Choose Edward Jones--More locations than Starbucks

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spamfilter's picture
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"Financial services firm Edward Jones is planning to add more than 236 branches in the greater Seattle area over the next five to 10 years, said company spokesman John Boul.The expansion would more than double Edward Jones' presence in the Puget Sound region. The firm currently has 209 branches in the area." --Puget Sound Business Journal Seattle, WA.  The home of Starbucks.  You can go to one Starbucks and literally see another, sometimes across the street.  If you add up all the stores in the greater Seattle area and include the mall and grocery store locations, there are 433 Starbucks locations.  Edward Jones plans to have 445 offices. 

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Man, that is just retarded.However, I look at my area, and how many branches they think they will put up, and I laugh.  Let's just say I live in one of the smallest states in the country, and they are projecting a range of 500-1000 additional branches.  We currently have like 75 in our state, and they can't add them as fast as they are dropping.  Even worse, we only have 75 in our state, and there are soon going to be 4 in my little town, with zero in the next 3 towns in any direction.  Now, there is PLENTY of business, because we are not bound by borders (most of my clients don't live in my zip code), but it just looks ridiculous to people when we have 4 fukcing office within stones throw of each other, each with ONE advisor.  People think we are nuts.

Kaner's picture
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B- You are slaying me!  That's a funny post.  I couldn't agree more.

abrandnewcar's picture
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B24 wrote:  People think we are nuts.That thinking will get much worse when they see that all new offices have a drive through window.Uniforms are just around the corner. 

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To get this done they will have to hire a ton of rookie reps! They will go through reps like $H!T through a goose.  

tenthtee's picture
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Joking aside, I always thought the Jones model was clever, maybe not from the rep's point of view. The public doesn't really "get" financial planning - the comprehensive nature of what we do. It isn't just about asset management. So you have all of the reps (really just asset gatherers and insurance people) scattered around the neighborhoods, and visible, instead of holed up together in some downtown office. The reps are motivated to go out and talk to the people, instead of other reps. The office itself is a little advertisement for the brand. Aside from snoot factor, the office is plain and accessible, there is always a receptionist available even when the rep is out meeting new clients on the golf course, or getting charged up with other reps in Hawaii. A lot of the walk-in business is small accounts, but some of these turn big over time when the local bank rep slips or the small business owner makes it big. If the rep is good at selling insurance, there is good cash flow from permanent insurance and DI  and LTC sales. The company could even provide a spiff for P&C referrals from walk-in business, through an 800# outside carrier. The rep feels like an owner, with the security of employment. Is 450 Jones reps too many to serve all of Seattle? Half of them would likely be trainees or essentially asset gatherers for the other half.Even if things change and 12b1 fees go away, Jones would adapt. You just have to make things tangible and personal for people, and find out a way to charge for your personal services. Who is their biggest competition for the mass affluent, going forward? If you had to work another fifteen or twenty five years, you could do worse than own a local Starbucks store. Everyone knows where it is, they have great coffee that is not cheap, and the more stores there are, really, the more coffee people drink, especially when it's raining (market volatility) which is most of the time these days.

tenthtee's picture
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Maybe the frustrating thing for a Jones rep,once you are established, would be knowing you could be making the same amount of money, net by working half the time. Literally, twenty some hours a week, with lower overhead and zero corporate expectations, and more control over the business (non-compete).And it takes a few years and a lot of work to "get there" whether you use the franchise, or not. But for the right personality, the franchise and the service fills a huge hole in the market. More interesting, what will happen going forward? I'm trying to think of some neighborhood RIA full service franchises, and all I can think of is The Mutual Fund Store. That's more like one store per metro area, and the marketing is driven off a radio show. It would be interesting to see a franchise chain of RIAs, with a higher bottom line to the owners. Maybe an ex-EDJ guy will seize the market opportunity some day. Just pondering.

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Didn't starbucks end up closing like a 100 of their stores cause they expanded too quick?

B24's picture
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10th,That was a pretty good summary of Jones.  I agree, I think people seem to relate to us better than some of the wirehouses.  Regardless of the fact that our back office and product offering is pretty much the same as the wires, the "perception" is that we are the "local guy".  I have had MANY prospects and/or clients tell me this.As I have said before, the one-man local office really IS our differentiating factor.  We capture a lot of the business that does not/can not go to wirehouses.  And I sort of lump small indy offices in with how Jones does business (sorry guys), because that's how some people perceive us, as compared to wires.It's funny, years ago when The Mutual Fund Store used to post their model portfolios online, I checked them out.  The fund selection and portfolio process was almost identical to Jones' Advisory Solutions.  I think when I checked, the only office in our area had like $15mm AUM in it.  Most of them average 15-25mm AUM, although some of them, especially in Adam Bolds area (KS), have much higher AUM.  I think Bold's office has like 550mm. 

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this makes it hard to be taken seriously when you're using opening cold call lines like "m/m, this is ______ with Edward Jones. i've recently had the opportunity to add one additional investor to my business..."

tenthtee's picture
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24, it's no secret that this is commodity business (investments, advice, insurance). Getting people to come to you for products and service is so much better than chasing them around. Branding and marketing are powerful and come in many forms, but a sale is a sale. The whole image of the cold calling wirehouse cowboy serving the "wealthy" is a (dying) myth. I've always respected Jones, even checked them out - not my cup of tea, but still a respected competitor.  

down the road's picture
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Spam, they ran the same grassroots ad in Tampa, too bad they are using the rookies to fill the 4 empty offices from last week. Not much expansion there.

