New York Life or Merrill

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choida's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-11

I am fresh out of college, 5 years in lodging/hospitality, and have to interviews. Which one should I pursue the hardest? I have no history in financial sales, but wanted to ask for the guidence from the fine experts on this resourceful board. What should I expect from both companies and what is the diffrence between the two, as far as history, experiences and work. I know I should hit the search engine first, but bare with, I am new to this. Don't send the vultures on me yet. I am just trying to break into this field at a young age. Thank you.

FreedomLvr's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-10

If you get accepted at Merrill, that's the one you want.  NY Life will push you to sell their insurance products.  Merrill will mold you into a more well-rounded Advisor, and you'll have more opportunities down the road.

NASD Newbie's picture
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Joined: 2005-08-01

Why do you want to break into a field at a young age when most of those who broke in at a young age have failed, and those who didn't will say their biggest mistake was not waiting till they were older?
Why do you kids ask for advice, then ignore it?

vbrainy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-26

Merrill is hands down the better financial services firm.  Are you going to be able to hook up with a seasoned professional?  If not, how do you plan on bringing in $6 million in assets.  That would be almost impossible to cold call.
At NYL you may get better leads.
 

dude's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-15

NASD Newbie wrote:
Why do you want to break into a field at a young age when most of those who broke in at a young age have failed, and those who didn't will say their biggest mistake was not waiting till they were older?
Why do you kids ask for advice, then ignore it?

This is a good point.  Listen up young broker wannabe's.

dude's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-15

Back in the days when a broker was focused mostly on bringing stock ideas to their clients, youth may not have been as much of a problem (although it still was an obstacle to overcome) since the client probably had 3 brokers and would be willing to 'let you play' with $20,000.  If you did well for them then more $$$ would follow. 
Now days you will be trained to compete for all of the prospects $$$ and will end up puting them into a portfolio that isn't going to do extraordinarily well in any market (other than hopefully protecting their assets in a down market), but will (most likely) chug along at a moderate pace. 
Even if you do get only a portion of their $$$, it is doubtful that your performance will exceed their other broker by any significant amount since that broker is probably investing the client into a mutual fund based program as well for a fee.  Your performance reports will probably be similar each quarter.
What does that mean?  A client is going to be much more scrutinizing and youth is definitley a mark against you whether you like it or not.  No matter how articulate you are, it will weigh in on the prospects' decision. 
If you do win a 'portion' of their assets, dropping the $$$ into a wrap program will probably not provide much of an incentive for the client to eventually transfer the rest of their assets to you unless their other broker(s) are doing risky strategies that at some point drastically underperform a more conservative strategy.  Their are fewer brokers every year that engage in these types of strategies.
What does that mean?  Well, you are going to have to posess a broader skill set (insurance, financial planning, estate planning etc...), experience and credentials that only come with significant time in the industry.  Since every major financial firm is offering these services, you will have very little to offer unless you have the preceding credentials and experience.
As far as who to go work for.....Merrill Lynch is the obvious choice without a doubt.  Looks much better on future resume's and you will get an education that vastly exceeds NYL.

brothaK's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-18

If the young man had the right attitude and the maturity to back it up, I am sure they would even have a better shot at success.  They would even be at a better advantage of the man who has a family to feed and a mortgage to pay. The young man can spend 80 hours a week building his business, however, if any older I don't think the wife or kids would like that too much and I'm sure the FA himself wouldn't want that either.

NASD Newbie's picture
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Joined: 2005-08-01

brothaK wrote:If the young man had the right attitude and the maturity to back it up, I am sure they would even have a better shot at success.  They would even be at a better advantage of the man who has a family to feed and a mortgage to pay. The young man can spend 80 hours a week building his business, however, if any older I don't think the wife or kids would like that too much and I'm sure the FA himself wouldn't want that either.
The only person who thinks a 23 year old has "the right attitude and the maturity to back it up" is another 23 year old.
The client doesn't know you  have a mortgage, or if he does he doesn't care because he does too.
What the client does is listen to you--if you're young you sound like a kid.  If they meet you they'll see the wetness behind your ears.
What part of "Don't do it until you're older" do you not get?

