Edward Jones' Incentive Trips

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IsOldSpiceRightForMe's picture
Joined: 2008-04-14

I've heard Edward Jones FA's have the opportunity to go to some pretty cool places on their incentive trips.  I'm just curiouse about where some of the coming up places are and what the trips have been like in the past.  Is it realistic for a first year FA to qualify for the trips?
Thanks!

Eyetattoo's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-29

Europe, Bahamas, Germany, Rome, just to name a few.....and yes your first year is the easiest to qualify.

noggin's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

It gets easier to qualify as your production grows....

CIBforeveryone's picture
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Joined: 2005-07-12

It was always great when the newbies made the trip because of bonus points and all of the 10 year drones were asking him what he was doing to be so uber-successful in his first year!

noggin's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

I remember my first trip, i was the only one that had less than 5 yrs experience who won a trip starting from scratch, everyone else walked into a 30-50 million dollar office. Those pikers actually acted like they earned something......Oh well, good memories........

IsOldSpiceRightForMe's picture
Joined: 2008-04-14

Are you free to do what you want on those trips, or does the company have events everyday that you're expected to attend?

footsoldier's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-30

You are never free unless you are independent.

Sorry Spiff. I couldn't resist...
 

 
At Jones, especially your first trip, you are expected to make the meetings. To be fair, there aren't many meetings, almost always in the morning. And if you get a smart GP, they make it as short as possible (as long as they satisfy all the rules). I will say that the trips are one of the few things I do miss. I am happy to report though, that with the help of a travel professional. I am taking 9 people to Hawaii to celebrate our first indy diversifcation trip. It costs a bit more, and because I am seeing a client over there, much of the trip will be deductible according to my CPA.
 
A big difference there, because the trips are taxed at 50%!!!!
 

CreditOnion's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-17

Make sure you save enough money for the taxes they charge you with. My hit on the paycheck was $800 per month for the next 3 months. There after I referred to them as disincentive trips. You take a week off, lose the production, you pipeline is down, and they charge you for the trip on your pay check for the next 3 months. What a rip off.

henryhill's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-23

In your first two years, you receive some bonus points to help you win the trip.  I wouldn't call it easy, but the first two years may be easier than the two following.  Other trips have included the indy 500, NCAA final four, Mercedes golf tournament and the US Open tennis tournament.  There are always trips to Europe, the beach and Disney.  There is only one meeting to attend and it is done before lunch.

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

The trips are great.  Yes, the taxes hit your paycheck and you take a week out of production, but so would a regular vacation.  I think the second contest is the easiest one to hit.  You still have some bonus points, but a few months of ramping up your pipeline to get things going. 
The trips for this period are:
New York, NY - Christmas shopping trip w/$700 shopping allowance. 
Daytona 500
St. Thomas, USVI Cruise
Barbados Cruise
Maui
Sorrento, Italy
Orlando, FL - Disney trip where you stay at Disney and they give you Park Hopper Passes
Kauai
Beijing, China
Borneo, Malaysia
Deauville/Normandy & Paris, France - Think D-Day invasion trip for a history buff
Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
Breckenridge, CO - Ski Trip
Chile & Argentina
Malta
St. Kitts, USVI
Berlin, Germany
 
In addition to just getting to go on the trip they also have breakfast and dinner allowances (cash they hand you), two planned dinners with the group, and typically some other things they throw in.  You can choose to participate with the group or not.  Nobody takes roll, except for the morning meeting the first full day you are there.  Credit Onion calls them a rip off.  He's evidently not priced a fancy vacation like the Jones trips.  My first trip was to Lake Como, Italy.  I checked into extending it a day on the front and back.  It would have cost me $500 a night to stay over at the .  So, 6 nights of that would have cost me $3000, plus airfare, plus meals, plus stuff I bought, plus the time and trouble of planning it all and worrying about it.  I think they are a great deal, even if they do hit your paycheck for taxes.  But the Onion probably thought the profitability bonuses were a rip off too because they taxed them at the same rate.  
 
noggin - ALL of them took over $30-50 million?  Really?  You had conversations with them in depth enough to find out all of their backgrounds and how much of a book they took over?  Congrats on winning yourself, but c'mon. 
 
