Current Firms after reading forums

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new fin adv's picture
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Joined: 2006-01-20

I am currently undergoing interviews with various firms and then I found this site. After a couple hours of interesting reading, I've come to the conclusion:Edward Jones has been bashed so much on these forums and I can see why. Lack of morals + lack of consideration for the client with low rated funds is not what I'm looking for Ameriprise, cold calling + hounding your natural market as well as sitting in on costco during the weekends is not something I want to do. Also going through various law suits and has complaints under the NASD and BBBMorgan stanley gives you a book to maintain but has really high minimum sales requirements. This goes for Woodbury financial as well. First Investors is a joke (as someone commented)UBS not only fined 50 million for market timing but requires you to have sufficient experience in the indurstry to be hired. 1st year your ear is plastered to a phone for other reps. AG Ewards and Merrill Lynch seem to recieve the most amount of praise on these forums. Is there a specific reason "why" these firms are better? corporate culture, ethics, etc.

new fin adv's picture
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Joined: 2006-01-20

anything you guys have to add?

Guest1's picture
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Joined: 2005-01-16

Hmm, besides the fact that you are making a $500,000/yr+ career choice on an anonymous forum? No, nothing to add.

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

The characterization new fin adv(can you call yourself this before you start the job) reminds me of a story from college. Had a friend who we called the Gay Dude because he was always talking about feelings and sh*t. Not a derogatory name just a bit teasing. He didn't mind the nickname either cause he got laid alot for the same reasons he picked up the moniker. Well one time a buddy of ours had a friend visit from out of town. Calls the guy Gay Boy instead of Dude. Well The Gay Dude gave him a backhand and said get it right its Gay Dude. "
Ummmm, Sonny??? You need to put the bottle down my friend....

dude's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-15

new fin:
I work for AGE, so maybe this will be helpful:
Empty the teacup.
You are thinking too much.  Here's the breakdown:
All financial services firms are tainted, all have sinned, all are in need of redeption PERIOD
Any j*ckass who claims otherwise is a fool PERIOD
Jones gets a lot of disrespect because like Sonny said there is a lot of nieve jones brokers that only listen to the company cool aid and buy into a false image of elevated ethics.    You can still have a great career there.  I wouldn't work there because I like fee business (even though I question it sometimes), I like a broader menu (managed futures options etc...) and I also like having other brokers around, oh and you'll never catching me door knocking (although I'm not "knocking" it ).
The regionals generally have a more laid back culture, since most origniate from the midwest.
The New York firms and wirehouses generally are snobbier and more political in nature.  In addition they usually have higher expectations.
Banks are easier to make a living, harder to get paid the big $$'s (mostly because of the "changing" comp structures, I saw a million dollar producer get shaved to a $400k producer from a "breakup" of his branch network).  Although I'll say that it's not easy street, you still have to work hard.
Jones doesn't have crappy funds (no one can call American Funds crappy) 
You are not going to get a book from Morgan Stanley (I worked there too)
Merrill generally is the most demanding of all the wirehouses.
Unless you are well connected or a marketing genius you will be cold calling your a*s off no matter where you work.
The biggest differences come from the branches.  Find a branch manager you like with an office culture you fit in with and go for it.
 

TimBo's picture
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Joined: 2006-01-18

Ditto- Dude

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Dude pretty much hit the nail on the head!

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

bankrep,
I still think the bank is the best place to build a book from scratch, if you have years of experience then consider indy or a wire.  Rookies who are young have a .00001 % chance of success at a wirehouse unless they're family is wealthy and give them a bone.  A more established rookie who has connections from a prior career has alot better chance of success.

JonesIR's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-31

NEew fin advisor...you got just about everthing wrong about every firm you mentioned. Keep investigating.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

SonnyClips wrote:I have to say I wish I worked in an office with other brokers as it is I get together a couple of times a week to swap war stories and talk business just to stay motivated. Which can be difficult when you are on your own.
I think you make a really key point there.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

bankrep1 wrote:
bankrep,
I still think the bank is the best place to build a book from scratch, if you have years of experience then consider indy or a wire.  Rookies who are young have a .00001 % chance of success at a wirehouse unless they're family is wealthy and give them a bone.  A more established rookie who has connections from a prior career has alot better chance of success.

