Leaving EDJ before Can-Sell

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chief wrote:Was I harsh? Maybe.  Was I blunt? Yes.  I understand he has had a tough life.  We all have had a tough life at some point. I am the ninth of 10 kids, put myself through college, earned money with work-study program in college.  I sold my high-school class ring for food and had to cut back to two-meals a day in college because I couldn't afford three.  After attending classes full-time in the mornings, playing a collegiate sport full-time in the afternoon, and then going back to the dorms at night to clean the bathroms and showers of my fellow dormmates.  I got through (not summa cum laude but over 3.0).   I have walked streets doorknocking in the dead of winter when it is 10 degres outside trying to support a wife and kids. Have I thought about leaving Jones? Yes, several times.  Have I? No.  Because I am in a great position.  I am my own boss with a nice office and nice clients.  I have gone on trips around the world to places I never thought I would see.
 
No offense, but your "hard life" doesn't hold a candle to his.  You played a collegiate sport?  Glad you had time.  If you were having such a tough go of it, how the heck did you have time to devote to a sport?  You cut back to just two meals a day?  No offense man...but whooptie doo. 
 
Why do I mentor, train and VV?
 
Kool-Aid?  (Sorry Spiff, couldn't resist!  )
 
Because I think this has been a great opportunity for me and my family.  People gave to me when I started and I owe it to pass it on. It pains me to see my twenty-something trainees quit early in the game at the first sign of difficulty.  No matter where you go, you spend your first several years trying to impress your bosses and you work your tail off.  Why not do it at Jones, get through the first 5 years and have a great business by the time your 30 and enjoy the rewards for the next 30???? 
 
I still think you are missing his point.  I really think maybe Jones is just not the best place for the guy.  Their whole model is based on solo shops.  Even some of the indy vets on here say they miss the "water cooler" element of a bigger office.  Maybe prospecting isn't what bothers him, maybe it's just not having people around.  I'm not saying that's the case for sure, nor am I saying I would recommend he bail from the industry, or Jones, but I don't think you are comparing apples to apples.
 
Tell me where else in America a twenty-something can be given an opportunity to be their own boss and have an opportunity to run their own legitimate business on someone else's capital? 
 
Not to bust on Jones, but you aren't your own boss.  And you most certainly don't "run your own legitimate business."  Your W-2 isn't any different than the greeter at Walmart, yours just has bigger numbers.
 
More autonomy than the typical job?  Sure.  Great flexibility to do as you please?   Heck yea.  Small business owner?  Not even close man.
 
Get profit-sharing bonuses, trips around the world, trimester bonuses? 
 
Trips and bonuses are the industry norm, not an exclusive benefit of Jones.
 
I wish I had known about EJ whenI was twenty-something (instead of in my late thirties).  Look in the papers and journals.  How many brokers have our competitors laid off recently (and back in 2001-2002) when times got tough?  How many did EJ cut?
 
Good point.  I think that may have more to do with the Jones business model rather than their overwhelming love for their brokers.  How much would it cost to layoff 1/3 of your brokers?  Gonna leave all those offices empty?  Let the furniture rot?  Pay rent for an empty office?  If ML cuts 10 brokers in a 40 broker office, no biggy.
 
  Corporate America is not kind when the bottom line gets pinched and the shareholder wins over the employee everytime. 
 
I'll agree with that.
 
Why does EJ rank so high every year in Fortune, Reg Rep, etc.? 
 
Can I use "Kool-Aid" as an answer twice?
 
Bottom line, it will be tough no matter where you go for the first several years. 
 
I'll agree with that too.
 
Why not go through it once with EJ and enjoy being your own boss for the next thirty?
 
Like I said, I think he just might not like the business model.  Maybe he wants a multi-broker office.  Heck, maybe he wants to do more than sell muni's and American Funds to his first 500 clients.  Summa Cum Laude in Finance, I'm sure he can handle plenty more than ICA to everyone he meets.  Maybe a wire would give him the products, and mentors he needs...not saying he could get into one, especially washing out of Jones so early.
 
I'm sorry tooyoung had to experience what he did growing up.  Shoot, this should be easy after that.  If you need help, ask.  Just like we tell our clients, don't let the short-term derail a good long-term plan.
 
Agreed.
 

Magician's picture
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I hear you chief, but I have to echo icecold.

