Ed Jones Makes Front Page of Post

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Lance Legstrong's picture
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Hey guys we are all famous...The St. Louis Post Dispatch sited internet message boards for brokers....I guess that is us!  Does anyone know of other message boards for Reps?
Here is the link for the complete story.....Enjoy!  Oh an btw there is EVEN more BAD News for EDJ just around the corner!   Melt downs are easy when the core of the business is based on a CONFIDENCE SCHEMES!  EDJ or any firm for that matter has NOTHING unique to offer to their brokers or clients except a perception of CONfidence.  When that CON starts to be questioned by the brokers, the clients, the PROSECUTORS the Regulators and now even THE PRESS -  melt downs can occur very quicky.
If I were a Jones broker I would be preparing ASAP for a move.  Take YOUR clients to calmer waters.   Open your eyes the The STORM is just starting.....has anyone ever tried to move accounts from SIPC recievership?  Why don't you ask the brokers up at Miller Johnson aka Stock Walk in MN.   A few years ago $50 million book value was wiped out in three days and Southwest came in an just assumed the accounts...a huge mess! 
Remember whats ahead for EDJ that we KNOW about:
1. California AG $300 million claims.
2. At least 9 separate class actions suits from clients going for another $500 million
mmmm the math starts to look pretty bad.
Their $700 million capital base can start to erode rather quickly that of course compounded by client/broker exodus and the implications of that to revenue and profits.  Anybody what to buy some Jones LP units?
CONfindence is over boys face it! 
The BIG question is what is going happen that we DON'T know about... 
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/stories.nsf/moneym arkets/story/9C8F4446A91C861486256F91002543A4?OpenDocument&a mp;Headline=After+sanctions,+it's+no+longer+business+as+usua l+at+Edward+

The Truth's picture
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Let me also add that "The Bulldog" is getting his bite on.  He will be front and center real soon.

Jonestown's picture
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Fun links for troubled times....
http://www.sec.gov/complaint/selectconduct.shtml

uwec86's picture
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Great article!

troll's picture
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The Truth wrote:
Let me also add that "The Bulldog" is getting his bite on.  He will be front and center real soon.

the bulldog?  PM me if you dont' want to clarify for the whole board.....I is verrrrry confused!

Lance Legstrong's picture
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Me too ... Who or What The F*&k is the "Bull Dog"  Please PM or Post

Lance Legstrong's picture
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I ran into a Jones guy yesterday.  I said; "You know I am sorry to read about all the bad news.  He replies "What Bad News?"  Well I say; "That your firm was fined $75 million and your managers were under criminal investigation and now the St. Louis newspapers are reporting that business will change..."
This guy responds..."That all of that was just old news and it has no impact on the firm WHATSOEVER".  Talk about Wacko!
Rather than argueing with him, I just felt sorry for the poor schmuck!  For most of these Jones people intoxicated on the Jones Juice it is like they are an alcholic.....they really do not believe that any of this has an impact on their clients, their reputation and that they just can just "will" away the problems.
If you know a Jones guy try an intervention and point out the impact that they Jones Juice guzzling is having on their professional reputation.  Grab them by the lapels and shake them around, they need to come to Jesus and realize that their relationship and duty to their client is far more important than protecting the greedy HO.
Jones business plan is real simple:  "Get a bunch of friendly people, tell them to make a bunch of friends, then abuse the hell out of those relationships until the FBI comes in"
 
 
 

brokerdude's picture
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Okay...first time post, but long time reader.  So, I call a friend at the home office of Jones...just a regular guy who isn't an LP, and ask him to run some numbers....Turns out Jones is actually growing week to week since December.  It is smaller growth than normal, but growth nonetheless.  Up about 40 brokers since Dec. 1, Commissions last week were at their highest point since mid November...up about a million (He wouldn't give exacts) since last week alone.  Accounts are about even numbers wise.  sales per IR were up about $50/day  since Dec. 1.    I'm sure there will be people in this group that will parse this to mean one thing or another, but objectively...They are in fact growing despite the publicity.  Had him run it for 6 months as well and while broker growth has been stagnant (THey have grown something like 100 brokers since then), sales and assets are up considerably on a 6 month timeline as well.    Rumors of their demise are greatly exaggerated.
Just adding a modicum of fact to the board.

