Questions About Joining Edward Jones

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justincredible's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-23

I am 27 years old and am looking at making a career move into the financial advisor world.  I know of a few folks that work for Edward Jones and they seem to like it (I am aware of the hatred for EJ on this forum).  My questions mostly are around the level of security needed before accepting a position.  I understand that there is a base salary in year one.  What is the average base salary?  Is it paid out over the course of 10 weeks, 4 months, spread out over the entire year, or some other term?  Also, what is the average amount someone can expect to make in their first two years?  I would be leaving a job that is currently paying me $65k per year.  I could get by without any undo stress at $50k per year.  If I need to be 'taking home' $1300 every two weeks then how much should I plan on having in an emergency fund before starting this career?  Can I get by without one?  Is $10k enough?  Basically I want to make sure I have things in order so I don't put my family in a position that we could lose the house or something drastic if things hit a snag.  Obviously I will be going into this with expecting success, but I want to make sure I am also planning for the worst.Thanks in advance for any help.  Also, thanks in advance for all the witty comments that I am sure will follow.

SuperMan's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-18

4600 per month?  Buddy .. you better have alot more than 10k saved if you need that.

N.D.'s picture
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Joined: 2009-07-14

you mean 2600? either way this dude needs about three years worth of living expenses just to be safe

SuperMan's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-18

Yeah, my bad.  That's about 12k gross after taxes, health care, and daddy Jones takes it's 60%.Doubtful he needs three years but 12 months for sure.  He'll get a milestone or two.  If you have have 30k you better get that wife to work.

N.D.'s picture
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Joined: 2009-07-14

The three years includes the time it will take him to make it/quit/get fired locate another job and begin generating the necessary level of income while not depleting their cash reserve. So worse case scenario 3 years IMO.

justincredible's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-23

I appreciate the responses.  Lets just say $2500 per month to make the numbers easy.  That is what I would need to take home....after taxes.  Health care is already taken care of because the wife does work.  I know that Jones pays a base salary in the range of 22k-30k.  Between that base salary and any business I can generate would making enough to have $2500 left after taxes per month be realistic?  In my current job I make about $4000 per month and pay roughly $900 in taxes and $200 in a 401k.  That leaves me with roughly $2900 of take home pay.  I can live fine off of $2500 a month in take home pay.  So I guess that would be roughly $3500 before taxes.  I'm assuming that taxes are taken out equally in each job.  I'm not sure if I am taxed more heavily upfront when working in a commission based job.  What are some suggestions for the amount I should have in an emergency fund?  Currently I can come up with about $10k within a few months.  Would you suggest having more than that?  If so, how much more?    If $10k is doable then I can start this career in January.  If everyone thinks I need $30k then I am going to have to put this off for another two years.  That would be painful since I don't enjoy my current job but I need some sound advice.  I've heard the 'average' Jones rep makes $52k in year one and $58k in year two.    If this is accurate then I am confused why folks think I need $30k in savings given the amount of money I need to live on monthly.  However, you guys likely know better then I do....so I will take your suggestions seriously.

B24's picture
B24
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Joined: 2008-07-08

Just,If you even do average (assuming you make it), you should exceed your income requirements.  However, you might want to button-down your expenses, stop contributing to the 401K, and see if you two can live on a little bit less.Keep in mind, you're gonna want SOME savings.  You will need to buy some stuff for the office, pay for some marketing stuff, whatever. 

justincredible's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-23

Thanks B24,I enjoy all of your posts throughout the forum.  If you were in my shoes would you start with having the $10k?  The other option I have is to wait two years to finish my Finance degree while my current company pays for it.  I could then use that money to help build my savings to $25k-$30k.  The downside is that I would be doing something I don't like for another 2 years while pushing back the amount of time it will take to become financially successful at Edward Jones.  Expenses can be trimmed slightly.  It will be difficult though because I get a lot of perks in that department with my current job.  I get cell phones for my wife and I for unlimited everything at only $20 a month each.  We also get $40 a month off of our directv bill.  However, the biggest expense that will increase is daycare.  Since I will be switching to a more M-F 8-5 type setting we will be going from part-time daycare (since I work nights and weekends currently) to full-time daycare. 

SuperMan's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-18

I did 13k last month and took home net 2800 and have a 16k avg.  After that salary runs out it's a grind man. Then daddy jones start charging you for staplers and toilet paper - it adds up, trust me.  From what I have seen you are likely to do 13k avg. until you are at least two years in.  Some guys can't even get there then.  Try to get a goodnight and you're income requirements are much more attainable.  Good luck.