You certainly aren't a business owner. To be honest, I'm wondering how Jones can get away with even saying that - it is quite a bit misleading.

His issue was that he wanted to leave. Some of us were trying to tell him to tough it out. He made it clear it just wasn't a fit for him. Not everyone wants to be the relationship person in this business. He may be a brilliant money manager (why I told him to pursue the CFA).

Being an advisor/broker/planner isn't the be all end all and neither is Jones. But I think the kool-aid drinkers do think so.

As for asking for help - no one is going to doorknock for him.

I already mentioned that everyone has had a rough life. And each person bears their burden differently. I just got a say, his life has SUCKED.

The office I'm planning on moving to when I transition is nice too - a lot bigger, and a lot cheaper. I asked the landlord how much he charges Jones v. how much it costs the branch - 50% more. I also have nice clients who I plan on taking with me. My wife and I take trips around the world all of the time - I take the Jones cash and turn it into something better. And I don't have to deal with insufferable GP's and other sanctimonious Jones brokers who were handed their books.

I think you would do yourself and your family a favor if you looked at leaving. Just a thought.

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Chief,

I appreciate your concern for me (Jones?) wholeheartedly. However, I have been chugging along my entire life as a loner. They say that you become your surroundings. The entire argument of understanding human psychology is nature vs. nurture, or, your environment vs. your genetics. My environment was chaos and despair. My heart goes out to everyone of those children born into that world, because society probably will not let them leave. I succeeded when not a single person I have had the privilege of being acquainted to has. Why? Because I literally cut myself off from every last one of them. Ever told your best friend that you grew up with and share nearly every aspect of life, that you can't be around them anymore until they change?

I did, and I surrounded myself with what I considered to be successful people. Success breeds success, and here I am. But I have sacrificed human nature to get here. And to me, Jones' model of business was asking me to continue to be alone. I do apologize that I did not realize this sooner.. I honestly had forgotten how much comrade meant to me, and should mean to everyone. I am not a loner by nature, I love people. I surround myself with people. However, at 22, I lack people to share childhood stories with or someone that I can even remotely relate to. So, at this stage of my life, I'd like to build some real relationships. Perhaps in 10 years I will feel as close to these people as I had to my best friend Adam, who shared the experience of poverty, the deaths of our fathers, and the evil that permeates the city along side of me -- and together we got through it. But in order to discontinue merely "getting through", I had to make decisions to "get out".

Again chief, I am eternally grateful for your concerns for both your company as well as myself. It is noble to get angry and defend your company when others seem to be hurting it -- that is true loyalty, and I envy you. The fact of the matter however, is that I have not found that place for me.

Magician, I had never thought of obtaining a CFA or CFP. But I truly appreciate you mentioning it, because I have spent a few hours researching what is needed to acquire these licenses. I have learned that Vanguard has their own CFP training courses. What is the difference between the CFP and the CFA, when related to real-world experiences?

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And 22 year olds come to this forum and ask "Why won't most firms hire me at 22?"
 
Because you're 22 and next week you may decide you want to be an astronaut. Because you're 22 and tomorrow a friend may say let's move to to Daytona and live on the beach and you say yes. Because you're 22 and you don't know anything. Because you're 22 and you are still a kid.
 
tooyoung, my only questions are; what did you think this was going to be? And, how did you think you were going to aquire clients?
 
 
 
This is why any hiring manager who says yes to hiring a 22 year old needs to have their head examined.

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MISS JONES wrote:Likely you (Ice) will not win a trip or win a bonus this year but most of our new FA's do.. and 50% of all our FA's win a trip TWICE a year.. That is not the norm anywhere else.
 

 
I'd rather take my higher pay out and buy my own trips TWICE or maybe THRICE a year!
 
Just out of curiosity, do they give you a list of places you can go, or is it based on how well you did?  (I.e.: Congrats, you made it to Topeka or Good Job you earned enough to go to Cancun?)
 
As an independent, if I focused more on life insurance, I could win trips through my insurance vendors, but I don't do enough of it.

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iceco1d wrote:chief wrote:
"Why do I mentor, train and VV? "
 
Kool-Aid?  (Sorry Spiff, couldn't resist!  )
 
 
Not to bust on Jones, but you aren't your own boss.  And you most certainly don't "run your own legitimate business."  Your W-2 isn't any different than the greeter at Walmart, yours just has bigger numbers.
 
