Leaving Jones

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cyaEDJ's picture
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Joined: 2009-06-17

I realize this topic has probably been covered dozens of times but hopefully you'll forgive me and give me some ideas.Here is the basics of my situation.  I've had my can sell date for about 12 weeks and am blowing it out of the water (know it means nothing but know I can do this job at least).  I'm not unhappy at Jones but never took the job knowing I would be here forever.  I also have no mentor and no real training so I'm not loyal to them at this point.I've had another firm approach me and offer me a position.  The payout is much better.  Get an office. Warm leads (not that I will stop prospecting).  No book but to be honest I'll only leave around 1mm AUM.I know I made a commitment but what is my risk here? Jones will come after me but how much do people usually settle for?  Any help and I'd appreciate it.

BerkshireBull's picture
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cyaEDJ wrote:I realize this topic has probably been covered dozens of times but hopefully you'll forgive me and give me some ideas.Here is the basics of my situation.  I've had my can sell date for about 12 weeks and am blowing it out of the water (know it means nothing but know I can do this job at least).  I'm not unhappy at Jones but never took the job knowing I would be here forever.  I also have no mentor and no real training so I'm not loyal to them at this point.I've had another firm approach me and offer me a position.  The payout is much better.  Get an office. Warm leads (not that I will stop prospecting).  No book but to be honest I'll only leave around 1mm AUM.I know I made a commitment but what is my risk here? Jones will come after me but how much do people usually settle for?  Any help and I'd appreciate it.
You need a copy of your contract before you do ANYTHING but I'm guessing you lost it.  Your RL will know something is up if you go ask him for it though.  Ask one of the other Seg1's in your region to look at his contract.  His will look the same as the one you signed.  Also I would not let your BOA know whats going on, and don't print out all the client info at once.  Make sure you take everything you bought for your office so the new guy won't have anything to use when he tries to keep your clients at Jones.Good luck.

cyaEDJ's picture
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Joined: 2009-06-17

I kept my contract.  Don't have an office yet.  Any idea on how much Jones will come after me for?Thanks

Borker Boy's picture
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$75,000

chief123's picture
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cyaEDJ wrote: I realize this topic has probably been covered dozens of times but hopefully you'll forgive me and give me some ideas.Here is the basics of my situation.  I've had my can sell date for about 12 weeks and am blowing it out of the water (know it means nothing but know I can do this job at least).  I'm not unhappy at Jones but never took the job knowing I would be here forever.  I also have no mentor and no real training so I'm not loyal to them at this point.I've had another firm approach me and offer me a position.  The payout is much better.  Get an office. Warm leads (not that I will stop prospecting).  No book but to be honest I'll only leave around 1mm AUM.I know I made a commitment but what is my risk here? Jones will come after me but how much do people usually settle for?  Any help and I'd appreciate it.

How are you blowing it out of the water but have less than $1MM AUM?

I think if you don't take clients, don't go to a big firm(wires,regionals banks etc) then they would probably settle for less than the $75K

cyaEDJ's picture
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Joined: 2009-06-17

I've read the wind discussions so I won't go into details about myself. It's all relative.Where do they come up with that 75k figure?  Must be the hard costs like the building because the training had to be worth less than 10k if they outsourced it.

Borker Boy's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-09

I balked at the $75K number also - I thought the majority of the training was a joke - but Spiff and B24 can give you their opinions as to why that amount is actually a bargain.

3rdyrp2's picture
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Borker Boy wrote:I balked at the $75K number also - I thought the majority of the training was a joke - but Spiff and B24 can give you their opinions as to why that amount is actually a bargain.
 

cyaEDJ's picture
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Joined: 2009-06-17

I liken EDJ training to public education.  It's really geared towards the lowest
common denominator so those who are quick learners, learn little. I did
think their series 7 program was solid though.

It's important to note, I have no issues with Jones. The culture seems
good, the people have been nice, and I'm doing well.  They have been
fair to me but when opportunity knocks sometimes you should open the
door. Either way I'll be happy but feel this position could give me a 2
year boost so giving it a serious look.Are their horror stories on them going after the full amount and not neg. that # down?

UNDERMINDED's picture
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The training may not be worth 75,000, but thats what the contract said when you signed it.  The contract could've said 1,000,000 but if you still quit w/in that time period, you'd still be on the hook.  I've had several friends get the bill for 75,000.  Most negotiate it down.
 