Kaner's picture
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Joined: 2010-06-17

Just - It sounds like you live w/in your means and $2500/mo is  not too difficult to hit.  As a matter of fact that is the very number I used and still use as my break-even every month.  I'm in year 4.  Everything I make over that number is gravey.  I have steadily increased 401k and HSA deferrals as my income has gone up.  And my lifestyle is geting better.  I had a $10k emergency fund when I started and it has proven to be enough.  You just have to hit it hard and stay living within your means for a couple years.  Do yourself a favor and ask about available GK plans or open offices in your region.  I know the firm has an initiative for no scratch starts, so one of these situations is likely to present itself if you ask for it.  These will greatly increase your chances of survival and success.

justincredible's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-23

This is probably a a really stupid question but how do you 'do 13k' in a month and only take home $2800?  What does that 13k represent?  Is that how much you brought in on commission?  Sorry I am not familiar with the compensation model entirely.Kaner, when you are using $2500 as your break-even point are you talking about $2500 after taxes?  If so, then your post is very encouraging.  Superman, you bring up a great point about business expenses.  That is something that I have not factored in.  How much a month should I plan on spending on business related expenses?Also, what are the hours like the first few years?  What does a typical day look like for a start and end time?  Do you guys all work Monday thru Saturday?  I know that a ton of hours need to be put in the first few years, but I'm just curious as to what that looks like. 

Kaner's picture
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Joined: 2010-06-17

Just - $13k is likely someone talking in gross production.  Your net production is is 39-40% of that.  Then you take taxes and other deductions from that number.  Yes, $2500 cleared and in my bank acct. is what I am referring to.  If I do that, the kids are fed and clothed and the house payment is made.   Everything I make above that is discretionary in my mind - to save, spend or invest as I choose.  Obviously, I have developed a dialed-down lifestyle.  I have only mortgage debt and that's it.  The cars are paid for and there are no credit cards.  Stay away from debt and you will increase your odds of making it.   Hope that helps.

B24's picture
B24
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justincredible wrote:Thanks B24,I enjoy all of your posts throughout the forum.  If you were in my shoes would you start with having the $10k?  The other option I have is to wait two years to finish my Finance degree while my current company pays for it.  I could then use that money to help build my savings to $25k-$30k.  The downside is that I would be doing something I don't like for another 2 years while pushing back the amount of time it will take to become financially successful at Edward Jones.  Expenses can be trimmed slightly.  It will be difficult though because I get a lot of perks in that department with my current job.  I get cell phones for my wife and I for unlimited everything at only $20 a month each.  We also get $40 a month off of our directv bill.  However, the biggest expense that will increase is daycare.  Since I will be switching to a more M-F 8-5 type setting we will be going from part-time daycare (since I work nights and weekends currently) to full-time daycare.  You sound like you have a pretty good deal where you are.  I assume you work for AT&T?Anyway, it's a toss-up.  This business is by no-means a no-brainer.  It is not really so much about you making enough.  It will be more about you making it, period.  Consider that it is quite possible that you could last 3-6 months and get canned for lack of production.  I have seen very good people fail out very quickly.  A couple of months early on when you don't know what you're doing, and you're done.  So think about that.  What would you do if you didn't make it?  Just something to consider.  I think on the income side you will probably be fine (but again, that's assuming you make it).

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

Typical Jones paycheck has three numbers: gross, net, and what some of us call net/net.   Basic idea is that you invest $100K into mutual funds and the client get's charged 3.5% in commissions.  You get to keep $3000, generally speaking.  That $3000 is your gross.  That's the number Jones uses to track your success or failure.  As far as your paycheck is concerned, that's where net comes in.  All of our companies keep a portion of the gross to pay for stuff like computers, buildings, secretaries, and home office employees.  At Jones it's roughly 60% that they keep.  So, you net 40%.  Kaner is right that  it is usually slightly less than that for various reasons, but 40% makes the math easier.  So, out of that $3000, you keep $1200.  Out of your net comes taxes, insurance (possibly), and some typically small stuff like the long distance part of your phone bill, office supplies, postage for stuff you mail directly from the office, or marketing literature you order from Jones.  Mine was $400 last month and that included extra postage and invitations for a seminar I did.  You can certainly control those expenses if you work at it.  That number that is left over is what we call net/net.  If  you're not paying for Jones benefits (expensive), or contributing to your 401k initially getting to $2500 a month shouldn't be a problem.  If you're the only bread winner in the family and have to pay for all of that stuff out of your one paycheck, it gets more difficult.   I started in my office with a small book and a smaller bank account than you and I've been fine.  It's certainly been tight from time to time, but overall I wouldn't have waited for another couple of years to make a move, just to pad my bank account.  I think the need to make money has been a motivating factor more than one time. 

