My fee only job offer...

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unc2006's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-19

I have an intriguing offer from a firm that has close to 750MM AUM - 2 partners and 3 CFPs (a couple associate JDs and CPAs).  FEE ONLY () , minimum 10K fee a year, though the average client opts for %AUM.  Will pay me salary as an assistant (well above that of a POA at ML) and pay for me to get my CFP, then partnership or further education paid for is possible (JD, MBA, CPA or a combination).This is a regional, very respected company, and makes me realize you wirehouse guys have a " " job.  I am interviewing with the wirehouses, and they thrill me about as much as a cancer diagnosis.  Its really great to hold a couple licenses that allow you to sell "suitable" manufactured products.  Prove me wrong, wirehousers.  ML, WS, and SB are trying to convince me of their "great training."  Otherwise, my FEE ONLY firm's AUM/rep out of the gate is so much larger than any wirehouse you have out there, plus I can act as a true fiduciary and sleep at night knowing I haven't conned my client out of a "$2 rip."I am waiting for the VA/VUL "heroes" to explain to me how they sleep at night.  "Suitability is great for Grandma, as long as I get a commission!" What's the future of a financial planner doubling as an investment advisor?  Seems like a license to steal, regardless of whether you make your client money.  Fee + commission "advisors" are dinosaurs.Waiting for the JT Marlin grease to chime in.

DJRoss's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-22

Wow, sounds like you have an excellent offer if the company's finances are sound, and if they are truly beholden to ethical standards (keeping well above the regulatory minimum of proper conduct)My question is why Lord it over those who may prefer working for a wirehouse or whose job consists of marketing proprietary products.Personally I prefer to have the freedom to select from a large assortment of products in order to feel that I have tailored each umbrella specifically for each client, but to Lord it over like that isn't couth by any standard.Can you share the excitement you feel about this offer without taking shots at others who work within established constructs?

GolFA's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-19

Have you stopped beating your wife? Why are you looking for a street fight here? As Confucious said, " At thirty I knew where I stood." Sounds like you have made up your mind and have your work cut out for you, so get to it.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

unc2006 wrote:I have an intriguing offer from a firm that has close to 750MM AUM - 2 partners and 3 CFPs (a couple associate JDs and CPAs).  FEE ONLY () , minimum 10K fee a year, though the average client opts for %AUM.  Will pay me salary as an assistant (well above that of a POA at ML) and pay for me to get my CFP, then partnership or further education paid for is possible (JD, MBA, CPA or a combination).This is a regional, very respected company, and makes me realize you wirehouse guys have a " " job.  I am interviewing with the wirehouses, and they thrill me about as much as a cancer diagnosis.  Its really great to hold a couple licenses that allow you to sell "suitable" manufactured products.  Prove me wrong, wirehousers.  ML, WS, and SB are trying to convince me of their "great training."  Otherwise, my FEE ONLY firm's AUM/rep out of the gate is so much larger than any wirehouse you have out there, plus I can act as a true fiduciary and sleep at night knowing I haven't conned my client out of a "$2 rip."I am waiting for the VA/VUL "heroes" to explain to me how they sleep at night.  "Suitability is great for Grandma, as long as I get a commission!" What's the future of a financial planner doubling as an investment advisor?  Seems like a license to steal, regardless of whether you make your client money.  Fee + commission "advisors" are dinosaurs.Waiting for the JT Marlin grease to chime in.
PROVE you wrong? That assumes that we give a sh*t about you, which we don't. Your full year out of college plus your status as an assistant make you eminently qualified to comment on the future of an industry, to which you don't belong.

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

You would be dumb not to take the fee only job, just make sure they have a career path laid out for you explain you don't want to be an asst. forever

shadow191's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-25

Is there any room for advancement other than the dangling carrot of being a partner some day?  I know of a few people who started out the exact way you are mentioning, assistant at a fee only firm, paid a nice salary, paid to get their CFP and so on.  After a few years though, they realize that they were pretty much topped out.  They were assistants, nothing more, they weren't responsible for bringing in business or producing.  The only people making real money were the partners, and they weren't retiring any time soon.  The two people I know who worked at firms like this are now at wirehouses, almost starting over because they had no book they could take.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

If you want to put on a skirt and be an assistant, go for it.  I'll take my coffee black please and while you're at it please check to see why the men's room is out of toilet paper.
If they visualize you as an assistant, you probably don't have a future as a planner for them.
 
