just offered a position with EDJ

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ravens35's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-09

I guess the title is self explanatory, but I'm looking for some feedback from others on the forum. I know there is a lot of Jones bashing here, but I know there are a few people that currently work for them or have in the past with some success.There are a lot of things I like about EDJ. The primary thing I like is the single broker branch offices. I work much better in that kind of enviroment. I also don't think there are too many other firms that would take a flyer on a guy in his mid to late 30s looking to make a career change with no real experience in the financial services industry. They have a solid reputation and seem to score well with customer and employee satisfaction, although I know many people think those numbers are rigged.There is one thing that I am skeptical about, and that's the door knocking. EDJ appears to make this their primary source of client generation. As most of you know part of the interview process consisted of a door knocking survey activity. The area I will be working in is the 3rd wealthiest county in the country. I have no problem door knocking small businesses, in fact I wouldn't approach them any other way. I met some definite small business prospects just doing the survey activity. It is the residences that I am most skeptical about. The area that I would be working is a Washington DC/Baltimore bedroom communitty. Nobody is home until about 7PM, and then they are having dinner with their families. I don't know how comfortable these people will be discussing finances on their front porch, and in this day and age I don't see too many people inviting me into the  home for a discussion. There are some 55 and over communitties in the area, but they have strict no soliciting policies.I'm sure EDJ will teach me some of the nuances of door knocking during my training, but my question to the more experienced people on the forum is, does it really work in a densely populated area with professional clientele? Is EDJ open to other prospecting methods such as seminars, cold calling from qualified lists, and local advertising?I am financially prepared to not earn a lot of money for the first year, and possibly the second, but by year three I really need to be on the ground running. If I am meeting my targets set by EDJ is that possible? According to their salary calculator it is, but I have heard that the calculator is far from accurate.Any feedback would be appreciatted.    

chief123's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-28

ROOGLE

B24's picture
B24
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Joined: 2008-07-08

35,First off, most people only doorknock for the first 0-24 months.  I know of very few FA's that did much DK after their first year or two.  It's just a method of getting started.  It's what Jones has been successful at, and it's what they teach newbies.  You can combine it with ANY other type of prospecting that you think will work.  The bottom line is that you can do NO doorknocking, and as long as you hit your numbers, you won't be bothered.  But read that line again....AS LONG AS YOU HIT YOUR NUMBERS.  If you are not doorknocking, and you are NOT hitting your numbers, they will show you exactly ZERO sympathy OR latitude.  My suggestion is that if you have enough businesses to contact, then do that.  But be honest with yourself.  If you don't have a better plan than what they give you, don't bother.  The fact is, in the beginning, you need a LOT of contacts to make this thing work (at ANY firm).  I would suggest talking to at least 5 different FA's in your region, preferably newer guys that may have started from scratch.  See what they did.Also, believe it or not, Saturdays and evenings were the ONLY productive prospecting time for me.  Saturdays and weekdays 4:00 - 7:00 (or until dark).  Remember, DK is not going to build your entire business.  It will get you started with a samll book of business and get you some momentum and some prospects.  Don't think you are going to spend the rest of your career doing this.Then spend weekday mornings and early afternoon going to businesses.Think of it this way...what are your alternatives?  Cold calling?  Actually a good idea to add to your doorknocking.  But combine both and I think you can do pretty well if you really push yourself.  Read the "500 Day War" thread.  You don't need to follow it to the "T" (some of it will not be applicable at Jones), but the activity-based advice makes sense regardless of where you aer.

ravens35's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-09

I read the 500 day war thread and there are some good tips in there, and believe me I have done the google thing. I do have some attorney contacts as well, so that could help quite a bit.. I still need to look over the contract when it comes. I want to make sure this is the right move before i jump in.