BudFoxofML's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-16

From personal experience having just left Jones a few months ago, forget the production numbers.  All that is completely irrelevant if you do not have 1. sales experience or are introverted, 2. do not know anyone with money, 3.  are not good with being your own boss, best part is the freedom and the worst part is the freedom.  Also, if you have no knowledge of the market then I would forget the idea totally.  You can not answer questions on the market if you have no clue what is going on, but i'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you have an idea.  Going back to the money thing, you need to have a bit saved up no matter what, simply because you will not know how much you are going to make on a month to month basis, and you only get paid once a month.  Making it through the first year is crucial, the numbers are always different wherever you read them, but understand going into this, that there is at least a 75% failure rate, if not higher.If you know people that you could go to in a few months after passing the exams that would give you their money, at least 100k, and you could realistically see yourself knocking on people's doors and starting conversation, then you will probably be fine.Bottom line, if you are extroverted and have no problem asking strangers for their money, this job is for you, and though most on here won't say great things about Jones, not many of them can't say it isn't a good place to start.  

N.D.'s picture
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Joined: 2009-07-14

I am going to repeat what I said earlier.N.D. wrote:The three years includes the time it will take him to make it/quit/get fired locate another job and begin generating the necessary level of income while not depleting their cash reserve. So worse case scenario 3 years IMO.9 out of 10 will fail so unless you do not mind starting off every month wondering where you will get your house payment, I recommend 3 years cash reserve as a worse case scenario. The average FA fails because they run out of money so be prepared if you are average. If you are above average the reserve can be proportionately less but only you know your potential.

justincredible's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-23

I appreciate all the comments.  I think you are right Spiff in the fact that needing money is a great motivator.  If I had 3 years worth of living expenses just sitting in a bank account I think it would be human nature to have less motivation then if you NEEDED money.  Also, does anybody else think that N.D. is being way too cautious with the advice?  Don't get me wrong ND because I love hearing both sides, but who realistically needs 3 years worth of living expenses?  Even if I struggle drastically and have to dip into my savings every month I can't imagine earning no money every month for 3 years.  Lets say that I really suck at the job and need to dip into my savings every month because I'm $1000 short of what I need.  Well, that would make my 3 years of saved expenses last about 8 years.  So I'd say about 6 years before I am out of money I'd be fired for underperformance.  At least I'd have some money saved up, but even in a down economy I think I could land another job within 6 years.  I think I am starting to feel comfortable that $10k may be enough, but maybe I'll save up to $15k just to be safe.  Now I just need to decide if I should finish my Finance degree now while my current job will pay for it.  Let me ask you guys this:  Lets say that for whatever reason things don't work out with Edward Jones in year 2 or 3.  How difficult would it be to land another FA spot at another firm without having a bachelors degree?  If the chances are slim then it would probably be wise for me to get the degree so I have a better shot at a back-up plan if things don't work out at EJ.  Trust me, I get that I shouldn't have that attitude going in and I am completely confident in my abilities, but I also want options in case feces hits the fan.  Mostly because I have more than myself that I am supporting.  As much as I don't want to wait to get started I think it may be wise to get the degree first.  Thoughts?  Also, if I go that route than do you guys have any advice on things I can do now to help set myself up for success when I do decide to get into the business?  Books to read, things to get involved in, people to meet, tasks to complete, or anything?Once again thanks to everyone for taking time to help me work through the thought process!

B24's picture
B24
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Only stop pursuing your degree if your plan is to STAY in this industry, no matter what.  If you don't have a degree, good luck getting a finance job doing ANYTHING else other than selling.  IOW, you better be damn sure this is gonna work, because if you fail in two years, you will be broke, have no degree, and have no job prospects.

LockEDJ's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-06

While three years savings is a lot, do you honestly want to live looking at your banking account? I think some people fail to realize the psychological toll finances have on a young couple at any rate.If you haven't got a degree, I'm going to be shocked if Jones actually extends an offer ... thus making the thread moot. 

justincredible's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-23

LockEDJ,I have talked to a few folks in the region that work with Edward Jones.  There are currently 3 FA's recommending me and I have been told that it is on me at this point.  I've also been told by all three that the degree isn't going to matter given my work experience and the way I present myself.  I'm being recruited to not finish my degree.Now ultimately you may be right and an offer won't come.  That seems unlikely with the people I've spoken with.  Either way I am not going to find out until I make a decision.  The last thing I want to do is be presented an offer and turn it down only to try again in a year or two.  That would remove any chance of getting a position.I'm honestly starting to think that the smartest thing to do is to finish my degree to help hedge the risk.  I'll wait to hear back from the University to see how long that is going to take.  So let me ask you guys this:  If you could start all over knowing that you were going to become a financial advisor within two years....what would you be doing upfront knowing what you know now?  I want to put myself in the best position not only for the job offer, but ultimately to hit the ground running.  I'd love to know some resources to learn more about the products, financial advising, and the market.  What are some tools that you guys have used or are using?  I'd also love to be able to start prospecting now but realize that may be all but impossible.   Any advice?