Fee + commission "advisors" are dinosaurs
I guess that we can safely assume that believe that insurance issues should be ignored.

apex01's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-27

unc2006 wrote:I have an intriguing offer from a firm that has close to 750MM AUM - 2 partners and 3 CFPs (a couple associate JDs and CPAs).  FEE ONLY () , minimum 10K fee a year, though the average client opts for %AUM.  Will pay me salary as an assistant (well above that of a POA at ML) and pay for me to get my CFP, then partnership or further education paid for is possible (JD, MBA, CPA or a combination).This is a regional, very respected company, and makes me realize you wirehouse guys have a " " job.  I am interviewing with the wirehouses, and they thrill me about as much as a cancer diagnosis.  Its really great to hold a couple licenses that allow you to sell "suitable" manufactured products.  Prove me wrong, wirehousers.  ML, WS, and SB are trying to convince me of their "great training."  Otherwise, my FEE ONLY firm's AUM/rep out of the gate is so much larger than any wirehouse you have out there, plus I can act as a true fiduciary and sleep at night knowing I haven't conned my client out of a "$2 rip."I am waiting for the VA/VUL "heroes" to explain to me how they sleep at night.  "Suitability is great for Grandma, as long as I get a commission!" What's the future of a financial planner doubling as an investment advisor?  Seems like a license to steal, regardless of whether you make your client money.  Fee + commission "advisors" are dinosaurs.Waiting for the JT Marlin grease to chime in.
Congrats on finding such a great administrative assistant position. I have one and she really makes my life easier. How long do you have to get them coffee and schedule their tee times before they pay for your CFP? (do you even have a Series 7 and 66 yet?) Are you going back to school to get your JD, MBA before or after your get your CPA. Remember, to sit for the CPA you need at least 150 credit hours. That means you'll need to get your MAC as well. Your going to be busy studying, luckily you'll have lots of time in between answering phones.
Do you even have any basic training about how VUL's and VA's work? Or are you just repeating what you've heard from your local Edward Jones guy? (not a dis on EJ reps I was one once!)
I mean come on kid your as knowledgeable about this industry as I am about flying the space ship. I wish you even knew how ignorant your comments were.  
 

now_indy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-28

Get any promises (CFP Training, etc.) in writing, signed by all the partners.  This will show you how serious they are. If they give you some excuse about why they can't sign the promises, look elsewhere.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

DJRoss wrote:Personally I prefer to have the freedom to select from a large assortment of products in order to feel that I have tailored each umbrella specifically for each client, but to Lord it over like that isn't couth by any standard.Can you share the excitement you feel about this offer without taking shots at others who work within established constructs?
Precisely.  I don't know how anyone can expect to get constructive feedback when they show up with such a crappy attitude.

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

Prove me wrong, wirehousers.  ML, WS, and SB are trying to convince me of their "great training."  Otherwise, my FEE ONLY firm's AUM/rep out of the gate is so much larger than any wirehouse you have out there, plus I can act as a true fiduciary and sleep at night knowing I haven't conned my client out of a "$2 rip."
Actually, those firms mentioned above do have solid training programs... And you wont be acting as a fiduciary... Your bosses will be... And you will walk around with this false confidence of thinking you are a FA when in fact you are anything but... I bet you will run out and lease that new BMW 335i and try to impress little girls with your new position as a "heavy hitter"...
And for your firms average rep managing $750MM- you are an idiot if you believe that...

vagabond's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-18

Can you build your own book while being an assistant?  Why aren't the other 3 CFPs partners?  Did any of them start out as assistants?  Have you talked to them (without the partners in the room)? 
Could be a great opportunity, or you could be wasting your time until you can be a real producer.  Make sure you fully understand your future potential, the rainmakers aren't going to just give away the firm they built.
As for your other comments, I'm sure you're reiterating what they told you - and they didn't become successful by being poor salesmen.  Fee based advisors can f*ck over clients just as easily as anyone else.  The platform doesn't dictate the ethics, the advisor does. 