I'd say you'll probably only have to pay abuot $73,589
 

cyaEDJ's picture
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Realized what I signed, I read it :)Cool, now I just need to sell $4,000,000 worth of long term bonds and I'm golden!

UNDERMINDED's picture
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haha, nice.  I hear Jones sells a good amount of A share Am Funds as well.  Maybe try those.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Actually it's $6,250,000 in long term bonds to net $75K @ 3 pts. 

 
So, this company that wants you to work for them gives you "warm leads", huh.  Really?  Where do they get them? 
 
What kind of training and mentoring do they offer you? 
 
Your own BOA or do you have to share? 
 
Your own office or do you have to share?
 
Trips?
 
Profit sharing/401k/LP/Bonuses?
 
Cool shovel awards?
 
What are you going to tell those clients you just created at EDJ?  Are you just going to leave them hanging?  How about those prospects you've got in your system?  What do you think they're going to tell you when you call them and tell them that you now work for XYZ bank? 
 
I realize you think you're a rockstar right now, but I can't tell you how many people I've seen that flamed out after killing it right out of the gates.    Before you get your panties in a wad about leaving Jones for the payout and the "warm leads" maybe you should consider what a quick jump like that could do to your fragile new career and reputation in town.  You can reinvent one, but break the other and you're toast. 

Borker Boy's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-09

How about this:
 
Mr. Client, I left Jones because I disagreed with the policy they recently created that explicitly precludes their advisors from providing specific investment advice and recommedations in retirement accounts.
 
Now more than ever, my clients need custom-tailored advice to help them reach their financial goals, and I don't believe I can accomplish that by being required to simply educate you and then force you to decide which investments are most appropriate for your situation.
 
Jones plans to continue charging full-service prices while offering discount brokerage service, and I could not continue to operate in that manner.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Just so you know, that wasn't a Jones created policy.  You didn't really think it was did you?

Hank Newbie's picture
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Borker, are you retarded?  That came down from left field, one of the government agencies that doesn't normally inject itself into our realm, trying to remember from the spring regional, but I think it was actually OSHA or some such...

Hank Newbie's picture
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And that is qualified retirement accounts under a business plan.  Send a letter like that out and just wait for your next audit....

cyaEDJ's picture
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Spaceman Spiff wrote:Actually it's $6,250,000 in long term bonds to net $75K @ 3 pts. 

 
So, this company that wants you to work for them gives you "warm leads", huh.  Really?  Where do they get them? 
 
What kind of training and mentoring do they offer you? Can't imagine it's worse than Jones, I've gotten none so far. Guess this could be my fault since I've not reached out and asked someone to mentor me.
 
Your own BOA or do you have to share? Share
 
Your own office or do you have to share?Share - which I might enjoy more.  Not so sure yet.
 
Trips?Yes
 
Profit sharing/401k/LP/Bonuses?Bonuses, yes - 401k, yes - LP & PS, no
 
Cool shovel awards?No .. this might be a deal breaker!
 
What are you going to tell those clients you just created at EDJ?  Are you just going to leave them hanging?  How about those prospects you've got in your system?  What do you think they're going to tell you when you call them and tell them that you now work for XYZ bank? This would be tough honestly.  I've gotten to know these people and like them.
 
I realize you think you're a rockstar right now, but I can't tell you how many people I've seen that flamed out after killing it right out of the gates.    Before you get your panties in a wad about leaving Jones for the payout and the "warm leads" maybe you should consider what a quick jump like that could do to your fragile new career and reputation in town.  You can reinvent one, but break the other and you're toast. Good points, thanks for sharing. I'm giving it serious consideration on all sides but I've got a family to feed and 20% more on commission is well, 20% more. Maybe my summer regional will pump me up so much I'll never consider leaving?

cyaEDJ's picture
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Hank Newbie wrote:Borker, are you retarded?  That came down from left field, one of the government agencies that doesn't normally inject itself into our realm, trying to remember from the spring regional, but I think it was actually OSHA or some such...I've heard other firms allow their advisors to give advice on retirement accounts, I'm lost why we can't. I think Borker makes a good point although I'd feel silly saying it since I've been ignoring the policy anyway.

