Summary of EJ pros/cons

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acktucker's picture
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Would those of you who have been with Jones please summarize both the advantages and disadvantages of going with them? 
My impression of EJ prior to reading these threads was that they have a very good reputation, they are ranked very high in customer satisfaction as well as IR satisfaction.  These forums give me the opposite impression- it seems there are more Jones "bashers" here than anything else.
Thanks.

Philo Kvetch's picture
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Oh please, Dear Lord, not THIS again!!!!

gad12's picture
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maybe you'll get some response, but use the search function and you can find many threads discussing this topic

troll's picture
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Philo Kvetch wrote:Oh please, Dear Lord, not THIS again!!!!Is this possibly indicative of the relative mental acuity and technological aptitude of Jones' typical new IR's?

ExPropTrader's picture
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acktucker wrote:
- it seems there are more Jones "bashers" here than anything else.
Thanks.

Man, did you open a can o' worms.

FreeFromJones's picture
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acktucker,
    You are absolutely right about their ratings in the publications, but there is so much that you can't see from the outside.  There are many internal goings-on that will be painfully obvious once you are in the system.  Then you have to determine if you will continue to drink the koolaid or if you'll get tired of it and leave. I used to sing the Jones fight song, until I woke up and realized that the grass is greener once you get trained and can stand on your own two feet.

acktucker's picture
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Sorry for the worms - Joe, easy on the insults. 
Free, thanks for the insight.

troll's picture
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acktucker wrote:

Sorry for the worms - Joe, easy on the insults. 
Free, thanks for the insight.What insults?  I asked a question.  Would you like me to rephrase it with shorter words so that you can understand?

noggin's picture
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joedabrkr wrote: acktucker wrote:
Sorry for the worms - Joe, easy on the insults. 
Free, thanks for the insight.
What insults?  I asked a question.  Would you like me to rephrase it with shorter words so that you can understand?
ACKTucker- Joe is an older man so sometimes he forgets that most of society has manners outside of himself. If I can help you with your decision I will be more than happy to do so. In my estimation all brokerage companies look strangely similiar when you gross less than 250K annually. As you move beyond that level, independence becomes an attractive option to many.

Indyone's picture
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noggin wrote:ACKTucker- Joe is an older man so sometimes he forgets that most of society has manners outside of himself.
...take it easy...I think I'M older than Joe!!!

troll's picture
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Indyone wrote:noggin wrote:ACKTucker- Joe is an older man so sometimes he forgets that most of society has manners outside of himself.
...take it easy...I think I'M older than Joe!!!Usually most of us "older men" have some culture and pretty good manners.  I don't know why Noggin felt it necessary to go there.....

Indyone's picture
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One other thing we have is a thicker hide...

noggin's picture
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joedabrkr wrote: Indyone wrote:
noggin wrote:ACKTucker- Joe is an older man so sometimes he forgets that most of society has manners outside of himself.
...take it easy...I think I'M older than Joe!!!
Usually most of us "older men" have some culture and pretty good manners.  I don't know why Noggin felt it necessary to go there.....
Joe- I meant no offense but sometimes you do tee off on a reasonable question, usually when they are asked by a newbie to the forum. I have never questioned your insight or Indyone's for that matter but there is a lot of value in this forum, and I know that I have profited from the insight of the posters on more than one occasion.

illinoisrep's picture
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I have always wondered why there is a big disconnect between the
glowing reports of the brokers who work for EJ and the ones who used
to?  Any comments?

troll's picture
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noggin wrote:joedabrkr wrote: Indyone wrote:
noggin wrote:ACKTucker- Joe is an older man so sometimes he forgets that most of society has manners outside of himself.
...take it easy...I think I'M older than Joe!!!
Usually most of us "older men" have some culture and pretty good manners.  I don't know why Noggin felt it necessary to go there.....
Joe- I meant no offense but sometimes you do tee off on a reasonable question, usually when they are asked by a newbie to the forum. I have never questioned your insight or Indyone's for that matter but there is a lot of value in this forum, and I know that I have profited from the insight of the posters on more than one occasion.Point made and taken to heart.Then again there is a search button up there, and sometimes it is annoying to see the same question asked over and over again when it's been beaten to death on prior threads.  This is a no-nonsense business and folks will do well by learning that.

oldguy's picture
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acktucker wrote:
Would those of you who have been with Jones please summarize both the advantages and disadvantages of going with them? 
My impression of EJ prior to reading these threads was that they have a very good reputation, they are ranked very high in customer satisfaction as well as IR satisfaction.  These forums give me the opposite impression- it seems there are more Jones "bashers" here than anything else.
Thanks.