Malcolm's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

I'm not taking sides here but at the same time two of the most successful brokers I know started right from college.  One of them I trained.  This guy now has 88 million under management and the other has 70 million under management.  The first one has been out for 9 years and the second has been out for 11 years. Both started at EDJ and I remember them coming to new IR meetings with their junkie cars from college.   Both are now at wire houses.
The one out 11 years I would describe as driven beyond belief.  He isn't a very nice guy in my opinion but to his advantage I suppose, he has to win at everything he does.  The job is his life.
The other one is mellow and nice and loves his job so much that he would'nt retire if 10 million in cash dropped in his lap tomarrow.  So for him it's all just fun.  He is very open to learning and getting advice.  Both were early 20s when they started.     
These guys are very big exceptions in my opinion.  Their success was never in doubt.  I think if you fall into this category you wouldn't be on this forum asking advice.

dude's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-15

brothaK wrote:If the young man had the right attitude and the maturity to back it up, I am sure they would even have a better shot at success.  They would even be at a better advantage of the man who has a family to feed and a mortgage to pay. The young man can spend 80 hours a week building his business, however, if any older I don't think the wife or kids would like that too much and I'm sure the FA himself wouldn't want that either.
BrothaK,
I would propose that from a maturity perspective, having two kids and a mortgage has worked in my favor since I can relate better with clients who have most likely have kids and a mortgage.  There is also a maturity that is developed rapidly when you have others who are dependent on you that is difficult to have without kids at my age (most of my childless peers are still relatively immature).  Clients would pick up on the fact that I have a lot to loose if I don't take care of them and that instead of partying it up all weekend and coming to work hungover, I'll be engaging in activities that are more productive in nature. 
The pictures of a family on the wall helps build credibility.  It's the time that raising a family takes that is the problem. 
brothaK, I think Malcoms observation is accurate about the young brokers not posting on this board. 
No offence, but from your posts I believe that you have a ways to go before you're ready for this business.  You may not like what I have to say, but it is intended to help.  You come across as a little immature on this board, which does not indicate to me that in person you'll come across any different.  You definitley have great enthusiasm and interest, which I encourage. 
Be careful not to have eyes bigger than your stomach.  Once you're in the business there are many realities that hit you which are hard to grasp as an outsider.

brothaK's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-18

NASD, I am not 23 I am 21.Malcolm, that was one extremely inspiring post. It made my day.Dude, thanks for the post, it put me in perspective.

JimmytheRocker's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-27

NASD,
I am only 19.  Will I make it?
hehe

NASD Newbie's picture
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Joined: 2005-08-01

Malcolm wrote:
I'm not taking sides here but at the same time two of the most successful brokers I know started right from college.  One of them I trained.  This guy now has 88 million under management and the other has 70 million under management.  The first one has been out for 9 years and the second has been out for 11 years. Both started at EDJ and I remember them coming to new IR meetings with their junkie cars from college.   Both are now at wire houses.
The one out 11 years I would describe as driven beyond belief.  He isn't a very nice guy in my opinion but to his advantage I suppose, he has to win at everything he does.  The job is his life.
The other one is mellow and nice and loves his job so much that he would'nt retire if 10 million in cash dropped in his lap tomarrow.  So for him it's all just fun.  He is very open to learning and getting advice.  Both were early 20s when they started.     
These guys are very big exceptions in my opinion.  Their success was never in doubt.  I think if you fall into this category you wouldn't be on this forum asking advice.