N.D.'s picture
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Joined: 2009-07-14

The biggest problem newbs have is that they do not understand that they are doing things today that will pay off tomorrow. Prospect however you choose but know that you should develop a list of at least 1000 people to talk to. Build the list however you choose i.e. cold calling, door knocking, networking, seminars, etc. Once you have a list, call everyone from A-Z starting with the A’s and just go down the list. One of three things should happen...1. Disqualify them2. Ask for the order3. Set an appointmentYou can't help everyone and you will get frustrated often. As people are removed from the list you MUST replace them or you will run out of people to call. That is why EJ gives you several weeks to prepare this list before you are off and running. Time block your calendar out for the next three years and stick to it. You should be talking to people or fighting to talk to people.Use the attached calendars to help get you started. If you do not have an appointment in the defined slot you should be adding to or calling from the list of 1000 prospects to either do #1, #2 or #3 as stated above.Set yourself weekly goals and use Saturdays to help reach them. If you are a natural you will be able to take off Saturdays if not be prepared to work Saturdays and late nights.Your goal should be to find and invest 100k a week. This will be hard at first, but after a lot of long days it will start happening.

joelv72's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-28

N.D. wrote:The biggest problem newbs have is that they do not understand that they are doing things today that will pay off tomorrow. Prospect however you choose but know that you should develop a list of at least 1000 people to talk to. Build the list however you choose i.e. cold calling, door knocking, networking, seminars, etc. Once you have a list, call everyone from A-Z starting with the A’s and just go down the list. One of three things should happen...1. Disqualify them2. Ask for the order3. Set an appointmentYou can't help everyone and you will get frustrated often. As people are removed from the list you MUST replace them or you will run out of people to call. That is why EJ gives you several weeks to prepare this list before you are off and running. Time block your calendar out for the next three years and stick to it. You should be talking to people or fighting to talk to people.Use the attached calendars to help get you started. If you do not have an appointment in the defined slot you should be adding to or calling from the list of 1000 prospects to either do #1, #2 or #3 as stated above.Set yourself weekly goals and use Saturdays to help reach them. If you are a natural you will be able to take off Saturdays if not be prepared to work Saturdays and late nights.Your goal should be to find and invest 100k a week. This will be hard at first, but after a lot of long days it will start happening.Wait, I thought you already jumped the shark....guess that was the Fonz...

The BEAR's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

What you really need to think about is if the demographic you will be soliciting will find the Jones model attractive. I interviewed w/jones and the final interview FA said he had 1000 accounts. They will take any level. Why do you think the wirehouses have little interest in anything under $250K in investable assets: Because you need so many to make aliving, You can't service them well, and the brand gets tarnished. Jones way behind the industry in the products they offer their clients. Yes American Funds are not bad but there is more to investing than putting your client into 4 funds that rebalance. Your audience may be too sophisticated for that. Jones appeals more to rural america. Do you really want to knock on 150 doors a day for two years to try and find clients? Would you discuss your financial position with someone who rang your doorbell...I wouldn't. Cute, folksy idea that might work in a Milwaukee suburb but not a major metro area.Also, keep in mind that you will not get an office for 1 to 1 1/2 years. You will be trying to get clients while working out of your house.

gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

"Yes American Funds are not bad but there is more to investing than putting your client into 4 funds that rebalance. Your audience may be too sophisticated for that. "Really? Show me a portfolio comprised of dog shit stocks and 3 variable annuities that has out-performed a 70/30 split between American Funds and 30yr corporate bonds over the past 30 years. The most basic ideas are the best ideas and slinging equities and VAs will perform NO BETTER than long term buying and holding good quality mutual funds and bonds over 30 years. Why people complicate their clients' retirements is beyond my grasp. Max out your ROTH IRA every year between now and retirement and if you haven't started beyond age 50, sorry pal retirement's not for everyone. "Do you really want to knock on 150 doors a day for two years to try and find clients? Would you discuss your financial position with someone who rang your doorbell...I wouldn't. "No one expects someone to spill their "financial position" at the doorstep. That's not the point of door knocking. You don't get it.

gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

This is a sales job. People do business with you because they like you. Not because your growth fund outperformed the S&P by an additional 3% last year.Call > Create prospects > Create clients. Repeat. Don't stop until you have $30mm AUM. Then spend your time servicing your clients and the prospecting will take care of itself via referrals.

gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

It's so simple and ends up paying so well. Yet, everyone wastes their time complaining about business models sitting at their desk reading yahoo finance feeling important while they're 60% below standard.

I am legend's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-04

Just thought I would comment so you wouldn't be talking to yourself!!  I would say you need more than 30MM to stop prospecting.

