Smith Barney Pre-employment Test

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adviseme's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-09

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for preparing for this test. I do have a finance degree but used a hp-10b through college. I hear you cannot use a calculator. Any input would be great.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

You gotta love the kids these days. Most of us dinosoars made due without calculators. Then again, we have 102 toes to count. I've heard that evolution has brought the toe count down to ten.
 
Seriously, for the math involved you probaly won't need a calculator. It's mostly decimal conversion and percentages. Additionally, it's not a math test. It's an aptitude test. SB wants to see if you've got what it takes to make it or at least give it a good try. A passing grade will be more dependent on how closely your results match what their hired experts believe those success traits to be. And here's the good news, you don't have to study for this test. Because very little of the test is based on what you know, it's all about who you are. There are no wrong answers to questions like "What would you do if you saw a snake in the road?" Only the test givers can tell you why they like one answer better than another.
 
Oh, and now to answer your question. They do not let you use a calculator.
 
Lastly, should you fail the the test? Take heart that with finance degree in hand there are many easier ways to make big money. Good luck!

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

BondGuy wrote:-Take heart that with finance degree in hand there are many easier ways to make big money. Good luck!
 
 
Really...Do you care to elaborate?

xbanker's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-21

Don't worry about this. None of the questions have any heavy math. More common are the following:
 
1. A customer makes a comment about a competitors product. Which of the following would you do?
a) Say something negative about the competitor.
b) Reinforce the positives of your own offering.
etc.
Another questions had to do with responding to an "I'll think about it" answer with options to ask for clarification, give a card and wait for call back, etc. 
 
The questions are very basic and mostly personality driven, although there was a section I got to skip since I had a 7 already. In any case, the manager (who didn't know it automatically skipped) told me that the whole thing could be passed by a trained monkey and not to worry about it. It's just a formality the higher ups make them administer. You're not going to have to do any time value of money calculations. They are measuring SALES aptitude.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

Borker Boy wrote:BondGuy wrote:-Take heart that with finance degree in hand there are many easier ways to make big money. Good luck!
 
 
Really...Do you care to elaborate?
 
Sure I'll elaborate.
 
For us to make money we need to manage the assets, or sell products to people with money. It takes about 30 seconds to figure out that selling bonds  5k at a time or finding three friends who can pool a thousand bucks for a mutual fund investment isn't going to cut it. To make it we need to find people with real money. We need seven figure accounts, that's what we go after, and, that's what we find. There is no shortage of these accounts.
 
Now here's the interesting fact. Do you know what all these people have in common? None of them, as in not one of them is in our business. They all made millions of dollars doing something else.
 
Yeah, some of them got it handed to them but most worked for it. And most of them earned it in a small business. They went went to work for someone in a small business, learned the ropes and either bought that business from their mentor or left and became a competitor.
 
Is it really easier? I'd say yes. That opinion is based not only upon knowing the stories of business owner friends but also on the fact that I've owned small businesses myself. Where this business is easier is in the capital at risk. Past that and it's tougher because of the competition, regulation, and our public image.
 
A person with a finance degree could do very well in small business.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

BondGuy wrote:
 
Sure I'll elaborate.
  Now here's the interesting fact. Do you know what all these people have in common? None of them, as in not one of them is in our business. They all made millions of dollars doing something else.
 
Yeah, some of them got it handed to them but most worked for it. And most of them earned it in a small business. They went went to work for someone in a small business, learned the ropes and either bought that business from their mentor or left and became a competitor.
 
Is it really easier? I'd say yes. That opinion is based not only upon knowing the stories of business owner friends but also on the fact that I've owned small businesses myself. Where this business is easier is in the capital at risk. Past that and it's tougher because of the competition, regulation, and our public image.
 