Hank Newbie's picture
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If it is not coming down from federal regulators, I am either being lied, our legal/compliance department is taking a conservative position, or those "other firms" are just crossing their fingers...

Hank Newbie's picture
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From what I remember it boils down to the fiduciary question, which is what is all over the industry headlines right now.  You can guide your clients, give good advice, but not actually tell them which investment is better than the other.  They ultimately have to choose between options.....

voltmoie's picture
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I think that's crap Hank.  We can charge a 5.75% fee on mutual funds but can't tell them which one to buy, which one is the best for their current needs?  Crap - It's EDJ compliance going over the top.  Same reason we can't sell Indexed Annuities.  

Hank Newbie's picture
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I didn't say I agreed.  It is what the gov't says it is...

voltmoie's picture
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Ummm... I could be wrong I think its "our" interpretation of what the gov't says which if we follow the rules makes us look stupid.Our risk as advisors is large, if we don't follow this crazy policy and someone complains St. Louis can simply claim they told us.  We are nailed.  If we do follow them we again look silly.  Also, how the hell can we get away with doing advisory solutions within an IRA if this is a gov't rule?

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B24
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Jesus guys. You are blowing this thing way out of proportion. Jones' position is in order to comply with the regulations (which DID come down from the IRS, not the SEC or FINRA - it's a 30+ year-old ERISA policy), simply offer the client two choices in retirement accounts. That's it. You guys are making a bigger deal out of it than Jones is. And that's saying a lot.

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Are you sure it isn't 3 choices? Not that it probably matters, 95% of us probably provide the recs anyways, just not in writing I'm sure.

troll's picture
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cyaEDJ wrote:I realize this topic has probably been covered dozens of times but hopefully you'll forgive me and give me some ideas.Here is the basics of my situation.  I've had my can sell date for about 12 weeks and am blowing it out of the water (know it means nothing but know I can do this job at least).  I'm not unhappy at Jones but never took the job knowing I would be here forever.  I also have no mentor and no real training so I'm not loyal to them at this point.I've had another firm approach me and offer me a position.  The payout is much better.  Get an office. Warm leads (not that I will stop prospecting).  No book but to be honest I'll only leave around 1mm AUM.I know I made a commitment but what is my risk here? Jones will come after me but how much do people usually settle for?  Any help and I'd appreciate it.
 
If you search this forum, you will find posts claiming $0 to over $75k(if accts were solicited). There is no standard or usual amount. If you do not transfer your license nor solicit accounts you will not have to worry about it. If you do then EJ will asses your value to another firm and determine that amount. If you suck it will be low, if you "blew it out of the water" then it will be more. So since you are doing so well you will need to pay up or stay were you chose to start through your required time. I would highly recommend you seek legal counsel before making any decisions. If you are doing as well as you say you are, you will need it.

cyaEDJ's picture
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Joined: 2009-06-17

Thanks for the feedback.  When I make my decision guess I'll press forward in high gear with Jones or kick back for a few weeks and let my numbers slip a bit.I do like my job but was so new when i took it didn't realize the downside. 

ytrewq's picture
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Easy.  It is one of several options that we explain and offer.  They pick it.  This wasn't a serious question, was it?

Hmmm.  This was in reply to volt....Guess I need to bone up on my posting skills.

Borker Boy's picture
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voltmoie wrote:I think that's crap Hank.  We can charge a 5.75% fee on mutual funds but can't tell them which one to buy, which one is the best for their current needs?  Crap - It's EDJ compliance going over the top.  Same reason we can't sell Indexed Annuities.  
 
And the great thing about being a Jones FA is that although we can't guarantee our clients any return for them, we can IMMEDIATELY guarantee as much as a 5.75% return for US---------on THEIR money.
 
Is that awesome or what ?!?!

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And an RIA can guarantee 1%+ per year.  What's the point?  Do you want to give away your work for free?
 
You know one thing that irks me about the "5.75% commission" comments....how many people are actually charging their clients that much?  I mean seriously, I have very few clients that don't qualify for a breakpoint, and the one's that are very small clients are in C-shares, and will be switched to A shares if they ever manage to reach a meaningful breakpoint. 