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B - (in my most sarcastic, yet trying to be funny voice) I don't want to hear any complaints about the 4 other offices in your town.  I'm in the Jones capitol of the world and I've got 30 other FAs within a 5 mile radius of my office.  Forgive me if I chuckle a little bit when you complain about the 4 in town with you.  It's always funny for me to travel to other parts of the country and talk with Jones guys.  I went on vacation to a little town in the Poconos a few years ago and while my wife and I were walking around, we stopped by the local Jones office to say hi.  I asked the FA where the other office in town was.  He looked at me like I was crazy then went on to explain how unhappy he was with his RL because they were going to add another FA in the COUNTY next to him.  30 miles away.  I chuckled at him, like I did you, and told him that I drive past 5 other Jones offices on my way to my office every morning.  It's only a 4 mile commute.  I wouldn't say the STL area is an incredibly wealthy city.  We've got our fair share of money, but we're not Monterey, CA.  I think one of the things Jones is looking at is with a more robust fee based platform, we can have a lot of offices with $40-50 mil AUM doing just fine.  Used to be that if you wanted to do $500K a year gross, you'd have to have an office up in the $80-100 mil range to do it comfortably. They've always targeted $750mil as the TLIA that would support a Jones office.  It wouldn't suprise me if they dropped that number in the future to justify more offices in some locations.   

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Walgreens, Starbucks, Gas Stations, Mc Donalds, EDJ... Not exactly the kind of category i want my advisor in...Jones doesn't have a choice. And to their credit, it seems to be working well so far. However like starbucks they will reach a critical failure point and have to shut down offices..But you have to ride the horse that brought ya..

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Spaceman Spiff wrote:B - (in my most sarcastic, yet trying to be funny voice) I don't want to hear any complaints about the 4 other offices in your town.  I'm in the Jones capitol of the world and I've got 30 other FAs within a 5 mile radius of my office.  Forgive me if I chuckle a little bit when you complain about the 4 in town with you.  It's always funny for me to travel to other parts of the country and talk with Jones guys.  I went on vacation to a little town in the Poconos a few years ago and while my wife and I were walking around, we stopped by the local Jones office to say hi.  I asked the FA where the other office in town was.  He looked at me like I was crazy then went on to explain how unhappy he was with his RL because they were going to add another FA in the COUNTY next to him.  30 miles away.  I chuckled at him, like I did you, and told him that I drive past 5 other Jones offices on my way to my office every morning.  It's only a 4 mile commute.  I wouldn't say the STL area is an incredibly wealthy city.  We've got our fair share of money, but we're not Monterey, CA.  I think one of the things Jones is looking at is with a more robust fee based platform, we can have a lot of offices with $40-50 mil AUM doing just fine.  Used to be that if you wanted to do $500K a year gross, you'd have to have an office up in the $80-100 mil range to do it comfortably. They've always targeted $750mil as the TLIA that would support a Jones office.  It wouldn't suprise me if they dropped that number in the future to justify more offices in some locations.    Spiff, I know what you're saying.  You may not have picked up on it in my post, but I did state that I haev no problem with more FA's per se, because there is plenty of business to go around.  My issue is with having 4 physical offices in a town with like 6000 people and not much good office space.  My point was that, as a firm, we look stupid for having even TWO offices.  When people say "oh yeah, you guys used to have an office over by such and such", I have to say "yeah, it's still there".  And they look at me like I'm nuts.  It just seems so silly to have multiple physical offices for a few FA's in the same little town.  On top of that, clients somehow relate overhead to what they pay in fees (which in the end may be true).  So they start to wonder, why in the world if you have this huge extra office in your office, why that FA has to leave and open another office right down the street.  And I'm sorry, but I'm not going to march out the "Edward Jones hires entrepreneurial go-getter blah blah blah's" speech that we hear from Jones all the time.  I wish they would just man up and tell us really why we can't have multiple FA offices.  Is it Compliance?  Is it because they are afraid of teams banding together and going indy?  Is it because it would screw up bonuses because multi-FA offices would be more profitable?  What IS it?  I mean seriously....even TWO FA offices would cut our field overhead by like 30 or 40%.  In big cities, there's no way around it.  You still will have a lot of offices.  I'm NOT advocating big wirehouse-type offices.  If you have 100 FA's in a metro area, maybe you could go to 50 offices and save $100K per month in over head (saving $2K per month would even be conservative).  That would be 1.2mm per year in savings per 100 offices.  So maybe I just saved the firm $120mm.  (5,000 offices x $2K/mo x 12 mos.).  SOme of those multi-FA offices could be covered by only one BOA, so you just saved even more.  Call it $150mm per year.  That's a lot of dough back in everyone's pockets (you listenin' Geeps?)

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just a thought, how can one respect Edward Jones.  They are a good firm in bull markets but what happens in a flat to down market?  Can they do options?  Not that I do a lot of options but it's a great hedge in certain markets.  They always want 2nd and 3rd career type individuals which I have no problem with.  I just wonder if they want those individuals because they may not know better.  Anytime I meet with a prospect and they are currently with Jones, I simple say they have a great offering for up markets, flat to down- not so much.  The days of putting an Ibbotson chart in front of a client and explaining why 90 years worth of data is relevant in this market are over.  Buy and forget is not an investment strategy..

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bb5, I sort of agree with you.  But to be honest, most wirehouse firms are not much dfferent in terms of philosophy.Here is Jones' problem: they were stuck for many years in a mode of catering to baby boomers.  Well, those boomers used to be in their 20's and 30's and 40's.  They were accumulating.  Jones is a very good firm for the average investor like this.  However, as all these people started retiring, I have found that Jones does not have a very good philosophy for the distribution or protection phase.  Not that they don't have any of the products or concepts, it's just that they don't communicate much of it very well to the field.  If you sift through our intranet, you can find some very good material on distribution.  But it's not taught as a discipline.  So many FA's are simply on their own.