LockEDJ's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-06

Bear in mind that Jones will give you what you need, when you need it. Trust them; you'll spin your wheels reading a bunch of junk that won't help later on. Otherwise, you might want to look into playing with some tools of the trade, like what you might find at www.ishares.com or at Vanguard. Find some free ways to do asset allocation, track some ideas you have. If you fail at Jones, an indy will pick you up. You could work for an RIA, or someone in some function. I wouldn't bother with completing the degree. If this is the right path for you, when do you suppose you should take it? It's the same thing when I tell clients they are invested in the wrong vehicles. When is the right time to change your direction on the road? After a few exits on the Thruway, or immediately when you realize you aren't going in the right direction?Good luck. If I were you, I might make sure I had more money set aside. You must - must - consider that there will be at least five months in the next two years when you actually sell absolutely nothing. With a declining salary base, those months are going to happen at the worst possible time for you - like when a tranny blows or worse. Does $10K still sound like enough? OK, then. Go for it.

SuperMan's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-18

10k is not enough.  15k is not enough.  20k is enough.Get your BS degree and see if you can enter the pass program with Jones.

justincredible's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-23

What is the pass program with Jones?Also, do you guys think another firm would still be willing to pick me up with some experience with Edward Jones but with no BS degree?  I just want to make sure I'm not pigeon holed into one company.  If things don't work at EDJ I would still want to stay with the industry.  I don't want my only option to be going back into retail management.

Madman's picture
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Joined: 2010-02-06

I was made an offer from Jones and do not have a degree.  This has been an extadionarily helpful thread for me.  I'm in a similar situation as you and have had some of these same questions, etc. and just not asked them.  Good luck to you!

LockEDJ's picture
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justincredible wrote:What is the pass program with Jones?Also, do you guys think another firm would still be willing to pick me up with some experience with Edward Jones but with no BS degree?  I just want to make sure I'm not pigeon holed into one company.  If things don't work at EDJ I would still want to stay with the industry.  I don't want my only option to be going back into retail management.Another independent firm would most definitely take you on, or perhaps an RIA, without a degree. Maybe not a major wirehouse ... but then again, they aren't about to take someone that failed at EDJ even if the guy has a Ph.D. I mean, you flunk out of Jones, you're going down the food chain a bit. 

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B24
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LockEDJ wrote:With a declining salary base, those months are going to happen at the worst possible time for you - like when a tranny blows or worse. Are you into that stuff?

N.D.'s picture
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Joined: 2009-07-14

I have no idea who you are nor what you are capable of. I am giving you worst case scenario numbers with 3 years savings. You should have 6-12 months already saved. So add a years worth because well you will not make very much over the next year and also add enough money to float you by until you can land another job which are not very easy to come by especially without a degree. Not to mention you are already asking "what if" questions when Jones cans you. I wish you the best and do future members a favor and come back late to let us know how much you wished you had looking back.If you asked "how much should someone have saved back if the join Jones and achieve all the bonus levels and follow the Jones time-line to the tee?" I would have said $0. The truth is - starting with your can-sell date, your income is limited only by YOUR abilities and YOUR drive.

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

While ND's logic sounds like it makes sense, there's no reason to have 3 years worth of savings before you start this job.  I personally think your $10,000 and the fact that your wife works will be enough as long as you actually use that $10,000 as an emergency fund for your business and not for buying a new TV.  I'd finish the degree before you move over.  Jones will do tuition reimbursement for you if you want to finish it, but I'd suggest you just get it done before making the jump so it's one less thing to worry about.  You'll have enough on your plate during the week without having to worry about going to class. 

JumpMan's picture
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Joined: 2010-06-08

At least have six months worth of savings.  My god man.. you want to be a financial advisor and don't even have a real emergency fund?

jgleeson's picture
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Hi Justin,I saw your thread about starting out in the business. You might want to have a look at this Registered Rep. piece we ran about the experiences of folks who went down that road, called "Rookie Survivors:"http://registeredrep.com/advisorland/career/finance_rookie_survivors/index.htmlGood luck with your decision,Jerry GleesonSenior EditorRegistered Rep. 