It is very, very tough to start a book without already having a network at a wirehouse. A bank would be a better place to gather one to take to an indy setting, except your transfer out percentage will be much lower than if you'd built it at a wirehouse.
 
Mom was right, there is no free lunch.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

SonnyClips wrote:I have to say I wish I worked in an office with other brokers as it is I get together a couple of times a week to swap war stories and talk business just to stay motivated. Which can be difficult when you are on your own.
Perhaps at first.  But, if you get yourself busy enough you'll neither have time to socialize with other advisers nor will you miss it.  You'll be too busy making major bank.
 

JWKSKI's picture
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Joined: 2006-01-20

There is no better training in the indusrty than at Ed Jones.  Start there, they'll teach you the ropes and then make a decision.  Either way you have to work your a$$ off to build a business... you're on your own and your mommy cannot help you in the tough business.  I suggest putting your head down and working hard!

dude's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-15

JWKSKI said:
There is no better training in the indusrty than at Ed Jones.  Start there, they'll teach you the ropes and then make a decision.  Either way you have to work your a$$ off to build a business... you're on your own and your mommy cannot help you in the tough business.  I suggest putting your head down and working hard!
Reply:
JWKSKI, I make it a point not to bash people about the firm they work for but you are ignorant to make the above statement.  Jones might have decent training on marketing (mostly door knocking from my experience), but from my understanding Ed Jones has by far the worst training relative to actual invesments.  Very product push oriented, not much foundation. 
All of the Jones accounts I've taken have been a mismatch of individual stocks, mutual funds, UIT's, bonds and annuities, otherwise how would the IR get his "diversification" trip .  Diversification my a*s!!!!  Diversification is NOT "I'll have one of each of those annuities, stocks, bonds, funds and UIT's please"
JWKSKI: Jones is a fine place to start a career but when I was at Morgan Stanley, I was in training for 7 months and had to absorb thousands of pages of investment theory and economics in addition to getting my 7, 66, 31 and life insurance licenses before I could even talk to a prospect.  How could you say that Ed Jones gives better training than that.  Put down the f*ckin kool aid or I might just be tempted to join in the Jones Rumble Royal.

Cowboy93's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-10

dude, again I hear you (see fee-based vs. comm discussion) but I think you may miss the bigger point....any reasonably educated person can LEARN the investment side of things; there is no shortage of great resources, even if you firm gives you squat (eg Edward Jones--I knoweth, I were there once).  However, the sales/biz development side of this business is mind-numbingly hard, as we know all too well.  An analogy:  product training is beta, sales/biz dev training is alpha.  Beta is cheap (grab an index for a few different asset classes) and alpha is expensive (see index rankings among funds).  I much prefer to know what I'm talking about with prospects and clients, but if you have to pick knowing stuff or having clients, I know which one I'm picking.  This, by the way, has been a hard thing to come to terms with for me, because I love to spend time reading.  But it's not the most useful way to spend working hourse--not as bad as reading this board, but that's beside the point...

dude's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-15

Good point Cowboy, thanks for the reasoned reply.  I just get frustrated when people make broad based statements that aren't well rooted in experience.  Now that I read my post I can see it came across much more negative than I had intended.  Plus I get irritated (and happy for me at the same time) when I see investment incompetence, which has been most frequent among the Ed Jones accounts I have ACATed. 
Plus, even though I had what I percieve to be great training at Morgan (other than the kool aid), I would never have the gall to claim it's the best training out there; in fact I would suspect that Merrill probably has better training, but what do I know?

noggin's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

Dude- You can't really judge training by the evaluation of ACATed accounts from other firms. If that was the case, I would think that the training at Merrill was suspect when I know it not to be. Investment incompetence isn't really isolated these days to any one firm but really depends on the individual. That is one the reasons I have decided to get my CFP while at Jones.

dude's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-15

Noggin,
You're absolutley right.  Although most of the Jones brokers I have met seemed very hazy on their ivestment IQ relative to the wirehouse guys/gals I've met/worked with.  There are definitely exeptions to the rules.  I've ACATed crappy accounts from many different firms, not just ED JONES, although I tend to see more "product jumbalaya's" from Jones. 
I will say that the training I had at Morgan was pretty intense and covered everything from MPT, to VAR to Monte Carlo and estate planning etc.......  I had to pass all the tests with 80% or better and was a hell of a lot of work.  It's my understanding that Jones doesn't do anything near this intense and is mostly focused on product sales. 

