My Advice to all the Rookies.....

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Seth Davis's picture
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Joined: 2005-03-21

1) Buy 3 nice suits. Do not shop the discount rack at Men's Wearhouse or JC Penney. Make them NICE suits. Brooks Brothers, Armani. The investment will pay off.
2) Get a nice haircut. You are not in college anymore. You actually need to look respectable and shower every day.
3) Lease a nice car even if you can't afford it. You can't drive to a client visit in a 1998 VW Jetta and expect to be taken seriously.
4) Subsrcibe to the Wall Street Journal and read it every day. You might actually learn something and sound like you know something when you talk to clients.
5) Live by this quote: "There is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can't. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him?"
Best of luck. Enjoy the ride.
 

planrcoach's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-13

Nice post.
And, if you're doingthe low cost, laid back, high payout, branch ownership approach:
1. Wear nice golf clothes.
2. Purchase the nice car, with about 30k miles, write off the interest, mileage.
3. Read the Journal!
4. Watch "Glenngarry Glenross". If you are gonna always be closing, be like Al Pacino, not Jack Lemmon. You can make as much money letting people close you (make them beg for the application), and if it suits your personality, it is a lot more fun.

ExPropTrader's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-19

Seth Davis wrote:
3) Lease a nice car even if you can't afford it. You can't drive to a client visit in a 1998 VW Jetta and expect to be taken seriously.

Don't the newbies have enough pressure without buying something they can't pay for.  What good is a nice car if you can't afford it, have to declare bankruptcy, lose you job because of a BK.

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

Thanks for that post. I am sure all the newbies out there were elated that you blessed them with that kind of knowledge...
Such a nice guy- giving back to the industry and all....

WADRED's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-13

   Alright, I will be the first to bite.  Can you be a little more specific on the suit.  exp... 3-piece, 4 button, what style?  What specific cars are suitable for a (newbie) FA to drive up to a client in?  Already got the WSJ thing down.  Oh and nice try taking that quote off of Ben Aflak in Boiler Room, which is a must-see for all new reps.  Oh and.......where do you get your hair cut??

worth6788's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-26

I would recommend getting as much education as possible. If you have MBA, AAMS, CFP, CFA after your name and a good amount AUM already you will be amazed at the size of accounts that will be thrown upon you through word of mouth, networking and referrals. You will also have the immediate expectation of being an expert even to people who love to talk down to everyone (MD's, Professors).

TheDude's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-19

Seth Davis wrote:
1) Buy 3 nice suits. Do not shop the discount rack at Men's Wearhouse or JC Penney. Make them NICE suits. Brooks Brothers, Armani. The investment will pay off.
2) Get a nice haircut. You are not in college anymore. You actually need to look respectable and shower every day.
3) Lease a nice car even if you can't afford it. You can't drive to a client visit in a 1998 VW Jetta and expect to be taken seriously.
4) Subsrcibe to the Wall Street Journal and read it every day. You might actually learn something and sound like you know something when you talk to clients.
5) Live by this quote: "There is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can't. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him?"
Best of luck. Enjoy the ride.
 

 
You've been watching a little too much "Boiler Room."

anonymouse55's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-14

Buy a car I can't afford... I bet you make your clients rich with your brilliant advice

ExPropTrader's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-19

Mr. Davis,
I sincerely hope that you are a successful FA, cause if you can make it while spewing that much bad advice, I know I've got a shot. So thank you.

doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

WADRED wrote:
   Alright, I will be the first to bite.  Can you be a little more specific on the suit.  exp... 3-piece, 4 button, what style?  ...
I find that polyester suits don't wrinkle, plus add a little Scotchguard spray and they'll even repel stains. Just don't get near an open flame.

Breaston15's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-01

What color suit should I buy? I was thinking a purple tweed.

Also, do you think I should cut my dreads?

mtclimber's picture
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Joined: 2005-03-21

Keep the dreads, definitely. In this business you have to differentiate yourself. The Rasta market I am sure is lacking in financial advisors. I would recommend day-glo yellow though.