I would not make a decision about a career by what you read in these forums. It is likely to be skewed towards negative because of the ease of access. It's a well know fact that people who have a beef will yell louder than those who are happy.
Please read these posts with a healthy bit of skepticism. Both ways.

noggin's picture
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That's some of the best advice you can get for free..... Always investigate both sides of any issue. ALWAYS!

Borker Boy's picture
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I cant' figure out why all the Jones-bashing goes on, either.
Edward Jones consistently ranks at the top of ALL surveys/polls in whatever area you want to poll folks about.
The customers rank Jones at the top, and the Jones employees rank Jones at the top. 'Nuff said.
I wish those who were just a flash in the pan at Jones would move on and discuss something else. I just can't believe that ANYONE who has left/been fired from Jones was doing well while they were there.
I don't know a single successful Jones IR who isn't thrilled with the firm and the direction in which things are headed. (However, I do know several who aren't cutting it and do nothing but run the firm down, but they won't be kept around much longer and will soon be keeping the other "has beens" on this forum company.
 
 

Cowboy93's picture
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I don't know a single successful Jones IR who isn't thrilled with the firm and
the direction in which things are headed.
---------
You need to get out more...plenty of successful have left. So obviously they
weren't "thrilled" enough. Plenty stay put, too, but the above statement is
one of the more clueless I've seen.

now_indy's picture
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Borker,
Didn't you take over a decent size office?  You're the guy that we always made fun of when the regional leader asked you to go upfront and "enlighten" the rest of us on how to be successful.  I NEVER heard one guy who took over an office contribute ANY of their success to taking over an office.  I did, however, hear people say "yeah, I took over an office. But, it was almost more trouble than it was worth."  In the future, please don't say that to the new/new guy struggling with the home office just to get into an office. 

Borker Boy's picture
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Yes, I did take over a great office.
And yes, I have stood in front of the region to "enlighten" them on how to be successful. (I was asked to speak in reference to opening new accounts, which had nothing to do with taking over existing clients.)
And, yes, taking over an office is EXTREMELY stressful, and I've seen several of my classmates who took over existing offices quit because of being overwhelmed by all that has to be juggled during the first several months.
Also, I would not have come to Jones as a new/new.  I waited until an office was open, applied and got it. Anyone who is stupid enough to fall for that scam deserves to crash and burn. Like it's been said before on this forum, those guys are hired to gather assets and then either quit or get fired so an established FA can transfer in the accounts.
(However, Jim Weddle is about to put an end to "scratch starting.")
 

ExPropTrader's picture
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Borker Boy wrote:
Yes, I did take over a great office.
And yes, I have stood in front of the region to "enlighten" them on how to be successful. (I was asked to speak in reference to opening new accounts, which had nothing to do with taking over existing clients.) and I'm sure you told everyone that most of your accounts were given to you, right?
And, yes, taking over an office is EXTREMELY stressful, and I've seen several of my classmates who took over existing offices quit because of being overwhelmed by all that has to be juggled during the first several months.  and building a book from the ground-up is NOT stressful?
Also, I would not have come to Jones as a new/new.  I waited until an office was open, at least that was smart of you applied and got it. Anyone who is stupid enough to fall for that scam deserves to crash and burn. very nice thing to say about your coworkers and your company, you may need a refill on your kool-aid
Like it's been said before on this forum, those guys are hired to gather assets and then either quit or get fired so an established FA can transfer in the accounts.  
(However, Jim Weddle is about to put an end to "scratch starting.")
 

