Job offer from Valic? Pros and Cons.

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OkThen's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-09

I am interviewing with Valic now.  Been w/ EJ for approx two years and right at/above expectations.  I'm just not really digging Jones right now.  Valic has an attractive position.  Large book, exclusive territory, warm captive prospects.  What am I missing?  Is it too good to be true?  What does the forum have for thoughts re: pros and cons.   It would be nice to hear from any current Valic advisors / employees.

neloza's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-02

Three letters...A  I  GThat dark cloud over your head will make things interesting to say the least when prospecting.

Incredible Hulk's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-24

What's a "large" book? 

OkThen's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-09

There are two positions available.  One in the K-12 school districts and one in the non-profit health care world.  Specific book size has not been addressed yet.  The indications I'm getting are north of 10mm.  My current book is 7.5mm so I would not be interested in taking a step backwards.  Do you have any experience with Valic?

series7taxguy's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-16

This is NOT something you want to do, especially if you already have a book in a full service environment. The VALIC (previous AIG Retirement Group, previous VALIC...) pitch sounds pretty good. You get a book of clients who are enrolled in the 403b plans to prospect from plus the ability to offer products on a full service platform. Best of both worlds, right? Well, it would sound that way, but here's the reality:-When you come on board, it is a GIANT cluster f*ck in which it will take you at least a month (not joking) to get your rep number to even start doing business. There are a lot of requirements internally that need to be met and every piece of red tape must occur sequentially, not simultaneously. If one paper pusher in the back office is unresponsive, it will push back your time to get to the next requirement. Just getting your log on names and passwords for your computer will take forwever. (Multiple calls, no respone.) This won't stop once you're in production and the worst part is that the idiots who work in non-sales roles have a culture of not responsing at all rather than telling you something else is needed. Get ready for holds times in excess of 30 minutes for almost anything.-Your manager will make you wait forever once you get on board to actually assign this "book" to you. You won't get paid on "flow" from assets. (Comp on new contributions into 403b/457, etc.) He'll be getting this comp under his own rep number. You'll have to ask numerous times and there is never any retroactive payment. This happens to every rep and is not an isolated incident. -Once you do get this "book" your manager will feel free to reassign it to anyone else at any given point in the future. -Many of the plans are signing up for a new program (don't remember the name...) in which the funds do not pay flow compensation to the rep. Once you find this out on your own (you probably won't be told beforehand...) you'll realize you've inherited nothing but a service obligation with no compensation. They'll try to spin it as a prospecting tool to go after other business but in actuality it will be a group with pikers calling in daily to ask to make early distributions from their $500 in contributions made over a two year period. -Your texas "training" will be a giant hassle in which you are there for over 8 hours a day listening to a flame out  go over how to use a financial calculator for the majority of the day. -You're supposed to be reimbursed for driving (and you'll do a lot of it) but the system used to report (as with most VALIC technology never works.) I knew people that were there more than a year that were never able to get a reimbursement to go through and just said forget it. -Compliance will kick EVERYTHING back. There's a computer system where you upload documents. They will send you a note a few days later with an unhelpful description of why it ISN'T being processed. I had some Armenian clients, for example, some of which use different spellings of the last name for male and female family members. I specifically explained this EVERY time I sent something in but was told repeatedly that "beneficiary name does not match spelling of account holder." The complience office just will not listen to anything and will request documents be resigned if they think a 4 is a 9 or vice versa. OkThen, congrats on building a decent book of YOUR clients. Unfortunately there really is no shortcut at VALIC or anywhere else. Keep and build what you've got or go to a truly indy environment with your own assets. Don't get involved with AIG/VALIC at all. I also recommend adding tax services of some kind as a prospecting tool but maybe not allowed at Jones.