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B24 wrote:bb5, I sort of agree with you.  But to be honest, most wirehouse firms are not much dfferent in terms of philosophy.Here is Jones' problem: they were stuck for many years in a mode of catering to baby boomers.  Well, those boomers used to be in their 20's and 30's and 40's.  They were accumulating.  Jones is a very good firm for the average investor like this.  However, as all these people started retiring, I have found that Jones does not have a very good philosophy for the distribution or protection phase.  Not that they don't have any of the products or concepts, it's just that they don't communicate much of it very well to the field.  If you sift through our intranet, you can find some very good material on distribution.  But it's not taught as a discipline.  So many FA's are simply on their own.Amen

gethardgetraw's picture
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guys obviously the solution to this is: Go knock on more doors!

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B24 wrote:bb5, I sort of agree with you.  But to be honest, most wirehouse firms are not much dfferent in terms of philosophy.Here is Jones' problem: they were stuck for many years in a mode of catering to baby boomers.  Well, those boomers used to be in their 20's and 30's and 40's.  They were accumulating.  Jones is a very good firm for the average investor like this.  However, as all these people started retiring, I have found that Jones does not have a very good philosophy for the distribution or protection phase.  Not that they don't have any of the products or concepts, it's just that they don't communicate much of it very well to the field.  If you sift through our intranet, you can find some very good material on distribution.  But it's not taught as a discipline.  So many FA's are simply on their own. I disagree on a few points.  Ted built his personal book selling bonds to "old ladies" not baby boomers.  We have only recently gotten away from the smile and dial bond presentation.  My personal book is built on individual bonds sold to pre-retirees/retirees (granted that is where the baby boomer generation is currently). 

American Flag's picture
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The problem with adding more offices is it dimishes the value of the Jones name to the existing offices. There is little that is special about being at Edward Jones if there are twelve other offices within a stone's throw.The usual pattern is the first advisor in town has a huge business. The second advisor has a big business. And the next ten struggle and compete for the same clients. So what is the value of the Jones name to the segment 3 and 4 advisors? 

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I think it depends on where you are.  Here in the hometown of the corporate headquarters, there's instant recognition from about 95% of the people I talk with.  Our name is on every corner, at every Cardinals game they go to, and on the dome the Sheep call home.  So we get a lot of ambient advertising just by being this close.  That's the value.  An area with 12 EDJ offices within a stone's throw, like mine, has a ton of clients and assets to go after.  So much that just 3 or 4 offices literally couldn't handle all the business and do the right thing for the client.  If I break my area down by zip code there are 18,000 households in my zip code.  I can get to all of them in about 10 minutes max.  That area has $6.3 Billion in assets to go after, according to the Jones info.  There are 6 of us.  None of us have been here for more than 10 years.  I'm the second most veteran of the group and the guy right in front of me only has me by a year.  So, without dragging this out any longer, there are plenty of people for all of us.     

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Spiff, I agree with you.  As I said before, to me it's not an issue of not enough business to go around - I live in a very small community (6000 in my zip), but my reach extends beyond that.  And there is wealth around here as well.  My point was that in a small community, it looks very silly to have 4 offices so close together, especially when i have plenty of office space for at least one of them (currently I still have one in my office, but he will be moving out soon).  And based on the way we do business, we could easily manage with one BOA.

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Spiff, I'm in St. Louis also.  Along Manchester road I counted 8 different 1-man Jones offices in a 2 mile stretch.If you do a 2 mile radius around my office (near Kirkwood) there are 15 Jones offices.  In one building there are 2 seperate offices and literally right next door (20 feet?) there is a 3rd.  It's a joke.  A friend of mine entered the industry back in the mid-80's.  He opened up a new Jones office in a small town and worked his rear off for years making $40-$50k.  (For the first 3 years he barely kept the office open)  The markets exploded and his income boosted up to just over $100k.  What does Jones do?  They pluck two new Jones offices in his small town and his income plummets back to $70k.  He stayed with them, I don't have a clue why.  Now they are looking to open a 4th because the other 3 are surviving. 

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Look, I won't argue with success. Spiff and 24, since you are doing well and knocking it out, and happy with the set-up, then more power to you.But there does become a point where the quanity of offices becomes a bit absurb, like offices across the street from each other.It reminds me of Vancouver, where there were more Starbucks than pedestrians. You could sit in one Starbucks and look across the street at another one. And there was one in the hotel lobby. And also, the coffee supplied in our hotel room was Starbucks.  I like Starbucks, but it kind of turned me off.  Now I drink Folgers.Is it just me, or do the Starbucks and Edward Jones signage look the same, right down to color, lettering and even size?

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American Flag wrote:Look, I won't argue with success. Spiff and 24, since you are doing well and knocking it out, and happy with the set-up, then more power to you.But there does become a point where the quanity of offices becomes a bit absurb, like offices across the street from each other.It reminds me of Vancouver, where there were more Starbucks than pedestrians. You could sit in one Starbucks and look across the street at another one. And there was one in the hotel lobby. And also, the coffee supplied in our hotel room was Starbucks.  I like Starbucks, but it kind of turned me off.  Now I drink Folgers.Is it just me, or do the Starbucks and Edward Jones signage look the same, right down to color, lettering and even size?Did you even read my posts?  What I SAID, was that I don't like the fact that we have so many offices.  I am fine with the number of advisors, as there is more than enough business for 4 JOnes advisors in my area (we also have every wirehouse, plus like 5 bank brokerages, two regional brokerage offices, two Ameriprise offices, and several indy brokers).  What I DON'T like is having 4 different offices in my itty-bitty town.  There is no reason we couldn't have maybe 2.  I never want us to look like wirehouses, with big offices with tons of brokers.  But a team of two is pretty simple, and still gives us that "local guy" feel.

