EDJ #2 Best Company to Work for... Huh?

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Ready2Jump's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-30

I haven't been out here since leaping two years ago, but seeing them on the list again just kills me... Why the flip do they keep getting ranked?  It must be the internals and BOA's who they interview...
The comment online that they are growing and added 698 new FA's recently just makes me fume... they should be required to disclose how many they lost during that same time... and what the average experience is of the ones they "added"...
 
I do love EDJ, however, since I have to say their former clients supply 80% of my revenue.
 
 
 
 

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

Why?  Because it's a great company to work for.  Pretty simple.  If you are a home office person you get good benefits, a great working environment, and lots of communication from management.  And you don't EVER worry about getting laid off.  My guess would be that the majority of the people who get interviewed are home office folks. 
You must have missed the last 16 years of RRep's annual broker report cards.  Jones...#1.  You must have also missed the one from the Luxury Institute Study that ranked Jones #1 in customer satisfaction, not just with people with less than $1Mil, but also with people over $1 Mil.  I could go on, but it would sound like bragging.
 
As to your comment about the credentials of the ones they added, what were your credentials when you got into the biz?  CFA? CFP?  Finance major?  Portfolio manager with 10 years of experience?  Every one of the people who sit their evidently happy butts in a Jones FA chair has to pass the same exact exams that the rest of the industry does.  So what makes those folks any different than you?  Everyone in this business was doing something different before they got into this business.  Did that sound too Yogi Berra?  So, why does it matter what those folks did before EDJ?   

Ready2Jump's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-30

Hmmm... I must have missed all that wonderful stuff... and I was in a completely unrelated profession with absolutely no experience... I was a salesman, NOT a FA... I had to become a FA through study and testing on my clients...
 
Thank you for helping me make my point....

Ready2Jump's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-30

I have to thank EDJ, however, since they do have a great SALES training program and made passing the 7 without knowing I was passing it very easy.   They gave me years of experience that I can now use against them.  The office I left is on it's third college grad.... which is why it is so easy to compete against.  It's obvious you haven't been in the place of a seg 2-3 for a while or you would understand me...  
And the three trips I won before I left were pretty cool too....

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

Actually, you are making my point.  You, like the majority of Jones FAs, didn't have any investment training prior to becoming a Jones FA.  You were a salesman.  Maybe you sold washing machines at Sears, who knows,  but you weren't a Wall Street guy.  
The vast majority of people who come to Jones are exactly like you.  No real investment experience.  So, whether they're recent college grads or mid life career changers, doesn't really matter.  Jones teaches sales skills first, investments second.  Just imagine how powerful Jones would be if they spent the same amount of time training their advisors to dissect portfolios and compete against other firms on something other than service.  Maybe you'd still be at Jones.

Ready2Jump's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-30

Hmmm. so maybe we actually agree?  Or am I still fuzzy from the koolaid?

footsoldier's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-30

Jones teaches sales skills first, investments second.Imagine if the montra was investments first and sales skills second.Maybe oh maybe, they might retain more reps. I used to think it was good training. Now I realize its nothing more than sales training.I can still remember the analogy they taught us rookies about mutual funds....You are standing in a lobby looking at two elevators. One is held up by one cable. The other is supported by 200 cables.Which elevator would you choose if one cable snapped!!!Oh how I miss Jones........................................NOT

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

ice - funny. 
foot - you mean you don't have a box of crayons, or a roll of pencils on your desk?  How about a ziploc bag?  I used to teach that one to discuss annuities.  Take that box of crayons (mutual funds) and drop them inside the plastic bag (insurance). 
 
IF I ever make it back to the home office as a GP, the first time I sit down with Weddle, I'm gonna ask him if I can start a program that does teach how to invest.  We're really good at doing what we do, which is prospecting and service.  Some of us have taken the time to learn enough to know what we're looking at when we run the Morningstar reports.  Most guys though don't put that much thought into their businesses.  I think if there was a class just like KYC or Eval/Grad that focused on products of all kinds not just fund, case studies, and market history that Jones would be darn near unstoppable.  Instead we have a large group of FAs that for the first few years are the dog that caught the car.  I can't tell  you how many $500K+ portfolios that I've looked at that I didn't get before I started to realize that I was missing something. 
 
Ready - I think we do agree.   Jones gets high ratings because of their service to their clients and their treatment of their employees, not because we build the most sophisticated portfolios out there. 

babbling looney's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

Just imagine how powerful Jones would be if they spent the same amount of time training their advisors to dissect portfolios and compete against other firms on something other than service.  Maybe you'd still be at Jones.
 