Two observations.
Both are now at wirehouses--if going "Indy" was such an attractive thing to do they'd be at LPL or one of the others.  But it's not, so they're at wirehouses--the pinnacle of financial advising.
Malcolm says these guys are "big exceptions" in his opinion. That means that he too thinks that the biggest mistake made by most people who fail young is because they were young.

oklajeep's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-23

As far as choosing between the two u mentioned, i would have to say go with ML.  i have had a NYL guy brag to me that he has a series 7 like myself, and can do anything in the business i can do... only that everytime i come across a client of his,  they have been put into an annuity.. and low and behold guess what brand?  yeah, that's right, he must be forced to sell NYL products and only NYL products.  i have seen everything from putting a couple in their early 20's who are just starting to save, DCA monthly into their roth acct (which sounds logical) but they are funding it with a NYL annuity product!  how crazy is it that they pay the extra expenses for the next 35-40 yrs as they are creating their portfolio from scratch!  i have also seen most recently, 401k rollover proposals.  instead of doing what right for that client and purchasing lets say m.funds in their ira with a 500K or greater break point. instead, offering the ira rollover funded with a bonus varible annuity!  (can u guess who it is from???) yeah.... look at the expenses on that baby for the next 10yrs (when surrender charges run out).   My advice would to be to look at ML over NYL.. unless u like pushing someone's product to every single person that walks through ur door.

FinclPlngPro's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-01

One of the advantages of a BB like this is also one of its main disadvantages.  The information you receive will be worth about what you pay for it.  And you never know the qualifications of those posting their opinions.
Merrill Lynch is a GREAT wirehouse.  But it is a wirehouse.  There is not 5 cents worth of difference between Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, UBS, Morgan Stanley or any of the the other major wirehouses.  Your success at a wirehouse will be a function of you, your resources, your connections, the manager responsible for your training and the rersources of your firm. 
Guess what?  The same thing is true with the life insurance company you might select.  NYL however, as compared to other life companies, has a great deal more to offer than many, many other life insurance companies. For those who know what it means, and many on this board do not, NYL has led the field in annual MDRT Membership for over 50 Years.  Not by a small margin either.
NYL does have its own B/D and when you have qualified, you will have access to all the resources it offers...and be able to position yourself as the complete advisor for your clients.
If Merrill is #1 in the wirehouse world, NYL is #1 in the Life Insurance world.  Your simply need to make a decision...do you believe you can benefit your clients more by being primarily an investment advisor...or by being an insurance professional?  Which ever you choose, apply yourself to it...learn those skills...get the professional education you need to lead the field...and go for it.
One man's opinion...people without the financial wherewithall to benefit from an investment advisor far outnumber those who have it.  On the other hand, almost everyone needs and buys insurance...and in most cases more than one kind of insurance.
Wishing you the very best, in whatever you decide.
 

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

NYL is a good company, but has shortcomings. 
1)New guys are only insurance salespeople.2)They strongly push proprietary products.3)They don't have a disability product4)They don't accept brokered business which means if an agent decides to leave, they can't service their insurance clients.

rook4123's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-21

Brotha K
I know a guy that was hired at 21 by EDJ. He is about 6 yrs out, and
had no prior sales experience. He is producing 400k a year now, with
about 60 AUM and climbing. It can be done, but it is no easy task. If I
were you, I would get some sales experience first. Look at it this way,
you may not fail, but you might be starving for a couple years. I would
get a sales job, critique yourself and mature some more, and make some
good money in the mean time, then go do it. That way it can be a smooth
transition. I have been in sales all through college. However, I'm not
your typical college student now either. I'll graduate at 25. Then,
boom I'll burst out onto the scene. Selling anything else is easier
than selling yourself to someone to manage their money. Ask yourself
this too. Do you invest? Do you have good credit? These are some things
firms look at. Also, you don't wake up one day and just start working
80hrs a week, maybe someone has but for most, its gradual. Be honest
with yourself. Will you do that, or will you just do the minimum. How
will you react when someone is rude? I deal with rejection everyday. It
would be great for you to experience this first to get tough. I'll
leave on this note, these guys are seasoned and good at what they do, I
think they are telling you these things for your best interest. Some of
the best brokers I've read about had other professions prior. I hope
this helps, oh by the way if you do get offered a position at ML and
you won't wait, you better take it, ML is the best.

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