AllREIT's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-16

Breaston15 wrote:What color suit should I buy? I was thinking a purple tweed.

Also, do you think I should cut my dreads?

Four button, purple gabardine with white pinstrips, side venting, with a contrasting vest, perhaps an orange tartan?

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

I disagree with almost all of the advice given.

About your car:
Your clients should come see you in your office, your a professional, professionals don't make house calls. I don't think one of my 600 clients knows what kind of car I drive. If you meet them at their business, lawyers or CPA's office, park around the corner or show up early if you think it is a client who might not like your camry. That said I would'nt drive a beater but I think the BMW will only impress your friends.

About your suit:
I wouldn't get the $99 JC Penney special but if you spend $300 at the men's warehouse and get a great tailor you're more than fine. Buy nice shoes and keep them shiny. I recommend keeping a pair in the office that never go outside. Shoes believe it or not are very important.

ExPropTrader's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-19

bankrep1 wrote:About your suit: I wouldn't get the $99 JC Penney special but if you spend $300 at the men's warehouse and get a great tailor you're more than fine.
I'll say it again...Ebay, Armani, $200
 

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

Prop,

Aren't the Armani suits on ebay knockoffs, like taking the $99 JC Penney suit and sewing on the Armani brand? I am just asking

ExPropTrader's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-19

bankrep1 wrote:Prop, Aren't the Armani suits on ebay knockoffs, like taking the $99 JC Penney suit and sewing on the Armani brand? I am just asking
You do have to be careful, there are a few stores based out of LA that deal in used Armani's that are authentic, you have to be careful though.  It helps if you know the characteristics of the true Armani, knowing that, a knockoff stands out like a sore thumb, good point though I should have clarified you have to do your DD.

coveredcall's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-26

I'll be the first to admit that Seth's advice makes him somewhat of a loose cannon, but be as it may, regarding the 1998 Jetta he may be on to something. Sure in this business performance IS everything but speaking on behalf of a recent college grad, perception is the ONLY thing. I'd step it up a tad bit and roll the dice w/an Infiniti or an Audi A6 (mid 30's, not carried away)... and who cares if you're overextended??? If a $500 a month car payment is too much pressure, you're in the wrong game to begin with! If you think I'm nuts, send the rook to prospect in his tinted out Jetta rolling on 20" chrome spinners with a Rutgers window sticker in the back window and see how long he stands on the front porch knocking. He can have all the wisdom in the world at the same time the good doctor who "may" answer tells him to bounce...

worth6788's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-26

Can we review the companies that actually expect FA's to knock on doors? EJ and who else? that is demoralizing as hell.

BankerBuddy's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-29

How about this for advice:
Don't be an FA right after college. Unless you have family that is willing to let you manage their accounts/money. Don't do it! Start out as a sales associate/assistant or a banker than work your way to FA. I was cursed with a baby face (I look like im 20) but my performance as a banker spoke for itself and I have big clients in the multi-million range trusting me with their personal finances and investments.

BankerBuddy's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-29

to add to what I said: This will also help you financially. Last thing you want to do right after college is screw up your credit by getting a car you can't afford, suits you can't buy, and so forth.  Make some money while you learn the business!

worth6788's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-26

BankerBuddy raises a great point. But by no means take his suggestions as discouragement. There are some recent grads I have witnessed make a killing over the years. All had similar attributes which consisted of a burning desire to succeed, VERY good people skills, a natural at understanding financial markets, could build a network effortlessly because people just wanted to be around them and lastly they all really had a VERY high confidence level and swagger that made everyone around them believe that failure has never been on their agenda and never will be. The question to the potential rookies ... is this you? If not? well you can expect a very rocky road ahead attempting to be in this business.

DirtyDeltaBro's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-05

Very good advice except for one thing- DO NOT BLOW AN OBSENE AMOUNT OF MONEY ON A REDICULOUS CAR!!!
 <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
 
If your clients have any sophistication, they will see this car as an imprudent waste of money.  Affluent individuals can cut trough bull S—t in a matter of seconds.
 
The wealthy will choose you because they see potential, knowledge, and competence.    
 