American Flag's picture
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Yes, I read your posts 24.  Don't know if multiple offices would be the solution either though. Now you are changing the thing that always defined Jones. I do agree as I have said too many offices become an eyesore and cheapen the brand. I am glad I am not involved in it anymore, that is for sure.

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I had my EJ office with two newer offices within 1 city block away. If you go a bit farther; approximately 1 mile radius, there are three other branches. I obviously left. Customers always had jokes about us, neighborhood had jokes.
It kind of felt like we were the laughing stock of the investment industry. I felt bad for the newer guys knocking on doors trying to steal my clients. It never happened, and thank god for loyal customers informing me of what was being said.
I drank cool aid and no hard feelings but I am so glad I woke up.

more or less's picture
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maybe they should open an office at the peak of Mt. RAINEER. Alot of prospecting and door knocking up there and no competition. Just watch out for avalanches lol.

Najee's picture
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As a former Edward Jones financial advisor who also once worked in the home office (and still know people there in St. Louis), I'm really skeptical that the firm wants to continue opening up that many offices. Given that the firm has raised its production standards and the home office associates and general partners continually make veiled comments about getting rid of a portion of its Segment 3 and Segment 4 financial advisors (not to mention its FA revenue per day is down dramatically from a few years ago), it seems like the firm wants and anticipates getting rid of a lot of offices and FAs in the next few years.

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B24 wrote:Man, that is just retarded.However, I look at my area, and how many branches they think they will put up, and I laugh.  Let's just say I live in one of the smallest states in the country, and they are projecting a range of 500-1000 additional branches.  We currently have like 75 in our state, and they can't add them as fast as they are dropping.  Even worse, we only have 75 in our state, and there are soon going to be 4 in my little town, with zero in the next 3 towns in any direction.  Now, there is PLENTY of business, because we are not bound by borders (most of my clients don't live in my zip code), but it just looks ridiculous to people when we have 4 fukcing office within stones throw of each other, each with ONE advisor.  People think we are nuts.I would agree. IMO, one of the many problems Edward Jones has is this absurd logic that everyone wants and needs a financial advisor. The reality is the vast majority of people don't even meet the basics of needing the help of a financial advisor:1.) having the money and/or time to meet long-term financial goals (minimum target -- $200,000);2.) wanting to take advice and wanting to work with a financial advisor (not to mention working with only one financial advisor -- me);3.) having the correct temperament or willing to be educated;4.) willingness to give referrals.A client has to have ALL FOUR, IMO. If I and the staff did not have a good feel for them, we didn't do business with them.In my decade-plus experience, I would say 10% of the population had or had the potential for the appropriate mix of assets, right investment personality and willingness to give referrals. So the typical FA is fighting with the entire investment community (banks, brokerages, independents, insurance companies, etc.) over that small group and you have to figure some of those people will have an FA already/are not worth the trouble. Edward Jones' problem is that it brainwashes its sales force into thinking it can be all things to all people -- which, IMO, is a very dangerous road to follow. My came to my senses early and realized that is not the right way to build a business because the firm didn't believe much in quality control. Jones doesn't want to face the reality that some people need to be at a bank and some people need to be at an online brokerage -- the firm's logic is to take everyone in that walks through the door.When I hear the typical EJ financial advisor regurgitate St. Louis' marketing research numbers about how much "investible assets" are in a ZIP code, I laugh because it's so terribly out of context. Keep in mind, those people tracking those numbers in St. Louis are generally home office people who have never worked in the field as a financial advisor and don't take into context what I mentioned.They also don't take into account a lot of those "investible asset" numbers include a company's retirement plan balances, banking deposits and some other institutional money that may never change hands. And getting a hard copy of those numbers can be another cloak-and-dagger tactic. Like a lot of things Edward Jones does, it's misleading.

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I think I have to disagree with what some of you are saying.  You have to look at this from a personal FA perspective, as well as a business perspective.  IN my area, despite it being a small community, there is a lot of wealth.  There is FAR more wealth than one FA could EVER manage.  There is enough wealth in this area for a lot more Jones FA's.  Now, from a selfish perspective, naturally I want it all for me.  But lets look at this a little mroe realistically:-Once established, the average FA is going to pick up 1 to 3 new "real" clients per month, at most (real clietns defined as someone with real money, not the 35 year old with a $100 DCA plan).  So that translates into 12-36 real new clients per year.  The real number is probably more like 10-15.  Let's say that equates to $8mm per year in new assets.  IN my zipcode, which has 5,500 housholds, there is $2.5B in total net investable assets.  Now, I know those reports don't represent the actual number for dollars up for grabs, but it is directional and relational (i.e. can be used to compare different areas of wealth).Now, my COUNTY, which has 100,000 HH, has $33B in NIA.  Since there are several very large employers in my area, my clients live all over the county.  Maybe 10-15% of my clients actually live within my zipcode.  And in reality, all I need is 100-150 "real" clients to have a kick-a$$ business.  I can have another 400 "B" and "C" clients if I want, but 100 real clients would make my career.  So do you REALLY think it matters if a few other FA's go after a few hundred of those 100,000 households?  And let's not forget, we also will have some clients outside that area as well (family, friends, referrals, etc.).  So let's say over the course of my career, I need 75 clients within my county, and 25 are outside the county.  The neighborhood doesn't seem so small anymore.Trust me, I am not defending Jones, but what if the "ONE" guy in my town decided to stop prospecting at $30mm in AUM and does maybe 250K in production.  So from then on, we shouldn't allow ANYONE else into the area?  Seriously.  Think about it.  There is a life-cycle to every FA.  I agree, it is tough when you put a bunch of newbies into an area all at the same time, as they are all starting the same lifecycle.  But from a business perspective, it's just plain silly to limit your business if it's not necessary.

