Trouble getting skinny on Wells Fargo Financial Advisors Newbies

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crossroads's picture
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Joined: 2009-09-01

I apologize in advance for starting a new thread, but all my search terms seem to lead nowhere. Many topics are moved to Wells Fargo, but the link is not helpful. I was contacted by a recruiter for Wells Fargo Advisors for their Financial Advisor position. They claim:"The
first 18 months as a Financial Advisor are the hardest, especially when
your results don't meet your expectations. You spend those months
learning the business, establishing new work habits and determining
which business strategy works for you.
  Once
you've done that, your success begins to build. Your commissions
increase, and you'll probably find that you can accomplish more in less
time. And while prospecting will still be an important part of your
business, much of the time you used to spend cold-calling prospects will
shift to building relationships with your clients."
This sounds familiar compared to MSSB and ML, but with MSSB and ML, I have better sense of when they start firing for production. The quoted description from WFA makes it sound like you will be given time to learn and build. Can anyone shed some additional light on the WFA initiation process (years 1-3) in terms of production goals and compensation?

j20a00g's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-05

are u going in licensed already? that makes a difference... 

crossroads's picture
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Joined: 2009-09-01

Only for Life Insurance.

crossroads's picture
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Joined: 2009-09-01

j20a00g wrote:are u going in licensed already? that makes a difference... Out of curiousity, what is the difference?

carriejean4482's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-20

I am finishing up my apprentice period right now.  I was hired in Oct but already had all my licenses.  After you pass your exams, you go to St. Louis 2 different times for training, then you start a 12 week apprentice period.  You must get 12 accounts ($1,000 min) to keep your job, and 24 accounts to get paid a 50% bonus on your production during that time.  After that you have production minimums to meet or otherwise your salary starts dropping off fast.  If you meet your production minimums, you are able to keep your salary the full 2 years.  Does this help?

j20a00g's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-05

the difference is how the contract is drawn. unlicensed people must be licensed by the company so additional costs are involved as well as additional contractual commitments. (5 years, can't take your license elsewhere unless you want to repay some costs)for you going in unlicensed, you will get paid a salary to 'study'. you will need to follow their training schedule and get your series 7 and 66. the process takes about 3 months. you will also go to st. louis twice for a week at a time. upon arriving back from your 2nd trip your salary will drop to 75%. you will then also be eligible for commission (22% of gross up to $5k 50% for 5k+). you must have atleast $12k gross production by end of production month 6 to continue receiving 75% salary. if not, it drops to 50%. at end of month 12, you must be at $30k gross or your salary drops to 25%. realistically, they are putting a lot of money into you. the salary cuts against the hurdle ($5k starting and then it goes up $1k per year) will either phase you out or keep you motivated. you are technically in the training program for 5 years (at the end of year 5, your hurdle goes to $10k just like everyone elses).

j20a00g's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-05

carriejean, how many in your class are qualifying for the 24 accts?should also point out that during the apprecntice period, wfa only cares about accts (units). note the $1k minimum. there were people that i knew bragging about having 24 accts yet they only had about $40k in assets(AUM). let it be known that after apprentice is over, you are now expected to bring in $$$$. $1k in an A share paying 5.75% (of which 5% goes to your grid because of the .75% haircut) you will make about $12 ($1k x 5% = $50....$50 x 22% (payout) = $12.50)i'd far rather have 8 accts with $1million AUM than 32 accts and $50k. 

crossroads's picture
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Joined: 2009-09-01

Thanks to both of you! Those are very thorough response- much more info. than I thought I would get. At the risk of sounding truly ignorant, when I hit $30k gross, what does that equal in AUM (don't know that I understand the grid for WFA). Similarly, Carriejean noted 12 accounts at ($1k minimum)- not sure if this means $1k commissions...? I realize asking these questions is going to bring a rath of attacks, but whatever :) 

crossroads's picture
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Joined: 2009-09-01

I think j20a00g answered my question while I was writing it. Thanks! Any info on that the training/ decreasing base salary range is?

carriejean4482's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-20

We have one month to go and so far I only know of about 5 (out of 90) that have 10 accounts or more.  2 FA's have 30+ but they are both ex-Jones so to me they aren't really "new".  I expected a lot more people to already be at the 12 mark- kind of scary. I think the whole "24 accounts" is ridiculous, because like you said it is all about assets and production.  Who cares if you get 24 $1,000 accounts?  It isn't enough to make you any $$$.  WFA needs to rethink the goals for the apprentice period so they are more realistic long-term.

