If you had to do it over again?

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JayUT1's picture
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Joined: 2008-12-01

Obviously the worst time to be doing this, but I have decided to get back into the financial services as a FA at the beginning of next year. I worked for ML for four years a few years back and have my CFP, ChFC, and am working towrds my CFA. I originally left to take advantage of an opportunity I had available but always had the intention of coming back. My question is for the FA's on this board who have struggled in the beginning like a lot of us what would you do to start out if you had to go about it again. Would you start at a bank to build relationships with existing clients, go the wirehouse route and try to build a book, or really toss the dice as an independant. I would really appreciate any feed back you have.

henryhill's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-23

I would not start independant right off the bat.  Most people do not make it.  I wouldn't want rent and other overhead hanging over me.  I would not start at a bank if my goal was to move elsewhere.  I think bank accounts are sticky to the bank, not the broker.

Hank Moody's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-10

What is it that you want to sell?

Borker Boy's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-09

Equity indexed annuities.

JayUT1's picture
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Joined: 2008-12-01

Comprehensive Financial Plans is ultimaltely what I would like to sell. I had thought maybe to start with a bank to build relationships that would enable me to leave with a book of business. Is it difficult to do this at banks?

Hank Moody's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-10

JayUT1 wrote:Comprehensive Financial Plans is ultimaltely what I would like to sell. I had thought maybe to start with a bank to build relationships that would enable me to leave with a book of business. Is it difficult to do this at banks?You should consider Ameriprise.

bondking's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-28

this is a great time to get into the business.  a great time.  if you started at ml, and have roads back to your desk, take them.  i can't speak for name recognition  too highly, but that only matters to a point.  and again, this is an EPIC time to get back into the business, and start from scratch.  good luck!

Sportsfreakbob's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-24

I have heard that it is real tough to take accounts from a bank when you leave. I dont know firsthand, but it does make sense.
Their clients are a different culture altogether. I dont know that they understand risk.
Right now nobody does, but that is temporary insanity, i am talking about culture.

Gaddock's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

All those letters behind your name wont help you make cold calls. If you can attract clients what's the diff in the long run? If you could get a job at a bank and then walk with the clients that would be nice but I think they are hip to that and have those pesky little non compete contracts.

Vin Diesel's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-18

unless you're at a bank for 10+years - taking accounts will be very difficult. at a wirehouse you could take a good chunk in 5years.
bank clients are not great financial planning clients, they are more transaction oriented. although bank management is pressing the holistic approach.
 
you should leverage your designations and build a network of CPA's & Estate Attorneys.
they appreciate the alphabet soup more than clients

3rd ID's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-30

If I could do it over again, I'd have gone with either the State Troopers, Secret Svc, FBI, perhaps even one of the intelligence agencies. The benefits are great. Pay is very good as time goes on. I know plenty of cops making over 100k with the OT. They get pensions that start paying when the retire (like at age 40 or so). Then they start brand new carreeers at 40 or 45 and they are set. This business of ours, you have to wonder how the heck the business will survive. It may be years before we see good times again. In all seriousness, I say we are in for a real struggle for the next 2 years. This crap get old after a while.

Vin Diesel's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-18

3rd ID wrote:If I could do it over again, I'd have gone with either the State Troopers, Secret Svc, FBI, perhaps even one of the intelligence agencies. The benefits are great. Pay is very good as time goes on. I know plenty of cops making over 100k with the OT. They get pensions that start paying when the retire (like at age 40 or so). Then they start brand new carreeers at 40 or 45 and they are set. This business of ours, you have to wonder how the heck the business will survive. It may be years before we see good times again. In all seriousness, I say we are in for a real struggle for the next 2 years. This crap get old after a while.
 
 
i hope this crap times dont last 2yrs i can survive 4 more months of this before im toast

2wheeledbeemer's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-10

If I could do it all over again, I'd be born a girl, grow up a girl, get pregnant just out of high school, get married, and let my husband work at FedEx while I started as a cashier in the cage at a regional. I'd do that for 3 years, then get picked by one of the big producers in my office to be his non-registered assistant because I looked the hottest and didn't always get my subject/verb agreement mixed up on the phone with clients. I'd do that for a year, get my 7, and become his registered assistant. I'd ride that pony for 5 years, then get picked up by the branch manager to be his assistant when the annual Spin the Wheel of Assistants festival took place at the start of the fiscal year. I could then leave my FedEx husband and two children and hook up with a local young CPA that I met through my manager's network of referrals.

