why do advisors get paid so much?

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wanna_be_FA's picture
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how come financial advisors make so much money???
i know its not an easy job..but lets face it, it aint rocket science or some sh*t like that
i hope this doesnt piss off anyone. im just curious. and honestly money is one of the reasons why i want to become a financial advisor

Indyone's picture
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Logic should tell you that if (1)it's easy to do, and (2)it pays a lot of money, everyone will be doing it.  Since a relatively few folks are sucessfully doing it, you should be able to deduce that it's much harder than it looks from the outside.
I'm not angry with you, and it's fine for you to be curious, but I have a few observations from your first post that I hope don't offend you.  I'm telling you as a favor, since you are curious and posed the question...(1) I doubt if you have what it takes to make it in this industry.  Most fail, and the quality of your first post doesn't show much promise, to be very honest with you. (2) I expect your view of how easy it is to successfully navigate the world of investments would make it very difficult for you to find an advisor willing to work with you, should you choose later in life to seek out assistance for your own portfolio. (3) Your own portfolio, unless you are fortunate, will be doomed to mediocrity at best, since you view investment management as "not exactly rocket science".  It's not, but in some ways, it's harder, since it's not exactly science at all but rather, part art, part science.
Feel free to investigate this career choice, and feel free to take this post as motivation to prove me wrong.  Just understand that many with a view of this career similar to yours have tried...and failed.  A relative few make it work, and for those, yes, it is not only a lucrative career, it's very enjoyable and fulfilling.

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Indyone wrote:
Logic should tell you that if (1)it's easy to do, and (2)it pays a lot of money, everyone will be doing it.  Since a relatively few folks are sucessfully doing it, you should be able to deduce that it's much harder than it looks from the outside.
I'm not angry with you, and it's fine for you to be curious, but I have a few observations from your first post that I hope don't offend you.  I'm telling you as a favor, since you are curious and posed the question...(1) I doubt if you have what it takes to make it in this industry.  Most fail, and the quality of your first post doesn't show much promise, to be very honest with you. (2) I expect your view of how easy it is to successfully navigate the world of investments would make it very difficult for you to find an advisor willing to work with you, should you choose later in life to seek out assistance for your own portfolio. (3) Your own portfolio, unless you are fortunate, will be doomed to mediocrity at best, since you view investment management as "not exactly rocket science".  It's not, but in some ways, it's harder, since it's not exactly science at all but rather, part art, part science.
Feel free to investigate this career choice, and feel free to take this post as motivation to prove me wrong.  Just understand that many with a view of this career similar to yours have tried...and failed.  A relative few make it work, and for those, yes, it is not only a lucrative career, it's very enjoyable and fulfilling.

My two cents is this.
1.  I think he would fail because he's too lazy to bother to present himself in a good light.  typing in lower case letters is a sign of laziness and those who are lazy when they're in their twenties will be lazy in their thirties and forties and fifties.
2.  I think that Indy One is off base.  It isn't rocket science, it's salesmanship---pure and simple.  The financial advisor simply needs to be able to convince a prospect that they represent a lot of smart people.
The finanical advisor should not be spending any time studying the market and trying to choose investment vehicles.  They should be out there finding clients--when they do others will be doing the rocket science stuff, the market timing, the portfolio hedging and so forth.
A finanical advisor should have a few "favorite" vehicles that he keeps close to 100% of his book in.  If you're always looking at the latest performance figures you're wasting time.
Settle into a selection of vehicles and learn all you can about them.  Keep close to 100% of your book in the same investments--after all if the Smegma Growth Fund is good for Mr. Jones it has to also be good for Mr. Smith, assuming that they both should be in growth funds instead of something else.
If you do that the job really does become what can be described as "not rocket science."
The ranks of failures in this business are teeming with people who thought they were going to need their brain when all they really need is their personality and connections.