I think the keys are clarity, confidence, being concise, assertiveness, and over all attitude.        
 DirtyDelta…   

DirtyDeltaBro's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-05

 I challenge anyone on this forum to give me an example of an individual who, at age 27, pulled in 100 mil AUM in only one year..  Pm me their name and where they work..    
 <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />That is a line of S**t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

planrcoach's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-13

Maybe it was dad's and mom's friend's money. The clients could all even work for mom and dad, or be vendors.

AirForce's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-12

Since we are all smart we should know that there are awesome "USED" cars for 10 to 15k. USE YOUR BRAIN and get a car like mine! Build your brand around your life and car.

troll's picture
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AirForce wrote:Since we are all smart we should know that there are awesome "USED" cars for 10 to 15k. USE YOUR BRAIN and get a car like mine! Build your brand around your life and car.
And what kind of car is yours?

wlooney's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-03

I don't have any names for you, but it does happen.  It is 100% luck and it comes in the form of rich parents and their company's healthy 401(k) plan.
DirtyDeltaBro wrote:
 I challenge anyone on this forum to give me an example of an individual who, at age 27, pulled in 100 mil AUM in only one year..  Pm me their name and where they work..    
 <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />That is a line of S**t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ebubbly's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-14

VERY FOOLISH advice. WHy dont you give them tips on surviving in the business!

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

I know a guy who works back on the East Coast. He is about 32-33 years old, and pulled in about $85M in his first 6 months. Granted, about $82M of that was from a corporate cash management account. Apparently he went to this prestigious prep school back in the day and was best friends wiht this kid whose dad was the CFO of a large company.  This FA called on the contact and within months he wqas the superstar of the training program.
I met him a couple times. Kid was an idiot who could barely speak in public. Had NO presence to him- but hey.. He was the MAN because he knew someone and got it done...
So it does happen....

ExPropTrader's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-19

AirForce wrote:Since we are all smart we should know that there are awesome "USED" cars for 10 to 15k. USE YOUR BRAIN and get a car like mine! Build your brand around your life and car.
After looking around for 4 months I paid 15k cash for a Porsche Boxster, drove it for a year and "downgraded" to a BMW and got 15k for it on trade in.  Talked them down from 18k to 14k on the BMW so it was a cashless transaction.
I agree if you're patient and can wait for the right deal you can get nice cars for a decent amount.

BankFC's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-27

Blarm, it 85MM if you're talking millions, but I understood and so did everyone else I'm sure.  Just want to help you keep that ML image sharp. 
By the way, did he put a fee on that 85MM?  It sounds awesome, but I don't see how having all that cash helped him out unless he could generate some revenue off it.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

ExPropTrader wrote:AirForce wrote:Since we are all smart we should know that there are awesome "USED" cars for 10 to 15k. USE YOUR BRAIN and get a car like mine! Build your brand around your life and car.
After looking around for 4 months I paid 15k cash for a Porsche Boxster, drove it for a year and "downgraded" to a BMW and got 15k for it on trade in.  Talked them down from 18k to 14k on the BMW so it was a cashless transaction.
I agree if you're patient and can wait for the right deal you can get nice cars for a decent amount.Nice.  How old was the Boxster?

ExPropTrader's picture
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joedabrkr wrote: ExPropTrader wrote:
AirForce wrote:Since we are all smart we should know that there are awesome "USED" cars for 10 to 15k. USE YOUR BRAIN and get a car like mine! Build your brand around your life and car.
After looking around for 4 months I paid 15k cash for a Porsche Boxster, drove it for a year and "downgraded" to a BMW and got 15k for it on trade in.  Talked them down from 18k to 14k on the BMW so it was a cashless transaction.
I agree if you're patient and can wait for the right deal you can get nice cars for a decent amount.
Nice.  How old was the Boxster?
It was a '99 but the guy had changed the head and tail lights so it looked like an '04.  Now that it has warmed back up I'm kickin myself for gettin rid of it.

vbrainy's picture
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BankerBuddy wrote:to add to what I said: This will also help you financially. Last thing you want to do right after college is screw up your credit by getting a car you can't afford, suits you can't buy, and so forth.  Make some money while you learn the business!
 