 
  

CIBforeveryone's picture
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Spaceman Spiff wrote:
The trips are great.  Yes, the taxes hit your paycheck and you take a week out of production, but so would a regular vacation. 
 
 
 
This is one of those issues that Jones calls a point of compensation, but eventually you realize that it is not really compensation because as Spff says, they are really just a vacation that you pay for. I too admit they were nice, and you are getting a great discount bottom line compared to taking your own trip, but they are hardly "free" as you think they are early on.
 
If calculating the net net to bottom line, two $4000 trips= $8000-2600 taxes = 5400. Equal to about 2% of a 250k producer, 1% of a 540k producer.
 
They are what they are.
 

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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They're still better than anything I've heard of in the rest of the industry.  Most firms have something similar for top producers, but you are talking about the top 5% of that saleforce.  The little guy like Noggin (again, good job) wouldn't have a chance to go.  And it's not really a contest.  So if you work for ML and there's a production contest for the top 50 producers and you're #51, you're out of luck.  Not at Jones. 
 
Jones breaks down the trip taxes for anyone who wants to read the book.  Their math is as follows:
$5500 trip value - $1375 Fed taxes - $420 FICA - $165 State = $3540
 
So here's where the glass is either half empty or half full.  If you are the half empty guy, Jones just screwed you out of $1960, but you got to go to Lake Como, Italy.  If your glass is half full, Jones just gave you a $3540 bonus which you traded for a trip to Lake Como, Italy.  Either way, you still went to Lake Como, Italy. 
 
I would say that this falls in line with some of the other discussions we've been having about Jones and perceptions.  They never advertise the trips as free trips.  If you get the book and choose not to read the rules, you might get suprised when your paycheck is $653 lighter than you expected that first month.  But then shame on you for not reading the rules.  Jones isn't trying to hide anything.  People are just lazy. 

CIBforeveryone's picture
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Spiff I'll agree with everything you said. It's mis-perceptions.

NOLA_Advisor's picture
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CreditOnion wrote: Make sure you save enough money for the taxes they charge you with. My hit on the paycheck was $800 per month for the next 3 months. There after I referred to them as disincentive trips. You take a week off, lose the production, you pipeline is down, and they charge you for the trip on your pay check for the next 3 months. What a rip off.

God forbid they "rip" you off for deducting federally mandated taxes.

I could be wrong, because I have yet to go on one, but from my limited accounting knowledge, a self paid vacation would be funded with after tax dollars. With diversification trips, you are being taxed for a trip you never paid for yet is still considered revenue by the IRS. The additional benefit of having to only pay the taxed portion of the trip, is that you use future PRE-tax dollars to pay your federal obligation for the trip.

Does this sound about right?

WestH's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-29

Back to the original question about how hard is it to qualify as a first yr rep.
Well, I started my office from scratch in the big city in the early 90's, I finally qualified in my 3rd yr.  So we took 2 trips a yr for the rest of the 90's.
But since Jones called them "Diversification" trips, besides the Mutual Funds & Annuities sales, which was 90+ percentage of my business, I had to sell my clients Margin, fixed income, insurance, etc... stuff which I wasn't too sure were appropriate for some of my clients, to hit 6 or so goals in order to qualify.
The trips were very nice.  Great locations, great hotels, great networking w/ other Jones IR's.  Everything's wonderful, until the tax hit over the next 3 months.  In the 90's, it varied from $500 - $600 per month for next 3 months.   Guess it's up to $800 a month now. 
Jones valued the trips anywhere from $5000 - $7000 for 2 travelers.
Not about you guys, but I'm in the Chairman's Club at LPL now, & when we have to pay for the trips ourselves, we still don't ever spend even half that much for a family of 4.  We've just booked for an All-Inclusive resort in Cancun, airfare included, for us 4 this summer for under $2000.  And another trip to Hawaii for less than $3000.  All tax-deductible, & no taxes due to the firm afterwards.
LPL also have the Master's trips (to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Phoenix, & Hawaii for next yr) for 2 people, no taxes due afterwards.
We love the Jones trips, but for a young IR to pony up the taxes for 3 months afterwards sorta hurts. 
One yr, we just took the money, around $1600, instead of the Jones trip for 2, & booked a cruise for our family of 4 instead.  With money left over, & no taxes due afterwards....
 