Why ....YES.  Just imagine that the Jones sales force actually knew something about investments.  Man...they could own the world.

monopolybet's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-18

I can still remember the analogy they taught us rookies about mutual funds....You are standing in a lobby looking at two elevators. One is held up by one cable. The other is supported by 200 cables.Which elevator would you choose if one cable snapped!!!Oh how I miss Jones........................................NOT

____________________________________________________________________________
 
The BEST I ever heard was a vet that told me to go to the store and buy a can of tuna. Then wait until a client could not stand it anymore and they asked me "Why do you have a can of tuna on your desk?"  The you can tell them it is like the market,   and you tell them I eat tuna every day for lunch. Sometimes I buy it on sale, sometimes I pay full price. So this is how you invest, you buy all the time to get the right price? go figure....

snaggletooth's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-13

monopolybet wrote:
 
The BEST I ever heard was a vet that told me to go to the store and buy a can of tuna. Then wait until a client could not stand it anymore and they asked me "Why do you have a can of tuna on your desk?"  The you can tell them it is like the market,   and you tell them I eat tuna every day for lunch. Sometimes I buy it on sale, sometimes I pay full price. So this is how you invest, you buy all the time to get the right price? go figure....
 
I wonder how that mercury poisoning is treating you...

monopolybet's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-18

Maybe I have ground for a lawsuit, all that tuna with the koolaide made me sick.....just doing what the "vets" say you must do to build your business.

ultimateJonesClone's picture
Joined: 2009-01-22

Jones is a great firm. Like all firms though they are flawed. It is clear that if
you can get independent that is really the best way to go. You don't have any
artificial demands coming down from someone who has never met you.

I wish that Jones would be honest with the brokers about the
structure of the firm. The firm presents itself as a pure "meritocracy".
In this ideal world only the hardest working brokers advance or do well.

Jones is a great firm but in reality are only a partial meritocracy. In my
region there have been so many asset handoffs, transfer brokers posing as
rookies, and sons & daughters coming in - that it's hard to tell who has really
accomplished what.

A lot of these transfer brokers couldn't cut it at their previous firm, come to Jones,
reset the quota line for another three or four years, and then act like they've done
something great when they bring over half of their old book. They aren't really
rookies.

It's too bad Jim Weddle can't think outside the box and actually help some of the Segment
2 and 3 guys stick with the firm rather than swapping them all for rookies or transfer brokers. I
understand it's scary for him to think "outside the box".

If jones cared about their brokers a fraction as much as they say they care about the clients maybe they would acknowledge the worst year since 1931 as being more than a hiccup. Instead they predictable and robotically tout the "party line". All their slogans such as "not doing the work" are really substitutes for thinking. Each office is in a unique town and faces a unique set of circumstances.

The asset inheritors all avoid goals because of the trails they have on the inherited assets.
Sure, they have to haggle with clients that don't really trust them - because they aren't homegrown
clients. Still, their seats are fairly secure.

This business is all about dynamics and timing. Things change when you don't worry about your seat every day or worry about paying your bills every day. Is the guy who starts in 1995 better than the guy who starts in 2003?? Luck is a factor in all of this. Business is easy to find when you don't need it.

It's clear Jones has these best place to work surveys rigged. I could get a poll to say Barry Manilow is the best entertainer of all time if I only interview Barry Manilow fans.

A lot of people feel the same way I do about the favoritism and nepotism. When Jones fires the real
new brokers and only asset inheritors and family members remain - the real history is erased. Watch your
region. After a few years asset inheritors act like they built their book on their own.

All firms are puppy mills somewhat. I am surviving on my sheer determination but the truth is I think the industry is somewhat corrupt.

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

Clone,
That's actually pretty accurate. It's also the same everywhere, it's just that the Jones structure makes it more glaring (the one-man office). I have a few close friends on goals right now, and though they are not the
"best" yet, they are working hard, but just haven't quite hit their stride. But my point is, they are going to replace them with brand new, untrained people. Wouldn't it make far more sense to develop some type of program to identify the people that are willing to "do the work", but just haven't quite "nailed it" yet, and help develop them? I'm not being soft, I'm looking more from the company's perspective. It seems so counter-productive to keep churning through FA's.
On the flip-side, I know they have put considerable effort into their process, so I assume they have proved to themselves that underachievers continue to underachive, and it's easier to keep looking for an "achiever" than keep a "laggard". I don't know the answer, I just know what they currently do seems counter-intuitive to me.

monopolybet's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-18

I think it is EDJ biggest mistake, as a 2 almost seg 3. Their ONLY concern is the new FA. It means an easy part of their diversification trip. To add a New FA, all you have to do is hear Uncle Jim talk and in 20 minutes he spent 15 talking about the wonderful growth, (new fa's)  even in difficult times. Try being the 6th broker in 8 years in a small town, or better yet, a friend of mine is re-opening a location, after 5 broker failed in 4 years!! It is always to question you get is "How long are you going to stay?" They do not see attrition as a weakness, it is really a strange business model.  I look at where I am in the knowledge from when I had my first appointment, I have come a long way. It will be great when I do not owe them a penny, and I can walk away. The time I am planning my escape, is so much more fun then knocking on doors!! I know my clients will come with me, at least the ones I want.

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