee based model likely won't have much impact at jones. too much work and liability to make it worthwhile, and those boys have to pay the rent.
 
to answer the rook's question, if you give up your life for 1-3 years building the book and still like doing it once you have a book established, the sky's the limit. 
 
to echo henry hill, you may choose $$$,  freedom, or a bit of both...
 
The question that I haven't seen answered to this is why so?  What do wires offer that Jones can't, other than Auction Rate Securities, Subprime Mortgage Derivatives, and other unsavories?  Because you are a legend in your own mind?  Come on....

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

Hank Newbie wrote:go_huskies wrote:
jones is a different animal than the wires.  from what i know, it's the under 250m households that make a jones office thrive.  the 250m+ is hounded by the wires.  i would be surprised to find many 1MM+ households at jones.
that said, the fee based model likely won't have much impact at jones. too much work and liability to make it worthwhile, and those boys have to pay the rent.
 
to answer the rook's question, if you give up your life for 1-3 years building the book and still like doing it once you have a book established, the sky's the limit. 
 
to echo henry hill, you may choose $$$,  freedom, or a bit of both...
 
The question that I haven't seen answered to this is why so?  What do wires offer that Jones can't, other than Auction Rate Securities, Subprime Mortgage Derivatives, and other unsavories?  Because you are a legend in your own mind?  Come on....
I think go_huskies is way off in regards to Advisory Solutions.  I think it will have a profound impact on EDJ.
 
As for what the wires offer that EDJ doesn't:
 
-Options
-Managed Futures
-Non-traded REITs
-Robust fee-based platform that can hold individual securities, not just funds & ETFs, and not just in an allocation/rebalance model that EDJ approves.
-Most have no limits on penny stocks.
-Asset backed lending (although, I think EDJ has this now?)
-Selling agreements with more mutual fund companies.
-Ability to take discretion over client accounts.
-Teams of advisors.
-Hedge Funds
-Private Equity
-EIAs
-Partnerships
 
Notice, almost ALL of the stuff I listed, are things that HNW and UNNW clients want and/or need...or are AT LEAST being told about by wire reps.
 
A guy with $20MM in assets doesn't give a rip about American funds (or any other mutual fund, most likely).
 
I'm sure this will be perceived as me bashing EDJ by some - but I'm not.  I'm just answering your question.
 
Full disclosure - my firm doesn't offer a lot of those products I listed either...and I'll happily take all the appreciative, low-maintenance, non-breakpoint reaching, fee-based, "mass affluent" clients the wires "don't want." 

gabe's picture
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Sam Houston wrote:Eleventy kabillion dollars.That's it? Ahhh, I quit!

Hank Newbie's picture
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iceco1d wrote:Hank Newbie wrote:go_huskies wrote:
jones is a different animal than the wires.  from what i know, it's the under 250m households that make a jones office thrive.  the 250m+ is hounded by the wires.  i would be surprised to find many 1MM+ households at jones.
that said, the fee based model likely won't have much impact at jones. too much work and liability to make it worthwhile, and those boys have to pay the rent.
 
to answer the rook's question, if you give up your life for 1-3 years building the book and still like doing it once you have a book established, the sky's the limit. 
 
to echo henry hill, you may choose $$$,  freedom, or a bit of both...
 
The question that I haven't seen answered to this is why so?  What do wires offer that Jones can't, other than Auction Rate Securities, Subprime Mortgage Derivatives, and other unsavories?  Because you are a legend in your own mind?  Come on....
I think go_huskies is way off in regards to Advisory Solutions.  I think it will have a profound impact on EDJ.
 
As for what the wires offer that EDJ doesn't:
 
-Options
-Managed Futures
-Non-traded REITs
-Robust fee-based platform that can hold individual securities, not just funds & ETFs, and not just in an allocation/rebalance model that EDJ approves.
-Most have no limits on penny stocks.
-Asset backed lending (although, I think EDJ has this now?)
-Selling agreements with more mutual fund companies.
-Ability to take discretion over client accounts.
-Teams of advisors.
-Hedge Funds
-Private Equity
-EIAs
-Partnerships
 
Notice, almost ALL of the stuff I listed, are things that HNW and UNNW clients want and/or need...or are AT LEAST being told about by wire reps.
 
A guy with $20MM in assets doesn't give a rip about American funds (or any other mutual fund, most likely).
 
I'm sure this will be perceived as me bashing EDJ by some - but I'm not.  I'm just answering your question.
 
Full disclosure - my firm doesn't offer a lot of those products I listed either...and I'll happily take all the appreciative, low-maintenance, non-breakpoint reaching, fee-based, "mass affluent" clients the wires "don't want." 
 
