Recruiting Deals

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Pinnacle's picture
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For those producers considering monetizing their business - send me a private message.  I have the national recruiting contract at two wire houses and one super regional.  We can discuss platform as well as deals ... but remember, without a good platform that makes sense for you and your clients the deal is irrelevant.  We will discuss my background and qualifications as well as your business mix and the current recruiting environment.

Pinnacle's picture
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I have had an overwhelming response from Merrill FC's - if you are at Merrill and need to know what your options are PM me.

Anonymous's picture
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Hey Piker - Buy a list or place an ad. 

IsOldSpiceRightForMe's picture
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Pinnacle wrote:if you are at Merrill and need to know what your options are PM me.
 
I would think your options at ML are the same as at any other company... stay or go.

Pinnacle's picture
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If anyone would care to place an intelligent post rather than a PM I would gladly respond.  As to ML FC's decision being simply "stay or go", it runs a little deeper at the number one firm as far as FC loyalty goes.  The retention package about to be offered will have to be reviewed and compared to the value that other firms are willing to place on the same book of business.  ML FC's have a varying mix of business and product within their books and have to understand which firms it is more easily transitioned into a different platform.  Changing firms is a much harder process than most people will have you believe.  Most of us know FC's that took the biggest check without asking the right questions or doing the research only to either be out of business or to never regain the assets or production they once had because the firm is a bad match.

Broker Fee's picture
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A year from now it will be interesting to see how many stayed vs how many departed. But I would be most interested to see how many signed on at another wirehouse & collected a check vs how many went the independent route.

Pinnacle's picture
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I think that a year from now we will see the majority of the top third of Merrill FC's at different firms.  Most of these FC's have been with Merrill for most if not all of their career.  The number that will go independent  in my opinion will be low due to the business model that Merrill FC's are taught. 

shredder's picture
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Pinnacle wrote:I think that a year from now we will see the majority of the top third of Merrill FC's at different firms.  Most of these FC's have been with Merrill for most if not all of their career.  The number that will go independent  in my opinion will be low due to the business model that Merrill FC's are taught. 
Gee, think you have a vested interest in that kind of outcome???

nestegg's picture
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And where are you suggesting ML reps go lol...MS.....UBS....LMAO....ummm in a week or two there will be about 2 firms left...jump now and get bought next month!

Sportsfreakbob's picture
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I believe the retention package will be made attractive to the first and second quintilers, and just ok for the 3rd quintile. The fourth and for sure the fifth quintilers will be dead in the water.

Pinnacle's picture
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You could make that point.  However, the truth of the matter is that I started my career @ Merrill and still have many friends there.  The basis for my comment is that if your current firm offers you 50% of your T12 and you have to sign for 7 years - but your current firm has just been purchased and the reality is that it is no longer your current firm - a better platform and a value of 200% of T12 with a replacement of deferred comp with a stock that has a higher percentage chance of appreciation over the next 7 years makes sense.  Morgan has already hired numerous high level positions and a great number of Merrill large producers - I see this trend continuing.  Just trying to provide an educated opinion whether I am involved in a placement or not.

rocky's picture
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in my office this has created less uncertainty and at least for now we can just focus on the market and our clients and not what will happen to the firm.  We can finally take our eyes of the stock and stop fretting about the survival.  It is what it is.
Keeping the name of the firm already is one step ahead of the last big merger, Wachovia.
 
Also, the people in place to run the brokerage also has created a calm.   As the packages come in, the picture will become clearer for everyone.

bondo's picture
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rocky wrote:
in my office this has created less uncertainty and at least for now we can just focus on the market and our clients and not what will happen to the firm.  We can finally take our eyes of the stock and stop fretting about the survival.  It is what it is.
Keeping the name of the firm already is one step ahead of the last big merger, Wachovia.
 
Also, the people in place to run the brokerage also has created a calm.   As the packages come in, the picture will become clearer for everyone.
 
I echo those comments for my office.  It will be interesting to see what happens when the retention offers come out.  I am expecting to lose an advisor or four out of my office.