Jonestown's picture
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Turns out Jones is actually growing week to week since December
No one leaves in December, so I would expect that hiring 200 brokers per month could yield a 40 net gain.
Accounts are about even numbers wise
Almost 10,000 brokers and net new account growth is ZERO?
sales and assets are up considerably on a 6 month timeline as well.
The market as measured by the S&P 500 grew significantly in the fourth quarter of 2004, so with as many stock funds as Jones has under supervision, I would expect asset growth to be tremendous.  And like you mentioned, they had no new account growth, so that is a pretty good indicator that it wasn't growth from asset inflows.

eddjones654's picture
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brokerdude,,
Could you please recheck the numbers you got as there seem to be some inconsistencies (followup to Jonestown 200 new brokers per month but only 100 net in last 6 months with 40 in December alone??)
Anyway to check if the commissions were on liquidations and transfer outs or on new buys (yes StL has access to that type of info), as for up a Million over 10,000 brokers that's only an addition $100/broker  (could you update for what time period that was for). 
Any chance your friend could provide some numbers as far as how many brokers left the firm (yes they keep those numbers too)
Biggest info would be how many locations were open?

stanwbrown's picture
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What's the closure rate on those one man offices in strips malls that I've seen? Seems like it must be very, very high....

frankstrom's picture
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The net broker number is something that has been batter on this board in the past.  One legitimate point that was made by others but ignored was looking at IR Churn at Jones as compared to the industry. 
If Jones has 9000 IRs, they are going to loose between 180-200 IRs per month based on industry norms (using 25% annual churn and I know it is higher).  Jones is putting 200 IRs into the training program, they let 60-70% take the test.  That leaves 140 (@70%) going into the test.
They have a 90% pass rate.  We are now at 125 and 70% make it to Eval Grad.  So, they license about 90 new IRs per month.
Now, all of the above percentages are pretty good compared to the industry.
So, if Jones is adding or staying flat, they have a great retention rate (it was the low teens when I was at Jones).
What I don't get is that to grow, they need to improve the above numbers (and that would be hard to do) or start pumping more people through the system.
 

Lance Legstrong's picture
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You guys are missing the point.  Jones was successfully running a CON game for years!  That is over.  For first time there is skeptism, embarrassment, negative press comments and criminal investigations. 
Jones strategy: "Lets tell everyone that all of this has no impact on us at all and hope they all forget about it!"
They still don't even get what they did;  "They violated the trust between their brokers and their clients for the sole purpose of lining their own pockets and then lied to SEC about it."
You can banter about the numbers, but the real test is in front of them with the CA AG and the class actions claims.  Will their capital base hold up?  No investors not even drunken RRs would be stupid enough to invest in LPs to fund the lawsuits.
If you have access to HO...ask this question  "How much is their audit firm requiring them to set aside as a contingent liability to deal with the known legal claims?"   Then see what their net capital is after that, not a earnings hit but a regulatory capital hit and that is just the start....if nothing else they may have to start worrying about their margin balances.  Right now it looks like Jones has $2.3 Billion in margin balances...at the minimum they need $230 million of unicumbered capital to support that.  
It is about the Capital Base Stupid!  
 
 
 

stanwbrown's picture
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"If Jones has 9000 IRs, they are going to loose between 180-200 IRs per month based on industry norms (using 25% annual churn and I know it is higher)."
25% annual churn is industry average? I doubt that. I can see a high churn rate with trainees (the "25% after 5 years" sounds right), but 24% including seasoned RRs? Again, I have my doubts.
"  Jones is putting 200 IRs into the training program, they let 60-70% take the test. "
Huh? They have that small a percentage of trainees actually take the test? That's amazingly low. I know firms like Merrill have 90%+ pass rates for the exams and that's with something like 97% of all trainees taking them.
Sounds to me like the turn over in those one man offices is even higher that I thought.
 