 

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Borker Boy wrote:Yes, I did take over a great office.
And yes, I have stood in front of the region to "enlighten" them on how to be successful. (I was asked to speak in reference to opening new accounts, which had nothing to do with taking over existing clients.)
I would have tuned you out as soon as you confessed to line one.  I don't think there's much to learn from someone who "t(ook) over a great office." and is living off someone else's propecting efforts.  You're entitled to make a living, but honestly, I can't imagine you having much in the way of quality advice for your EDJ peers, so why waste your breath when you have to know that most of your audience detests you for the preferential treatment you received?
...and don't give us that sanctimonious crap about teaching others how to open new accounts.  Anyone in this business for any time at all knows that it's a hell of a lot easier to open new accounts from an established office with a warm client (referral) base.  You are the poster boy for why EDJ reps end up going independent.

Bukowski's picture
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Under the "Geographic Regions" thread Indyone wrote:<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
"...and to answer your question, I'm not sure if I EVER cold-called someone.  I've stopped in and visited a few business owners, but in general, I've been blessed (and consider myself lucky) to work from a referral-based angle pretty much from day one.  When I moved to the retail side of the business, I'd been a trust dept. investment manager for about nine years, so my rookie status was atypical.  Thus, bank employees were probably more comfortable sending referrals and helping me grow my business.  I also come from a local family with a good reputation and I think that's also been good for my business."
Kind of sounds like you received some "preferential treatment" of your own.  Why do you deserve respect and Borker Boy does not?  I genuinely want to know because I too "come from a local family with a good reputation" and they want to help me get into the business while I prefer the school of hard knocks.  So, do you suggest I begin the hard way or take whatever advantage I can to make it in this tough business?  Would you "detest" me if I took the help from my family? 

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Indyone wrote:Borker Boy wrote:Yes, I did take over a great office.
And yes, I have stood in front of the region to "enlighten" them on how to be successful. (I was asked to speak in reference to opening new accounts, which had nothing to do with taking over existing clients.)
I would have tuned you out as soon as you confessed to line one.  I don't think there's much to learn from someone who "t(ook) over a great office." and is living off someone else's propecting efforts.  You're entitled to make a living, but honestly, I can't imagine you having much in the way of quality advice for your EDJ peers, so why waste your breath when you have to know that most of your audience detests you for the preferential treatment you received?
...and don't give us that sanctimonious crap about teaching others how to open new accounts.  Anyone in this business for any time at all knows that it's a hell of a lot easier to open new accounts from an established office with a warm client (referral) base.  You are the poster boy for why EDJ reps end up going independent.

I totally agree.  Don't get me wrong, I have a few friends who took over very nice offices who are great guys, and I'm 99% sure they would have done great as new/new IRs.  Even though they took over an office, I have a large amount of respect for them. However, it took some time to figure that out (1 to 2 years at least).
Our RL would have some new IRs up at month six expounding on some factor of the business as if they were 10 year vets.  My favorite was a guy who our RL loved. He took over a fairly large office ($40M+) and was posting some big numbers almost immediately.  He was held up as the poster boy for our region.  After about a year, he left to go to Merrill.  It turns out he was raping the book, and just moving clients' money around to generate commission.    Our RL never mentioned his name again.

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Bukowski wrote:
Kind of sounds like you received some "preferential treatment" of your own.  Why do you deserve respect and Borker Boy does not?  I genuinely want to know because I too "come from a local family with a good reputation" and they want to help me get into the business while I prefer the school of hard knocks.  So, do you suggest I begin the hard way or take whatever advantage I can to make it in this tough business?  Would you "detest" me if I took the help from my family? 

Take any advantage you can, otherwise you might just find yourself proud enough to be out of the business before you get enough momentum to make it (yes even if you work hard).  Getting help from others is called networking and its how most successful people became that way.  Just don't stand on a soapbox and tell everyone else who may not have your advantages how great you are.   