As far as "Robust Fee Based Platform that can hold individual securities" we do have MAP.  I'm new and don't know much about it, but it is said to be competitive with the marketplace and you get to select from a scrubbed list of money managers.  It has discretionary characteristics with the flexibility to customize as per the client.  As for asset based lending, are you talking margin?  If so, yes EDJ offers margin loans.  Most of the other stuff doesn't interest me that much.

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Thats because you're new.  You shouldn't be working with too many products anyways.  Once you hit the 1-2 year marker it'll hit you one day and you'll say "If I have to explain the storied history of the Growth Fund of America ONE MORE TIME to a new client I'm going to shoot myself!"  There will come a point when you want to get more sophisticated (And your clients will want that too).

Anonymous's picture
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Hank Newbie wrote:
 
 
As far as "Robust Fee Based Platform that can hold individual securities" we do have MAP.  I'm new and don't know much about it, but it is said to be competitive with the marketplace and you get to select from a scrubbed list of money managers. 
 
Exactly.  I forgot that point.  Most of the wires have more SMA managers on their list than EDJ. 
 
As for "MAP" and any SMA program...suppose a client has some individual stock positions.  They want to protect those positions with options (lets assume, for now, that you could even do options @ EDJ). 
 
At MER, you could ACAT those stocks into a fee account, and repeatedly buy puts to protect those positions.  You could do this for 1% a year (or 2%, or 1/2%, up to you).
 
At EDJ, you could sell the client a different idea because a)  you can't do options, period, and b)  you can't do stocks or options in a fee platform.
 
MAP does you no good here.  This is a situation a HNW or UHNW client could be in.  You asked a question about why EDJ is stereotyped into not having more HNW clients...I just gave you 1 answer to your question.
 
It has discretionary characteristics with the flexibility to customize as per the client. 
 
Right.  You can give discretion to an outside company and/or manager.  You CANNOT take discretion for yourself.  Look at some of the posts by "Gaddock."  There is a guy that is running a strategy that is attracting HNW clients (ps - he's using options and shorts).  When he gets to a certain size AUM, he'll have to take discretion to effectively run his book. 
 
This is not an option at EDJ (even if options themselves, were).
 
As for asset based lending, are you talking margin?  If so, yes EDJ offers margin loans. 
 
No.  I mean, Client Smith owns XYZ company, which is a regional restaurant chain.  Client Smith has $22MM in assets with EDJ.  Client Smith wants to upgrade the kitchen's in some of his older stores.  This is going to cost somewhere between $5MM and $7MM. 
 
Client Smith walks into your EDJ office and says, "I need a commercial line of credit to finance my restaurant renovations.  I may need up to $7MM.  Can I use the assets in my EDJ account as collateral, to secure a C-LOC for that amount at EDJ?"
 
If your answer to that question is "Yes," then I stand corrected on that issue.
 
If your answer to that question is "No," then I'd just like to complete my point...the answer at MER, UBS, WFC, MSSB, and probably some other firms (including RIA custodians!), is "SURE YOU CAN CLIENT SMITH!  Sign Here!"
 
Not bashing.  Just answering the question.
 
As I mentioned before - my firm lacks many of these capabilities too.
 
 Most of the other stuff doesn't interest me that much.
 
 

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

PS - Can you short @ EDJ?  Honest question, I don't know the answer.

troll's picture
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iceco1d wrote:PS - Can you short @ EDJ?  Honest question, I don't know the answer.I didn't know American funds could be shorted.

Moraen's picture
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iceco1d wrote: PS - Can you short @ EDJ?  Honest question, I don't know the answer.

Nope.

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Moraen wrote: iceco1d wrote: PS - Can you short @ EDJ?  Honest question, I don't know the answer. Nope.
 
As a matter of practice, yes we can.  That being said the firm discourages us from recomending shorting as a strategy, and we need a non-solicitation letter.  As for borrowing against securities, hell yeah, bring it on!  As for options, to tell you the truth, the only option strategy that I would have any interest in for a long term investor would be the sale of covered calls. 

Moraen's picture
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I'm not that far gone from Jones, but I certainly don't remember being able to short ANYTHING. I recall that "shorting, because it has unlimited downside, is certainly prohibited by Edward Jones" or something to that effect.

SometimesNowhere's picture
Joined: 2008-12-22

I've actually heard that it is possible also. They just keep it on the very very very very very very very downlow.
 
They don't want us poking ourselves in the eye with any sharp objects or anything.

Borker Boy's picture
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Yep. Gotta sign two letters absolving the firm of any liability, but it can be done.
 
 

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