Trying to get in the industry, need suggestions and advice.

19 replies [Last post]
cpimen's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-11-23

I've been trying to get in the business for quite some time now. I had the opportunity back in 2008, but wasn't the right time. I have 8 years of sales experience 5 in lending and 3 in banking. Im currently a personal banker at the "now 2nd largest financial institution". The only reason I came on board was to eventually become a FA at ML. Reality is that I cant get an interview ANYWHERE. I've applied numerous times at ML and was even invited to take their FIAT and passed even attend their career events. My resume has been seen by the RD, which he said was impressive. Nothing has progressed from it though. In the past I tried MSSB and was called 3 months later and was interviewed by the Branch manager.  Was also invited to take the online assesments, however I had a computer issue and didnt finish therefore didnt pass. I was told I could retake in 6 months, but cant even get called for an interview. I've tried everywhere ML,MSSB,Raymond James, Wells Fargo, Ameriprise, HSBC,UBS the only place I got called was from EJ, but I cancelled the process. It feels like my resume has a "throw away, do not call" on it. I even interviewed for a Client Associate position at ML and was told by the FA that I was OVER QUALIFIED that I should look at the trainee program. Any suggestions from anyone out there who are in the business or anyone who is going through the process.

Hacksaw's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-03-27

Show up in the office asking to meet with the branch manager. Find out his name beforehand and ask for him. Tell the receptionist that he is not expecting you but you would like 10 minutes of his time because you know he is busy. If he can't meet with you then, ask when he can (get day and time). Leave your number for him to call should anything come up. Show up for that meeting 5 minutes early.
Go in with a list of names and how much you believe you can raise in the first year (do NOT give him the list). Tell him why you want to be there (instead of transitioning over to a FA position at your current place). Let him know you plan on being a successful advisor and they are your firm of choice. He can either hire you now or wait 5+ years and have to offer you a fat check which you will likely turn down.
He will likely put you through interviews after that.
Oh and go to all the other places and do the same thing.
My only question is why not continue where you are? Build a book of $80mm off bank referals and then take a big check to leave with 1/2 your book. Unless you have a wealthy network already I really believe it is next to impossible to make it with the numbers you have to hit.

ZwingDing's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-09-15

Listen to Hacksaw.As for ML. They turned off the hiring spigot earlier this year. There is a hiring freeze for noobie PMD's.The other way to go would be an insurance company. If you want to look into that I would look at MassMutual. They will sponsor you for the 6 initially and let  you sell MF's. Stay away from New York Life or Northwestern Mutual. They are great life insurance companies but they tend to want you to stay away from securities early on.Hope you can find a way in.

KingBobby's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-10-03

cpimen wrote:I've been trying to get in the business for quite some time now. I had the opportunity back in 2008, but wasn't the right time. I have 8 years of sales experience 5 in lending and 3 in banking. Im currently a personal banker at the "now 2nd largest financial institution". The only reason I came on board was to eventually become a FA at ML. Reality is that I cant get an interview ANYWHERE. I've applied numerous times at ML and was even invited to take their FIAT and passed even attend their career events. My resume has been seen by the RD, which he said was impressive. Nothing has progressed from it though. In the past I tried MSSB and was called 3 months later and was interviewed by the Branch manager.  Was also invited to take the online assesments, however I had a computer issue and didnt finish therefore didnt pass. I was told I could retake in 6 months, but cant even get called for an interview. I've tried everywhere ML,MSSB,Raymond James, Wells Fargo, Ameriprise, HSBC,UBS the only place I got called was from EJ, but I cancelled the process. It feels like my resume has a "throw away, do not call" on it. I even interviewed for a Client Associate position at ML and was told by the FA that I was OVER QUALIFIED that I should look at the trainee program. Any suggestions from anyone out there who are in the business or anyone who is going through the process. Throw your resume in the garbage and go Independent. -King

PushForward's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-04-07

ML is infact hiring, MSSB as well. Edward Jones is always hiring.Cpimen, I'm not sure what the problem is. Your resume on paper sounds good, maybe you're just not clicking with the hiring manager?Like Hacksaw said, I think the key to any interview is confidence and showing an eagerness. I don't know about showing up unannounced and asking for an on the spot interview, that can go either way. Some managers may like it and others may be put off. I would call the branch manager and if you don't get him, ask for his voicemail. Tell them a little bit about yourself and qualifications (in 10 seconds or less) and that you would like to talk to him/her a little bit more about coming over. PM sentZwingDing wrote:Listen to Hacksaw.As for ML. They turned off the hiring spigot earlier this year. There is a hiring freeze for noobie PMD's.