A person with a finance degree could do very well in small business. Hmmm....you raise some points that could be relevant in the whole indy vs wire discussion that crops up from time to time like a bad rash.Yep, there are a not insignificant number of folks in the indy world who simply couldn't make it in the big firm environment, and they eke along.  But, I've also come to meet more folks in the indy world who are truly wealthy than I ever met in over a decade in the wirehouse firms.  Maybe because they have chosen to put their capital at risk, done the hard work to build their own brand(instead of WachEdMerillBarneyGroup's), and they own their businesses lock stock and barrel.They decide whether or not to hire a marketing VP, an extra assistant(probably a better expenditure) or put the money in their pockets.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

joedabrkr wrote: BondGuy wrote:
 
Sure I'll elaborate.
 
Now here's the interesting fact. Do you know what all these people have in common? None of them, as in not one of them is in our business. They all made millions of dollars doing something else.
 
Yeah, some of them got it handed to them but most worked for it. And most of them earned it in a small business. They went went to work for someone in a small business, learned the ropes and either bought that business from their mentor or left and became a competitor.
 
Is it really easier? I'd say yes. That opinion is based not only upon knowing the stories of business owner friends but also on the fact that I've owned small businesses myself. Where this business is easier is in the capital at risk. Past that and it's tougher because of the competition, regulation, and our public image.
 
A person with a finance degree could do very well in small business.
Hmmm....you raise some points that could be relevant in the whole indy vs wire discussion that crops up from time to time like a bad rash.Yep, there are a not insignificant number of folks in the indy world who simply couldn't make it in the big firm environment, and they eke along.  But, I've also come to meet more folks in the indy world who are truly wealthy than I ever met in over a decade in the wirehouse firms.  Maybe because they have chosen to put their capital at risk, done the hard work to build their own brand(instead of WachEdMerillBarneyGroup's), and they own their businesses lock stock and barrel.They decide whether or not to hire a marketing VP, an extra assistant(probably a better expenditure) or put the money in their pockets.
 
I was speaking of business people outside our industry. There are millions of millionaire business people versus just a few hundred thousand advisors in our industry. And only a small percentage of advisors are truly wealthy. There are many roads to riches, obviously becoming an FA could be one of them, but survey says it's not the best path. The numbers speak for themselves.
 
However, you make an excellent point. True wealth can be built in this business by building your own business as an independent. It's no different than any other professional practice.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

BondGuy wrote:joedabrkr wrote: BondGuy wrote:
 
Sure I'll elaborate.
 
Now here's the interesting fact. Do you know what all these people have in common? None of them, as in not one of them is in our business. They all made millions of dollars doing something else.
 
Yeah, some of them got it handed to them but most worked for it. And most of them earned it in a small business. They went went to work for someone in a small business, learned the ropes and either bought that business from their mentor or left and became a competitor.
 
Is it really easier? I'd say yes. That opinion is based not only upon knowing the stories of business owner friends but also on the fact that I've owned small businesses myself. Where this business is easier is in the capital at risk. Past that and it's tougher because of the competition, regulation, and our public image.
 
A person with a finance degree could do very well in small business.
Hmmm....you raise some points that could be relevant in the whole indy vs wire discussion that crops up from time to time like a bad rash.Yep, there are a not insignificant number of folks in the indy world who simply couldn't make it in the big firm environment, and they eke along.  But, I've also come to meet more folks in the indy world who are truly wealthy than I ever met in over a decade in the wirehouse firms.  Maybe because they have chosen to put their capital at risk, done the hard work to build their own brand(instead of WachEdMerillBarneyGroup's), and they own their businesses lock stock and barrel.They decide whether or not to hire a marketing VP, an extra assistant(probably a better expenditure) or put the money in their pockets.
 
I was speaking of business people outside our industry. There are millions of millionaire business people versus just a few hundred thousand advisors in our industry. And only a small percentage of advisors are truly wealthy. There are many roads to riches, obviously becoming an FA could be one of them, but survey says it's not the best path. The numbers speak for themselves.
 