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Najee wrote:I would agree. IMO, one of the many problems Edward Jones has is this absurd logic that everyone wants and needs a financial advisor. The reality is the vast majority of people don't even meet the basics of needing the help of a financial advisor:1.) having the money and/or time to meet long-term financial goals (minimum target -- $200,000);2.) wanting to take advice and wanting to work with a financial advisor (not to mention working with only one financial advisor -- me);3.) having the correct temperament or willing to be educated;4.) willingness to give referrals.A client has to have ALL FOUR, IMO. If I and the staff did not have a good feel for them, we didn't do business with them.In my decade-plus experience, I would say 10% of the population had or had the potential for the appropriate mix of assets, right investment personality and willingness to give referrals. When I hear the typical EJ financial advisor regurgitate St. Louis' marketing research numbers about how much "investible assets" are in a ZIP code, I laugh because it's so terribly out of context. Keep in mind, those people tracking those numbers in St. Louis are generally home office people who have never worked in the field as a financial advisor and don't take into context what I mentioned. Najee, first, I like the four basic qualifications you have for a someone who needs financial advisor. Most the time, we just think of one qualification, $. You're ahead of the game. Second, you are right on regarding the EJ market research on investible assets. At one growth meeting I attended with a St Lous H.O. guy in charge of the research, he gave us the definition of what one office should have. I think it was 5000 people per office or something and some kind of asset number in the community.So I asked how they arrived at that number. How did they determine one office should have 5000 households in its sales area?  He looked puzzled and said it was more a rule of thumb.So I asked again, on what basis was it derived? Specifically, have you ever found there were too many offices in one area? He said there were no known cases -ever-  where Jones had too many offices in a local and where that affected the production of the offices.I quit asking questions because I could see it was a waste of time. The point it the whole thing was cloaked in these numbers to give it an air of scientific validity, but there was in fact no known science to the process.

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It's 5000 Households and 750,000,000 in assets, or 500,000,000 for a small rural community.  I think that look at it from a potential market-share perspective.  Most of the areas we are in we have very small market share.  I think the numbers above would equate to 3% market share , which would be a mature Jones market.  We have very vibrant Jones offices in my region that are well below 1% market share.  But again, we might have 0.50% market share in a zipcode, and the only office in the zipcode might have 50mm aum, but 3/4 of his assets are outside the zipcode. 

Incredible Hulk's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-24

Najee wrote:I would agree. IMO, one of the many problems Edward Jones has is this absurd logic that everyone wants and needs a financial advisor. The reality is the vast majority of people don't even meet the basics of needing the help of a financial advisor:If you've been with Jones 10 years, you would have heard the Company line, "We only serve the individual investor."  Multiple examples of EDJ providing direction on who to follow up with and who not, come to mind.1.) having the money and/or time to meet long-term financial goals (minimum target -- $200,000);2.) wanting to take advice and wanting to work with a financial advisor (not to mention working with only one financial advisor -- me);3.) having the correct temperament or willing to be educated;4.) willingness to give referrals.A client has to have ALL FOUR, IMO. If I and the staff did not have a good feel for them, we didn't do business with them.In my decade-plus experience, I would say 10% of the population had or had the potential for the appropriate mix of assets, right investment personality and willingness to give referrals. So the typical FA is fighting with the entire investment community (banks, brokerages, independents, insurance companies, etc.) over that small group and you have to figure some of those people will have an FA already/are not worth the trouble. Edward Jones' problem is that it brainwashes its sales force into thinking it can be all things to all people -- which, IMO, is a very dangerous road to follow. My came to my senses early and realized that is not the right way to build a business because the firm didn't believe much in quality control. Jones doesn't want to face the reality that some people need to be at a bank and some people need to be at an online brokerage -- the firm's logic is to take everyone in that walks through the door.When I hear the typical EJ financial advisor regurgitate St. Louis' marketing research numbers about how much "investible assets" are in a ZIP code, I laugh because it's so terribly out of context. Keep in mind, those people tracking those numbers in St. Louis are generally home office people who have never worked in the field as a financial advisor and don't take into context what I mentioned.They also don't take into account a lot of those "investible asset" numbers include a company's retirement plan balances, banking deposits and some other institutional money that may never change hands. And getting a hard copy of those numbers can be another cloak-and-dagger tactic. Like a lot of things Edward Jones does, it's misleading.If you really worked for EDJ 10 years and haven't figured out how to Jonelink Search your zip code's NLIA then you again are a moron.  I can't decide if you're a piker or legit.  Somewhere else you posted that $25M would rank you in the 5500 range.  I'm in the 4000 range with the firm and just short of $500M.  I called a buddy who has $26M and he is 6500 in the firm.  You sound like someone who quit a long time ago and is grinding an axe with outdated numbers and misinformation.  Really kinda sad...