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I'm not asking for any respect.  I'll tell you my history and give you my opinion...what you think about it is your call, much the same as my personal opinion is mine.  I'll admit my mood was pretty black last night, but at the same time, I'll tell you that I've heard this complaint many times from ex-jonesies.  For awhile, I just wrote it off as the rantings of folks who were understandably sour because of whatever reason they left.  Then we get a live example of someone who inherited an office, and had a relatively easy road, and is held up as someone to emulate.  That's where the problem begins and why I empathize with those who are frustrated by such misrepresentations.  I don't begrudge Borker the right to making a living or being handed an office, what I don't respect is folks such as this being held up as role models, when many of them appear to possess no special abilities, despite representations to the contrary.
I don't think I received much in the way of preferential treatment except having the good fortune to be born into a family that is respected for their honesty, work ethic, and fair treatment of others.  I still had to graduate college, pass the CPA and CFP exams, and spend several years behind the scenes investing trust fund money and learning the business.  So to a degree, I put in my time to give myself a much better starting position when I finally went retail eleven years after I was out of college.  Other than family reputation (which is mostly beyond our control), there isn't anything in my history that someone else cannot duplicate if you don't mind being in your mid 30's when you really start seeing a fairly good level of success.  Certainly someone who is more skilled at prospecting and likes it may experience success more quickly.  My point is that for those who don't, success in this industry is still possible, although it may come much more slowly.
As far as your situation, I think going the hard knocks route is admirable, but at the same time may make your road unnecessarily more difficult.  If you come from a family that has a reputation for honesty, hard work, etc., there's nothing wrong with being proud of your roots as long as you aren't misrepresenting yourself and pretending to be something you're not.
I hope that's helpful and yes, my mood is better today...

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Indyone wrote:
........  Then we get a live example of someone who inherited an office, and had a relatively easy road, and is held up as someone to emulate. 

I think that is what really makes alot of people angry, the company line would be "Borker started only 6 months ago and now has a multi-million dollar book."
They omit the fact that he was given the majority of it, it's just deceptive, misleading, and not a very ethical thing for "the most ethical" company.
 

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I don't think anyone should have to apologize for being from a wealthy/connected family, taking over an office, being given a book, whatever.  To a GREAT degree, the individual still has to do it for themselves; that is, develop their business over time.  Yes, if someone handed me $40mm, I should be able to clear 6-figures without too much effort.  But that will die rather quickly (or slowly) if I suck, or just squeeze as much commission out of "my clients" as possible.
On the other hand, you are right, Jones makes a mistake on holding these people up on pedistals.  The problem is, I think the recognition piece is a big part of Jones culture (dating back to when everyone started from scratch), and since so many people do NOT start from scratch anymore, it is impossible to know what "you" did, and what the guy before you "did" (for you).  I think eventually the big award thing has to subside, as it no longer makes much sense.  I will give you a perfect example:
A guy I am good friends with got all kinds of awards at the last regional; prospecting award, some blazer award, Jack someone award, all these milestone awards, you name it.  Well, he was a producing transfer from AGE.  All his "new accounts" were just accounts he moved over.  Not that it's anything to be ashamed of, but the guy opened like 250 "new accounts" in less than a year.  He hit all those "Jonesie" milestones - 100K net, 10K net month, 250K gross year, etc. whatever.  All these in his "first year".  Well, the guy was really in like his 7th year in the biz or something.  He even admits it was a bit corny.
So, I know they are just trying to recognize achievement and "motivate" people, I am not sure it serves that purpose anymore.
But, it is admirable when I meet someone that truly started from scratch and has become successful.  It just doesn't cause me to turn my nose up at those who did not.

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You are the poster boy for why EDJ reps end up going independent.
Amen.  It was unbelievable to me that the RL would hold up some guy who just inherited an office of 30 to 40 million as some sort of a guru because he/she was pulling down big commissions, when the guy didn't know his behind from a hole in the ground.   Far from being motivating, as Broker 24 says they hope it to be,  it just causes resentment and further disillusionment in the people who were working their butts off with a new/new office.
If the lucky ducky who inherited the office got it from previous failed brokers, I thought it was like dancing on the corpse of the fallen broker.  If they got the office from a successful retiring broker, they were just stealing someone else's hard work and trying to make it as if it were their own.  Either way.....deceptive, demotivating and disingenuous.

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now_indy wrote: He took over a fairly large office ($40M+) and
was posting some big numbers almost immediately.  He was held
up as the poster boy for our region.  After about a year, he left
to go to Merrill.  It turns out he was raping the book, and just
moving clients' money around to generate commission.    Our RL never mentioned his name again.

And yet again, the lack of fee based platform shines through. We make money the old fashioned way, we churn it.