ZwingDing's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-09-15

PushForward wrote:ML is infact hiring, MSSB as well. Not in my complex. There is a hiring freeze. 100% certain of that. But, my complex hired so many PMD's this year the local offices are over-staffed so it may be just my corner of the ML universe.Edward Jones is always hiring.Cpimen, I'm not sure what the problem is. Your resume on paper sounds good, maybe you're just not clicking with the hiring manager?Like Hacksaw said, I think the key to any interview is confidence and showing an eagerness. I don't know about showing up unannounced and asking for an on the spot interview, that can go either way. Some managers may like it and others may be put off. I would call the branch manager and if you don't get him, ask for his voicemail. Tell them a little bit about yourself and qualifications (in 10 seconds or less) and that you would like to talk to him/her a little bit more about coming over. PM sentZwingDing wrote:Listen to Hacksaw.As for ML. They turned off the hiring spigot earlier this year. There is a hiring freeze for noobie PMD's.

PushForward's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-04-07

It varies by complex then.ML post hirings on brokerhunter.com and MSSB uses careerbuilder.com (along others). 

cpimen's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-11-23

Thanks to everyone for all the great advice. Funny thing is that a day after I posted this I got called from MSSB. So im gonna take my time and take the assesment first, this time i'll make sure my PC doesnt crash out on me.As to one of the comments regarding staying where I'm at, I dont think it will get me in the door. However, I have built a great relationship with a network of business owners and physicians that I know have 250k some even 750k in assets. I know they invest, some of them sheltered their capital when the markets fell, now they are looking to work it again. I understand that being an FA is different than your regular sales job. I also know that anywhere they go they will find the same products. However, what they wont find is "ME". Ive built that relationship as their trusted advisor that I know I can ask them for assets if I can make a move. Im not saying they will invest with me, but I sure can be the first runner up. Also I actually was hired before by Massmutual but had an issue with the state and they took a year to issue my life/health license, I couldnt produce so I had to leave to where im at now. I know its a great company and have a good set up, im actually looking at that option if i cant get in to these wirehouses now. The reason I wont make a move into Massmutual now is because wont see income at least for 2 months and I really cant afford that.Im working on my savings that if I have to go that route I can do that by next summer. I have a question perhaps you experienced folks can answer this. I've heard from many to partner up with senior FA's, that will help out alot. I mean how does that work? Do you simply ask a Senior FA. Let me be in your team? Do you find a specialty and become very efficient at it? example specializing in wealth preservation strategies. Or do they recruit you to their teams if they see the integrity, drive, ambition and entrepreneurialism?

KingBobby's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-10-03

lulz.. why do you want to share your payout? Its bad enough to want to join a wire/firm, but to join a team or a Senior Advisor? I guess it depends on your goals. Is it a motivational issue?

Hacksaw's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-03-27

If you wanted some grey hair you just ask a senior guy to help close to get a split of the revenue (% depending upon chance of closing at that meeting, I wouldn't do more than 30% and that's only if travel is involved). They will likely do it because if/when you fail, the assets go completely to them, and they know if it's not family they will likely keep it.
I still don't get why you would move places. If you stay, you can get accounts referred. Then in 3-5 years, likely get a check to go to the wire of your choice (or go Indy and pay yourself).
If you go to a wire now, you might just get chewed up and spit out with licenses but no real assets, and no more job. The numbers are hard to hit. I would take the path of least resistance and higher success (bank for now, and then decide). You won't get paid or rewarded for "bravery".

PushForward's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-04-07

I don't think he's working as a FA now, so he's not building a book of business where he's currently at. Assuming that a personal banker is the same where Cpimen works is the same as a personal banker everywhere else, he's mainly opening up checking and savings accounts. Maybe CDs and signing paper work for loan closings.I say look for a perm team to work within. If that doesn't look possible then pair with a grey hair. An offical team may come later.Hacksaw is also correct, if/when you fail at that firm any assets gathered go to the grey hair or your team. The thing is you need a team/senior guy when you're first starting out. The name of the game early on isn't to strike it big, its just to survive and stay in the game.

cpimen's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-11-23

Thats correct Im a personal banker, Im not licensed and they dont license or plan to license personal bankers. I do deal mainly with checkings, savings, CD's, IRA's and everything PushForward mentioned. Im not building a book of business, thats why I dont find a point staying where Im at.As to joing a team or a Senior FA is not for motivational issues, I can find that. I just figured it would be easier saying to a prospective client " My partner and I have X years of experience in helping succesfull individuals like yourself  reaching your......" than saying " I just recently started in the business" and of course to use as a mentor. I like to look at things in the " glass full of water" perspective. Perhaps a Senior FA that plans to retire in 5 to 10 years, that would be a nice book of business I think.