IsOldSpiceRightForMe's picture
Joined: 2008-04-14

If you just take the money though, how's it taxed?  I think I've heard now the money option is $2,000.  How much of that would be take home?

NOLA_Advisor's picture
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IsOldSpiceRightForMe wrote: If you just take the money though, how's it taxed?  I think I've heard now the money option is $2,000.  How much of that would be take home?

That depends on your personal (or household) federal and state tax brackets.

After doing some research, you also have the option of reporting the trip yourself on your personal tax return but must notify EDJ that you are doing this.

spikedkoolaid's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-20

My first trip was a SuperTrip to Greek Isles Cruise.  I was a new to the industry and new to my territory(nothing given to me).  I made every trip and my wife and I loved the trips. 
Brazil, Germany, Paris, Maui, Tahiti, New Zealand, Monaco, Japan, etc.
The one thing I didn't like is the organized stuff...My wife and I decided after our trip to Paris, that if it entailed any group activity we would not go...That's when we really started to enjoy ourselves.  I also started to pre-extend our trips and get our own flight reservations.  That's when it became really fun.  I could find better flight times on my frequent flyer airline and cheaper.  I was always amazed by that.
All in all, it was a great experience, but at LPL they pay all my expenses and I don't get taxed.  Much more of a meeting but I don't have to go to anything if I don't want.  No GP's taking notes in the back of the room.

jwcopper's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-13

Back in the good old days you actually got more points for selling some fund families over others.  That was great.  And I am sure all of the new disclosure requirements are being followed to the letter.  I remember when they sent us the memo saying we had to read this lengthy disclosure to clients.  Something along the lines of 'I may be recommending these investments so I can win a trip, I may get a bonus just because you open an account, everything I am telling you is hinging upon a conflict of interest.'  Does anyone have  copy of that fun full page disclosure the EDJ folks are supposed to be reading to the client before opening an account, I wish I kept that one for the hallway of shame.

noggin's picture
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Spaceman Spiff wrote:
The trips are great.  Yes, the taxes hit your paycheck and you take a week out of production, but so would a regular vacation.  I think the second contest is the easiest one to hit.  You still have some bonus points, but a few months of ramping up your pipeline to get things going. 
The trips for this period are:
New York, NY - Christmas shopping trip w/$700 shopping allowance. 
Daytona 500
St. Thomas, USVI Cruise
Barbados Cruise
Maui
Sorrento, Italy
Orlando, FL - Disney trip where you stay at Disney and they give you Park Hopper Passes
Kauai
Beijing, China
Borneo, Malaysia
Deauville/Normandy & Paris, France - Think D-Day invasion trip for a history buff
Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
Breckenridge, CO - Ski Trip
Chile & Argentina
Malta
St. Kitts, USVI
Berlin, Germany
 
In addition to just getting to go on the trip they also have breakfast and dinner allowances (cash they hand you), two planned dinners with the group, and typically some other things they throw in.  You can choose to participate with the group or not.  Nobody takes roll, except for the morning meeting the first full day you are there.  Credit Onion calls them a rip off.  He's evidently not priced a fancy vacation like the Jones trips.  My first trip was to Lake Como, Italy.  I checked into extending it a day on the front and back.  It would have cost me $500 a night to stay over at the .  So, 6 nights of that would have cost me $3000, plus airfare, plus meals, plus stuff I bought, plus the time and trouble of planning it all and worrying about it.  I think they are a great deal, even if they do hit your paycheck for taxes.  But the Onion probably thought the profitability bonuses were a rip off too because they taxed them at the same rate.  
 
noggin - ALL of them took over $30-50 million?  Really?  You had conversations with them in depth enough to find out all of their backgrounds and how much of a book they took over?  Congrats on winning yourself, but c'mon. 
 