Pinnacle's picture
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Rumor has it at 50-60% for top producers - 30% for mid level - haven't heard about smaller producers.

Broker Fee's picture
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If that rumor pans out BAC will lose allot of producers.

Pinnacle's picture
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That's all I'm trying to say...LOL.

rocky's picture
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Broker Fee wrote:If that rumor pans out BAC will lose allot of producers.
 
rumors are everywhere.  No need to worry about that now, focus on the clients and then when the deal comes out you can make a informed decision.  
 
The other wildcard is the current market enviroment and not all clients are thrilled right now.

badmove?'s picture
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what level GDC is 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th quartiles?

Pinnacle's picture
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Figure on 1rst quintile being roughly 2.5 mm+

tired's picture
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what happens if you take a deal at a new firm for say 7 years and 200%, and your new firm is bought out....

Mucho de Tejas's picture
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tired wrote:what happens if you take a deal at a new firm for say 7 years and 200%, and your new firm is bought out....
 
You go indy, like you should have done the first time...

Pinnacle's picture
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Contracts genereally state "XYZ firm and its successors" not to say that a material change in ownership structure couldn't be argued and possibly challenged - excellent question given the current environment.  I will get a legal response ASAP and will post.

badmove?'s picture
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what quintile is 450-600k, and what type of retention..if any..LOS over 6

Pinnacle's picture
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Retention packages are still to be determined with the top end rumored at 50-60% of T12.  I believe that  that 450-600k LOS 6 is in the lower 3rd quintile.

snaggletooth's picture
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I say don't take the retention.  Instead move to an indy and take 90% payout.
 
Not saying BAC will fail, but what if something happens and this doesn't work out?  Your retention, if tied to stock, might be worthless.
 
Think about the guys that moved to WB and lost most of the value of their sign-on bonus.
 
It's like mutual funds.  Take your retention and it's a one time A share.  Go indy and it's like a C share paying you to wake up. 
 
It's about what you keep.  Take annuities for example.  When I was at MER it was like 4% upfront or something like that.  As an indy it's 7.75%.  Then I keep 85% instead of 40%.
 
So on $1MM, at MER/BAC you net $16,000.  I net $65,875.  Hmmm.  Yeah, I'd probably go with the haircut option too...

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snaggle-problem with indy is you are in the same boat as everyone else, meaning you have to compete. I'm not saying indy isn't good- I think it is, but you DO NOT have the capabilities of ML, MS, SB, etc. With banks behind them, you have just moved WAY BEHIND. Think about it. If BAC lies, ML will bolt. But LPL can't do what ML can do-no way. I've looked, and it's not close.

donatello's picture
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badmove-upper quintile 3, very low quintile 2

snaggletooth's picture
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donatello wrote:snaggle-problem with indy is you are in the same boat as everyone else, meaning you have to compete. I'm not saying indy isn't good- I think it is, but you DO NOT have the capabilities of ML, MS, SB, etc. With banks behind them, you have just moved WAY BEHIND. Think about it. If BAC lies, ML will bolt. But LPL can't do what ML can do-no way. I've looked, and it's not close.
 
You'll have to be more detailed for my pea-sized brain.
 
My clearing firm is part of one of the strongest banks in the world.  If something were to happen, our BD can switch or add clearing firms, or our office can switch BD's.  Our platform is extremely extensive and provides all of the same types of products that I ever used at MER.
 
So what do you mean compete?  Please elaborate.

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snaggletooth wrote:donatello wrote:snaggle-problem with indy is you are in the same boat as everyone else, meaning you have to compete. I'm not saying indy isn't good- I think it is, but you DO NOT have the capabilities of ML, MS, SB, etc. With banks behind them, you have just moved WAY BEHIND. Think about it. If BAC lies, ML will bolt. But LPL can't do what ML can do-no way. I've looked, and it's not close.
 
You'll have to be more detailed for my pea-sized brain.
 
My clearing firm is part of one of the strongest banks in the world.  If something were to happen, our BD can switch or add clearing firms, or our office can switch BD's.  Our platform is extremely extensive and provides all of the same types of products that I ever used at MER.
 