AGREED.  This guy Seth is an idiot.  Yes you need to look nice, but it is YOU they want.  Not the suit or the car.  People who are attracted to those material things will have YOU chasing performance and the latest hot dot.  They are not the clients you want to build your business with.

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

It was a corporate cash management account at around 35BP's I think. Even at 25 BP's the account is kicking off about 200K in production- for doing nothing really....

apprentice's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-06

Hummer, stretch limo - for those client events.  Although, it's tough to park when you have to run to wal-mart for a new suit.

Greenbacks's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-21

I live in the mountains. I drive a JEEP. Hummers are a hated up here!
Very few two wheel drive cars up  here!   

troll's picture
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Greenbacks wrote:I live in the mountains. I drive a JEEP. Hummers are a hated up here!
Very few two wheel drive cars up  here!   Why are hummers hated?

Greenbacks's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-21

You cannot get around them on the Jeep trails! They are too wide.
When you are on cliff you do not want to meet one!  
Also there are a lot of environmentalists or think they are! 

babbling looney's picture
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joedabrkr wrote: Greenbacks wrote:
I live in the mountains. I drive a JEEP. Hummers are a hated up here!
Very few two wheel drive cars up  here!   
Why are hummers hated?
Because the people who drive them are pretentious idiots who never or hardly ever take their vehicles off of the pavement.  4x4 for snobs. All show and no go. They want to be country but they will never be anything but urban hypocrites.
Although, I must say, the new H3 seems to be a pretty nice vehicle and I have seen some of those with actual dirt on them. 

AirForce's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-12

For sure I think a nice car does help. Although confidence can go far if I am going to visit a high end client in their home I do not want to pull up in a avg car. Having the nice car also improves your brand. Spend a bit of time and look at the top of breed cars that last and are reliable.

mooose's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-03

 I understand image and presentation are important when meeting with clients, but over extending yourself is not the right way to go.  Buy an nicer used car and relieve that stress of a big car payment or lease.  As for the fancy designer suit, I think this may be more relevant in materialistic areas like California and New York, in small midwestern and southern towns, designer suits may make the wrong impression, that you are charging too much money.  As for house calls, who makes house calls?  Waste of time, does you doctor come to you?
mooose

gad12's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-06

Not my doctor, but I'm not worth 10 million either.

babbling looney's picture
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As for house calls, who makes house calls?  Waste of time, does you doctor come to you?
I do business calls in home, on occasion.  Some of my clients are elderly and have difficluty getting out.  Business owners who are often tied to their place of business appreciate a visit in their office.
You don't want to make a big practice of this but going the extra mile for worthy clients is impressive and you will get referrals.  Although, I usually explain that if at all possible we would be better off with a meeting in my office since my resource materials are there. Sometimes it is just better to go to the client.
I also do calls at home with many of my clients with whom I socialze.  Review the account... have coctails.  My doctor, lawyer and the mechanic/specialist who fixes up all of our collectable cars come to my house for food and drinks too.      (Car club  )  
Advice to newbies.....If you are into collectible cars and hot rods, join a club.  People who can afford a $12,000 paint job are likely to have other discretionary funds.  Plus you will have fun and the more networking you can do the better.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