Najee's picture
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Joined: 2010-08-25

Incredible Hulk,It's interesting that like Edward Jones, you seem to have no problem thinking that personal attacks and intimidation is part of the culture of the real world as it is with the firm. If you really want to know, I left the cult two months ago.First of all, I did know how to look through JonesLink and find its information on Net Liquid Investible Assets -- what you don't seem to understand is I want the methodology information on how that number is determined. More transparency, if you will. Also, what the home office is cloak-and-dagger on is giving that information to new financial advisor candidates -- Marketing Research basically calls prospective hires and give them a number and when generally pressed it gives vague answers.For instance, in my old region a ZIP code was identified as having several billion of investible assets and the person from St. Louis (who visited our region for a strategic planning meeting) was determined this was the ideal place to put an office. The problem was the ZIP code literally had no building to open an office, save a closed-down gasoline station. There were three manufacturing plants in the area and he continued to debate this was an ideal place for an office. Moreover, he refused to take this location of the grid for a potential office. I and several FAs in my county called the home office to persuade that department finally to take it off the grid.As far as legitimacy, I said that in 2003 my office had $24 million AUM and it placed in the top 2500 of the firm -- that was in reference to the size of the typical Edward Jones branch. You seem to want to omit that was in reference to where I refuted another person's claim that half the firm's offices today had at least $90 million AUM. I produced a 2006 Registered Rep interview with Jim Weddle where he said the typical Jones office then was $44 million AUM, and it's fair to say since the market downturn of 2008 that typical AUM is less than that.http://registeredrep.com/mag/finance_keeping_joneses/Unless you know want to start calling your fearless leader a liar.You really need to learn how to read better instead of trying to be some uninformed cyber bully. But then again, that sounds like a typical Jonesbot.

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B24
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Joined: 2008-07-08

Najee, you're just wrong.  $23mm would NOT have placed you at 2500 in the firm.  That's just plain wrong.  Not even close.  In 2003 we had over 9000 FA's, and the AVERAGE office had $33mm AUM.  I have the financials in front of me.  So you would have been more like #6500.

Najee's picture
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Joined: 2010-08-25

B24 wrote:Najee, you're just wrong.  $23mm would NOT have placed you at 2500 in the firm.  That's just plain wrong.  Not even close.  In 2003 we had over 9000 FA's, and the AVERAGE office had $33mm AUM.  I have the financials in front of me.  So you would have been more like #6500.Did you not just read what Incredible Hulk just said:Incredible Hulk wrote: I called a buddy who has $26M and he is 6500 in the firm.That is TODAY -- in 2010. So evidently, a $24 million office (the actual number, but I'm not quibbling) in 2003 was ranked much higher than that. So you're wrong.I remember that because that was posted on my office's VBFT when I was working in the home office before I went back out in the field in 2003. I have a copy of that myself, so I'll check that again. I also remember that because when I came out in the field several area FAs were upset that "I had taken over such a big office."This was the early part of 2003 -- so keep in mind, this was before the market uptick so by the end of the year it was closer to $30 million AUM before accounting for the clients I brought in. After taking into account the assets I brought in, the total AUM at the end of the year was $34 million. I really doubt I was in the lower third of the firm in December 2003 with an office that size -- when most of my old region had offices smaller than that.And keep in mind, the "average" and the "office ranking" are two different things. I can take a $200 AUM office and a $10 AUM office and have an office average of $105 AUM between the two. Not to mention Edward Jones has shown to be very inconsistent and at times contradictory when it comes to numbers. For instance, in 2006 Jim Weddle is saying the typical FA has an office with $44 million AUM:http://registeredrep.com/mag/finance_keeping_joneses/And then Registered Rep's 2009 report card states the Jones FAs surveyed claim to have $58.6 million AUM:http://www.stockbrokerfraudblog.com/2009/12/edward_jones_and_merrill_lynch.htmlSo in essence, are we supposed to believe the average Edward Jones FA's AUM grew by $14.6 million during through essentially the worst market since the Great Depression? Or is that a little misleading, since not all 10,000-plus FAs were surveyed (not to mention how some people just love to embellish their AUM just a bit)? Gotcha. Certainly, the average Jones FA does not have $364,258 in average production -- especially since the firm's FA revenue per day as of July was in the neighborhood of a whopping $637 (as told to me by another Jones FA today, who has more than $130 million AUM). IMO, some Jones FAs and the home office are just a little deluded and out of touch with what is the typical production and AUM for offices -- hence, the continual statements from Jim Meddle that "there are too many FAs out there just wanting to do the bare minimum" and the new culling program that went into effect Wednesday (the start of the September selling month).If that ranking I stated about my office in 2003 is wrong, it's not by intent. Like I said, I'll check it. But then again, this is Edward Jones -- where you consistently get conflicting numbers and information. We both may be right and wrong at the same time.

Najee's picture
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Joined: 2010-08-25

B24 wrote:I think I have to disagree with what some of you are saying.  You have to look at this from a personal FA perspective, as well as a business perspective.  IN my area, despite it being a small community, there is a lot of wealth.  There is FAR more wealth than one FA could EVER manage.  There is enough wealth in this area for a lot more Jones FA's.  Now, from a selfish perspective, naturally I want it all for me.  But lets look at this a little mroe realistically:My point is more of the methodology and implied assumption from Market Research that the bulk of these assets are actually potential clients and are likely to do business in that regard, when in reality most of that money will never come to Edward Jones. It's quoting that "There are 100,000 households and several billions of dollars in an area" logic that has helped lead to the oversaturation of Edward Jones offices, IMO.The home office loves regurgitating those numbers to the Jonesbots and those too green to process them, but in reality they are little more than Metropolitan Statistical Area-type numbers for a specific ZIP code. It's misleading to post that as a possibility and not fully disclose that particularly to new financial advisor candidates, who are making important career decisions on such information. More accurate market research would collect information on people in the area who have submitted information saying that they are looking for financial advisors and have a certain amount of money to invest -- THAT'S real market reseach. I'm not even going to get into the fact that Edward Jones does no lead generation whatsoever, so people have to wander around to their own devices.