B24's picture
B24
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Joined: 2008-07-08

Although I do not use "American Funds and 30 year bonds" anymore, I have always, said...if that is the worst thing you do for a client, that's not so bad.  The typical Jones client is not real sophisticated (in terms of investment needs), and most of them (I have found) either had disasters for portfolios, or no portfolio at all (CD's, etc.).  If you give someone a good balance of funds (yes, it can be done with AMF), they will be well-served throughout their life.  Will they maximize their returns and outperform everything?  Absolutely not.  But a good balance, in nearly any group of funds (i.e. any fund family(s) ) will be better than what the typical DIY investor has, and better than what MANY average investors get from their advisors.  Obviously, those that serve the HNW and higher space will be able to perform better (presumably), but that level of service and sophistication can not be replicated at every asset level (nor does it need to).  It's funny how every advisor on this board seems to think that their investment models are so sophisticated.  Just take a simple balance of 60/40 AMF (say Fundamental Investors 25%, Capital World Growth & Income 25%, Small Cap World 5%, New World 5%, Capital World Bond 15%, Bond Fund 15%, Cash/ST Bond 10%) would ahve outperformed that S&P by about 400-600 Bps the past 10, 5, and 3 years, and underperformed the past 1 year by only 500 Bps (with a large positive return).Now, I am NOT saying this is optimal, or fantastic, or even exceptional.  And it is using hindsight.  But the point is, a typical balanced portfolio, that would have been appropriate this decade or last decade still did just fine.  And again, if that's the WORST that we could have done for a client, that's not so bad.  And if you could have prevented your clients from bailing at the worst possible times, either in 2008/2009, or during the tech wreck, then you have probably saved your client thousands of dollars in lost returns by just keepng their heads on straight.  And to be quite frank, it is my belief that we make more money for our clients by avoiding real bad mistakes than by coming up with homerun investment ideas.

I am legend's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-04

I agree with most of what you said.  Nice post!

donte_drink&drive's picture
Joined: 2010-02-12

I've also heard that EDJ has people that solely serve as an interim FA.  I was told that when a FA leaves an office/gets fired (for any reason), this person flies out to that office, changes the locks, and then retains as many assets as possible.  Is this true?  Does EDJ still hire these people?  If so, how do they/what do they do to retain those assets?

B24's picture
B24
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Joined: 2008-07-08

Yes, they are called Offices In Transition Advisors.  And they basically do what you said...with a few caveats.  They only send these people out to larger offices.  I don't know the cutoff, but I am guessing it has to be at least $20mm+ to send one out.  For less than that, they just forward the clients to the home office call center until they replace the FA.  If they can't replace the FA, they distribute the assets to other offices.  The position is 100% travel, and I am not sure there is a big demand for them.  I have spoken to some fo them before, and they seem to be fairly attractive jobs if you want to travel.  Most of them are either (1) young and single, or (2) older/divorced/empty-nesters/single-types.  Sort of similar to the type of person that would take field-compliance jobs (100% travel also).Spiff could probably tell you more.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

You're awfully close B24.  From what my buddy has told me $20 mil is about where they start to look at sending a TR to the branch.  Their main job is twofold - retain assets and retain assets.  Anything under the mark does get sent to an OIT person in HQ.  Some of those guys are PASS program folks working through their rotation.  I'm not sure, but would assume they do, if they have people that only work in OIT.  Those positions used to be much more attractive than they are now.  If I remember correctly, they used to get paid salary plus whatever commissions they generated while they are in those offices.  Today, they're just salaried positions.  Of course if you're on the road 45 weeks a year with Jones picking up the tab for hotel, car, food, etc $60K a year is a ton of money.  I'm not sure if that's accurate, BTW.  If I were single I'd do a job like that in a heartbeat.  The only downside is that there aren't any Div Trips available to those folks.  All of the fun of an FA, but none of the fun rewards.  The RL is responsible for lock changing and all of that.  The TRs job is to be the local face of Jones until the RL can backfill that office. 

donte_drink&drive's picture
Joined: 2010-02-12

That sounds like a pretty interesting career move... What is EDJ's approach to retaining assets?  What is he/she doing to accomplish this/retain EDJ's assets in that office?

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