brokerdude's picture
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Some numbers are wrong that are being bantered.  Jones only put about 70 brokers through training last month.  Called him and while he is uneasy talking, he says that so far in Jan, 28 brokers have left.  19 were not up to snuff.  4 were okay and 5 were apparently profitable or some such thing (I think he called them stratus 1 2 and 3  or something like that) 
The one million in sales was an increase for last week over the prior week in Net 1 week commissions for all brokers.  He will get me some customer numbers after early Feb, but they did increase their customer base by about 100,000 clients in December. 
As for all of the audit/reserves questions...I don't know...I think you overstate the value of those claims...Jones will not end up paying CA 300 million.  Think more in terms of 3-5 million for that one even if they lost it big.  (I don't know but do they have that many brokers in CA to start with?)
Personally, I went indi too long ago to care too much (1997) but I hate to see this board get too hyped up about Jones dying.  I still have some fond friends from there and quite frankly felt like they trained me well.  My decision to leave wasn't so much based on a hatred of the place as it was just about money.
 

Lance Legstrong's picture
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You are right about one thing Brokerdude, it is about money. The SEC and the NYSE require firms to have enough money to support their margin balances and customer reserve requirements. When they do not have enough money they are shut down and SIPC takes over.

Do any of you youngsters remember Drexel? They were very profitable.....didn't matter though. The law suits from the junk bond sales practices put them under! If you think you can guess the outcome of a lawsuit then you are in the wrong business.

Look I don't hate or dislike Jones. I am just reminding everyone that reads this board that Financial Institutions that are required to keep their capital unincumbered can go very quickly. Remember General American, Drexel, Miller Johnson,? All of those firms remained "profitable" but the plaintif lawyers and regulators took away all of their capital and the regulators shut it down.

Also when you got all of these legal claims hanging around you can not raise capital. If Jones were a public company the short interest would be at record levels. The industry analyst know that a brokerage firm needs capital and broker/clietn confidence when either one of those is gone it is over!

Go aheed Homies ask the big shots that prepare the FOCUS reports see what they think about the capital issues, but the better questions are posed to the outside auditors who have to sign off on the net capital computations.

Its The Capital Stupid!

illuminati's picture
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Lance Legstrong wrote:Also when you got all of these legal claims hanging around you can not raise capital. If Jones were a public company the short interest would be at record levels. The industry analyst know that a brokerage firm needs capital and broker/clietn confidence when either one of those is gone it is over! 
"When the strong box contains no more, both friends and flatterers shun the door."
- Plutarch 

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Lance-illuminati- Edward Jones is going to fail, but it will not be for lack of capital (remember those limited partnerships), nor will they fail from the recent SEC fine. Edward Jones is doomed to fail because of its business model. When I first joined EDJ I must say I was naive. I thought the one broker office was great. Then I realized the headaches involved with dealing with a BOA, buying all the supplies out of my pocket, dealing with the other tenants and the landlord through EDJ, back office,wanting to get things done, but then dealing with the bureaucracy. Talk about frustrating. So much for my experience. The one person office is why Edward Jones will fail. Why you ask? Because, you cannot put 8000+ people in the field with little or no experience, and not be prepared for them to screw up from time to time. This is a compliance nightmare. IF THIS WAS SUCH A GOOD MODEL WOULDN'T SMITH BARNEY, OR MERRILL BE ORGANIZED IN THE SAME WAY?

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Former, that is the worst argument I have read for Jones to fail. Jones will fail because IRs have to buy their own toilet paper? Those were the rantings on this board before the revenue sharing added at least a legitimate argument here. Just how low was your production? (sorry, that comment was uncalled for)

Uptick1's picture
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Brokerdude!!!!
Come on now I KNOW your facts are not right.  The breakdown of brokers is completely incorrect.  Jones lost one of their TOP producers in January over a $1,000,000 producer in addition to several profitable offices some over $100 million in assets.  In fact rumor has it that over Martin Luther weekend they may have lost as many as 30 offices alone.  I am telling everyone on this board DO NOT take to heart anything brokerdude post because I promise you his numbers are incorrect.  I apologize you are getting bad information, but tell your friend to check himself.  Apparently the brainwashing is happening at all levels of the firm. 
 