More autonomy than the typical job?  Sure.  Great flexibility to do as you please?   Heck yea.  Small business owner?  Not even close man.
 
Get profit-sharing bonuses, trips around the world, trimester bonuses? 
 
"Trips and bonuses are the industry norm, not an exclusive benefit of Jones."
 
 
 

While I normally agree with you Ice.. You made a few comments that need correcting..
1. Trips and bonuses are the norm for the high producers at wire houses but at Jones you can get both a bonus and a trip in your first year.. Likely you (Ice) will not win a trip or win a bonus this year but most of our new FA's do.. and 50% of all our FA's win a trip TWICE a year.. That is not the norm anywhere else.
 
2. You are correct that we are W2 employees but we do run our branches the way we want to as long as we are legal, profitable and ethical.. Just like at INDY places we pay for our own advertisements, postage, paper, marketing flyers, seminars, salary, assistants salary, window washing, Zephyrhills, dumpsters and much much more.. We are more of our own boss than many people in this industry.. But technically you are correct we are employees.. Personally, I am okay with that. I was happy to receive the excellent training Jones provided, the paycheck they gave me, the bonuses, profit sharing and group health plan. I was 1099 at my previous job and those added features are great. (lot less to worry about)
 
3. We mentor and train because it is our culture.. Nothing more. We do what others gave in order for us to be successful and we find pride and a since of accomplishment being able to help others.. This is also not a norm at most firms. We do what works for us and do care if you call us the kool-aid stand.. Actually, I don't mind the title.. I jokingly say that I not only drink the kool-aid I bathe in it..
 
** I have NO hard feeling towards you or your opinion.. I think you are just clueless when it comes to my firm so I thought I would help expand your view.
 
Miss J
 
 
 
 

snaggletooth's picture
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See above your post Miss J.

bspears's picture
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Raise your hands if you want to spank miss J on the butt........

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tooyoung - if you're up for moving, look at the opportunities of working for Jones at the HQ.   You already have your licenses, which opens a few more doors for you at HQ.  You're obviously smart, driven, and focused, otherwise you wouldn't be where you are today.  Get your feet wet with a quality company for a few years, then see what else the world has to offer you.  Maybe you'll discover that you really do belong in a Jones office somewhere.  Who knows.  I promise you a phone call from your RL to the right people in the home office will make a transition easier for you.  And it would be cheaper for Jones to hire you than to have to go to the trouble of suing you for training expenses.  If you want more info PM me and I'll be glad to help.  

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There's a list of trips.  There are a limited number of spaces on each excursion, so the desirable ones fill up pretty quickly.  So, if you really want to go to Borneo, Malaysia you'd better be quick to win.  On the flip side, if you win, the worst, IMHO, place you could get stuck going is Breckenridge, CO for a ski trip.  That would suck. 
 
And if we were so inclined we could get the trips from Jones, plus take our trimester bonuses and go on three more trips, just like you can.   

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2. You are correct that we are W2 employees but we do run our branches the way we want to as long as we are legal, profitable and ethical..
 
No you don't. 
 
Can you install your own financial planning software? Your own asset allocatation and portfolio review software and printout customized, for you, reports to give to your clients?  Can you give a seminar that hasn't been prepared by Jones (even if you do run it through compliance)?  Can you write and print up your own newsletters? What happens if you attempt to put a client into a Direct Participation Program or non publicly traded REIT?  Can you facilitate and receive a commission on  a 1031 exhcange?   Can you frequently pick stocks or ETFs that aren't on the pre-approved list without getting calls from compliance.  Can you, if you are a CPA, do taxes as well as EDJ investing.  Can you use a DBA?  Can you do life, disability or LTC insurance through any firms that you would like?  Can you trade options? (Maybe you can now....it has been some time since I was there)
 
Can you paint your walls something other than that putrid dead body grey putty color and horrid retch inducing green? (Actually, you can if you are a big enough producer....I just wanted to bitch about the color scheme)

Anonymous's picture
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MISS JONES wrote:iceco1d wrote:chief wrote:

 
 
 

While I normally agree with you Ice.. You made a few comments that need correcting..
 
Correct away!   I never claimed to have all the answers! 
 