 
  
Actually that is the truth. We went to Bejing for our first trip and there was not anyone out lee than 5 years with the exception of my self that didn't take over at least 30M. How do I know, well I talked to everyone on the trip. My week may have been the exception but it is the truth. My wife said the thing she would miss most are the trips and in all seriousness the trips are topnotch. The taxation hurts but the trips are compensation plain and simple. We stayed at the St Regis in Bejing and by far the nicest hotel I have ever stayed at.....

rankstocks's picture
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Let me clear up a couple misconceptions that I am noticing.....
First, the trip is valued at what EDJ spends on your trip.  They withhold 30% federal tax, but get money back if you fall in a lower tax bracket when you file for the year.  I don't pay FICA because I max that out in around 3 months.
Second, if you buy the airline tickets yourself, Jones reimburses you, and doesn't tax that portion of the trip.
Third, Jones gets a HUGE economy of scale discount on all the trips, otherwise they won't book it.  I've been on around 20 trips, and to book the trip yourself would average around double if you tried to do it on your own. 
Fourth, for some reason I don't think WestH's trip for 4 for $2000 to Cancun quite measures up to a week in the Four Seasons in Costa Rica or 8 days in the Grande Hotel Timeo on the Sicilian Coast.

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Rank:
 
Let's see:  Jones withhold 30% of what they think is the "comparable market value" of what they think your trip might be worth, meanwhile they're getting a "HUGE economy of scale discount".  For $2400 in taxes that you pay afterwards ($800 x 3 months), that's 30% taxes paid on an $8000 trip for 2 people.   Do you really think Jones actually paid $8000 for your trip?  & Did Jones actually gave you a "HUGE economy of scale discount" on your $2400 worth of taxes?
 
How many of us here, if it's your own money, will actually go & book an $8000 trip for 2?
 
& do you actually stay a full 7 day week at the Four Seasons?
& is the 8 days on the Sicilian Coast actually a SuperTrip (combine 2 trips into one SuperTrip)?
 
We've actually priced the exact same trip iteniaries as the Jones trip & we're nowhere near the "....and to book the trip yourself would average around double if you tried to do it on your own. "  Then you really have to be an idiot to spend $16,000 for a trip for 2....
 
So OK, I took you up on it:
http://www.fourseasons.com/costarica/rates_and_availability.html?in_day_of_week=+Sat&IN_MONTH=200809&IN_DAY=06&number_of_nights=6&out_day_of_week=+Fri&OUT_MONTH=200809&OUT_DAY=12&rooms=1&adults=2&children=0&adults_2=2&children_2=0&adults_3=2&children_3=0&adults_4=2&children_4=0&segment=basics&PropertyID=69&package_id=&short_url=&package_type=&acronym_offsite_check_availability=
 
At the Four Seasons Costa Rica at $445 per night for 6 nights, w/ the "Stay Longer, 5th night free" promo = $2225
Airfare to Costa Rica from gateway cities of Houston, Miami, or LAX, $500 times 2 is $1000.
Add in hotel taxes, food, & other incidentals, your trip will still be under $4000.
No meetings to attend.
No taxes due afterwards.
OK, you may spend more or less on your trip depends on where & how far in Podunk you live away from the major gateway cities. 
But you still don't come up to "...average around double if you tried to do it on your own. "  Guess what?  I just did it on my own in less than 10 minutes!  Amazing, the internet!
 
Guess again that I'm lucky to live in a major gateway city & a quick 4 day weekend trip w/ my family of 4 on a chartered package  sale to Cancun on the weekend of summer vacation for less than $2000 in an all-inclusive hotel (although not as good as the Four Seasons).
 
Again, it's a trip for a FAMILY of 4.......PRICELESS...          (And no taxes afterwards....)
 

NOLA_Advisor's picture
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WestH wrote:
No taxes due afterwards.

 

You have already paid taxes on this money.

footsoldier's picture
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Rank-
 
One other small issue you omitted... The link between Maritz and EDJ GP's. It's there you just have to dig a little...
 
Just a small wager between us that somewhere along the way Jones is getting something in return for using Martiz all these years. Makes you wonder. They do it with everything else they touch their hands on, why not recieve other compensation from vendors like Maritz. Check the fine print, its in there somewhere.... I would bet on it. Spiff, are the GP's exempt from sharing this revenue????How many gazillions a year do they pay Maritz for these first class trips? Maybe a GP's wife is a director.
 
By the way, as an employee, why are you required to pay for the toilet paper? Or does this fall under the category of a reimbursable expense under the new plan.

NOLA_Advisor's picture
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footsoldier wrote: Rank-
 
One other small issue you omitted... The link between Maritz and EDJ GP's. It's there you just have to dig a little...
 
