Northwestern Mutual or Ed Jones

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ColdCall's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-24

I am from the mortgage industry & my bank just closed up shop.  I have been looking into both Northwestern Mutual & Ed Jones but can not decide which way to go.  Ed Jones is offering to start me in the goodnight program w/ a 5mill $ book to start with.  Ed Jones pays a small salary to start as well as all start up cost.  NWM I have to start from scratch calling on friends & family.  Whom I must get referrals from.  NWM I pay for all expenses but commissions are higher.  I am not sure if the commissions after expenses & business taxes are high enough to take the risk @ NWM.   Greatly appreciate any feedback    

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

ColdCall wrote:I am from the mortgage industry & my bank just closed up shop.  I have been looking into both Northwestern Mutual & Ed Jones but can not decide which way to go.  Ed Jones is offering to start me in the goodnight program w/ a 5mill $ book to start with.  Ed Jones pays a small salary to start as well as all start up cost.  NWM I have to start from scratch calling on friends & family.  Whom I must get referrals from.  NWM I pay for all expenses but commissions are higher.  I am not sure if the commissions after expenses & business taxes are high enough to take the risk @ NWM.   Greatly appreciate any feedback    
 
Your choice will probably depend on a few other factors as well...
 
-What is your current economic situation?  Can you go 2 months or 2 years without earning any substantial money?  longer? shorter?
 
-Are you married?  Does your wife work?  Have kids?  Mortgage?  Rent?
 
-Look at both systems, which one do you think suits you better?  Will a $5 million book make you complacent?  Are you capable of self-motivating yourself at a feverish level for 2 or 3 years, regardless of how big/small your book is and/or what your salary is?
 
I've never worked for either firm, but I know lots of people say Jones is a great place to start.  I also remember back to my undergrad days, and several of my friends were looking at NWM as well. 
 
Probably not the most helpful post for you, but I'm sure others will chime in, and perhaps some of them have experience with one or both companies...

ColdCall's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-24

I am married w/ a 16 LB dog.  My wife is a admin for Well Fargo & to keep the lights on we need about an additional $1000 per/month.  But, working @ NMFN I will need much more to get my business off the ground for Gas, Meals, support staff, ect...  Working hard is not a prob I was raised working for my father in his classic butcher shop.  Est. 1902 - Present   Anyone need a good side of beef?

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Coldcall,  are you just looking at those companies or have you looked at a lot of places and those are your final two places?

josephjones107's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-20

Go with Edward Jones, not much of a choice here

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Josephjones,
 
Why do you say that? 

ColdCall's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-24

I was reading Fortune Mag & found NMFN as America's most admired co for the past 20+ yrs.  Fortune also had Ed Jones as the top 4 co to work for across all industries & the best company to sell for.  After I read this I started to look deeper into both of these comapnies. 

footsoldier's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-30

Stay away from any insurance organization at least in the beginning. You need to learn alot in a relative short period to be effective,  and probably no better place than Jones. Recognize that you will probably leave in 3-7 years (it took me almost 10), but at least you will have a better foundation on how to run a business before you get into it. One caveat... build a recurring revenue based model. Edward Jones will tell you that A shares are the way to go, and you will eat from time to time on A shares, but long term it will be detrimental to the objective of recurring revenue.
 
Building a 12b-1 recurring model has pitfalls. Try to include the separate account management program they have. Use C shares in funds and annuities. You get paid less upfront but again its the long term revenue stream that will sustain you down the road. And it makes you much more marketable, either to a wirehouse or independent (as I am with LPL). EDJ claim at some point they will have a wrap/fee base program. The management says soon (I have been gone 18 months and they were singing the same tune then). Spaceman Spiff is a good resource on this forum for current EDJ happenings.
 
No matter who you choose, you better have at least 2 years of living expenses set aside. It won't be easy, but if you make it, you will be rewarded for taking the risk.
 
Oh an by the way prior to Jones I started in this industry with an insurance agency in my town. I was independent for 5 years and then went to Jones for almost 10 so I have some experience with both options.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Coldcall, there's lots of positive things about both companies.   However, you are making a mistake if you don't also look at some of the top wirehouses.  Additionally, do not take a job with Northwestern Mutual without looking into the local MassMutual, Guardian, and New York Life offices.
You'll get lots of Jones bashers here.  I don't know enough about them to talk intelligently.  However, from my reading, they seem like a pretty good place to start a career, but for a lot of people, not the best fit to remain in this career.

Roadhard's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

Northwestern Mutual--a lot of insurance and a fair amount of securities--mostly mutual funds.  Edward Jones--a lot of securities and a some insurance... Just getting started Jones is a good place to go...However, I see a lot of turnover on new people at both places!
 
Iceco1d hit the major decision questions on the head.
 