j20a00g's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-05

out of the 70 in my class, only i think 5 hit the 24+. if you know you aren't going to hit the 24, best thing to do is get accts open and funded and then place trades after apprentice. crossroads, you only get commission during the apprentice period IF YOU GET 24+ ACCTS. if you had 23 accts and were due $28k in commission, too bad! you get no payout!the $1k minimum is in funding (assets invested). so in essence, you can keep your job ny just getting in $12k and dividing it into 12 accts.

j20a00g's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-05

the salary range is just that...a range. they base it off of the location of your branch. there were guys getting $75k (in high cost areas) and people getting $30k (in lower cost areas). remember, they don't want to give you a killer salary because you would do the minimums to keep it. the idea is to give you a 'liveable' salary and then let YOU determine what you want to make and let you focus on building your business by not having to deliver pizzas at night.

crossroads's picture
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Joined: 2009-09-01

So, I'm a bit confused- Carriejean is talking about commission only apprentice period and J20a00g is taking about the salary range. My understanding was that I the salary would begin day one. Does this have something to with the difference between advisors who enter already licensed and those who don't? I was previously 6 & 63 licensed, but they expired. I have a full-time job outside of the industry, but I did about $100k in commissions selling insurance and annuities in my free time (2010). I do not know what category I would be placed in...

j20a00g's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-05

crossroads wrote:Thanks to both of you! Those are very thorough response- much more info. than I thought I would get. At the risk of sounding truly ignorant, when I hit $30k gross, what does that equal in AUM (don't know that I understand the grid for WFA). Similarly, Carriejean noted 12 accounts at ($1k minimum)- not sure if this means $1k commissions...? I realize asking these questions is going to bring a rath of attacks, but whatever :)   that's tough to say...for instance a $100k annuity could pay you say $6k (transaction based- all upfront with no trail) in one shot towards your grid while $100k in advisory (fee based @ 1.5%) will pay you about $1500 over the course of the year (or you can take it all at once). there are people in my office that make a nice living off of annuity sales while there are others that have a ton of residual income coming in monthly from advisory. what it boils down to is how you want to run your practice. there's a guy in my office that has $80k hit every month from fee based business. even if he doesn't bring another $1 in he makes about $38k a month (about $450k a year). not too shabby. there is another guy that makes about $200k a year that focuses only on annuities...problem is, you always have to be writing new business or you have to always take the low upfront and the bigger trail (and hope that they don't leave).

j20a00g's picture
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crossroads wrote:So, I'm a bit confused- Carriejean is talking about commission only apprentice period and J20a00g is taking about the salary range. My understanding was that I the salary would begin day one. Does this have something to with the difference between advisors who enter already licensed and those who don't? I was previously 6 & 63 licensed, but they expired. I have a full-time job outside of the industry, but I did about $100k in commissions selling insurance and annuities in my free time (2010). I do not know what category I would be placed in...you would go in unlicensed. they could care less about your series 6. you need the 7 and 66 (though if you had your 63 still active you could just take the 65). naturally, you would also need your life license which you have so you are fine there. when you say you got $100k in commissions thats great, however, payouts are a bit different when you work for a wirehouse. i have an independent insurance buddy who gets 70% of first year premium on a term policy. so if the policy is $100 a month, he gets $840 in his pocket. for that same policy, i get 70% first year premium paid to my grid. if i don't hit my minimum hurdle (say 5k) then i would only get $184.80 in my pocket (22% of the $840).

j20a00g's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-05

and yes, the salary starts day 1 and will continue 100% until after the apprentice period ends (after the primary training phase). so really you will get about 6 months of 100% salary and not be eligible for commission. as soon as you are commission eligible (after the apprentice period) your salary drops to 75%

crossroads's picture
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Joined: 2009-09-01

j20a00g- thank you! I should ask you- how do you like Wells? I really appreciate all of the detailed information you provided.