Najee's picture
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Joined: 2010-08-25

Incredible Hulk wrote:If you've been with Jones 10 years, you would have heard the Company line, "We only serve the individual investor."  Multiple examples of EDJ providing direction on who to follow up with and who not, come to mind.It must be why the average assets per household for Edward Jones clients is so much lower than it is compared to other brokerage houses. http://registeredrep.com/mag/finance_keeping_joneses/In 2006, Jim Weddle said the typical client has $106,415 invested through Jones. Factor in the market downturn in 2008, you have to figure that number is somewhere around $90,000 -- not that far from what the typical person has at a discount brokerage.I have to disagree on Edward Jones' quality control, or lack thereof. If you call "accept anyone who fogs a mirror" -- which was taught in my training classes -- quality control. I can count the number of offices I went into over the years where one-third of the book was "Red" clients who had not been into the office in years and in some cases there were no notes or information on clients' files. The firm has way too many small accounts with people who don't want or need a financial advisor.In reality, the firm does what is in the best interest of the firm, which is why the firm's investment philosphy is what it is.

Najee's picture
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Joined: 2010-08-25

B24 wrote:It's 5000 Households and 750,000,000 in assets, or 500,000,000 for a small rural community.  I think that look at it from a potential market-share perspective.  Most of the areas we are in we have very small market share.  I think the numbers above would equate to 3% market share , which would be a mature Jones market.Once again, it's statistical gobbledegook from the home office that gives the wrong impression to wide-eyed people that people will be pouring in large checks once you open your doors. It conditions FAs wrongly into thinking they should "accept anyone who fogs a mirror."As an experienced financial advisor or a candidate making a major career decision, which one of these statements is more relevelant to you:A.) "In your area, there are 5,000 households and $750 million in 'investible assets (wink, wink).'"B.) "In your area, we have identified 150 households with a mininum $100,000 to invest that said they wanted to work with a financial advisor."Which one sounds like actual market research you can use in your practice? Which is more likely to help you get your career started in the right path? Edward Jones has the capability to do the latter, but it chooses unfairly to put all the burden on the financial advisor so it does the former.

JumpMan's picture
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Joined: 2010-06-08

FWIW:  I've heard for a EDJ RL friend of mine you guys are changing how you rate assets in an area from total dollars. To total qualified prospects.

FA86's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-21

The TLIA figure is pretty useless. I agree with Najee that it's a lousy excuse for market research and it does not serve new FA's well at all. Some zip codes look GREAT on paper but then you look at FDIC bank data and you realize there's a lot less money in the area than you would have figured looking at the Jones data. I think they need to revamp the market research. It could go a long way in reducing turnover and waste.

American Flag's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-03

FA86 wrote: I think they need to revamp the market research. It could go a long way in reducing turnover and waste.There are a lot of bloody bodies in those turnover numbers. I always advised FA candidates that I talked to of the Edward Jones "one - two punch." First your savings, then your credit cards. After two or three years, you may be out.Then EJ keeps your fledging book. You probably don't have enough assets to successfully transition. And the next FA in the door builds on your work while you are out your savings and several years of the prime of your career. This is a real risk to new FAs.I can see where people may end up with some hard feelings.Now, to be fair, I always talked with job candidates about the upside of Jones. I recently referred a good friend to Jones when he asked me where to start his career. But I had a long talk about the risks and downside as well.

navet's picture
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Joined: 2010-02-25

The point is, when you can't hire quality, you have to counter with quantity. Jones wants low hanging fruit, mainly because it hires low hanging fruit and puts all it's emphasis on asset gathering rather than wealth management training. Tell me honestly, if you had 1.5 million in assets, would you trust it to a new-new coming to your door? 90% of a new-news time is spent prospecting. There is no time to learn the business. So grow the branch offices, hire anyone who can pass the 7 and isn't a felon. For every 8 or 9 you hire, one will make it to profitability. But they work cheap.

Incredible Hulk's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-24

navet wrote:Tell me honestly, if you had 1.5 million in assets, would you trust it to a new-new coming to your door? 90% of a new-news time is spent prospecting. I'm going to guess this is why you failed.  90% of a new news job has to be prospecting.  If you don't agree with that then you live in fantasy land.  Until the industry changes, that's the way it is. At EDJ and anywhere else that hires and trains new folks.  It doesn't matter how much you know if you don't have someone to talk to about it.  And as far as the 1.5M prospect, of course he's not going to turn his life savings over on day one to the guy knocking on his door.  Is he going to give it to the guy that cold calls him?  Provide him an investment that makes sense and does what you say, you get more money and trust from the prospect.  Eventually you get the whole nest egg.  I have multiple accounts over $1M that started with me knocking on their door.  I won't argue with the quality/quantity part.  I was part of the quantity that happened to make it through...