DodgerDraftpick's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-12-24

KingBobby actually gave you a very good idea.  Look at finding a LPL or RJ office and see if they will give you a phone, desk, computer etc and a 50% payout or something.  You will have the ability to build your business at your pace and if you have relationships with Physicians etc. could be a way to differentiate from the current wirehoue relationship they already have.  Also since you have a decent amount of sales experience I don't think starting Indy will be as big a drawback.  The wires sales training is really the most valueable part of the training process.  DD  

KingBobby's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-10-03

DodgerDraftpick wrote:KingBobby actually gave you a very good idea.  Look at finding a LPL or RJ office and see if they will give you a phone, desk, computer etc and a 50% payout or something.  You will have the ability to build your business at your pace and if you have relationships with Physicians etc. could be a way to differentiate from the current wirehoue relationship they already have.  Also since you have a decent amount of sales experience I don't think starting Indy will be as big a drawback.  The wires sales training is really the most valueable part of the training process.  DD  Much higher actually. LPL pays out 90-98% on mutual funds and annuities, 76.5-91% on stocks and bondsRaymond James pays out 96%Many others will start at around 50% and quickly increase to 75-90%*(And LPL and Raymond James might possibly be a little lower than stated above for new advisors prior to hitting a production min., but still much higher than 50)

DodgerDraftpick's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-12-24

KB I was talking about him plugging into an existing office where they cover his rent, etc.  No office is going to let him get the full payout if they are paying for all the overhead.  Being that he is new he doesn't have the book or funds to start new new and open his own office.

KingBobby's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-10-03

DodgerDraftpick wrote:KB I was talking about him plugging into an existing office where they cover his rent, etc.  No office is going to let him get the full payout if they are paying for all the overhead.  Being that he is new he doesn't have the book or funds to start new new and open his own office. Or better yet, go somewhere that doesn't require you to have an office.

eighttoeight's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-12-12

I am a year into the business, and was in a very similar situation. I only had a college degree in finance, and couldnt get hired anywhere big, so I found a small independent company that will hire most anybody, and sponsored me for my licenses. I then used all of my personal contacts to build clients, get referrals, and build more clients. After proving  myself worthy in my first year, I then got calls from other firms, and will be switching to a larger, more reputable firm. If it is that hard for you, then I would highly recommend looking into something like this. The key is, to make sure they dont have a non-compete agreement, and that you can take your clients with you if you decide to leave. This will allow you to get your licenses, start working, go through the sharp learning curve, and then have some experience under your belt so that if you still want to work elsewhere it will be easier. Hope this helps.

KingBobby's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-10-03

eighttoeight wrote:I am a year into the business, and was in a very similar situation. I only had a college degree in finance, and couldnt get hired anywhere big, so I found a small independent company that will hire most anybody, and sponsored me for my licenses. I then used all of my personal contacts to build clients, get referrals, and build more clients. After proving  myself worthy in my first year, I then got calls from other firms, and will be switching to a larger, more reputable firm. If it is that hard for you, then I would highly recommend looking into something like this. The key is, to make sure they dont have a non-compete agreement, and that you can take your clients with you if you decide to leave. This will allow you to get your licenses, start working, go through the sharp learning curve, and then have some experience under your belt so that if you still want to work elsewhere it will be easier. Hope this helps. Why would you leave? The "larger more reputable firm" will probably pay you half the commission (if that) and have you prospect their way. (probably fee based etc) Do you think clients are really that impressed/concerned with the name of your firm?

cpimen's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-11-23

thanks everyone for all the great advise. I honestly havent had luck with the wirehouses ive looked into, i started looking into the options mentioned above to going indy or joining an existing RIA. I didnt know you may only just need the series 65 which doesnt require sponsorship. Im really considering that route since it fits more of my style and approach. I looked into becoming a state licensed Investment Advisor, but it may be a little tough to start my own firm  without any real book. So im looking more into joining an existing firm as an IAR and start my book that way. Any suggestions or advise on what RIA firms to look into?

Element's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-12-28

For the most part RIA firms are very local so it will depend on where you are in the country.  Grab a phone book and start calling people.  I think you'll get some meetings but you better have a plan on how you intend to build your business before you go and use someone's time.

Please or Register to post comments.

Industry Newsletters
Careers Category Sponsor Links

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×