 

justincredible's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-23

Jumpman, yes I want to be a financial advisor and I don't have a real emergency fund....yet.   Actually, I had about $15k but wiped it out to pay off the wedding.  I am currently rebuilding my emergency fund.  Spiff, I agree that it would be very difficult to finish my degree while trying to grow my business with Jones.  Ultimately I would far too often have to pick between school and work.  I fear that will set me up for failure so I agree that I should finish up my degree before taking a job with EDJ.  I have a couple of other random questions for the board.  What do you use as a contact list when cold calling with Edward Jones?  Do you only call people that you have met door-to-door?  Do you only call businesses?  Are you provided with or do you purchase any lists?  The main reason I ask is because if you were to simply pick up the phone book and start dialing how do you know that you aren't calling somebody that is on a 'do not call' list?  I was just curious as to how you get around that.  Also, I have heard that EDJ only matches $500 a year to your 401k.  Is it really that low?  Do they offer employees any additional alternatives for their own retirement planning?  Just curious as to if you think there is a benefit working for Edward Jones for retirement investing beyond what is offered to our clients.  I am currently reading "The New Financial Advisor" by Tim Murray and I love it so far!  Any additional book or website recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

DeBolt's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-12

justincredible wrote:Jumpman, yes I want to be a financial advisor and I don't have a real emergency fund....yet.   Actually, I had about $15k but wiped it out to pay off the wedding.  I am currently rebuilding my emergency fund.  Spiff, I agree that it would be very difficult to finish my degree while trying to grow my business with Jones.  Ultimately I would far too often have to pick between school and work.  I fear that will set me up for failure so I agree that I should finish up my degree before taking a job with EDJ.  I have a couple of other random questions for the board.  What do you use as a contact list when cold calling with Edward Jones?  Do you only call people that you have met door-to-door?  Do you only call businesses?  Are you provided with or do you purchase any lists?  The main reason I ask is because if you were to simply pick up the phone book and start dialing how do you know that you aren't calling somebody that is on a 'do not call' list?  I was just curious as to how you get around that.  Also, I have heard that EDJ only matches $500 a year to your 401k.  Is it really that low?  Do they offer employees any additional alternatives for their own retirement planning?  Just curious as to if you think there is a benefit working for Edward Jones for retirement investing beyond what is offered to our clients.  I am currently reading "The New Financial Advisor" by Tim Murray and I love it so far!  Any additional book or website recommendations would be greatly appreciated. you can find a good list of books here... recommended-book-list  

N.D.'s picture
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Joined: 2009-07-14

justincredible wrote:Jumpman, yes I want to be a financial advisor and I don't have a real emergency fund....yet.   Actually, I had about $15k but wiped it out to pay off the wedding.  I am currently rebuilding my emergency fund.  Spiff, I agree that it would be very difficult to finish my degree while trying to grow my business with Jones.  Ultimately I would far too often have to pick between school and work.  I fear that will set me up for failure so I agree that I should finish up my degree before taking a job with EDJ.  I have a couple of other random questions for the board.  What do you use as a contact list when cold calling with Edward Jones?  Do you only call people that you have met door-to-door?  Do you only call businesses?  Are you provided with or do you purchase any lists?  The main reason I ask is because if you were to simply pick up the phone book and start dialing how do you know that you aren't calling somebody that is on a 'do not call' list?  I was just curious as to how you get around that.  Also, I have heard that EDJ only matches $500 a year to your 401k.  Is it really that low?  Do they offer employees any additional alternatives for their own retirement planning?  Just curious as to if you think there is a benefit working for Edward Jones for retirement investing beyond what is offered to our clients.  I am currently reading "The New Financial Advisor" by Tim Murray and I love it so far!  Any additional book or website recommendations would be greatly appreciated. You call/door knock everybody you can find a phone number/front door. If you call, ck the number to see if it is on the DNC list first. You can do this on the DNC website but most firms already have software to do this for you. If you door knock remember that in areas marked "no-soliciting" to just introduce yourself first no sales wink wink. Spaceman Spiff and B24 would be the best two to ask those EJ questions.

LockEDJ's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-06

B24 wrote:LockEDJ wrote:With a declining salary base, those months are going to happen at the worst possible time for you - like when a tranny blows or worse. Are you into that stuff?well played sir.