However, you make an excellent point. True wealth can be built in this business by building your own business as an independent. It's no different than any other professional practice.Unfortunately, IMHO, most advisors fail to follow their own advice when it comes to living within their means and investing regularly and in a prudent fashion.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

joedabrkr wrote: BondGuy wrote:joedabrkr wrote: BondGuy wrote:
 
Sure I'll elaborate.
 
Now here's the interesting fact. Do you know what all these people have in common? None of them, as in not one of them is in our business. They all made millions of dollars doing something else.
 
Yeah, some of them got it handed to them but most worked for it. And most of them earned it in a small business. They went went to work for someone in a small business, learned the ropes and either bought that business from their mentor or left and became a competitor.
 
Is it really easier? I'd say yes. That opinion is based not only upon knowing the stories of business owner friends but also on the fact that I've owned small businesses myself. Where this business is easier is in the capital at risk. Past that and it's tougher because of the competition, regulation, and our public image.
 
A person with a finance degree could do very well in small business.
Hmmm....you raise some points that could be relevant in the whole indy vs wire discussion that crops up from time to time like a bad rash.Yep, there are a not insignificant number of folks in the indy world who simply couldn't make it in the big firm environment, and they eke along.  But, I've also come to meet more folks in the indy world who are truly wealthy than I ever met in over a decade in the wirehouse firms.  Maybe because they have chosen to put their capital at risk, done the hard work to build their own brand(instead of WachEdMerillBarneyGroup's), and they own their businesses lock stock and barrel.They decide whether or not to hire a marketing VP, an extra assistant(probably a better expenditure) or put the money in their pockets.
 
I was speaking of business people outside our industry. There are millions of millionaire business people versus just a few hundred thousand advisors in our industry. And only a small percentage of advisors are truly wealthy. There are many roads to riches, obviously becoming an FA could be one of them, but survey says it's not the best path. The numbers speak for themselves.
 
However, you make an excellent point. True wealth can be built in this business by building your own business as an independent. It's no different than any other professional practice.Unfortunately, IMHO, most advisors fail to follow their own advice when it comes to living within their means and investing regularly and in a prudent fashion.
 
Yeah, I know one guy who has one of those 1/2 million dollar big bus motorhomes. The thing's a trailer on wheels for crying out loud! Sure, he uses it all the time, and it's no worse than buying a boat. By the way, he has one of those too. Still, that bus is a huge drain on resources. It's probably worth only a fraction of what he paid.
 
 And that's not to mention the houses, cars, and other expensive toys like planes or for that matter watches. One guy in my office buys $10 to 15K watches like they were donuts. Of course he has watches that cost many times that amount. Two others have vacation homes in warm places, resort towns. Homes? More like Pads ( a pad is an extravagant house). They are on the every other week plan. Another flys all over the world and usually spends at least two weekends a month flying off to somewhere. I gotta admit it's kinda fun listening to him and his friends try to decide where to go this weekend. South Beach or Paradise Island? How much money has he got in the bank? I don't think he cares.
 
We definately, as a group, aren't the smartest people with our money. But boy, are we ever good for the economy

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

BondGuy wrote:
 
Yeah, I know one guy who has one of those 1/2 million dollar big bus motorhomes. The thing's a trailer on wheels for crying out loud! Sure, he uses it all the time, and it's no worse than buying a boat. By the way, he has one of those too. Still, that bus is a huge drain on resources. It's probably worth only a fraction of what he paid.
 

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Just to claridy:
SB PRE-Employment process requires you to take 2 different tests. One gauges your personality - as was said before - do you have the personality needed to get out and meet people and persevere in the face of the tough road to building a business.
No need for a calculator.
 
The second test indicates your ability to pass the series 7, and on this test there is math. Its basic stuff. You can do it on a scratch pad. But YES they DO allow you to use a calculator. That is a fact.
The good news, is you cant prepare for the test. Just take it and see what happens.

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