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Borker Boy wrote:voltmoie wrote:I think that's crap Hank.  We can charge a 5.75% fee on mutual funds but can't tell them which one to buy, which one is the best for their current needs?  Crap - It's EDJ compliance going over the top.  Same reason we can't sell Indexed Annuities.  
 
And the great thing about being a Jones FA is that although we can't guarantee our clients any return for them, we can IMMEDIATELY guarantee as much as a 5.75% return for US---------on THEIR money.
 
Is that awesome or what ?!?!
 
You're a real tool, you know it. 
 
If you're of the opinion that Jones sucks as bad as it does, why don't you leave?  How do you get out of bed every morning and come to represent a company whom you obviously don't like?  That would depress me to no end. 

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Spaceman Spiff wrote: Borker Boy wrote:voltmoie wrote:I think that's crap Hank.  We can charge a 5.75% fee on mutual funds but can't tell them which one to buy, which one is the best for their current needs?  Crap - It's EDJ compliance going over the top.  Same reason we can't sell Indexed Annuities.  
 
And the great thing about being a Jones FA is that although we can't guarantee our clients any return for them, we can IMMEDIATELY guarantee as much as a 5.75% return for US---------on THEIR money.
 
Is that awesome or what ?!?!
 
You're a real tool, you know it. 
 

If you're of the opinion that Jones sucks as bad as it does, why don't you leave?  How do you get out of bed every morning and come to represent a company whom you obviously don't like?  That would depress me to no end. 

He reminds me of that one client that gives me a bad score on this CSE thing. If my service is that bad, then PLEASE take your money elsewhere. Borker, if Jones is that bad, PLEASE take your clients elsewhere. It's better for you, your clients and EDJ too.

Hank Newbie's picture
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For all you Jones haters out there check out this article.  I used to use this site before the career change and they are diametrically oposed to the full-service model.  For the most part, they LOATH people like us.  A little dated, but to those of us in the know, nothing much has changed since then.  Given the source, I can't think of a better compliment and wish I could hang it on my wall:
 
http://www.fool.com/news/foth/2001/foth011211.htm?terms=Edward+Jones&vstest=search_042607_linkdefault

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It astounds me people pump an article that is 8 years old.  It's time to move one....I have no problem charging people for my service.  I don't work for free, Borker. I make the best decision I can based on the market and what my client tells me ... and don't feel sorry for it.  I simply wish I could offer one solution for retirement accounts rather than asking the client to pick one of the two.

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...become the seventh largest securities firm in the United States based on number of brokers (approximately 8,400 at latest count, growing by four a day, with plans to hit 25,000 by the end of the decade).

 
How close are they to the 25,000 mark?

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half

Hank Newbie's picture
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Wet_Blanket wrote:...become the seventh largest securities firm in the United States based on number of brokers (approximately 8,400 at latest count, growing by four a day, with plans to hit 25,000 by the end of the decade).

 
How close are they to the 25,000 mark?
 
Hind sight is always 20/20.  Jones stands somewhere around 13,000 FAs now.  What has the growth looked like at the other firms?  Wait, most of them got absorbed into banks.  As of 2007-08 we were #3 in the number of brokers.  With what has happened since, well, you get the idea.  As far as I know, we are the only major firm with an ambitious broker growth strategy, and the capital to back it up.

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Yeah, I don't pay much attention to articles that old.  But there is SOME truth to the article.  And it is interesting that it was written by the Managing Partner of an investment management firm.
I agree that culture is important to the overall direction of a firm.  But I think the skill and integrity of the individual advisor is more important.  No single firm has the corner on that market (nor the market for bad advisors).

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Hank Newbie wrote:Wet_Blanket wrote:...become the seventh largest securities firm in the United States based on number of brokers (approximately 8,400 at latest count, growing by four a day, with plans to hit 25,000 by the end of the decade).

 
How close are they to the 25,000 mark?
 
Hind sight is always 20/20.  Jones stands somewhere around 13,000 FAs now.  What has the growth looked like at the other firms?  Wait, most of them got absorbed into banks.  As of 2007-08 we were #3 in the number of brokers.  With what has happened since, well, you get the idea.  As far as I know, we are the only major firm with an ambitious broker growth strategy, and the capital to back it up.
 