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AllREIT wrote: now_indy wrote:
He took over a fairly large office ($40M+) and was posting some big numbers almost immediately.  He was held up as the poster boy for our region.  After about a year, he left to go to Merrill.  It turns out he was raping the book, and just moving clients' money around to generate commission.    Our RL never mentioned his name again.
And yet again, the lack of fee based platform shines through. We make money the old fashioned way, we churn it.
That particular situation had less to do with whether or not Jones has a fee based model, more with the ethics of that particular broker.  My guess would be that he did some "rebalancing" in those accounts, hit some gross production numbers that resonated with a recruiter at ML, was offered a fat check and jumped. 
I don't believe for a second that inheriting a book is a Jones only phenomenon.  A buddy of mine went from Jones to UBS, formed a team and bought out a retiring broker.  Does the fact that he bought his book make him a worth any less respect?  I don't think so. 
I always hate when our RL gets up and says "when I was new I did..."  Mostly because I know he inherited a book of about $100 million 25 years ago.  It's still about $100 million.  Now the FA I know in Indiana that inherited $100 million and has turned it into $250 million in 10 years, that's a guy I want to hear from.    

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babbling looney wrote:
Far from being motivating, as Broker 24 says they hope it to be,  it just causes resentment and further disillusionment in the people who were working their butts off with a new/new office.

That's sort of what I was trying to say.  Nobody is quite as impressed anymore but these top producers, as so many of them got there the new-fashioned way.  But I don't blame them.  Any one of us would take a book that was handed to us.  I blame EDJ for trying to prop them up as gods.
However, I AM impressed by how some of them manage their office.  They do offer a lot of great ideas (though rarely "new" ideas) on how to better manage your time and resources to efficiently run a big office (not that I have to worry about that for a while).

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AllREIT wrote: now_indy wrote:
He took over a fairly large office ($40M+) and was posting some big numbers almost immediately.  He was held up as the poster boy for our region.  After about a year, he left to go to Merrill.  It turns out he was raping the book, and just moving clients' money around to generate commission.    Our RL never mentioned his name again.
And yet again, the lack of fee based platform shines through. We make money the old fashioned way, we churn it.
 
Good posts both of you.  It just comes down to how you treat people and how you want to make money.  Are there good people at Jones?  Sure.  Do they wish they had built a fee based business==YOU BEt.  Does anyone leave EDJ to go to AGE, RJ, ML, SB?  No.  But it happens the other way around all day long.

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I personally know of one Jones broker who left for Merrill, and two who left for SB within the last year.  I know of no one who went from the major wires to Jones. 
That blows your statement out of the water, Maybeeee. 

noggin's picture
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I personally know of a Merrill Lynch producer that left to come to Jones. Before you ask, he was above 500K producer.All in all, who left where to go to where means very little.

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maybeeeeeeee wrote:
Good posts both of you.  It just comes down to how you treat people and how you want to make money.  Are there good people at Jones?  Sure.  Do they wish they had built a fee based business==YOU BEt.  Does anyone leave EDJ to go to AGE, RJ, ML, SB?  No.  But it happens the other way around all day long.

 
Huh?  Did you flip flop that????  I know very few who have came to Jones from other B/Ds.  Numerous who have left EDJ for those other places?  

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I agree.  With Jones' model, there is not much incentive to move from a wirehouse to come here - minimal fee based platform, no upfront check, etc.  Usually, the people I meet that have come over fall into 2 camps; first(more common) - they weren't making it; second - they like the single broker office (didn't like wirehouse environment).  Sometimes it was the latter DUE TO the former (they hated the wirehouse because they weren't making it).
Some people are perfectly content making 125K a year and having their own office.

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I agree.  However, I have heard of people coming to Jones and getting a check.  I think that happens.

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I think it's rare for smaller producing transfers.  A recruiter told a group of us yesterday that we are working on a big producer from ML that would bring about $250 million over to us.  He might get a check, she didn't say.  BTW she said the reason he's moving is that he's tired of the pressure from his BM to sell the firm's flavor of the day and pushing him towards fee based biz that he says isn't good for his client base.  Hmm...interesting.