babbling looney's picture
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A finanical advisor should have a few "favorite" vehicles that he keeps close to 100% of his book in.  If you're always looking at the latest performance figures you're wasting time.
Settle into a selection of vehicles and learn all you can about them.  Keep close to 100% of your book in the same investments--after all if the Smegma Growth Fund is good for Mr. Jones it has to also be good for Mr. Smith, assuming that they both should be in growth funds instead of something else.
You must be joking.  100% of your client's investments in one fund or one strategy?  How about the concept of tailoring advice to suit each individual's particular and their changing circumstances?  Changing strategies to move with market, business cycle conditions is a vital function of a financial advisor?
I think you are confusing what and advisor does and what a product pusher does.  I consider myself and advisor and feel that it is my duty to look at the entire situation involving my client not just where to shove a few dollars.  Counseling on saving for various life goals, preservation of capital accumulated through life insurance strategies, estate issues, wealth transfer, business succession planning, tax strategies and handling the emotional and financial stresses of death and divorce among other things are all a part of being a financial advisor.
Determining whether someone should really be in growth funds and when they should get out is part of the science. We can use the support tools from the research department and other sources, but the ultimate decision on how to move assets (or not) to achieve the client's goals is up to me, the advisor.  Getting the client to actually be in the investment (closing the sale) is the art.  Prospecting and finding new clients is also the art and a little bit of science. After all we fail if we do not do any business or close sales.   But we fail even more when we inappropriately place 100% our clients into the same investment.  (Anyone remember the Putnam Funds melt down?)
However, you are right in that we do need to narrow our focus somewhat when stocking our quiver with investment choices to present.  We can vapor lock if we spend too much time trying to analyze everything.

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babbling looney wrote:
However, you are right in that we do need to narrow our focus somewhat when stocking our quiver with investment choices to present.  We can vapor lock if we spend too much time trying to analyze everything.

Vapor lock. The woman drives in the moutains.
That is all I was saying.  At no time did I intend to sugggest that all you have to know about is the Smegma Growth Fund--of course you need to know about dozens of things.
But when it comes to growth fund choices you can find yourself chasing your tail if you endless change your mind about which fund to recommend.
Suppose it's 2003 and your favorite growth fund is Ajax.  So you put Mr. Johnson into Ajax and feel very good about yourself and your advice.
Now it's 2004 and Ajax didn't have such a great 2003 after all so you're now a fan of Acme.  You know damn well that it's improper to suggest that Mr. Johnson come out of Ajax and into Acme because of sales charge issues.
I suggest you're more ethical if you put your new clients into your old fund favorite--the warning "Past performance does not indicate future results" is a two edged sword.  Last year's winner can be this year's dog--but so can last year's dog be this year's winner.
Should you ever find yourself being asked by an attorney if you maintained your faith in a certain fund family through thick and thin you can honestly answer yes.
They, the plaintiff's bar, have a field day with advisors who keep changing their mind about what they think is appropriate.  It reveals indecision as well as opens the door to the suggestion that you would switch a client from Ajax to Acme simply for the additional sales charges.
You should play this game with about 80% focus on what's best for the client--but don't ever forget that there are attorneys out there who will paint you as a fool if they can.  So keep 20% focus on how you can defend your decisiions if necessary.
Over a twenty or thirty year history the differences between most mutual funds of the same type--growth, income, balanced--will be within a few basis points of each other.
Find one or two growth funds that you like and stick with them.  It makes life so much easier when it comes to explaining what went wrong or what went right.

Indyone's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:I think that Indy One is off base.  It isn't rocket science, it's salesmanship---pure and simple.  The financial advisor simply needs to be able to convince a prospect that they represent a lot of smart people.
The finanical advisor should not be spending any time studying the market and trying to choose investment vehicles.  They should be out there finding clients--when they do others will be doing the rocket science stuff, the market timing, the portfolio hedging and so forth.
A finanical advisor should have a few "favorite" vehicles that he keeps close to 100% of his book in.  If you're always looking at the latest performance figures you're wasting time.
Settle into a selection of vehicles and learn all you can about them.  Keep close to 100% of your book in the same investments--after all if the Smegma Growth Fund is good for Mr. Jones it has to also be good for Mr. Smith, assuming that they both should be in growth funds instead of something else.
If you do that the job really does become what can be described as "not rocket science."
The ranks of failures in this business are teeming with people who thought they were going to need their brain when all they really need is their personality and connections.
You have a point, although it's more about degree and perspective than anything else.  Absolutely, this business is about sales and gaining the confidence of people controlling enough wealth to initially give an adviser critical mass, and eventually, grow a respectable book of business.  True, the truly mega-large producers probably spend little time thinking about investment strategy, but they didn't get where they are by being in the dark about investment strategy either.  I tend to be a bit more hands-on with my investment approach, which takes a bit more time and will probably preclude me from being a million dollar producer anytime in the near future.  From my perspective, it seems that many independents spend a bit less time on sales and more on investment management than their wirehouse counterparts.
It's probably driven as much by economics and personal preference as anything.  Indy platforms generate a higher payout percentage, and thus, many indies feel less need to generate higher gross commission levels to enjoy the same standard of living.  In general, and there are plenty of exceptions on both sides of the fence, I believe that wirehouse reps are more driven than indies.  They enjoy the fast-paced work environment that the wirehouses provide.  Those that don't, end up going into other more laid-back channels, or leaving the industry altogether.  Some are failures, but others simply desire a less frenetic environment.
All advisors have an internal meter that swings somewhere between "salesperson" and "advisor".  Mine is more on the advisor side, but I will grant that the most successful advisors from the standpoint of gross annual production are probably heavy on the salesperson side of the equation.  It's all about how you measure success, and my measure isn't necessarily based on gross commissions.