Newb, be careful about the assumptions you make.  Growth for growth's sake is not always good.  And growing organically is painful at best.  Every firm is trying to grow.  Some grow through attrition of underperforming prodcuers and trying to raise the AUM/production per broker, some try to grow via acquisition.  And few, like us, grow organically.  But don't be fooled into thinking that growing organically is somehow more virtuous than growing via other methods.  It's like saying that starting from scratch versus inheriting a book or joining a team is more virtuous. 

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B24 wrote:
Yeah, I don't pay much attention to articles that old.  But there is SOME truth to the article.  And it is interesting that it was written by the Managing Partner of an investment management firm.
I agree that culture is important to the overall direction of a firm.  But I think the skill and integrity of the individual advisor is more important.  No single firm has the corner on that market (nor the market for bad advisors).
 
The article does throw out that caveat.  There's bad apples in every cart, so to say.  But come on, I know you work for Jones.  Can you honestly tell me that the firm philosophy has changed any since the article was written?  If you think so, you need to remember to watch the Market Updates and read a few recent Strategy Reports.  As to "Managing Partner of an investment management firm", I found it more profound who actually published the article.  The Motley Fool's purpose is in life is to TRY and educate people to a point where they don't need to pay for our services.  It is one of their founding principles.

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Hank - all B is trying to do is dilute the Kool-aid a little bit for you.

I would be more worried about projections like 25000 brokers. Being 12000 short a year before the end of the decade is statistically significant. I only hope those on the Investment Policy Committee aren't screwing up that bad on their investment recommendations.

It's probably not the same people doing the IPC stuff though, just the same philosophy.

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B24 wrote:Hank Newbie wrote:Wet_Blanket wrote:...become the seventh largest securities firm in the United States based on number of brokers (approximately 8,400 at latest count, growing by four a day, with plans to hit 25,000 by the end of the decade).

 
How close are they to the 25,000 mark?
 
Hind sight is always 20/20.  Jones stands somewhere around 13,000 FAs now.  What has the growth looked like at the other firms?  Wait, most of them got absorbed into banks.  As of 2007-08 we were #3 in the number of brokers.  With what has happened since, well, you get the idea.  As far as I know, we are the only major firm with an ambitious broker growth strategy, and the capital to back it up.
 
Newb, be careful about the assumptions you make.  Growth for growth's sake is not always good.  And growing organically is painful at best.  Every firm is trying to grow.  Some grow through attrition of underperforming prodcuers and trying to raise the AUM/production per broker, some try to grow via acquisition.  And few, like us, grow organically.  But don't be fooled into thinking that growing organically is somehow more virtuous than growing via other methods.  It's like saying that starting from scratch versus inheriting a book or joining a team is more virtuous. 
 
This is one area where I am definitely not a "Newb".  I may be new to this job, but am not new to the field of finance, so to say.  I don't think organic growth is somehow more virtuous.  A good marriage that fits can be tremendous.  On the other hand, what the industry has seen recently have been a string of shotgun weddings.  I think you will have to agree that more often than not, growth through M & A, while faster, is much more costly, not to mention the heartburn and bad will it can create among both employees and clients. Think of the old fable about the Hare and the Tortoise! 

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Moraen wrote:Hank - all B is trying to do is dilute the Kool-aid a little bit for you. I would be more worried about projections like 25000 brokers. Being 12000 short a year before the end of the decade is statistically significant. I only hope those on the Investment Policy Committee aren't screwing up that bad on their investment recommendations. It's probably not the same people doing the IPC stuff though, just the same philosophy.
 
Moraen, maybe its because people like you decided to leave!  On a serious note, grape and cherry are my favorite flavors.

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B24 wrote: 
Newb, be careful about the assumptions you make.  Growth for growth's sake is not always good.  And growing organically is painful at best.  Every firm is trying to grow.  Some grow through attrition of underperforming prodcuers and trying to raise the AUM/production per broker, some try to grow via acquisition.  And few, like us, grow organically.  But don't be fooled into thinking that growing organically is somehow more virtuous than growing via other methods.  It's like saying that starting from scratch versus inheriting a book or joining a team is more virtuous. 
 
I don't know about "virtuous" - is it even legal to use that word when referring to this industry? - but I'd have to say that joining a team would more than likely give the newbie their best shot at being around three years later.

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Borker, I totally agree.  That is my point.  Just because we all start with zero at the beginning of our careers, or because Jones grows organically, does not make us as FA's, or Jones as a firm, "better" (I will avoid the word "virtuous" for you).
 