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Spaceman Spiff wrote:I think it's rare for smaller producing transfers.  A recruiter told a group of us yesterday that we are working on a big producer from ML that would bring about $250 million over to us.  He might get a check, she didn't say.  BTW she said the reason he's moving is that he's tired of the pressure from his BM to sell the firm's flavor of the day and pushing him towards fee based biz that he says isn't good for his client base.  Hmm...interesting.
Sounds like the stories I used to hear from my RL a few years ago when I was at Jones.  There was always some big producer from a wirehouse that was considering coming to Jones because they didn't like the pressure from the wirehouse.  Funny thing is, none of them ever came to Jones.  Kind of makes you think these classic Jones stories are nothing more than the continued brainwashing handed down from the GPs
Spiff, I have a real hard time believing that a ML vet with $250 million under management is receiving much pressure from his BM.  I also struggle with the thought of a big fish at ML not believing in fee based planning. 
Spiff, my man, you must stop believing all the BS that is fed to you by the powers to be at Jones!

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And you guys have to stop believing the BS that Jones is an evil empire and that all the GPs care about is lining their pockets.  What makes our GPs different than the management at the wirehouses that keep changing the grids, decreasing or eliminating payout for small accounts, pushing fee based?  Aren't they looking to line their pockets too?  Oh, wait.  They're not partners, they're shareholders.  Of course no decision is ever made at ML, MS, et al that would create an increase in stock price. 
Of course you independants don't have to worry about what management is doing since you don't have any.  You get to make decisions on your client's behalf that directly impact YOUR pocket.  Yeah, that's a perfect scenario. 
Whether you believe what the recruiter told us or not is irrelevant.   Maybe for that broker he didn't believe fee based was the best way to go.  Maybe he'd actually examined his book and determined that his style was buy and hold where a fee based business really doens't belong.  I really don't know.  I do believe however that for every Jones broker that has been "brainwashed" that fee based business is evil, there are three other brokers in the industry who have been brainwashed to believe if you don't do fee based you are missing the boat.  Neither is true in all cases.  That's why Jones is launching it for us. 
  

troll's picture
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Gone Indy wrote:Spaceman Spiff wrote:I think it's rare for smaller producing transfers.  A recruiter told a group of us yesterday that we are working on a big producer from ML that would bring about $250 million over to us.  He might get a check, she didn't say.  BTW she said the reason he's moving is that he's tired of the pressure from his BM to sell the firm's flavor of the day and pushing him towards fee based biz that he says isn't good for his client base.  Hmm...interesting.
Sounds like the stories I used to hear from my RL a few years ago when I was at Jones.  There was always some big producer from a wirehouse that was considering coming to Jones because they didn't like the pressure from the wirehouse.  Funny thing is, none of them ever came to Jones.  Kind of makes you think these classic Jones stories are nothing more than the continued brainwashing handed down from the GPs
Spiff, I have a real hard time believing that a ML vet with $250 million under management is receiving much pressure from his BM.  I also struggle with the thought of a big fish at ML not believing in fee based planning. 
Spiff, my man, you must stop believing all the BS that is fed to you by the powers to be at Jones!Actually on this one I find Spiffy to be somewhat credible.  Fee based biz isn't for everyone or every advisor, especially if you're big on bond biz or buy and hold.  But-Merrill likes to dish up their own brand of koolaid, especially depending upon the character of the BM.

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I have friends at other B/D's that have told me they have vets just like that
- old school, they sell product, they manage their own book, they don't
hire money managers. Sort of the "can't teach an old dog" thing. So,
there ARE some big-time producers that are purely transactional in
nature, just not as many as years past. I can't imagine taking a 60 year
old guy 30 years into the business and trying to get him to change his
book. The reason the BM DOES give him crap, is that his book would be
worth about triple what it is now if he could wrap everyone.

And Spiff, as you said, and as I have said in other forums, every decision
is a business decision. All those decisions either improve client loyalty,
improve the bottom line, or improve employee retention. At the end of
the day, it's about the owners pockets (substitute GP, partner,
shareholder, independant RIA, whatever).

largecap's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-07-14

Bottom line.....Jones is a great place to start if you have never been in the business.  However, after gaining some experience, you better be looking at other firms to build a book and establish a career.

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