So what do you mean compete?  Please elaborate.
 
Yes, Donotello, please tell us about how ML/BAC can do 1031 tic exchanges, life settlements, and various equipment leasing and other alternative investments that are done indy. Superior research? Ha, what a joke. Fee based platforms and separately managed accounts? They are available everywhere. Oh, what about great name and brand recognition... gone to sh!t.
 
The wirehouse model is dead. They do not have a value proposition for the percentage they take. That is why the indy channel is going to explode even more so. The captive days are over except for the few who need a crutch because they can't sell THEMSELVES as professional, competent advisors.  

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donatello wrote: I'm not saying indy isn't good- I think it is, but you DO NOT have the capabilities of ML, MS, SB, etc. You mean the capability to run the firm into the ground by putting all their capital into flim flam CDO's and shaky mortgage backed securities?  Or the capability to sell themselves to a bank to avoid collapse?Which one?

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donatello wrote: snaggle-problem with indy is you are in the same boat as everyone else, meaning you have to compete. I'm not saying indy isn't good- I think it is, but you DO NOT have the capabilities of ML, MS, SB, etc. With banks behind them, you have just moved WAY BEHIND. Think about it. If BAC lies, ML will bolt. But LPL can't do what ML can do-no way. I've looked, and it's not close.
donatello,

Specifics please:

Exactly what capabilities do wirehouse FAs have that independent FAs lack?

How exactly does having "banks behind them" offer any meaningful benefit to an FA?

What is it that an LPL advisor can't do that a ML advisor can (with or without a bank behind them)?

Since as you say you've looked, and it's not close, you must have a ton of specifics that you can share with us. Enlighten us, by all means.

donatello's picture
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Name the lending side of the business you can do.

donatello's picture
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Also, do you have discretionary stock accounts?

Morphius's picture
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Lending and discetionary accounts?  Is that the sum total of what you think wirehouses have that independents do not?  

Mucho de Tejas's picture
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Lending is considered an outside business activity and you can represent many institutions (and get paid). Discretionary accounts are okay as well.
 
Next question.

snaggletooth's picture
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Mucho de Tejas wrote:Lending is considered an outside business activity and you can represent many institutions (and get paid). Discretionary accounts are okay as well.
 
Next question.
 
Agreed.

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Morphius,
 
I'm picking two very simple, ordinary things, so please answer my questions.
 
1. If a doctor come to you and wants to build a $3m new building, can you (within your OWN firm), get that deal done for him and get paid well on it? (Don't give me the outside business activity stuff)
 
2. If you want to be the portfolio manager for a client and run your own strategy, can you open one account, put stocks, bonds, etfs, etc. in that account and buy and sell for the client without calling them first?
 
...and I'll add two---.
 
3. With the merger, it is not inconceivable that there will be auto loans and all different types of loans available, and referrals to brokers on a regular monthly basis to clients who have $500-$5m in assets to invest. Do you have that capability?
 
4. Can you provide a line of credit to a business owner (pledged account, not margined) off the LIBOR index? Do you know the difference?
 
If you think LPL is an equal to ML/BofA, there's not much I can do to help you. I could go on all day with capabilities you don't have, and I'll be curious to see what you say. I have an LPL guy going over the capabilities of your firm within the next couple of weeks with me, so it will be even clearer than just talking to my buddy. You can trash ML/BofA all day, but at the end of the day, that could be a very powerful combination. Time will tell.
 
Mucho de Tejas-do you work for LPL?

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donatello wrote:Name the lending side of the business you can do.Do you read the newspaper?  Do you really think it's an advantage to be affilliated with a lender these days?  Think about it.You want to help people grow their ASSETS and minimize their need to take on debt.  That's my old-fashioned opinion.

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donatello wrote:Morphius,
 
I'm picking two very simple, ordinary things, so please answer my questions.
 