You said you only need about $1,000 more a month--that will get you nowhere!  You need to put the maximum in a 401k for you and your wife, you have to fund your future children, and you need to enjoy life--it is real short!  If you aren't ready and dedicated to make six figures and more--please don't enter this business.  I do wish you and your family the best of luck at whatever you decide to do!

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Stay away from any insurance organization at least in the beginning.

 
How about an explanation? 

ColdCall's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-24

Roadhard,  I am in it to be at the top whichever way I go.  I'm a college athlete & only go at things full force.   I was just replying to iceco1d's comments about my situation.  My situation income to debt is that I need an additional $ 1K on top of my wife's salary to keep my lights on.  Which, in my opinion is not a problem.  I keep hearing form others that I will not have an income for 2-4 months to start my business.  I have enough in saving to get us through that start up period.  I am excited about this & want to make the correct decision.  Thanks for everyones info keep it coming PLEASE! 

theironhorse's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-03

I have worked at both.  At Jones you will be an asset gatherer initially, and not much else.  There is nothing wrong with that.  At NML you will be told to handle yourself as a planner and try to sell life insurance.  As Anonymous has pointed out before, commissions are much higher on insurance products at NML.  You can survive there with 1-2 good cases per month initially.  Depending on your office environment, it will be tougher to do investments at NML, not impossible, but harder  No matter how hard they try not to be portrayed this way, they are an insurance company, that is their bottom line.  NML will make you do a full blown interview with a client and try to sell them a "plan," based around insurance of course, but also including disability and long term care.  Jones will be more of a selling situation.  You will be doing lots of selling product on the phone at Jones-little to none of this at NML.  If you want your business model to be 90% investments, Jones is where to go (between those 2) and if you want to be more broad based, NML 9between those 2).  Both places, from the top down, think their sheet don't stink. 

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

The advice you have been getting about Jones was correct in the past.  However, there are some new things that are going on at Jones and coming up very soon that will make that advice obsolete.  Especially the bit about recurring revenue.  By the time you apply, get hired, study, and get trained, it will be a completely different story about your experience starting with Jones than a guy who started with Jones 10, heck, 2 years ago.   
 
A Goodknight plan is a great benefit.  Instead of having to buy everything, you're going to be sharing expenses with a Vet.  Not to mention his experiences and knowledge.  To me that's the deciding difference.  To work with a Veteran FA for a year or more before really striking out on your own can be invaluable.  A $5 million book won't feed your family long term, but it's better than starting from scratch.  
 
The compensation package is going to put well more than $1000 in your pocket each month at Jones.  If you haven't seen it, ask the guy who is offering to GKN with you to talk about it.  It's really nice. 
 
Which ever way you choose, work hard and you'll make the money you need to make.   
 
   

vbrainy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-26

Some facts. $ 5 million is nothing.  Those are dead A shares paying 25 basis points or $12,500 in revenue of which you will get maybe a 40% payout.
At any company you will call friends and family.

ColdCall's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-24

Spaceman, what is going to change @ EJ? Can I find this info on the web?

theironhorse's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-03

I left Jones <12 months ago.  Things are changing, but how fast one never knows.  They are trying to add fee based, so higher recurring revenue is possible.  I also think they are implementing software (which they thought was cutting edge and new to the industry) that the insurance companies have had for years which allows you to actually do a financial plan for clients.
And a $5 million GK is pretty much nothing.  Correct me if I am wrong Spiff, but it is not a true GK like they use to be.  It is a smaller version which reps with say, $25-$30 million does to score some points and get rid of some deadweight.  A GK is not a bad thing, but don't expect them to be A or B clients.  It will provide some base for opportunity, but at $5 million, I would virtually write it off and anything which comes from it should be considered gravy.
Both of those firms are good at what they do, but they are greatly different cultures and their product FOCUS is vastly different.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

You are correct about the $5 mil GKN.  If I've got $40 mil now and I'm looking to score some points with the LP powers that be, I'm going to do a GKN2 for $5 mil.  It's not enough to really do much with, but it's better than new/new.  Those clients certainly won't be green ones.  I think the good part about a GKN like that is the time with the Vet FA. 

compliancejerk's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-03

ColdCall wrote:I am from the mortgage industry & my bank just closed up shop.  I have been looking into both Northwestern Mutual & Ed Jones but can not decide which way to go. 
 
okay why only these two outfits?
nothing else in your neck of the woods?
what about a competing bank, do they have a securities division?
 
if choice is ONLY between Northwestern & EJ then go with EJ.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

ColdCall wrote:
Spaceman, what is going to change @ EJ? Can I find this info on the web?
 
Not on the web, unless you can find the info here.  The big change that is supposed to be coming in the next few months is a fee based platform for the masses.  We have a program now for people with more than $500K to invest, but nothing for the guy with a $100K rollover.  The new platform is supposed to be launched early summer.  That's about all we know about it right now. 
 