1. Trips and bonuses are the norm for the high producers at wire houses but at Jones you can get both a bonus and a trip in your first year..
 
I never said anything about who gives the most/least trips?  I simply said that it's the industry norm...which it is.  Jones probably does have more trips than many firms out there.   I'm absolutely NOT being a prick when I say this, but:
 
How many trips could LPL give when they payout 90+ percent? 
 
Anyway, I never meant to imply Jones doesn't give a lot of trips.  I just wanted to point out that basically every firm in the industry has some type of trip/award system.
 
Likely you (Ice) will not win a trip or win a bonus this year but most of our new FA's do.. and 50% of all our FA's win a trip TWICE a year.. That is not the norm anywhere else.
 
I don't have statistics about any other firm besides my own, and I'm not going to assume or pretend I do.  They are solid numbers...no doubt that trips are good benefit at EDJ...if you are into that kind of thing. 
 
I don't know about you guys, but at the end of the day, I'm in it for the money.  I really couldn't care less if I get trips or not (and in fact, I did get offered a trip, but turned it down - and got NO cash compensation for it, like you EDJers do...there is no "cash option" at my firm.).  Again, not belittling it...it's a great perk, it's just not my thing.
 
2. You are correct that we are W2 employees but we do run our branches the way we want to as long as we are legal, profitable and ethical..
 
See Babs post.  You can't understand what I meant by my statement, until you truly have been a small (or mid/large) business owner for real.  I think I clearly pointed out that at EDJ you will have a TON of flexibility/leeway on how you "run your show."  That doesn't make you a business owner though.
 
Just like at INDY places we pay for our own advertisements, postage, paper, marketing flyers, seminars, salary, assistants salary, window washing, Zephyrhills, dumpsters and much much more.. We are more of our own boss than many people in this industry..
 
Indeed you are more your own boss than many multi-advisor offices, etc.  Paying for stamps, rent, and newspaper advertisements aren't what I'm talking about when I say you don't run your own business.  Those things aren't difficult.  They just take some money. 
 
How about finding/maintaing/expanding your own office?  Payroll taxes?  Hiring & firing AND being liable for it?  Protecting your intellectual property and/or trade secrets (you don't have any, EDJ owns them).  How to structure your company (C or S corp, LLC, Sole Prop, etc.).   Designing a fair pay and benefits structure for your employees.  What insurance coverages should you carry?  What type of advertising will you do?  Will you hire an ad agency?  Have your brother's girlfriend do it?  What if you grossly underestimate your quarterly taxes and get whacked with a big penalty?  What services will you outsource?  How big will you expand?  Will you seek outside captial?  Private investors?  Bank loan?  Save & reinvest?  What type of succession plan will you have?
 
I could fill up this page with a thousand lines of things you probably haven't ever considered about being an owner vs. employee.  It's just different.  If your building burns down.  If you get into a car accident and go into a coma.  If someone sues you claiming your logo is their original design....all of it ends up being EDJ's problem in the end.  They will step in with a solution. 
 
But technically you are correct we are employees.. Personally, I am okay with that.
 
I never said there was anything wrong with being an employee either.  I don't consider my situation being a "business owner" either.  I'm 1099'd, and affiliated with an Indy office, but I don't own the building, pay the SA, or anything else.  It's just different.
 
I was happy to receive the excellent training Jones provided, the paycheck they gave me, the bonuses, profit sharing and group health plan. I was 1099 at my previous job and those added features are great. (lot less to worry about)
 
No argument here.  I never said being a W-2 was bad.  I just said a previously made statement was false.
 
3. We mentor and train because it is our culture.. Nothing more. We do what others gave in order for us to be successful and we find pride and a since of accomplishment being able to help others.. This is also not a norm at most firms. We do what works for us and do care if you call us the kool-aid stand.. Actually, I don't mind the title.. I jokingly say that I not only drink the kool-aid I bathe in it..
 
  I know.  I'm not an EDJ basher.  I made the "Kool Aid" comment mostly in jest.  Ask Spiff. 
 
** I have NO hard feeling towards you or your opinion.. I think you are just clueless when it comes to my firm so I thought I would help expand your view.
 
Well that's good!  I didn't take any offense to anything you said either (although clueless may be a bit harsh!  ).  I appreciate the info  you posted about EDJ.  You and Spiff (and a few others) are the only reason I know what I know about them in the first place.  Good stuff!
 