Sometimes I just wish Jones would just let the culture speak for itself, and not constantly have to convince newbies that we have the best culture.
 
Newb,
One thing you might NOT be aware of is that approximately HALF of our 12,000 FA's have been with the firm less than 5 years.  So really, the other half of the firm is propping everyone up.
 

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B24 wrote:Borker, I totally agree.  That is my point.  Just because we all start with zero at the beginning of our careers, or because Jones grows organically, does not make us as FA's, or Jones as a firm, "better" (I will avoid the word "virtuous" for you).
 
Sometimes I just wish Jones would just let the culture speak for itself, and not constantly have to convince newbies that we have the best culture.
 
Newb,
One thing you might NOT be aware of is that approximately HALF of our 12,000 FA's have been with the firm less than 5 years.  So really, the other half of the firm is propping everyone up.
 
 
Thanks for the props, man!!  I would assume that this is just the way the industry works if you want to grow organically.  If you want to go out and buy some regional offices of other firms (I think Stifel and Nicholas just did that), you have to spend capital.  One way or other, it costs the owners, in this case the LPs and GPs at Jones have to forgo money that could be distributed in order to pay for newbie training, initial salaries, and branch expenses to profitability levels (I'm assuming you are already there at the LP level).
 
For me, I have been hesitant to tow the corporate line blindly.  That was the reason I was pleasantly surprised to read the article published by a source that I KNOW is pre-disposed to be biased against ALL full service firms.
 
In the end, I am not blind to the fact that results on a personal level are much more about me and my performance as an individual FA.  You can work for the best firm in the world and if you suck, you suck.  As I said originally, this was just for all the Jones Haters out there, and for those new Jones FAs who were starting to wallow in doubt as to what they had gotten themselves into. 

troll's picture
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"Has no pressure to meet earnings expectations since it's a private partnership, not a public company."-Motley Fool article
And you believe that? Was EJ non-profit when Bachman was around?

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Jaxson, you're right.  But the real point is true, that they don't have to do silly things to massage earnings and manipulate results to please Wall Street each quarter, since the ONLY thing that matters in a partnership is cash flow.  Who cares if you earned a billion dollars this year, but don't have the cash flow to distribute and pay for the tax hit.
Private firms (in all industries) have some definite advantages, but also some distinct disadvantages.

chief123's picture
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Edward Jones's strategy is to be precisely the opposite. In particular, the company:
Does not have any in-house mutual funds or any other proprietary products.

Except the pay to be listed on the preferred funds.

Does not sell options or commodities,
So they lack investment options??

does not pay its brokers for trades of over-the-counter stocks with prices below $4.

But will recommend WORLDCOM, ENRON and others as part of their buy and hold philosophy

Has no pressure to meet earnings expectations since it's a private partnership, not a public company.

Tell that to the FAs who are suppose to be getting profitability bonuses

Encourages its clients to have realistic expectations, focus on the long-run and ignore the short-term vagaries of the market.

Or last ten years if your American Funds were waited to heavily in international and only did well because of the decreasing dollar.

As a result, its clients hold their mutual funds an average of 20 years, far more than the 3-5 year average for other brokerages.

Until the rep has a bad month and needs to “diversify” into another preferred fund company

Borker Boy's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-09

chief123 wrote:Edward Jones's strategy is to be precisely the opposite. In particular, the company: Does not have any in-house mutual funds or any other proprietary products. Except the pay to be listed on the preferred funds. Does not sell options or commodities, So they lack investment options?? does not pay its brokers for trades of over-the-counter stocks with prices below $4. But will recommend WORLDCOM, ENRON and others as part of their buy and hold philosophy Has no pressure to meet earnings expectations since it's a private partnership, not a public company. Tell that to the FAs who are suppose to be getting profitability bonuses Encourages its clients to have realistic expectations, focus on the long-run and ignore the short-term vagaries of the market. Or last ten years if your American Funds were waited to heavily in international and only did well because of the decreasing dollar. As a result, its clients hold their mutual funds an average of 20 years, far more than the 3-5 year average for other brokerages. Until the rep has a bad month and needs to “diversify” into another preferred fund company
 
 
Several folks in my region are making their months right now by moving funds into VAs.

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