1. If a doctor come to you and wants to build a $3m new building, can you (within your OWN firm), get that deal done for him and get paid well on it? (Don't give me the outside business activity stuff)
 
2. If you want to be the portfolio manager for a client and run your own strategy, can you open one account, put stocks, bonds, etfs, etc. in that account and buy and sell for the client without calling them first?
 
...and I'll add two---.
 
3. With the merger, it is not inconceivable that there will be auto loans and all different types of loans available, and referrals to brokers on a regular monthly basis to clients who have $500-$5m in assets to invest. Do you have that capability?
 
4. Can you provide a line of credit to a business owner (pledged account, not margined) off the LIBOR index? Do you know the difference?
 
If you think LPL is an equal to ML/BofA, there's not much I can do to help you. I could go on all day with capabilities you don't have, and I'll be curious to see what you say. I have an LPL guy going over the capabilities of your firm within the next couple of weeks with me, so it will be even clearer than just talking to my buddy. You can trash ML/BofA all day, but at the end of the day, that could be a very powerful combination. Time will tell.
 
Mucho de Tejas-do you work for LPL?
 

Tello,<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Why do all of these capabilities need to be within your own firm? What difference does it make if you perform these activities outside of your business? It just so happens that referring these lending related activities out (and still getting comped) has certainly helped independent advisors everywhere build their network. If I market my core competency as investment management then I don't expect (or want) the client to assume that I would be proficient in making him a car loan.  
 
I worked as an FA at both Merrill and at BAI and I thought ML was great and BAI sucked. The combination could be great if they can integrate the cultures but with all the offerings each has, most advisors end of being jack of all trades and masters of none and float into mediocrity. Independence forces you to choose a path and master your core competencies.

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Sorry, I hit "Post Reply" before I was finished with my reply above.
 
Again, the trend of the wirehouse model is dying. Independent boutique wealth management firms are opening up everywhere and competitively offer roughly the same products and services. Where is the value proposition of a wirehouse???
 
 

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Take a breath, donatello.  You seem to be imagining enemies everywhere.  When did I "trash ML/BOA"?  I simply asked for you to explain your statement that independents can't do what ML can do.  Based on your response, a few things seem clear.First, the discretionary account thing is simply a non-issue, as that is almost universally easier to do at an independent than a wire.  Discretionary portfolio management makes up the vast majority of my business, so yes I can do exactly what you ask.  I'm sure further due diligence on that will make that very clear so I won't belabor that further.  Second, you apparently believe that  providing lending services of all kinds, and doing so strictly from inside a common corporate umbrella is important to clients and to individual FAs.   That is an opinion.  Personally, my opinion is that this is not important to most clients or FAs.  My observation is most clients are mainly ninterested in getting help addressing their lending needs, but don't necessarily care if it is at the same institution they use for investing or banking or insurance.  In fact, the concern about proprietary products and potential conflict of interest would, I suggest, make that LESS attractive for most clients.  Similarly, if you happen to be one of the rare FAs who earns a significant portion of your comp from lending, then by ball means keep your emphasis on lending capabilities. Obviously most FAs do not, and never will, make enough from lending to make this a critical element of their practice.  Perhaps you are an exception.  One of the great things about this business is that we can choose to serve clients in many different ways, with wildly different focuses.  Just realize there are plenty of ways to provide this sort of service outside of the wires - and get paid for it - with the added distinction of not being limited to an inhouse proprietary product.Third, consider the possibility that the firm itself may be far less important to clients than you might think.  If you are like most FAs, your clients would say they are doing business with you, not the firm.  In that respect, it doesn't matter much if ML is better than LPL or firm A is worse than firm b.  All that really matters is if you have the ability to serve your clients in such a way as to leave them - and you - satsified.  ML may be a fabulous FIRM, but it certainly is not the best for every FA and every client, and the same is true of LPL (which I use as an example only because you used them as the alternative to ML, not because I am afflilited with them - I am not).   To me it's a bit like worrying about if GM is a better company than, say, Ford, when really all that matters is if the specific car I drive satisfies my particular needs and budget. Work wherever you want, donatello my friend, but don't sell yourself short - your success is far more due to you and your abilities than it is your firm or it's capabilities.  That will be true whether you choose to stay OR go.  Good luck with your due diligence.