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

Justin - who to call:  Jones prefers that you doorknock first, call second.  Of course beyond the initial training period if you want to call first then doorknock, that's fine.  They really don't care where your prospects come from as long as you're bringing in new assets and new households.  If you want to buy a list, great, buy a list.  I've not had great success with buying lists, so I'm not a fan.  Lists you buy are supposed to be scrubbed against the DNC registry.    401k - no match.  That's right.  Jones doesn't match FA's contributions.  The rationale they give us is that they do profit sharing instead.  And you eventually end up with some LP.  So, in that respect, AT&T is a better place to actually save for retirement.  Of course at Jones you could be making $200K 5-6 years from now if you're lucky and catch a few breaks and I'm guessing that doesn't happen at AT&T.  It sucks that they don't match, but it shouldn't be a deal breaker. 

LockEDJ's picture
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Spaceman Spiff wrote:... Of course at Jones you could be making $200K 5-6 years from now if you're lucky and catch a few breaks and I'm guessing that doesn't happen at AT&T.  It sucks that they don't match, but it shouldn't be a deal breaker.If you're that lucky you ought to start buying lottery tickets. I'm guessing it doesn't happen all that often at Edward Jones either. What ... maybe one in a hundred?

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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True, but the potential is there.  If he stays at AT&T just for the 50% match on his 401K, he'll be leaving a lot of dollars on the table over his career. 

justincredible's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-23

No match on the 401k really sucks.  I currently get 100% match on 3% and then a 50% match on an additional 2%.  I just looked at the numbers and I'd really only be leaving roughly $2k annually that I am currently getting added to my 401k.  It isn't ideal, but I agree that it can be made up in the long run through my earning potential.  By the way, I'm with a big box retailer....not with AT&T.  I had stated that I got discounts in my current job for cell phone service and DIRECTV.  Not sure why somebody guessed AT&T since they have U-Verse but that is neither here nor there.  When I am doorknocking I would assume I would be restricted to a certain area so I'm not covering another reps area.  However, is it generally accepted to call folks that are outside of your office area or should you not even be doing that?  Anybody have any luck with using referenceusa.com from your local library?  I guess you can filter it by value of homes and by value of income.  Not exactly sure how it works but it seems like it would be useful.

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ROTFLMAO ... yeah, he'll be leaving a lot of dollars on the table over the course of his career, if he's a one in a hundred sort of guy. Sort of limits the exposure to the fact that he's probably risking $100,000 in lost income between now and the next three years in order to make that pie-in-the-sky income, doesn't it?It's amazing to me that Jones can do this with a straight face. The obfuscation of the truth belies what I believe is a good organization. Look, Mr. ATT might make that coin. Might, might might. But as a conservative Edward Jones broker, would you EVER recommend a product that would definitely LOSE $100,000 over the next three years on the POSSIBILITY - a 1-in-a-100 shot - of making signficant coin down the line?Sort of makes you a hypocrite, doesn't it????

Kaner's picture
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Joined: 2010-06-17

Just - Technically you can DK anywhere you want.  It's just more efficient closer to your office.  Find the nice neighborhoods and hit it.  Some FA's might get a little chafed by you DKing "their" neighborhoods, but my experience is the FA's who get their underwear all in a knot are ones who are not really DKing.  My advice would be to start as close to your office as possible and branch out from there.  And you can do business with anyone you choose regardless of where they live.  My only caution would be to immediately stop prospecting someone once you become aware they are already a Jones client.  That's taboo.

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

LockEDJ wrote:ROTFLMAO ... yeah, he'll be leaving a lot of dollars on the table over the course of his career, if he's a one in a hundred sort of guy. Sort of limits the exposure to the fact that he's probably risking $100,000 in lost income between now and the next three years in order to make that pie-in-the-sky income, doesn't it?It's amazing to me that Jones can do this with a straight face. The obfuscation of the truth belies what I believe is a good organization. Look, Mr. ATT might make that coin. Might, might might. But as a conservative Edward Jones broker, would you EVER recommend a product that would definitely LOSE $100,000 over the next three years on the POSSIBILITY - a 1-in-a-100 shot - of making signficant coin down the line?Sort of makes you a hypocrite, doesn't it????What are you talking about?  How do you figure that he's going to lose $100K over the next three years?  I'm not following that line of your thinking.  How is it that Jones is obfuscating the truth?  Those were numbers I pulled out of the air.  Jones will be much more conservative with what they tell him.  I do know of a few guys who have hit $200K in 5-6 years.  Are they rare?  Absolutely.  His question was about 401K match.  So, his choices are to stay where he's at bringing home $2500 a month (not sure if that's accurate or not) or he can take a chance and possibly end up making a bunch more.  My guess is that he's making $40K-ish at his big box store.  The Jones average in their recruiting info say if you're at 100% of standard through year 3 your compensation is $53,840, $58,500, and then $84,000.  My guess is that he can come close to doubling his paycheck in the next three years if he's got any sort of ability at all.  Where is it again that Jones is obfuscating the truth and that he'll be losing $100K?  And yes, if I had a client who had money to invest, but would lose a little on the front end to make a bunch on the back end, I'd take that bet all day long. 