NASD Newbie's picture
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Indyone wrote:
You have a point, although it's more about degree and perspective than anything else.  Absolutely, this business is about sales and gaining the confidence of people controlling enough wealth to initially give an adviser critical mass, and eventually, grow a respectable book of business.  True, the truly mega-large producers probably spend little time thinking about investment strategy, but they didn't get where they are by being in the dark about investment strategy either.  I tend to be a bit more hands-on with my investment approach, which takes a bit more time and will probably preclude me from being a million dollar producer anytime in the near future.  From my perspective, it seems that many independents spend a bit less time on sales and more on investment management than their wirehouse counterparts.
It's probably driven as much by economics and personal preference as anything.  Indy platforms generate a higher payout percentage, and thus, many indies feel less need to generate higher gross commission levels to enjoy the same standard of living.  In general, and there are plenty of exceptions on both sides of the fence, I believe that wirehouse reps are more driven than indies.  They enjoy the fast-paced work environment that the wirehouses provide.  Those that don't, end up going into other more laid-back channels, or leaving the industry altogether.  Some are failures, but others simply desire a less frenetic environment.
All advisors have an internal meter that swings somewhere between "salesperson" and "advisor".  Mine is more on the advisor side, but I will grant that the most successful advisors from the standpoint of gross annual production are probably heavy on the salesperson side of the equation.  It's all about how you measure success, and my measure isn't necessarily based on gross commissions.

Of course I have a point .  So do you.
The higher payout does allow more freedom to do your own thing, and if your own thing is to want to do some reseach and end up pitching a story I am all for it.
However, we have to remember that the industry has morphed to AUM and away form transactions.  We also have to remember that the standards have been lowered--one no longer needs to be the brightest bulb in the room to get a job with Merrill, Smith Barney or the others.  As witnessed by the functional illiteracy displayed by those who come and go on this forum.
For them, the functional illiterates, the only shot they have is to put their head down, nose to the grindstone, and grind it out.  Three yards and a cloud of dust stuff--they're simply not smart enough, which means skilled enough, to pull off a Hail Mary to the end zone.

babbling looney's picture
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Should you ever find yourself being asked by an attorney if you maintained your faith in a certain fund family through thick and thin you can honestly answer yes.
You might also be asked by the same attorney why you didn't monitor the style drift of a growth and income fund that no longer represented the client's original goal of conservative G&I and had morphed into a speculative growth fund.
Find one or two growth funds that you like and stick with them.  It makes life so much easier when it comes to explaining what went wrong or what went right.
Yes and no.
INDY SAID: It's probably driven as much by economics and personal preference as anything.  Indy platforms generate a higher payout percentage, and thus, many indies feel less need to generate higher gross commission levels to enjoy the same standard of living.  In general, and there are plenty of exceptions on both sides of the fence, I believe that wirehouse reps are more driven than indies.  They enjoy the fast-paced work environment that the wirehouses provide.  Those that don't, end up going into other more laid-back channels, or leaving the industry altogether.  Some are failures, but others simply desire a less frenetic environment.
I find this to be true. Since I have a higher payout, I don't need to spin my wheels as fast and am able to spend more time with clients and in quality prospecting.  Not just hammering the phones but more time consuming (and satisfying) face to face contacts that generally have a higher closing percentage than faceless and annoying phone calls.  After all, who can refuse my charming personality and lovely face in person    