I tell you that only because one of the comments made was in reference to using C shares instead of A shares.  The purpose of that comment was to enable you to start creating a fee based business instead of a transactional business, which would include A shares.  So, by the time you get through with studying and training, the new platform should be up and running.  If you utilize it, you could build your practice much differently that those of us who started before you. 

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

f choice is ONLY between Northwestern & EJ then go with EJ.

 
Again, how about an explanation.  Why?

BigRed's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-15

I don't know why this forum has so much focus on NMFN and Jones. In searching for a position in this business, I would think that a wirehouse would be more attractive in many positions as there is a salary for a while. If I were you I would look at other insurance firms like MAss Mutual, NY Life, and Guardian as well as Smith Barney, Merrill, UBS, Morgan Stanley, etc.

compliancejerk's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-03

BigRed wrote:I don't know why this forum has so much focus on NMFN and Jones. In searching for a position in this business, I would think that a wirehouse would be more attractive in many positions as there is a salary for a while. If I were you I would look at other insurance firms like MAss Mutual, NY Life, and Guardian as well as Smith Barney, Merrill, UBS, Morgan Stanley, etc.
 
perhaps if you read my ENTIRE post first and then await a response you'd find out why only Northwestrn and EJ were being considered. If they are the only "game in town" then the decision is simple.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
schmuck

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

Go to law school.

Ryeman's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-04

Guys I have been going through lot of the same issues as the original poster. I have been on a ton of interviews  and have final interviews where an offer will be made by Jones, Metlife, and JP Morgan Chase. I have had great interviews at all and I did like the cultures at all of them.
 Jones' study program is the best from what I have heard and read and they pay you a bit while you study as well as pay a starting salary during the first 12 months after you graduate. It has been mentioned to me that a possible GK program with a very successful guy in San Diego is most likely as the advisor really liked me during our face to face interview. I really like the idea of my own office and I actually like the business model where you create your own market by door knocking. It doesn't scare me as I did door to door knife sales for 3 years.
Metlife has been pushing fee based the whole time and has not even mentioned insurance in 3 out of 4 interviews. the Managing Director met with me and he is actually the President of the  Financial Planning Board in San Diego,and The President of the College of Financial Planning in SD as well. I worked it out with Metlife so that they will pay 500 a week while I study for the tests and work for them part time 25 hours a week. Then when I am Licensed, 20 weeks of 800 a week. JP Morgan Chase was really the first firm I interviewed with and the operations manager is a friend of the family.
I can sympathize with the posters anxiety and need for the most possible advice as I still have not made my decision.  Any Help/Advice is great.... who should I go with?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

Ryeman wrote: It doesn't scare me as I did door to door knife sales for 3 years.
 
 
I wouldn't be scared if I were walking the streets with a briefcase full of knives either! 

Ryeman's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-04

Hahaha they were heavy thought. But knocking on doors carrying knives is not the easiest thing to do. Try pulling out a 12 inck chefs knife on someones doorstep and see how fast they close the door.

CRP1's picture
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Joined: 2008-02-21

Can anyone tell me what the standard Northwest Mutual compensation package is for new, not licensed trainees? 

caml37's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-31

I took the EJ route, but I did interview with NWM. 
 
At least at our local office:
 
It is all commission (no salary or anything similar) from the beginning.
If I remember the numbers right, the first year's commission is 82.5%, second year is 75%, and third and following years is 55%, or something similar to that. 
 
They didn't mention benefits in depth (probably because I wasn't far enough along to bother), but I would imagine that they probably give you insurance. ;)
 
You get follow-up payments for a number of years with each premium you get, so your first year, if you do XXXX amount, you get a portion of the client's policy's renewal cost each year. 
 
 
Sorry I couldn't help more!

theironhorse's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-03

there is no true "package."  you get the higher payout as mentioned above.  you don't get any benefits for free, unless things have changed since i was there.  and the follow-up payments are simply trails, which are outlined in your agent contract.

rexy's picture
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Joined: 2008-02-22

Wow!  Such a big decision in your life.  So many good comments already. 
About 19 years ago, I was in the same position...the change in the industry since then has been incredible.  I started with the Equitable, now AXA Advisors and stayed with them for 15 years and now at Commonwealth for 4 years.  I think that I have had the wonderful opportunity to see the best of both worlds.  AXA, in my opinon, is the best insurance owned broker dealer in the business.  Their training is fantastic.  Salary or bons commissions to start and get you over the hump.  They provide assistance in most areas of your business life.  The downside....they produce financial products...that means they expect/demand you to recommend/sell their products.  That equals your being biased.  Commonwealth and LPL give you the ability to be unbiased, but they expect you to be a producer, right off the bat.  I do not know EJ that well except what I hear and see.  They seem to have their own typ of bias.  Good firm, but cookie cutters.  Big downside?  Seem that the advice has been to use Ed as a training ground.  No problems right.  Maybe not so easy....advisors who leave have seemed to have a hard time in taking their clients with them. 
Bottom line....no place is perfect.  Try to find a place that you can align with them philosophically.  Try to stay there as long as you can and still be yourself.  William Shakespeare knew alot about the advisor's world...."to thyself be true."  Take your time and make a great decision.  Do not settle, just to get started.  You interview the companies, not in the reverse order.  Hard work is the key to success.  Have fun with the business.  I am 44 and love going to my business every day.