Incredible Hulk's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-24

Najee wrote:Incredible Hulk,It's interesting that like Edward Jones, you seem to have no problem thinking that personal attacks and intimidation is part of the culture of the real world as it is with the firm. If you really want to know, I left the cult two months ago.Personal attacks?  Wow, you really have thin skin.  Ten years with Jones and you never heard Bachmann, Hill or Weddle say we can't help everyone?  My point, again, is that EDJ doesn't try and help everyone.  When you're prospecting on day one, you DO need to talk to everyone that can fog a mirror.  Why?  Because you need practice.  As far as legitimacy, I said that in 2003 my office had $24 million AUM and it placed in the top 2500 of the firm -- that was in reference to the size of the typical Edward Jones branch. You seem to want to omit that was in reference to where I refuted another person's claim that half the firm's offices today had at least $90 million AUM. I produced a 2006 Registered Rep interview with Jim Weddle where he said the typical Jones office then was $44 million AUM, and it's fair to say since the market downturn of 2008 that typical AUM is less than that.You mention embellishing numbers somewhere.  He rounded up and you rounded down.  I gave you a real world example of where $26M places a broker today.  You try and pass off as gospel that a broker just left with $25M and was ranked 5000.  I'll called BS and backed it up and you completely ignore the point of my post.  You really need to learn how to read better instead of trying to be some uninformed cyber bully. But then again, that sounds like a typical Jonesbot.My reading comprehension is fine.  I gave you factual examples to counter two very specific points you made.  You then turn around and deflect and ignore the specific points I made and cry about personal attacks.  I told you specifically these two points were incorrect.  Either you weren't an EDJ broker, you made up the numbers or you have an axe to grind against EDJ for some reason.  I stand by that assessment.  Maybe I should complain to the moderator because you called me a Jonesbot...that hurts my feelings, you bully.

gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

jesus navet you're such a tool. you've failed and you're a tool you dont realize that this is a SALES JOB. until you're producing $1mm/yr, you are PROSPECTING. once you cross that threshhold, then you can worry about "Wealth Management" (whatever that's supposed to mean). you sell tax free bonds and only ask for 50 - 100 bond orders only. No 5 bond minimum BS.  You can't "manage wealth" on $5mm AUM. You're not supposed to "manage wealth" for several years into the business b/c you don't know wtf you're doing.  And your clients can't go wrong with making 5-6% tax-free. There's nothing wrong with this AT ALL.  WE ARE SALESMEN. AND I TAKE PRIDE IN SAYING SO. ITS EXTREMELY TOUGH AND EXTREMELY REWARDING. NO ONE EXCEPT A SELECT FEW CAN DO THIS JOB. YOU FAILED. GTFO OF THIS FORUM.  YOU ARE A LOSER. LITERALLY. YOU LOST. YOU FAILED. GET OUT.

gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

this is a navet appointment: "how can i help you? ok so you have a $12,000 401k rollover. great. thanks for coming in! i simply can not thank you enough. first, we'll run a very comprehensive financial assesment. then i'll show you a mutual fund i suggest you roll these funds to. it's going to cost 5.75% upfront, so feel free to go home and discuss it with your wife. i can understand why you wouldn't want to pay this heh. but you need to look past this fee. i am a wealth manager. with this $12,000 of yours, i will keep you up to date with what's going on in the markets. what's your email address? this will allow me to conveniently update you with any changes regarding the markets in general. once again, thank you so much for coming to me with your $12,000. feel free to just let me know if you plan on moving forward with this rollover, after you discuss the fee with your wife. i look forward to hearing from you." -6 months later, navet gets fired- WTF IM TRYING TO MANAGE WEALTH HERE. YOU NEED TO GIVE ME MORE TIME. IM DOING IT BY THE BOOKS. OMG YOU ONLY WANT SALESMEN. I WAS JUST ABOUT TO CLOSE THIS DEAL. OMG CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

B24's picture
B24
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Joined: 2008-07-08

JumpMan wrote:FWIW:  I've heard for a EDJ RL friend of mine you guys are changing how you rate assets in an area from total dollars. To total qualified prospects.You are correct.  I think by evaluating our "typical" client, they are now trying to measure how many "typical" clients are in a given area.  So I think the focus will be on demographics coupled with wealth, home ownership, age, # of business owners, etc.  I think in the past, they would end up targeting areas that are more affluent that don't necessarily equate to our "type" of client (i.e. Silicon Valley, Manhattan, etc.).  I think you will continue to see more focus on areas with high upper-middle class suburban populations that are not well-served by wirehouses and high-end boutiques.

Najee's picture
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Joined: 2010-08-25

Incredible Hulk wrote:[You mention embellishing numbers somewhere.  He rounded up and you rounded down.  I gave you a real world example of where $26M places a broker today.  You try and pass off as gospel that a broker just left with $25M and was ranked 5000.  I'll called BS and backed it up and you completely ignore the point of my post. It's very evident you cannot read. I said on another thread IN 2003 I had an office with $24 million AUM and it placed in the top 2,500. An Edward Jones FA I know left the firm in July and his office (according to him) had $25 million AUM was in the neighborhood of ranking 5,500 to 6,000 in the firm. You named a FA whose office has $26 AUM in August whose office (according to him) was ranking somewhere around 6,500.I know this is over your heard, but that is not exactly a big difference between your colleague's office and my colleague's office, especially considering that July saw a drop in the financial markets. Not to mention it's not really relevant to the conversation at hand. Incredible Hulk wrote: Either you weren't an EDJ broker, you made up the numbers or you have an axe to grind against EDJ for some reason.  I stand by that assessment.  Maybe I should complain to the moderator because you called me a Jonesbot...that hurts my feelings, you bully. i worked not only with Edward Jones for nine years, I worked in the home office in various departments. If I didn't work for Edward Jones, I know an amazingly amount of stuff about the firm especially since Edward Jones tries to keep its information such as "the brutal facts" Jim Weddle, Brett Campbell, Dan Timm, Mark Christensen (Wow! I'm naming people on the firm's EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE who are not publicly known) and crew sent out to FAs in late April "for internal use only."BTW, you evidently cannot be posting your responses from your Edward Jones office terminal, given that IS has all those safeguards that prohibit people from posting on messageboards. So you're either doing this at home or you really have too much time on your hands for someone who allegedly has a $50 million AUM office. Either way, not good. If you're posting and reading this in your office, you do know STL monitors your computers -- and you can get fired for such use, right?Have a good day, Jonesbot.

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