NASD Newbie's picture
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babbling looney wrote:
After all, who can refuse my charming personality and lovely face in person    

Do you think we're a bunch of fools who can't remember that it's actually the golf shirt problem?

no idea's picture
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Some people have a power tie others have a power golf shirt...

troll's picture
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wanna_be_FA wrote:how come financial advisors make so much money???
i know its not an easy job..but lets face it, it aint rocket science or some sh*t like that
i hope this doesnt piss off anyone. im just curious. and honestly money is one of the reasons why i want to become a financial advisorThose who join this industry solely or largely because of the money are the ones who are often most likely to fail.  Even more so for those who think it really isn't that hard.  It can be fairly simple, if you run your business correctly, but not easy.If it's really not 'rocket science', why don't you go ahead and get a job(if you can) and get back to us after a year in the trenches?  Post your numbers.  Put up or shut up.I look forward to hearing from you next summer. 

Ready2Jump's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-30

NASD Newbie wrote:babbling looney wrote:
However, you are right in that we do need to narrow our focus
somewhat when stocking our quiver with investment choices to
present.  We can vapor lock if we spend too much time trying to
analyze everything.

Vapor lock. The woman drives in the moutains.
That is all I was saying.  At no time did I intend to sugggest
that all you have to know about is the Smegma Growth Fund--of course
you need to know about dozens of things.
But when it comes to growth fund choices you can find yourself
chasing your tail if you endless change your mind about which fund to
recommend.
Suppose it's 2003 and your favorite growth fund is Ajax.  So
you put Mr. Johnson into Ajax and feel very good about yourself and
your advice.
Now it's 2004 and Ajax didn't have such a great 2003 after all so
you're now a fan of Acme.  You know damn well that it's improper
to suggest that Mr. Johnson come out of Ajax and into Acme because of
sales charge issues.
I suggest you're more ethical if you put your new clients into your
old fund favorite--the warning "Past performance does not indicate
future results" is a two edged sword.  Last year's winner can be
this year's dog--but so can last year's dog be this year's winner.
Should you ever find yourself being asked by an attorney if you
maintained your faith in a certain fund family through thick and thin
you can honestly answer yes.
They, the plaintiff's bar, have a field day with advisors who keep
changing their mind about what they think is appropriate.  It
reveals indecision as well as opens the door to the suggestion that you
would switch a client from Ajax to Acme simply for the additional sales
charges.
You should play this game with about 80% focus on what's best for
the client--but don't ever forget that there are attorneys out there
who will paint you as a fool if they can.  So keep 20% focus on
how you can defend your decisiions if necessary.
Over a twenty or thirty year history the differences between most
mutual funds of the same type--growth, income, balanced--will be within
a few basis points of each other.
Find one or two growth funds that you like and stick with
them.  It makes life so much easier when it comes to explaining
what went wrong or what went right.

I'm sure Newbie will agree with how dense I am... I just now realized
that you are stuck in an Edward Jones office, chained to your chair,
knuckles bruised from years of door knocking.  I should have
known...

troll's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:babbling looney wrote:
After all, who can refuse my charming personality and lovely face in person    

Do you think we're a bunch of fools who can't remember that it's actually the golf shirt problem?

And it that's not enough for you how about the fact that our BL uses automotive analogies and knows her way around a bartender’s manual...<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

NASD Newbie's picture
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mikebutler222 wrote:NASD Newbie wrote:babbling looney wrote:
After all, who can refuse my charming personality and lovely face in person    

Do you think we're a bunch of fools who can't remember that it's actually the golf shirt problem?

And it that's not enough for you how about the fact that our BL uses automotive analogies and knows her way around a bartender’s manual...<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

I'll bet she's a broad--in every positive sense of the word.

babbling looney's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:mikebutler222 wrote:NASD Newbie wrote:babbling looney wrote:
After all, who can refuse my charming personality and lovely face in person    

Do you think we're a bunch of fools who can't remember that it's actually the golf shirt problem?

And it that's not enough for you how about the fact that our BL uses automotive analogies and knows her way around a bartender’s manual...<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

I'll bet she's a broad--in every positive sense of the word.