Starka's picture
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Guest1, that's not what he said.
When I started at Jones, the mantra was, "Be In Business For Yourself, But Not By Yourself".  "As close to independent as you can get, but with full back office support".  We were told at every regional meeting that EDJ wanted independent thinkers.  The reality, however, was that if you tried to do anything outside the Jones model, you were told to stick to the recipe, and don't go wandering off.  At the time, I just bought in, thinking that it would get easier as my production went up.  Well, in Segment 4, I learned that all I was going to get was more work to do, more meetings to go to, and more "help" in getting to the $30K/month production level, by learning how to cram more work into my day.
Whatever happened to "As long as you run a clean, profitable office, no one will bother you about production"?  By that time, of course, your gross is over $300K and you think, "Well, at least I'm comfortable and I don't want to start over again", and you stop thinking at all.
I stepped off that particular merry-go-round three years later than I should have, but stepped off nonetheless.
The demise of Jones, if in fact it ever comes, will be because the brokers open their eyes and talk amongst themselves.

Lance Legstrong's picture
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Joined: 2005-01-12

Can anyone pm me the name and contact information of any recently departed (within the last year) Jones IR?
Thanks
 
 

The Truth's picture
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Former is right on target.  The 1 man office is a compliance nightmare and the rest of the industry knows this and thus this is one of the reasons you don't see a Merrill or SB doing it.  Plus the number of unsuccessful offices is a huge drain on profits.  All it takes is for some negative press and some screwups to have the house cave in on them.  The regulators have never liked the Jones model, but because they have historically stayed under the radar screen they have been able to avoid potential problems.  This is all about to change and the regulators will be all over Jones.  If only the regulators knew where else to look at this model they would find some other huge flaws.......

Starka's picture
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Why do you think that the regulators don't already know where to look?

BigPayDay's picture
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Lance Legstrong wrote: You are right about one thing Brokerdude, it is about money. The SEC and the NYSE require firms to have enough money to support their margin balances and customer reserve requirements. When they do not have enough money they are shut down and SIPC takes over.

Do any of you youngsters remember Drexel? They were very profitable.....didn't matter though. The law suits from the junk bond sales practices put them under! If you think you can guess the outcome of a lawsuit then you are in the wrong business.

Look I don't hate or dislike Jones. I am just reminding everyone that reads this board that Financial Institutions that are required to keep their capital unincumbered can go very quickly. Remember General American, Drexel, Miller Johnson,? All of those firms remained "profitable" but the plaintif lawyers and regulators took away all of their capital and the regulators shut it down.

Also when you got all of these legal claims hanging around you can not raise capital. If Jones were a public company the short interest would be at record levels. The industry analyst know that a brokerage firm needs capital and broker/clietn confidence when either one of those is gone it is over!

Go aheed Homies ask the big shots that prepare the FOCUS reports see what they think about the capital issues, but the better questions are posed to the outside auditors who have to sign off on the net capital computations.

Its The Capital Stupid!

Lance Legs, remember him?

I guess it isn't the capital, Stupid!

Lance Legs...........R.I.P.

BPD

Player's picture
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BigPayDay,
Answer the QUESTIONS........?

BigPayDay's picture
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What questions?

BPD

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BigPayDay wrote:What questions? BPD
BigPayDay (BRAINWASHED)
HERE THEY ARE:

BigPayDay wrote:

Bench Warmer,

BigPayDay, Here are your answersJones settled because they thought it was in the best interest of our clients and our advisors. It is very difficult to fignt the U.S. Government in court or for that matter in the press. We did not admit or deny any wrong doing. Are you say JONES DID NO WRONG, YES OR NO ! no "WEASEL" words..?Doug Hill took the sword for the firm. I know you won't believe this, but it is the truth. HE negotiated the settlement and as he said "There is no one person bigger than the firm." "BS", HE KEPT IS BUTT OUT OF JAIL...FACT!    You are living in FANTASY LAND, CALL THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN MISSOURI, ASK DOUG HILL TO TELL HIM, THAT IN WRITING! CHECK OUT THE WSJ, I KNOW YOUR CLIENTS DON'T READ IT, BUT YOU NEED TO, IT'S BEEN REPORTED SEVERAL TIMES, GO READ IT! As far as other firms not doing revenue sharing, take a look at the following:  NOT ALL FIRMS REVENUE SHARE , YES OR NO?  i SAY NO, WHAT YOU SAY?http://www.americanfunds.com/pdf/mfgepb-905_gfab.pdf see page 26. Yes there are SEVERAL indy firms on the list including Ray Jay and LPL. BUT NOT ALL, ARE THERE ?As far as Jones being a laughing stock, I doubt it. Maybe to you Jones Failures, but our greatest critic, our clients, in a survey done in Jan and Feb of this year ranked Edward Jones #1 in customer satisfaction. We don't have to answer to the press or envious, jealous Jones failures like you. We serve our clients. Period.
Actually I was very successful at Jones, a Partner, always made top bonus level, recruited, and trained for the FIRM, I got PO'd because the GP's would not fully disclose what was going on , and kept telling us that the "SEC" CHECKING US(JONES) OUT WAS NOTHING! THAT WAS NOT TRUE, WAS IT?
THE GREED OF THE GP'S FINALLY CAUGHT-UP WITH THEM AND THE FIRM, YES OR NO ?
lthough we do not do Wrap Fees in lieu of commission, we do have a Fee Based Advisory program for HNW who are investing $500k or more. Most folks investing under $500k can invest less expensivly than a Fee Based pogram and usually aren't in a high enough tax bracket where writing off the advisory fees helps their taxes. YOU NEED EDUCATION, AND FACTS IN THIS AREA, CHECK IT OUT...THERE IS A REAL WORLD OUT THERE FOR YOU AND YOUR CLIENTS TO DISCOVER, like full discloser, of FEES & CHARGES, and JONES is not close to the lowest!A few months ago you, Lance Legs, & uwec something or other were saying Jones didn't have enough capital to stay in business. Well guess what? We just had our best trimester in the firm's history. We are in the 40% bonus bracket, almost as high as the heydays of the late '90s. Our limited Partnership, which as averaged 22% since 1990, is at an annualized rate through the first 4 months of over 20%. Over 1/2 of our IRs went on a diversification trip last contest period. Did I mention being the Lexus of the Financial Services industry with our highest Customer Satisfaction rating in JD Powers annual survey? Jones dumped $58million into our profit sharing plan last year. (How much of that goes towards GPs? Zero!) Should I go on?
Get your Facts straight:
1) PLAYER never said such a thing as Jones had a Financial Problem, California could change that?  DO NOT PUT MY NAME WITH THOSE OTHERS
2) JD Power award never asked those clients "How would you feel if Edward Jones got fined for 75 Million Dollars by the SEC, but didn't feel their clients were important enough to tell them about it ? 
What do you think the rating would be then?
3) Your Ir's going on Trips, they pay taxes on, revenue they produced and they live off 38%, so getting back part of the 62% you left on the table is not really too smart is it ?  There is no FREE LUNCH or TRIPS, even at EDWARD JONES?It isn't as bad as you Jones Bashers (i.e. Jones Failures) wish it was.
I LEFT WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?  How can you stand your FIRM , not disclosing to your CLIENTS, what has happen...or can you justify anything...like Bill 3 Mil Hill the FRAUD JUMPER? You need to get Jones out of your head. Move on. Life's too short. You may want to seek professional help.
BigPayDay, I have moved on but when I read Hippocrates like you touting how GREAT THE FIRM IS, when the FIRM has failed to be HONEST to their CLIENTS....I FEEL ASHAMED,for Ted & Edward Jones, they would be rolling over in their graves, wouldn't you?
I don't understand how you have put up with out demanding FULL DISCLOSURE for YOU & your clients, or DOESN'T THAT MATTER TO YOU?
ASK YOUR CLIENTS WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT IT, IF YOU HAVE THE GUTS? 
I feel us x-jonsers care more about the integrity of the Firm's past,  than you hanger on's, at least we could look our clients right in the eye and say we have explained everything they should know about our GREAT FIRM, can you really do that now?
Big Pay Day ________________________________________ The Grass is GREENER where you water it! BigPayDay__________________Hi Ho Hi Ho it's off to INDY we go...........