OkThen's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-09

TaxGuy,Thanks for that informative description of how "great" of a place it would be.  It sounds like you might have been away from Valic for some time now.  Any chance things are different?  Just curious.  I will most likely stay here at EJ for another year or two, build the assests, then look for something a little less....... Jonesy.

maybeeeeeeee's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-24

series7taxguy wrote:This is NOT something you want to do, especially if you already have a book in a full service environment. The VALIC (previous AIG Retirement Group, previous VALIC...) pitch sounds pretty good. You get a book of clients who are enrolled in the 403b plans to prospect from plus the ability to offer products on a full service platform. Best of both worlds, right? Well, it would sound that way, but here's the reality:-When you come on board, it is a GIANT cluster f*ck in which it will take you at least a month (not joking) to get your rep number to even start doing business. There are a lot of requirements internally that need to be met and every piece of red tape must occur sequentially, not simultaneously. If one paper pusher in the back office is unresponsive, it will push back your time to get to the next requirement. Just getting your log on names and passwords for your computer will take forwever. (Multiple calls, no respone.) This won't stop once you're in production and the worst part is that the idiots who work in non-sales roles have a culture of not responsing at all rather than telling you something else is needed. Get ready for holds times in excess of 30 minutes for almost anything.-Your manager will make you wait forever once you get on board to actually assign this "book" to you. You won't get paid on "flow" from assets. (Comp on new contributions into 403b/457, etc.) He'll be getting this comp under his own rep number. You'll have to ask numerous times and there is never any retroactive payment. This happens to every rep and is not an isolated incident. -Once you do get this "book" your manager will feel free to reassign it to anyone else at any given point in the future. -Many of the plans are signing up for a new program (don't remember the name...) in which the funds do not pay flow compensation to the rep. Once you find this out on your own (you probably won't be told beforehand...) you'll realize you've inherited nothing but a service obligation with no compensation. They'll try to spin it as a prospecting tool to go after other business but in actuality it will be a group with pikers calling in daily to ask to make early distributions from their $500 in contributions made over a two year period. -Your texas "training" will be a giant hassle in which you are there for over 8 hours a day listening to a flame out  go over how to use a financial calculator for the majority of the day. -You're supposed to be reimbursed for driving (and you'll do a lot of it) but the system used to report (as with most VALIC technology never works.) I knew people that were there more than a year that were never able to get a reimbursement to go through and just said forget it. -Compliance will kick EVERYTHING back. There's a computer system where you upload documents. They will send you a note a few days later with an unhelpful description of why it ISN'T being processed. I had some Armenian clients, for example, some of which use different spellings of the last name for male and female family members. I specifically explained this EVERY time I sent something in but was told repeatedly that "beneficiary name does not match spelling of account holder." The complience office just will not listen to anything and will request documents be resigned if they think a 4 is a 9 or vice versa. OkThen, congrats on building a decent book of YOUR clients. Unfortunately there really is no shortcut at VALIC or anywhere else. Keep and build what you've got or go to a truly indy environment with your own assets. Don't get involved with AIG/VALIC at all. I also recommend adding tax services of some kind as a prospecting tool but maybe not allowed at Jones.  wow extremely good information.  can I ask if you worked there?  they were after me some time ago, and I tink the payout they would give ME ON MY CURRENT CLIENTS THAT I TRANSFERRED WAS lower than .25%.  I told them to go piss up a rope.

series7taxguy's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-16

maybeeee: that was a good move. I did work there when it was called AIG Retirement which lasted about 5 minutes. The branding has changed but I've talked to friends who are there who've stated it's just as bad due to management shakeup.okthen, I think you're in a better situation than you may think. Stick around a couple years at EJ and place your future mutual funds with the carier for easier transfer unless they're doing a lot of other biz. Also, don't sell ANY genworth products while at Jones since they won't accept a change of broker of record. Avoid AIG and check out LPL or someone similar later on.

OkThen's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-09

TaxGuy ~ Thanks for the GenWorth tip.  I didn't realize that.  I don't have any Genworth stuff now, so no need to start!  Anybody have any thought's on Waddell and Reed?  I was told that the pay three years upfront on their managed money account, then collect just the 20bps trail for years 1-3, then pocket 98bps years 4+.  I havn't heard of anything like this. 

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