  Thanks....I think.   Face to face is much better in contacting clients and looking them in the eyes.  Hey!  Up here....my eyes are up here.  KIDDING. 
Actually, I've been thinking that your advice to pick just a few funds and stick with them is very good for a new person in the industry.  It is easy to get overwhelmed with too many details in the beginning of our career and not focus on the goal  of creating clients and sales.
For those of us who have been in the industry for a while, the process of selecting investments and advising clients is more complex.
 

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-31

I'm starting to wonder if a BL fan club could be a lucrative venture...

NASD Newbie's picture
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Indyone wrote:I'm starting to wonder if a BL fan club could be a lucrative venture...
Not as much as a Put Trader fan club.  Did you see that thread two or three weeks ago about him.
He must be a hell of a guy.

bankrep1's picture
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Back on track:
Sales jobs are one of the highest paid positions in any field.  Brokerage has always revolved around people with money, hence the opportunity to be a person with money.
Like any field there are hurdles to reach the upper ranks.  The medical field it take's education, the insurance or brokerage world, the hurdle is time.

NASD Newbie's picture
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bankrep1 wrote:

Back on track:
Sales jobs are one of the highest paid positions in any field.  Brokerage has always revolved around people with money, hence the opportunity to be a person with money.
Like any field there are hurdles to reach the upper ranks.  The medical field it take's education, the insurance or brokerage world, the hurdle is time.

Stunning.  Here we have somebody admitting that they don't have an education, but figure that if they grow old doing this job they will automatically become successful.
Skill is irrelevant, what matters is time.
Education is irrelevant, what matters is time.
Amazing.

waterboy's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-27

Hey wanna be...If you can sell ice cream to an eskimo .COME JOIN THE RANKS.

The Judge's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-06

Good saying I once heard about the brokerage business:
"It's the hardest 40k you'll ever earn and the easiest 200k you'll ever make."

bankrep1's picture
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NASD Newbie wrote:bankrep1 wrote:

Back on track:
Sales jobs are one of the highest paid positions in any field.  Brokerage has always revolved around people with money, hence the opportunity to be a person with money.
Like any field there are hurdles to reach the upper ranks.  The medical field it take's education, the insurance or brokerage world, the hurdle is time.

Stunning.  Here we have somebody admitting that they don't have an education, but figure that if they grow old doing this job they will automatically become successful.
Skill is irrelevant, what matters is time.
Education is irrelevant, what matters is time.
Amazing.

Newbie,
Did I say education is irrelevant? No.  I hold many designations and degrees.  I think they are important.  However, how may "smart" people fail out of this business?
I have met plenty of people who scored in the 90's on thier 7 and didn't make it a year.  They were busy trying to figure out what the next "hot" investment idea was or charting stocks for formations.
Fact is there are countless stories of successful brokers who made it with nothing more than a high school education.  I declare that time is the hurdle in our business.  Can you last 5 years?  You didn't by the way

cranky sob's picture
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wanna_be_FA wrote:
how come financial advisors make so much money???
i know its not an easy job..but lets face it, it aint rocket science or some sh*t like that
i hope this doesnt piss off anyone. im just curious. and honestly money is one of the reasons why i want to become a financial advisor

We don't make money for being financial advisors. We make money for closing business. The more you close, the more you make.

Philo Kvetch's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-17

NASD Newbie wrote:
Indyone wrote:I'm starting to wonder if a BL fan club could be a lucrative venture...
Not as much as a Put Trader fan club.  Did you see that thread two or three weeks ago about him.
He must be a hell of a guy.

Put Trader?  He was an ignorant, self-involved bullsh*t artist, convinvinced of his omniscience, but completely unaware of his enormous lack of intellect and understanding.
You remind me of him quite a bit. 

Philo Kvetch's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-17

Errata:  convinced

wanna_be_FA's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-01

The Judge wrote:
Good saying I once heard about the brokerage business:
"It's the hardest 40k you'll ever earn and the easiest 200k you'll ever make."

yeah I heard similar sayings before.
can any experience broker comment on this?

TexasRep's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-18

wanna_be_FA wrote:The Judge wrote:
Good saying I once heard about the brokerage business:
"It's the hardest 40k you'll ever earn and the easiest 200k you'll ever make."

yeah I heard similar sayings before.
can any experience broker comment on this?

 
success breeds sucess.............
 
 

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