Miss J
  

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We don't run branches the way we want. Are you kidding me?

We run our branches the way we want inside the EDWARD JONES UNIVERSE. Outside of that, the rhetoric is that it's bad, "not good for the client", or not the "Jones way".

Seriously, bathing in the kool-aid may create a profit and decent way of life for your family, but is it TRULY the best thing for your clients? I get sick of that mantra. "We're the only ones who do it this way." Jones says "this is the way you do things".

I had a client in my office tonight, worth around $5mil. Just for kicks, I asked a few people around the region what they would do with him. Anybody care to guess what EVERY one of them said?

Magician's picture
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By the way, Jones trips have JONES people on them. Take the cash and go where there is no "Farewell dinner".

No offense to Spiff, B24, Borker, Miss Jones and any other friendly Jones people.

Broker24's picture
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We are basically a wirehouse with one-broker offices, no on-site BOM, and a unique "culture".

Let's move on.

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snaggletooth wrote:See above your post Miss J.
 
yea sorry about that.. I had to delete and repost my response..
 
Yes, we are able to pick our trips.. We have 17 destinations in the first contest and 21 in the second or you can combine your two trips for what is called a super trip with 6 options there..
 
I agree with you.. I certainly take trip outside our contest trips but those are free of charge. The last trip i went on I stayed at the Four Season.. So they aren't low end hotels..
 
Miss J

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MISS JONES wrote:snaggletooth wrote:See above your post Miss J.
 
yea sorry about that.. I had to delete and repost my response..
 
Yes, we are able to pick our trips.. We have 17 destinations in the first contest and 21 in the second or you can combine your two trips for what is called a super trip with 6 options there..
 
I agree with you.. I certainly take trip outside our contest trips but those are free of charge. The last trip i went on I stayed at the Four Season.. So they aren't low end hotels..
 
Miss J
 
Did you consider door knocking all the hotel guests at the Four Seasons every morning, handing them their free USA Today papers and introducing your services?  I'm sure there's some qualified guests there. 
 
 
 
 
 

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What kinda FA really thinks those trips are free?  You pay for them with lower payouts.  That is why you pay taxes on them at the end of the year.  That fact alone should make any FA reconsider whether they are really happy or just brainwashed drones.

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Why is it that Jones FAs are brainwashed clones, but MS, ML, UBS brokers are successful, professional advisors? 
 
This conversation reminds me of that other long portfolio management thread going on. 

new_indy's picture
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Ummm.... perhaps because you are brainwashed drones?  If not, feel free to contact your home office and ask them if you can think for yourself for awhile....

new_indy's picture
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Just too hard to resist...I think it falls under the category of never ask a question if you don't want an answer.....

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Spaceman Spiff wrote:Why is it that Jones FAs are brainwashed clones, but MS, ML, UBS brokers are successful, professional advisors? 
 
This conversation reminds me of that other long portfolio management thread going on. 
 
That thread didn't even involve Jones...however, it seems that I was the catalyst to that lengthy thread too....maybe it's me? 

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I have heard the brainwashed comment many times.......I am not brainwashed but I know many other Jones FAs that are.  I think the main reason it is made is because of the heavy sales in American Funds by new FAs.  For me American only consists of 20% of my book while others is closer to 80%

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I'm gonna go completely off the board here.  You're 22 years old, right out of college with no real office experience let alone industry experience and the market is crap for prospecting...  any respectable BOM would have pointed out each of those factors to you during your interview while politely turning you down and suggesting taking a more traditional sales oriented path and trying to follow the FA path later in life. Now that you are licensed, you may as well try to cope for a while.  Have you considered talking to your BOM about putting the program on hold and becoming a sales assistant, operations personnel, financial consultant, etc.  The firm retains you, you get industry experience and sale experience and maybe in a few years you'll be in a better position to try the FA route again, if that's what you should choose to do. You can retain your licenses if you quit, but you need to become employed by a bd within a year to retain your 66 and 2 years for the 7 and that could be pretty hard considering... In addition, I think you would have to prove yourself pretty incompetent in order to not be held responsible for your contractual agreement and in that case, your licenses could absolutely be removed. The firing thing, well, if you keep moral at the current level, you might just get there, but is that what you really want?