24 years experience. Take it for what it's worth.
A few thoughts on some of the topics raised here:
Cars:
Cars are a double edged sword. They can work for you or against you. Over the span of a year you will run into every type of person. From the materialistic to the penny pincher. From the only buys American to the won't buy American. There is no way to know ahead of time who you will meet and how they will judge you. So, buy the car you want, but be sensible. I started with a VW Rabbit and kept it for 4 years. It was as impressive then as it is today. And we did make house calls then. The car never cost me a client. In fact it helped with my largest client at the time. A business owner who gave me about 7 million to invest. His car, a ten year old Buick Century. He said he liked sensible people. Rabbit front and center reporting for duty. My next cars were a 5 series BMW that no client ever saw and Mercury Grand Marquis take'em to lunch car. From there, there was an assortment of toy cars while the biz machines were a line of trusty Lincoln Towncars. Clients love those cars. I realize they are not the right image for today's 20, 30 something. Lincoln MKZ, Acura TL would do on the high end, while a Honda Accord would be the smart buy. I drove Accords for 16 years. If a prospect made a stupid comment, and few did, I'd tell them that my money was in the market and that their's should be too.
High priced car: This is a non starter. Why would anyone do anything that puts them in this position? Yeah, back in the day some wall street mgrs actually leased high end cars for trainees to motivate them. So let me tell you about net capital months. A net capital month is when you have more month then paycheck. To make it to the next payday the dough comes from your net capital. For slow learners, that's your bank account. In the beginning there will be many net capital months. Especially in that awkward year two when being weaned off the salary hasn't quite jived with commissions ramping up. A high end anything monthy payment will shorten the hang time and hasten an premature depature from the biz along with royally screwing up your credit. Bottom line; most people can't tell the difference between an Altima and a G35. But extra $300 a month you'll pay may be all the difference.
BMW: I'm 54. I've got money. I am your prospect. What the average 54 year old knows that the average twenty something doesn't is how money works. We know how long it takes to accumulate wealth. And we know that things like expensive cars should be purchased from accumulated wealth, not out of cash flow. Something else that age 50 will bring that age 25 doesn't get. We, age 50, are not impressed by cars. Let me qualify that. If you show up in a numbers matching, documented, restored, 70 Hemi Cuda convertible, we'll be impressed. Show up in an M3 and we'll ask if we can take our car to lunch. If you show up in any toy car, keep driving. That would be Porsche, Aston Martin etc. The deal is simple, at our age, your average propect could not only buy whatever car they wish, they could buy a fleet of them. Yet they don't. That should be a clue. Cars don't do it for us. Anyone with a W-2 can buy a car.  If you want to impress us you need to do it with what's between your ears, not a blue and white propeller.
House call: Doctors don't make house calls and neither do the ML guys. So what! Want to seperate yourself from the pack? Make house calls. Want to still give off that big swinging d**k image. Never answer your own phone, don't take the call when it comes in, have your assistant make all your appointments and have him/her call the day before to confirm it. You should be using your assistant to organize your time in this way anyway. The time she saves you will more than make up for having to run an appointment out of the office every night when you'd normally be home instead. Your marketing approach is main street not wall street. You are the friendly advisor who cares. Corny, youbetcha. Does it work? Youbetcha!
What to wear: Cheap the wrong way to go. So is high end. You'll ruin more suits on sharp corners than you'll wear out. I buy most of my suits at Joseph Banks. A good mid line suit, that is tailored. Good shirts and most important for the guys nice ties. Also, no goofy shoes. high end black leather purchased from a specialty retailer, not the mall. These shoes will last for years.
Wealth: As you accumulate it, don't show it off. Nothing wrong with buying whatever you like, but keep it low key in front of the help and the clients. Believe me, if you don't, it will bite you.

DirtyDeltaBro's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-05

Ok-
 <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />Ladies and Gentlemen that is a real producer  - he just ripped Seth to shreds.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

How about a burnt orange 72 Eldorado convertible with steer horns on the front?

AirForce's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-12

Hell yeah, my pops has a 12k paint job in that nice vet. I will register and join a club!

Seth Davis's picture
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Joined: 2005-03-21

DirtyDeltaBro wrote:
Ok-
 <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Ladies and Gentlemen that is a real producer  - he just ripped Seth to shreds.
Hey I don't claim to have all the answers or solutions. I think BondGuy was right on the money with a lot of points. That was a very intelligent post unlike some of the other garbage you see on this site. I am just throwing my 2 cents out there for any newbies. This is a free country and everyone has a different style. That is the beauty of living in this great country we call AMERICA.
Best of luck to everyone! Remember....greed for lack of a better word is GOOD.
Strength and Honor.
 

BankFC's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-27

You get your inspiration from Glengarry Glen Ross?  Good luck to you.

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