Just a small wager between us that somewhere along the way Jones is getting something in return for using Martiz all these years. Makes you wonder. They do it with everything else they touch their hands on, why not recieve other compensation from vendors like Maritz. Check the fine print, its in there somewhere.... I would bet on it. Spiff, are the GP's exempt from sharing this revenue????How many gazillions a year do they pay Maritz for these first class trips? Maybe a GP's wife is a director.
 
By the way, as an employee, why are you required to pay for the toilet paper? Or does this fall under the category of a reimbursable expense under the new plan.

My last two flights booked by Edward jones was done through Carlson Wagonlit.

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Yes, there is a link between EDJ and Maritz.  I'm not sure what it is, but it's obviously there.  They do the diversification trips and all of the regional meetings.  They also book a lot of the flights and hotels for trainings classes and other misc stuff.  Jones probably gets something in return.  That's the way it works.
 
I just wasted some time on Expedia to try to book a trip like the Kauai trip in this contest period.  Same hotel for the same amount of time.    That trip includes a mid sized rental car.  Through Expedia that trip costs me $6847.  Now, add food and incedentals to that and you're easily over $7000.  If I spend more than 3 minutes can I get a cheaper deal?  Probably. 
 
Now, if I do my job well and earn the trip through Jones, I'll pay about $1400 in taxes to go.  They will feed me breakfast every day (7 meals for two @ $25 = $175).  They have two nights of planned dinners at no extra cost to me (2 meals for two at $50 = $100).  There are three "dine around evenings" which means they hand you CASH to go out to dinner with (3 meals for two @ $50 = $150) .  Plus they have a family activity planned ($100).  How much of it do I have to plan?  ZIPPO.  Sorry, I made a mistake.  I have to spend some time picking between the 17 different destinations and I have to register.  Beyond that, I spend zero time worrying about where to go on vaction this year.   
 
So, WestH, you go right ahead and spend your $4000 on your trip to wherever.  I'll take my extra $2600 and put it in my kid's college fund.  And I won't care for a second if Jones gets a kickback from Maritz or not.   

bspears's picture
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Read my tagline....

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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You know, spears, you really should stop looking in the mirror so often.  It really makes you look vain.

bspears's picture
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I was just mimicking Weddle...ITs a bogus incentive, that you get charged for.  It's on the edge of unethical...do you tell your clients when your selling them a 25 year bond about your trip incentive or your growth and income mutual fund?? 

NOLA_Advisor's picture
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Maybe I'm just ignorant on the process, but how in the hell is a tax withholding in any way bogus, unethical, or a profit motive on the part of a company? They pay their own taxes on your total income as well am I right?

Is it bogus for them to withhold child support garnishments just because an employee thinks it is too much?

When a Mary Kay(or whoever) awards a saleslady one of their coveted pink cadillacs she has to pay tax, title, and license. Is that unethical?

bspears's picture
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Thats a new one...Jones being compared to the Mary Kay ladies....YAHOOOOO....you made my point...

NOLA_Advisor's picture
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I am comparing the tax obligations of two different revenue items recognized by the IRS.   Are you really that glib? Or just dense?

Maybe you should 'spear'head a class action suit against Wal-Mart for it's use of sales tax to scam it's customers.

For your sake, you better hope your self-quoted tagline is not true.

bspears's picture
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oooohhh...another piker in line to get slammed.  Why do you consistently ask dumbass questions?  I don't get your dumbass remarks. Are you even in the industry.  I was commenting on the batter with Spiff on the sales trips.  It has to be shown as revenue to the IR..so yes they will pay taxes on it.  I never questioned this you dumbass.  Are you at Jones?  Do you understand the sales trip setup?  Please, re-read my tagline.

NOLA_Advisor's picture
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bspears wrote: ITs a bogus incentive, that you get charged for.  It's on the edge of unethical... 

I wholeheartedly apologize for misconstruing your opinion of the tax withholdings as being bogus and unethical, it was so stupid of me.

bspears's picture
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The remark was based on the trips themselves, not the taxes.

Borker Boy's picture
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This is a great discussion.
Is it unethical to create categories and tell brokers that they must put a certain amount of money in certain categories, or sell certain products to earn a trip?
 
If you do what's right for your clients 100% of the time, meet or exceed the expectations of your firm, but don't sell enough of certain types of investments and thus don't win a trip, are you being treated unfairly?
 