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I apparently shouldn't have stopped reading after the first page... oops. 

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new_indy wrote:Ummm.... perhaps because you are brainwashed drones?  If not, feel free to contact your home office and ask them if you can think for yourself for awhile....
 
I understand your dribble and where you believe you are correct, but it doesn't answer the question.  Let me make it simpler for your brain.  If I work for MS, ML, UBS, etc I have to play by their rules.  You don't have 100% autonomy (sorry it that's a big word for you) to do whatever you want.  It's a wirehouse.  You do what you want to inside their box.  Same thing at Jones.  At ML, if I want to run portfolios based on ETFs, or preferred stocks, or CEFs, I can.  At Jones, same deal.  If at ML, I don't have a selling agreement with XYZ fund family, I can't work with them.  Same thing at Jones.  We have to work under the policies and procedures that the firm puts into place. 
 
So, I'll ask it again.  Why is a Jones FA brainwashed, and a ML FA an respected financial advisor? 

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A shot on my vocabulary and intelligence?  I expected more from you spiff...

I think the basic answer to your question is that they are more respected due to the firms they work for and the size of accounts they handle.  They play by the rules within their companies, but the companies in question all have so much more to offer clients than Jones.  30 year bonds and MFD's are not always the answer.
The companies you mentioned do not have a systematic program the teaches the employees their companies are the only good and ethical company in the country and their brokers don't have to be de-programmed when they go indy.
 
Hope that answers your question Mr. Defensive...

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Sorry, too much caffeine this morning.  My apologies for taking a shot at your intelligence. 
 
OK, let me ask this a different way.  We all sit down with our clients and map out their retirement lives, college planning, etc.  They have to earn, say 8%, to meet their goals.  I might do that with A share mutual funds, an annuity, stocks, and bonds.  The ML guy down the road might use C shares, ETFs, stocks, and some CEFs.  We both hit the 8% number for our clients.  What makes me brainwashed and not the ML guy?  His firm?  The size of the account?  He goes to work everyday believing that ML is absolutely the best place that everyone he comes into contact with should invest.  Does that make him brainwashed about ML?  I don't think so.  Likewise for the EDJ guys out there. 
 
I've been incredibly involved in training at EDJ in my career here.  I've never heard anyone say that EDJ is the only good and ethical company in the country.  We believe we do some things better than everyone else.  Guess what.  That ML guy thinks the same thing about his company.  Having a belief that you do things better than everyone else is the way you should be thinking about your company.  Whether you're ML, EDJ, or indy.  If  you don't think that way, you probably ought to be looking at other firms. 
 
 

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That is a valid point, however, those firms you mentioned all signed the Broker accord with the understanding that brokers move on.  Not everyone fits into the square hole.  Because of the way Jones is set up, a compliance nightmare, you have to standardize your companies approach.  There is no thinking outside the box because you don't have the resources to control things that aren't standardized.  Think about it honestly for awhile and you will see what I mean.
 
When I was there, I sold etf's, Closed-end funds, and tried to sell some international stuff.  I occassionally did tax-swaps on long bonds that benefitted the client every time.  All of those things were considered bad for the client by compliance because "it's not the Jones way" (yes that is a direct quote from the compliance department).  Selling Duke Realty in 50's was wrong because "we are a buy and hold firm".  Now that you offer ETF's they are a fine thing.  As for tax swaps, and CEF's I no longer know Jones' opinions.  The fact that you didn't mention Private Placements, Structured products, Principal protected securities, options, and other derivative strategies tells me you don't really understand what ML, MS, GS, and others really offer.
 
When  I left, I was shunned by people I had known for years because I was no longer part of their cult-ure.  So even if the training doesn't push it, the meetings (weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually) certainly do. 
 
Spiff--- I know you disagree with me because of where you are at.  I read your posts all the time and you seem like a decent guy.  But just  look at the post by the ex-jones brokers and read them honestly without the bias of thinking we are disgruntled or couldn't make it at Jones.  We aren't unhappy an most of us were very successful and Jones. I for one, won every award offered including the famed Pacesetters award.  Like most of the indy's we just wanted to offer more things to our clients.  Try reading our posts from the standpoint that we are trying to get you to look at reality (sort of like an intervention ).

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Joined: 2006-11-08

New_indy, if an intervention doesn't work..use a rubber mallet...

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