LockEDJ's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-06

My guess was that the guy working at T is making $80K. Now, 80K anyplace else in the world is pretty good, but at T he's got an incredible health plan and that 401k punch. I'd say the combination is worth at least $15K a year over having NO HEALTHCARE and NO 401K at Jones. Placing that at $95K, he's out over $100K in a three year period.(If he's making $40K at a big box, he's not likely to be a type A, go gettem personality that would hit standards at Jones. I'm not seeing that as a reasonable possiblity)And let me repeat ... if you had a client who had a 1 in 100 chance of making money on a deal, but stood to definitely lose not a little money but $100K on the front end and you'd sell him that deal? What you are writing is LITERALLY an effort to minimize the truth and obscure the likelihood of what will happen. You're saying taking the risk out of the equation, something you'd NEVER, EVER do in the investment world. Even if the amount to be lost was $30K (not to mention lifestyle or anything else) , you'd never make that deal. I know you wouldn't Spiff, because you're a good guy and a great Joneser. 

justincredible's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-23

I actually make roughly $60-$65k a year at the big box.  So basically right in the middle of both of your estimates.  Health plan is not an issue since my wife has amazing coverage for both of us.  Really all I am losing in the 401k match is about $2k a year.  Once again, that isn't a good thing but it isn't a deal breaker.  Lock, I think you were so ready to pounce on EDJ's benefits that you didn't fully read my scenerio.  I do appreciate both sides of the argument so don't get me wrong.  Will I be leaving some money on the table in the short-term?  No doubt.  For me it is worth it because I WANT TO BE A FINANCIAL ADVISOR.  I don't want to be in retail with crappy hours and always working weekends and holidays.  I would LOVE to put in long hours when the quality and amount of my work is reflected in compensation.  In the FA world, working long hours and weekends is to YOUR benefit.  In retail, working long hours and weekends gets you nothing additional in return (I'm on salary).  Also, I have zero passion for what I currently do.  I just happened to start as a seasonal employee 4 years back and quickly worked my way up by taking pride in my work.  Lately I've done a lot of thinking about what I want to do for a living because I have always viewed my current job as a stop-gap.  I always thought I'd just come up with a great idea some day and start my own business.  Recently it has become very clear to me that I have passion for two primary things:  Sports and Personal Finance.  The bottom line is, even if being a financial advisor only paid $65k a year I would still want to do it.  Granted, I've never actually been a FA before so it may be hard to believe that I know this is what I want to do with my life.  I know that I am INCREDIBLY interested and am taking the steps to make it become a reality.  Maybe some don't think Jones is the right route, but everything I've heard seems to be that it is a great place to start....at the very least.

LockEDJ's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-06

JI ... congratulations. You've found the job of your dreams. Make it yours.Do keep this in mind that it's not a job you can make $65000 a year at least, not at EDJ. But it doesn't seem like that will be a problem. Good luck.

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

Lock - I'm having a difficult time following your logic in this discussion.  1) Jones does have healthcare.  It's not paid for by the firm, but there aren't many of those left in the world.  2) He could absolutely make $65K his first year at Jones.  The median W-2 income for first year FAs is $66K, according to the Jones info on our intranet.  The number I used previously was what you would make if you were ONLY at 100% of standard.  Successful FAs won't go below 100% of standard until they're 2-3 years out, if they ever do.  3) On your 1 in 100 scenario - I missed the 1 in 100 part, so you're correct, I wouldn't take that bet with my client's money.  However, we're not talking about client's money and investing.  We're talking about a guy who is determined to get somewhere, knows or at least believes he knows the odds and challenges, and is willing to trade his salaried $65K a year job for one that might not get him there the first year or two, but over the long run has the potential to double and triple that number. So, his choice is to keep working at Best Buy, we'll keep guessing until we get it right, making $65K, or take a chance to improve his life.  And not just the financial part of it.  He might actually get to sit on his couch on Sundays and watch football instead of going to work selling TVs to people who want to watch football.  I'd say take the chance.  Best Buy, or some other similar job, will be there if he can't cut it.   