jamesbond's picture
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Joined: 2005-03-21

Other than the door knocking propsecting method, EJ training is all a rip off of Phil Broyles top producer method of building a business.When I was in college, I interned with a Heavy Hitter at Dean Witter (Tony Malatino). I was in the office when Phil Broyles came by to talk to the rooks and he handed out cards with his TP method. This was back in 91.     

noggin's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

dude wrote:
Noggin,
You're absolutley right.  Although most of the Jones brokers I have met seemed very hazy on their ivestment IQ relative to the wirehouse guys/gals I've met/worked with.  There are definitely exeptions to the rules.  I've ACATed crappy accounts from many different firms, not just ED JONES, although I tend to see more "product jumbalaya's" from Jones. 
I will say that the training I had at Morgan was pretty intense and covered everything from MPT, to VAR to Monte Carlo and estate planning etc.......  I had to pass all the tests with 80% or better and was a hell of a lot of work.  It's my understanding that Jones doesn't do anything near this intense and is mostly focused on product sales. 

 
I think you are probably right as you are what you make yourself in this business. If all you want to do is sell mutual funds then I am sure that one can find enough clients to do that or substitute any other product in there and you get the same result. I have been amazed at the lack of investment knowledge out there by going through the CFP. There are many others in my class that barely have a clue about what they are doing and worse yet don't know the questions they should be asking.

dude's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-15

Hell, I knew a CFP who loaded her book up on firey dot coms and rode it all the way to Hades.  When the markets came up from the bowels of hell for a breath (the fire consumes all the oxygen) Her book was too crispy to make any use of.  Needless to say she burned out of the business.  It was only a matter of time before they fired her.  Man, were those clients (I inherited some) hot under the collar.

noggin's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

Dude- Those are the kind of advisors that keep us in business, huh?

got2breal's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-01

Whatever you do, stay the F away from UBS.  The pressure is on after the re-org and the pay here sux.  Their cutting bonuses this year because they are using the new number system.

Revealer's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-13

noggin wrote:Dude- Those are the kind of advisors that keep us in business, huh? Not really. Those are the kind of advisors that give us ALL a bad name.         & nbsp;         & nbsp;         & nbsp;         & nbsp;         & nbsp;         & nbsp;  

JonesIR's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-31

"bankrep,

I still think the bank is the best place to build a book from scratch, if you have years of experience then consider indy or a wire. Rookies who are young have a .00001 % chance of success at a wirehouse unless they're family is wealthy and give them a bone. A more established rookie who has connections from a prior career has alot better chance of success."

I think odds for success are lower at wirehouse starting from scratch, but not quite that low! I bet the odds are 15% if you really want it. I made it, but have had a lot of support from my company and family.

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

I will buy that.  But for someone in their 20's it is .0001% I think the place to start would be doing something like an internal wholesaler or a paraplanner.  Trying to be an advisor to people of 40-60 when your 20 is a lost cause the older I get the less resistance I have from people I am in my 30's now.

JonesIR's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-31

I agree it is more difficult, but not that hard. I was in my mid 20s when starting at wire house and made it. Everyone has obstacles, mine were my pimples and being 1/3 my clients age, for you it may be your strange perspective on how wonderful bank brokerages are. Just kidding.

BROKR1's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-28

JonesIR wrote:"bankrep, I still think the bank is the best place to build a book from scratch, if you have years of experience then consider indy or a wire. Rookies who are young have a .00001 % chance of success at a wirehouse unless they're family is wealthy and give them a bone.
I really appreciate this statement from bank rep. I recently got my 7. I was working with an insurance firm, so I se the difficulty of prospecting. It would be better for me to get a job in a bank. Build a book. then maybe move on.
Thanks Bankrep....
Brokr1

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

JonesIR wrote:I agree it is more difficult, but not that hard. I was in my mid 20s when starting at wire house and made it. Everyone has obstacles, mine were my pimples and being 1/3 my clients age, for you it may be your strange perspective on how wonderful bank brokerages are. Just kidding.
Jones IR, you started and made it at a wirehouse and moved to Edward Jones?
I'm not trying to criticize your decision; it's just that I don't think I've ever met or even heard of a broker going TO Jones from a wire.

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