These contests have presented me with situations where I've really had to do some soul-searching. An advisor who's on the brink of getting a trip with a prospect sitting in front of them holding a check in their hand that could put them over the top for the trip can really create a dangerous conflict-of-interest situation.
 
I've heard of some very creative (and criminal) ways to invest the money to get the credit and then move it to the asset class that the client was told they would be buying into, etc. I never cease to be amazed at how shrewd people can be when there's a carrot hanging in front of their faces.
 
A few months after I'd started here, I heard my wife telling her parents and some friends that they needed to get a credit card and open a CFO so we could go on a trip. I've never felt cheaper (or filthier) in my life. (Had my life deteriorated to the point that I was going to be selling credit cards, and other things people don't need?) Her motive was pure--the trips were all she'd heard about from the local FAs' wives--but as you can imagine, I put a stop to her "sales pitch" very quickly.
 
I was in a class a while back where a very successful new FA told us that he's been successful selling credit cards by having his BOA call and tell the clients that she gets $10 for every card she sells and the FA gets a chance to go on a great trip. You can imagine the look of horror that was on the ATL's face as he uttered, "Nooooooooooooooooooooo!"

IsOldSpiceRightForMe's picture
Joined: 2008-04-14

I think that's going to be my biggest problem, pushing credit cards.  For most people it's a horrible thing to have.  You're giving people the opportunity to play with fire.  It would be completely different if you could push debit cards for money market accounts or something like that.  Do you think that'll ever be an option rather than credit cards?
And it seems like any question of ethics could be eliminated if they just based the trips on your level of production.  Think they'll ever make that change?

Magician's picture
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It's really all about what you want. I'm at Jones (counting the days) and although I've qualified for the last four trips, my wife and I took the cash on all of them. Why?

We pretty much hate Jones people. Sometimes I have to include myself in that as I open my office door. I've seen it remarked time and again on here about Jones being a cult - and the only thing missing are women wearing dresses from the sixties and men pulling their pants up around their chest.

But I digress. I was talking about preference. The places Jones has you going are awesome! And the deal is sweet, even if you pay the taxes.

My wife and I prefer to plan our own trips, and we go about once a quarter for two weeks. For instance, in March we sailed from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West - just the two of us. January we took a ski trip to Germany - before that in September we spent three weeks in Austrailia - dined at the Sydney Opera House; trekked to the outback; white water rafted in Cairns and dove along the great barrier reef (near Cairns - not the best diving, but still beautiful).

The year before that we went to Chamonix to climb Mt Blanc. This July we're going to Paris for three days on our way to two weeks in Greece (Athens & Santorini).

And if you plan well enough, you can get it pretty cheap, take the money that Jones gave you and enjoy your trip even more. And guess what? No Jones people, no meetings and no making my wife nauseous.

IsOldSpiceRightForMe's picture
Joined: 2008-04-14

Magician wrote:we go about once a quarter for two weeks..
 
So you're taking 2 months of vacation time each year?  Do your clients or any of the management ever comment on that?  That would be nice but I'd imagine it takes a big hit on your production.
 
 

jwcopper's picture
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Similar stories when I was at EDJ, another IR would tell clients to write a check to themselves to take out margin, then pay it off the same day by mailing him back a check.  I don't know how he told people to do that, but he was 'honest', he told them this was just so he could win a trip.  Any harm done?  Questionable, but there were several other reasons why that whole trip thing disturbed me.  Was a time when the matrix was favorable for selling some fund families over others.  Hey anyone at jones, do you guys still get SPIF's for selling low rated high yield bonds the last few days of the pay cycle?

Magician's picture
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It's all about planning - I work at Jones and really as long as your producing and you go to their "required" meetings (summer regional, etc.) you can leave when you want. I'm probably not producing what I could be, but when I'm at work, I don't spend my time reading the registered rep forums:). I bust my ass and work my tail off.

My clients comment on it occasionally - but I make sure I give them enough TLC before I leave that it's never negative. Plus, I've built my book on former and current military families that live around the world. Only a small percentage of my clients even live in the state I live in. The important ones have my phone number - and some of the places we've gone (Germany, Austrailia) they are stationed.

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Joined: 2007-08-29

Pushing credit cards was a problem for me also, but to make the matter worse, I then found out that Jones sells MBIA or whoever the current card issuer is, my client information. They then solicted my clients and I was out of the loop, but I was expected to service these card by assisting the client with any issues they had. No compensation except maybe a P&L credit(not sure about that) which was no value to a new broker.