For the next 3 years, I would become increasingly snotty and convinced of my own greatness, as I learned how to fill out C share tickets and complete managed money paperwork, all the while liquidating AWSHX shares held for longer than 7 years. These skills alone will enable me to become a 50/50 partner with my retiring manager, qualify for President's level trips and awards, and be positioned to buy out the rest of his book when he fully retires 3 years later.

All without that messy, unpleasant cold calling, business networking, holding of seminars, scrambling for referrals, and general building of a book of clients. That's the true path to success, so I'd do that if I could do it all over again.

Either that, or be a butterfly.

3rd ID's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-30

Vin if you work at Wach, maybe they throw a bone and give some upfront retention, doubt it but maybe. Your other option is take a deal and be an indentured servant the next 5 to 7 yrs, or just bag this business altogether. I remember dreaming one day my kids could come in the business with me. Now, Id never let them screw up their lives like that. Sad, but thats how I see it. And I have been making a pretty decent living doing this. I'm just having a real hard time right now seeing how this business will ever again be a viable one. I guess I'll get over it. I made it through 01-03. But no doubt we have a long tough road ahead before we see truly good times again.

2wheeledbeemer's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-10

3rd ID wrote: Vin if you work at Wach, maybe they throw a bone and give some upfront retention, doubt it but maybe. Your other option is take a deal and be an indentured servant the next 5 to 7 yrs, or just bag this business altogether. I remember dreaming one day my kids could come in the business with me. Now, Id never let them screw up their lives like that. Sad, but thats how I see it. And I have been making a pretty decent living doing this. I'm just having a real hard time right now seeing how this business will ever again be a viable one. I guess I'll get over it. I made it through 01-03. But no doubt we have a long tough road ahead before we see truly good times again.

Reading this makes me want to opt for the butterfly.

snaggletooth's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-13

3rd ID wrote:Vin if you work at Wach, maybe they throw a bone and give some upfront retention, doubt it but maybe. Your other option is take a deal and be an indentured servant the next 5 to 7 yrs, or just bag this business altogether. I remember dreaming one day my kids could come in the business with me. Now, Id never let them screw up their lives like that. Sad, but thats how I see it. And I have been making a pretty decent living doing this. I'm just having a real hard time right now seeing how this business will ever again be a viable one. I guess I'll get over it. I made it through 01-03. But no doubt we have a long tough road ahead before we see truly good times again.
 
Man, you sound like you are way over this.  How long have you been an advisor?
 
I have run across guys that have been in business for 20+ years and they are absolutely worn out.  They don't want to smile and dial like the good ole' days and their income has taken a huge hit. 
 
Vin, I hope you're joking about not taking it after another 4 months of this...I would not discount the possibility that this lasts all 2009.  Not sure how many people want to deal with it that long, both advisors and investors.

3rd ID's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-30

Been doing it 11 years. Not sure what you meant by way over this? I wouldnt say Im burnt out. I would say battle fatigue  would be a better way of putting it. Not necesarily lacking for business at the moment, thank God, but frankly the losses clients are enduring takes a toll. Pulling the trigger on new managed accts. no matter how diversified or low on the risk spectrum, takes a lot more b...s than it once did. Same goes for any of the other equity exposed products. I agree, this down cycle will last well in to next year and I think part of 2010. I think we can learn to live with the current trading range that we seem to have established, but any break under 7400 DOW and all bets are off. 

Hank Moody's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-10

Maybe, if you guys started selling products that people want to buy, you'd enjoy business again. I'm having a good time. 

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

"Comprehensive Financial Plans is ultimaltely what I would like to sell. I had thought maybe to start with a bank to build relationships that would enable me to leave with a book of business. Is it difficult to do this at banks?"
 
Is this really what you want to sell?
Is there a big enough market that would allow you make a good living selling financial plans?
Will a bank let you sell financial plans?
If you have a client at the bank who has bought product from you, do you think that he would later buy a plan from you?
If you are are selling financial plans, do you ever really have a book of business?
 
I'm not anti-financial plans.  I just realize that financial plans have little value.  Financial plan implementation is what provides value for the client and income for the advisor. 

Eyetattoo's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-29

Buddy of mine just left a bank to EDJ and was able to take aprox 70-80% of his book.  He was there for 5-6 years.  If your meeting with people on a yearly basis and calling them in between you should have no problem moving the book.  Take care of the clients and they will follow you.

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