unc2006's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-19

Guys, I was joking.  It seems like being an asshole is the only way to get attention around here.  I knew I would get a reaction.I've asked questions nicely, and none of y'all would answer me.I have my 7, 66, and couple insurance licenses, and a college degree.  They're paying for me to take the CFP and will reimburse me to get my MBA, JD, or CPA.I have just heard starting fee only is a more sane path to take, but you don't make as much money.I feel like this may be the best opportunity.  The President is always there, is a CFP, JD, MBA, and LLM in taxation.Like y'all said I don't want to be an admin assistant forever, but if I go to WS, ML, or SB, I can start building my book from day 1.

unc2006's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-19

And actually, its not a secretarial position, its an assistant position to bring another CFP into the firm.  I don't have any grandeur visions of walking into the board room to close a big sale.Their CFPs all do very well, and the training is much more hands on.  The WS training is an online training - I think I'd prefer more hands on type work.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

It may be a great place for you.   The problem with fee-only is that insurance issues tend to get ignored.

unc2006's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-19

This place is definitely heavy into asset management, but also does comprehensive financial planning.I have another round of interviews where I want to ask some questions.  For those who've experienced a fee only platform, what are some questions I should ask? (other than compensation questions - standard interview questions I have covered)

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

I have no idea how comprensive planning can be done without taking care of insurance issues.

unc2006's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-19

Fee only has no bearing on whether insurance is recommended or not.  This firm deals with a lot of institutional customers as well.

GolFA's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-19

unc2006 wrote:Fee only has no bearing on whether insurance is recommended or not.  This firm deals with a lot of institutional customers as well.
We are seasoned financial advisors and planners, and we don't know anything about you, your personality, your goals, qualifications, motivation, tenacity and so on.
My advice is talk to some different people in real life, not the internet, and go with your instincts. On the one hand, maybe you listened to the bs at your interview, on the other, you chose to get attention here by " kidding " us about being a bunch of b/d and state insurance regulated schmucks, just to get some info for yourself.
Just get a start, and don't ever be dishonest, even a little, for as was pointed out above, ethics and opportunity reside with the individual, not the platform or firm.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Fee only has no bearing on whether insurance is recommended or not. 
1) This is naive.
2) If it is recommended, the firm can't handle the implementation.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

unc2006 wrote:Like y'all said I don't want to be an admin assistant forever, but if I go to WS, ML, or SB, I can start building my book from day 1.
 
There you have it...

Vin Diesel's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-18

Could be an interesting opportunity. But you're going to learn how to be an admin 1st before you start selling. IMO that's a bad move, because regardless if you're Fee only, or commission advisor, this is a Sales Job.
I beleive the sooner you start selling the better

BankFC's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-27

I disagree.  He should take the job, and hopefully it will be mostlt admin to begin with.  he is way too wet behind the ears to make it at a wirehouse, and even in admin he can learn through osmosis.
Take your time, save some money, buy a house, enjoy life some.  Then about 2 or 3 years down the road, if you are stuck, then go somewhere then.

Vin Diesel's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-18

BankFC wrote:
I disagree.  He should take the job, and hopefully it will be mostlt admin to begin with.  he is way too wet behind the ears to make it at a wirehouse, and even in admin he can learn through osmosis.
Take your time, save some money, buy a house, enjoy life some.  Then about 2 or 3 years down the road, if you are stuck, then go somewhere then.

your right. the guy does sound like a chump

GolFA's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-19

Gotta admit, think you nailed it.

unc2006's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-19

Yep.  I'm a chump.

dalbroker's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-25

Good luck. I have a feeling you might need it. Karma has a wonderful was of working itself out.

drewski803's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-08

Comprehensive financial planning!?  Where do I sign!?!?
CFP!?!  I could never achieve such a noble status at a wirehouse!
 
 

GolFA's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-19

unc2006 wrote:Yep.  I'm a chump.
Good for you - the first of twelve steps is to come clean. You came here to broker dealer world for help. Welcome, friend. Any more questions about how cool this business can be?

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