rexy's picture
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Joined: 2008-02-22

rexy wrote:Wow!  Such a big decision in your life.  So many good comments already. 
About 19 years ago, I was in the same position...the change in the industry since then has been incredible.  I started with the Equitable, now AXA Advisors and stayed with them for 15 years and now at Commonwealth for 4 years.  I think that I have had the wonderful opportunity to see the best of both worlds.  AXA, in my opinon, is the best insurance owned broker dealer in the business.  Their training is fantastic.  Salary or bonus commissions to start and get you over the hump.  They provide assistance in most areas of your business life.  The downside....they produce financial products...that means they expect/demand you to recommend/sell their products.  That equals your being biased.  Commonwealth and LPL give you the ability to be unbiased, but they expect you to be a producer, right off the bat.  I do not know EJ that well except what I hear and see.  They seem to have their own typ of bias.  Good firm, but cookie cutters.  Big downside?  Seem that the advice has been to use Ed as a training ground.  No problems right.  Maybe not so easy....advisors who leave have seemed to have a hard time in taking their clients with them. 
Bottom line....no place is perfect.  Try to find a place that you can align with them philosophically.  Try to stay there as long as you can and still be yourself.  William Shakespeare knew alot about the advisor's world...."to thyself be true."  Take your time and make a great decision.  Do not settle, just to get started.  You interview the companies, not in the reverse order.  Hard work is the key to success.  Have fun with the business.  I am 44 and love going to my business every day.

Recon Scout's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-01

rexy wrote:Wow!  Such a big decision in your life.  So many good comments already. 
About 19 years ago, I was in the same position...the change in the industry since then has been incredible.  I started with the Equitable, now AXA Advisors and stayed with them for 15 years and now at Commonwealth for 4 years.  I think that I have had the wonderful opportunity to see the best of both worlds.  AXA, in my opinon, is the best insurance owned broker dealer in the business.  Their training is fantastic.  Salary or bons commissions to start and get you over the hump.  They provide assistance in most areas of your business life.  The downside....they produce financial products...that means they expect/demand you to recommend/sell their products.  That equals your being biased.  Commonwealth and LPL give you the ability to be unbiased, but they expect you to be a producer, right off the bat.  I do not know EJ that well except what I hear and see.  They seem to have their own typ of bias.  Good firm, but cookie cutters.  Big downside?  Seem that the advice has been to use Ed as a training ground.  No problems right.  Maybe not so easy....advisors who leave have seemed to have a hard time in taking their clients with them. 
Bottom line....no place is perfect.  Try to find a place that you can align with them philosophically.  Try to stay there as long as you can and still be yourself.  William Shakespeare knew alot about the advisor's world...."to thyself be true."  Take your time and make a great decision.  Do not settle, just to get started.  You interview the companies, not in the reverse order.  Hard work is the key to success.  Have fun with the business.  I am 44 and love going to my business every day.
 

I am looking for opinions from all members knowledgeable with how AXA Advisors works.  A few members have dismissed it with passionate disdain, so I almost relegated it to the "do-not-touch" pile with Ameriprise, Primerica, and the discount brokers.  The more I researched AXA, the more evidence I found that painted a picture of AXA as a good global insurance company, but with limited brokerage services and products.  <?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
 
AXA also uses LPL as their brokerage and research arm.  How does this change their product offerings and services (especially compare to the structure when Rexy was there)? 
 
Any former or current AXA Advisors or any members with close associates at AXA Advisors that would like to comment would be warmly received and weighed.  Please Private Message me if so desired.

GoneIndy02's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-05

AXA's compliance department is way too strict.   I would dismiss them with disdain, too.  I know many of their former reps.  They left for very good reasons.   They make EDJ look like freedom.
Northwestern or EDJ??  Saddam or Stalin??  (too strong for comparison? yeah, I know)
Captive.  No freedom to be creative with either.

Eyetattoo's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-29

Edward Jones......you will get excellent training good mentoring from veteran FA's in your area.  If you don't like it after a few years you always have the option to leave and go somewhere else.  And when people bash a company try to find out how long ago they were with the company if they were with them at all......alot changes over time ;) 

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