j20a00g's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-05

i really like it. i think a lot of it has to do with your mgr. my mgr supports the brokers and let's us manage our own business. i've heard of other managers that won't even pay for postage and have set hours that the brokers need to be there. really micromanaging. wells is a good name and that certainly helps when meeitng with prospects. the platofrm doesn't force us to sell one product over another. is it the best place for a seasoned advisor? maybe not though they can always go FINET (the indy channel). however, i think their training program is awesome for someone wanting to get into the biz. i also heard (that there were something like 57k applications last year for about 2k positions.) if you can get in, i'd go with it. btw, all of my information is for the PCG channel. if you are going into FINET (doubtful) or the bank side then it's COMPLETELY different.

crossroads's picture
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Joined: 2009-09-01

At first, I thought alexus was a spammer from the Phillipines. Then I realized that Alexus was an unemployed pot head. Maybe you could save us all time by restricting your posts to myspace.

newrepd's picture
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Joined: 2008-07-21

Since just about any college student can get $1K,you basically can open 12 friends and family at $1000 each just to keep your job. Once that stress is out the way you can build your business. Doesnt sound bad to me

Kletus's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-23

j20a00g wrote:the difference is how the contract is drawn. unlicensed people must be licensed by the company so additional costs are involved as well as additional contractual commitments. (5 years, can't take your license elsewhere unless you want to repay some costs)for you going in unlicensed, you will get paid a salary to 'study'. you will need to follow their training schedule and get your series 7 and 66. the process takes about 3 months. you will also go to st. louis twice for a week at a time. upon arriving back from your 2nd trip your salary will drop to 75%. you will then also be eligible for commission (22% of gross up to $5k 50% for 5k+). you must have atleast $12k gross production by end of production month 6 to continue receiving 75% salary. if not, it drops to 50%. at end of month 12, you must be at $30k gross or your salary drops to 25%. realistically, they are putting a lot of money into you. the salary cuts against the hurdle ($5k starting and then it goes up $1k per year) will either phase you out or keep you motivated. you are technically in the training program for 5 years (at the end of year 5, your hurdle goes to $10k just like everyone elses). The bolded part above is technically wrong.. but very close.   When you get back from St. Louis you enter a 12 week apprenticeship program where you receive full salary but no commisions.  You must hit 12 new $1k accounts in that period to keep your job.   If you hit 24 accounts in that period you receive a Bonus that amounts to the commissions you would have received on those accounts (calculated at full 50% grid rate).As soon as the 12 weeks is over you transition to commission and 75% salary the next day as stated in the post above.   Everything stated in the quote was correct.. .just skipped over the apprentice period.

j20a00g's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-05

Kletus wrote:j20a00g wrote:the difference is how the contract is drawn. unlicensed people must be licensed by the company so additional costs are involved as well as additional contractual commitments. (5 years, can't take your license elsewhere unless you want to repay some costs)for you going in unlicensed, you will get paid a salary to 'study'. you will need to follow their training schedule and get your series 7 and 66. the process takes about 3 months. you will also go to st. louis twice for a week at a time. upon arriving back from your 2nd trip your salary will drop to 75%. you will then also be eligible for commission (22% of gross up to $5k 50% for 5k+). you must have atleast $12k gross production by end of production month 6 to continue receiving 75% salary. if not, it drops to 50%. at end of month 12, you must be at $30k gross or your salary drops to 25%. realistically, they are putting a lot of money into you. the salary cuts against the hurdle ($5k starting and then it goes up $1k per year) will either phase you out or keep you motivated. you are technically in the training program for 5 years (at the end of year 5, your hurdle goes to $10k just like everyone elses). The bolded part above is technically wrong.. but very close.   When you get back from St. Louis you enter a 12 week apprenticeship program where you receive full salary but no commisions.  You must hit 12 new $1k accounts in that period to keep your job.   If you hit 24 accounts in that period you receive a Bonus that amounts to the commissions you would have received on those accounts (calculated at full 50% grid rate).As soon as the 12 weeks is over you transition to commission and 75% salary the next day as stated in the post above.   Everything stated in the quote was correct.. .just skipped over the apprentice period.my apologies. you are absolutely correct! day 1 after surviving your 12 week apprentice you are either phased out or your salary is slashed.this is unless you are going onto a team. then your salary is slashed upon arriving back from the 2nd trip. you do not have an apprentice period. thanks for the heads-up kletus!

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