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BigPayDaySenior MemberJoined: Jan. 10 2005Posts: 217

Posted: May 27 2005 at 11:18pm | IP Logged

Bench Warmer, So you do what you do for Ted Jones. How special. Sounds like you have a warm heart. You say you've moved on. Dude get a grip. Jones has you by the neck and they are shaking you till you can't breath.....and then you wake up and ask your boyfriend to spoon you because you're scared. Out.

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PlayerGroupieJoined: Dec. 08 2004Location: United StatesPosts: 64

Posted: May 28 2005 at 10:57am | IP Logged

BigPayDay (Brainwashed),
At least I can answer questions, let's see what your answers are ?
Are you AFRAID of the TRUTH?
There has never been a JONES SUPPORTER on here yet that has answered QUESTIONS, they only fire back insults...is that how they are teaching salemanship at Edward Jones......
SHOW US WHAT YOU ARE MADE OF "PUNK" make my DAY....

Lance Legstrong's picture
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Lance Lives

jonesmad's picture
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I want some honest feedback. I have been at Jones for some time now. My production is over 500k and I want to leave. I see the advantages of fee based business for me and my clients. I cannot seem to make the move. The thought of starting over and fighting for my clients does not seem that apealing. But staying here is not either. I see alot of the things you guys talk about coming true. Tell me what to expect going indy?

Indyone's picture
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JM,
I made the jump (from a bank) this summer and have no regrets whatsoever.  If anything, you'll probably end up asking yourself why you didn't do it sooner.  Starka went indy from Jones...you might PM him with questions...I found him to be very helpful, as was Joedabroker.  Preparation is important...you don't want to jump and them try to put your plan of attack together.  I started a thread way back called Raymond James vs. LPL.  If you search on that text string, you should find it.  There's a lot of good information in there about going independent, which should be helpful to you.  Good luck and keep us posted...

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JM, also check in with Zacko.  He was also an IR doing over $500k at Jones when he made the switch to independence a couple years ago.  Based on his posts he really didn't have to fight to retain clients or didn't "start over", as you fear.  In fact, it sounds like his gross & assets are meaningfully higher than when he left Jones, and of course his "net, net" is much higher.
If you were in a wirehouse I'd give you the sermon that independence is certainly not for everyone, as it involves a lot of "stuff" that many reps just wouldn't be capable of handling, or are interested in handling.  But, at Jones you're as close to being independent as one can be without being independent.  You know what it's like to work alone, what it's like to turn that key in the lock every morning, what it's like to deal with a copier breaking, what it's like to have your BOA call in sick or pregnant, etc.  The point is, at Jones you're already dealing with much of the situational issues that affect all indies. 

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jonesmad wrote:I want some honest feedback. I have been at Jones for some time now. My production is over 500k and I want to leave. I see the advantages of fee based business for me and my clients. I cannot seem to make the move. The thought of starting over and fighting for my clients does not seem that appealing. But staying here is not either. I see alot of the things you guys talk about coming true. Tell me what to expect going indy?
Jonesmad,
Take your time, don't rush, take a look around talk to several Indy's find one that fits you.  There are many changes, like Insurance, most Indys don't have any, you will now be self-employed not an employee.  Talk to your CPA, show him or her your P&L, have them help you figure out your expenses, check out computer systems, understand your cost will be a lot less than you are getting charged from Edward Jones on your P&L.  Find your office space, your equipment and phone expenses will be much lower also.
I too was over the 500K mark and spent many hours with my CPA, who really was behind me in leaving, I also discussed this with my Attorney, I covered all of my bases.   Once your CPA shows you what you are leaving on the table and not giving it to yourself and your family it will not be a hard decision.
Make sure you tell your top 25% of your book, if possible get your BOA to leave with you, if you have those two things taken care of the rest will fall into place.     Non-competes do not hold up, you have over 5 years so no training cost to pay back.
Leave on a Friday or a long holiday weekend.............you will have your book transferred over before they know what hit them, most firms will help you with transition, remember you are doing this for your clients and yourself.......Don't look back.........................  

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