IsOldSpiceRightForMe's picture
Joined: 2008-04-14

So do you think they might switch or at least add Debit Cards to that list?  I'd feel much better recommending a client get a debit card for access to his or her cash in a money market than I would recommending they get a credit card, knowing it's a tool for accumulating debt rather than wealth (not good financial advice from a FA it seems).

jwcopper's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-13

It has only been very recent that EDJ allowed reps to be called FA's.  That is because they aren't really FA's.  They are IR's, and that was a strategic legal issue, as an IR you are operating under a buyer beware situation.  Putting yourself out as an FA creates the potential to be seen as a Fiduciary, that is something EDJ is scared of.  So don't worry about giving good or bad advice as an FA, you really are an IR in their cataract covered eyes.

Magician's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-19

I think Jones perspective with the credit card is that everybody has one, why not a Jones one? The fact of the matter is it's not that great of a card.

I had a client get turned down for one the other day. He has about $1mil in liquid assets and they turned him down because he hasn't used a credit card in 20 years. And Jones was less than helpful getting it for him.

Anyway, that's their story and they are sticking to it - "everybody uses a credit card - it should be an Edward Jones cc - and diversification points for you and a benefit for your BOA, wow!"

Sounds unethical to me.

ednomore's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-29

Magician, that is a very good point, I had the same thing happen to me, and almost lost a good client. I spent alot of time in phone calls to resolve the situation, and all of it was for no measurable gain for me. Odds are better of losing a client, than geting or keeping one when credit cards are involved. It is obvious why they push them, but as far as I was concerned they shuold be available and not be pushed. When I was there they even printed an application with every new account. The most serious issue I had was the direct mail solititation after I told the client that their info was private. Of course they got around that by disclosing on the account agreement that vendors may have access. Most people assumed that it was necessary vendors such as record keeping etc.

IsOldSpiceRightForMe's picture
Joined: 2008-04-14

Is it possible to go on the trip without ever pushing a credit card on anyone?  Can you make up for not doing that by doing more or something else?

Magician's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-05-19

I've got one better.

Some guy actually says when he opens a new account, "Your Edward Jones account comes with a credit card" and when he's filling out the app, he gets the maiden name.

Not sure on the ethics of that one either.

Eyetattoo's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-29

IsOldSpiceRightForMe wrote:Is it possible to go on the trip without ever pushing a credit card on anyone?  Can you make up for not doing that by doing more or something else?Yes you can.....all you have to do is hit four categories....Taxable Income, Non-Taxable Income, Growth & Income, Growth, Aggressive, CFO, or Credit Cards.  Successful FAs dont have to worry about hitting the categories because their production is high enough and diversified enough to hit at least 5 with out credit cards.I think its funny how everyone is crying about offering Credit Cards....no one is putting a gun to your head saying you have to sell them or your out plus the requirement to hit the "trip" category is like 2-3 a month, big deal.  And believe it or not credit cards can be a good way to get a 30 interest free loan.  If your a good advisor you should be able to explain this to a client.  And its only unethical if you dont disclose the card details.  If your pushing through applications without informing the client thats a whole different ball of wax.

WestH's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-03-29

LPL's qualification for their annual Master's trip for last yr is $450K.  They don't care if it's 100% Growth,  or G&I, or insurance or fee based, or all stock.  They don't care, just gross over $450.  Just don't push "Aggressive" to your 70 yr old clients just to qualify for a trip. 
I remember back in the 90's, I had to figure a way to sell $___ of fixed income or loans or whatever in order to qualify for a trip.
 
Magician:  If you were w/ LPL, you could still take those trips to Germany, Australia, or whereever, & as a REAL business owner (1099), you could deduct most of the trip as a business expense, since you're seeing your clients while traveling there.  Not sure you can do that as a W-2 employee at Jones.

Magician's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-05-19

WestH - that's why my time with Jones is short. Not just because of the trips, but for a lot of the other reasons people have re-hashed on here. Great place to start... yadda yadda... kool-aid....stupid meetings.... taking all of my production and not getting much back...not being an actual business owner...

I spoke with my accountant though, and she told me that lift tickets are non-deductible

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