LockEDJ's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-06

Some of your comments are really quite comical. Makes me wonder if you use a writer, or come up with this stuff yourself.Really? Jones offers health insurance? How many newbie reps in your area could actually afford family coverage on that mythical $5K gross a month? Yeah ... everyone using their wife's, just like my region. Saying you offer health insurance is like telling us we could advertise in the WSJ. If, of course, you have enough money.FWIW ... I'm highly skeptical of national median numbers that don't bear out regionally. For instance in my three years there likely was two or three guys altogether that hit $66K. Makes me wonder if the numbers aren't skewed to survivor bias (only those FAs that completed a year?) or fail to take into account larger standard deviations/regional bias (making $66K on Long Island/Boston/SF is veritably failing). You might want to check out the unemployment lines, Spiff. I don't think much of America shares your opinion that "some other similar job, will be there if he can't cut it". That's almost laughable and understandable coming from the perspective of someone that makes $130000 to $150000 a year. "We're not talking about a client's money and investing" ... no Spiff, you're talking about something much, much more valuable and you should honestly approach it with more respect and take even less risk with it. You're talking about his complete life, his livelihood - potentially his marriage and his home. This isn't some glory, reach for the gold crap. This is real life America, today. He fails and he's very likely screwed for a long, long time.This particular guy, yeah, he sounds like me and maybe he gets a little luck and makes it. I was wrong in this instance and I wish him well. But Jones (not alone, the industry does this as a whole) winds up being a hypocrite to the nth degree. This job IS an investment, it's huge, and it's rare someone takes the true care to divest the risks involved. That's my take and I'm sticking to it. I can tell you, I'll never recommend another new person to this job. I think B24 has it right in this instance.

gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

Everyone from Jones thinks the only other alternative to this job is digging ditches or being a cashier at an outlet mall.  Have a B.S. in Finance? Fully licensed? 2-3 years experience in the trenches? Go dig ditches it's your only other option.

pimpin_aint_easy's picture
Joined: 2010-09-28

damn...this guy makes $65k at best buy selling lcd's and plasmas???? wtf am i doing this for?

squash2's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-09

jgleeson wrote:Hi Justin,I saw your thread about starting out in the business. You might want to have a look at this Registered Rep. piece we ran about the experiences of folks who went down that road, called "Rookie Survivors:"http://registeredrep.com/advisorland/career/finance_rookie_survivors/index.htmlGood luck with your decision,Jerry GleesonSenior EditorRegistered Rep.   That piece is the worst reporting ever..You took an example of a guy who took over a EDJ office and got $20MM in assets..The other guy works at an office where his brother has been for 12 years.That is the worst fluff piece every..

squash2's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-09

justincredible wrote:Jumpman, yes I want to be a financial advisor and I don't have a real emergency fund....yet.   Actually, I had about $15k but wiped it out to pay off the wedding.  I am currently rebuilding my emergency fund.  Spiff, I agree that it would be very difficult to finish my degree while trying to grow my business with Jones.  Ultimately I would far too often have to pick between school and work.  I fear that will set me up for failure so I agree that I should finish up my degree before taking a job with EDJ.  I have a couple of other random questions for the board.  What do you use as a contact list when cold calling with Edward Jones?  Do you only call people that you have met door-to-door?  Do you only call businesses?  Are you provided with or do you purchase any lists?  The main reason I ask is because if you were to simply pick up the phone book and start dialing how do you know that you aren't calling somebody that is on a 'do not call' list?  I was just curious as to how you get around that.  Also, I have heard that EDJ only matches $500 a year to your 401k.  Is it really that low?  Do they offer employees any additional alternatives for their own retirement planning?  Just curious as to if you think there is a benefit working for Edward Jones for retirement investing beyond what is offered to our clients.  I am currently reading "The New Financial Advisor" by Tim Murray WTF?? TIM... you read like a 1st grader..NICK MURRAY... pay better attention..and I love it so far!  Any additional book or website recommendations would be greatly appreciated.Whenever a future jones recruit comes on here I get embarassed that I ever worked at EDJ... They hire anyone now.. barely of step above PFS..

gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

squash2 wrote:jgleeson wrote:Hi Justin,I saw your thread about starting out in the business. You might want to have a look at this Registered Rep. piece we ran about the experiences of folks who went down that road, called "Rookie Survivors:"http://registeredrep.com/advisorland/career/finance_rookie_survivors/index.htmlGood luck with your decision,Jerry GleesonSenior EditorRegistered Rep.   That piece is the worst reporting ever..You took an example of a guy who took over a EDJ office and got $20MM in assets..The other guy works at an office where his brother has been for 12 years.That is the worst fluff piece every.. It is horrible. "Gerstenschlager says his military background certainly helps open doors in this part of the country, but he attributes much of his success to an unrelenting work ethic: His only regret during the market's worst days from November through March — not working more Saturdays." $40mm AUM in 2 years. The most ironic part is: "...more than ever people are looking for someone to be straight with them." Like not disclosing how the AUM was handed to you.  Makes my head hurt

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