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Work wherever you want, donatello my friend, but don't sell
yourself short - your success is far more due to you and your abilities
than it is your firm or it's capabilities.  That will be true whether
you choose to stay OR go.  Good luck with your due diligence.Never a truer word was said.I dont want to get involved in this debate, because i have to admit i just dont know enough about the indies. But i have a question (actually two) for the Indies - if you have the ability to run portfolios on a discretionary basis - do you have the technology that allows you do trade 30-40-50 accounts as one? I run 3 models, and have all the accounts on the system segregated by model. If i want to do a trade in one model, say, bring all of my accounts in model 1 up to 4 % in their position in IBM, i do one block trade, and the system allocates the stock to all the accounts accordingly. Just curious if you Indies have that platform available. Second question, and i know this is one that i should know the answer to, but i dont, i never paid attention to it before. Never needed to. Been at a wire my entire 9 year career, never thought about anything else. Can someone explain the diff to me between being an RIA, and going Indie?Last point, this thread goes to a question that i have struggled with my whole career. This thing about being the trusted advisor and taking care of all their financial needs. I am a CFP, so i guess i sort of buy into the idea of speaking with clients on a big picture basis. And i was trained and always taught to take a planning approach to 'strenghten the relationship" and "take the focus off performance".But it seems to me that clients and prospects come to us for Asset Management, and at the end of the day, they dont give a rats ass how good we are at analyzing their cash flow, or doing an insurance review. They want us to manage their money first and foremost.So this is something i struggle with, and go back and forth on, in my own mind. Curious to hear others thoughts.Actually (in the edit post mode right now), this started out as a recruiting thread, didnt mean to hijack it, i am going to post the last part of this under a new thread , sorry guys.

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Sportsfreakbob wrote:
I dont want to get involved in this debate, because i have to admit i just dont know enough about the indies. But i have a question (actually two) for the Indies - if you have the ability to run portfolios on a discretionary basis - do you have the technology that allows you do trade 30-40-50 accounts as one? I run 3 models, and have all the accounts on the system segregated by model. If i want to do a trade in one model, say, bring all of my accounts in model 1 up to 4 % in their position in IBM, i do one block trade, and the system allocates the stock to all the accounts accordingly. Just curious if you Indies have that platform available. Yes.  Absolutely.  That technology is readily available from several sources.Sportsfreakbob wrote:
Second question, and i know this is one that i should know the answer to, but i dont, i never paid attention to it before. Never needed to. Been at a wire my entire 9 year career, never thought about anything else. Can someone explain the diff to me between being an RIA, and going Indie?Ah, yes - you are in good company with this confusion.  This is a common and recurring issue.  The term "independent" or "indy"as used in
this industry has essentially been co-opted and rendered about as
ambiguous, at its core, as "financial advisor."  It can mean so much,
that it ends up having little useful meaning.Compounding the situation is the the big b/ds have zero incentive to educate you on this, as it is essentially their competition.  As a result, you have to be willing to show some initiative and do your own research.  This proves to be a great process of natural selection, because those who lack the intitiative to explore options independently by definition have no business GOING independent.  This has been addressed in some detail on several occasions, which you can find if you do a search on RIA.  Here is a link to one such thread that may be helpful.http://forums.registeredrep.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=6218&PN=1

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Morphius,
 
The few points I've thrown out to you have not even partially been answered, which I expect.
 
But to clarify the first point first on the discretionary account management: Are you saying that you can purchase, for your client, institutional share prices of stock through a program you don't have on your system but can buy the program somewhere? So you can do exactly what a PM at American Funds can do---purchasing STOCK in an account and buying at the level that American Funds can buy-cheaper than the rest of the retail world? You have to pay for it? It's extra? What's the name of the program? Let's start there and then I will go to the next point.
 
And just so you know, this is an academic debate and not a dig at your firm. No hard feelings at all. If I'm wrong, I'm a good enough person to admit. Let's just spar for a bit on friendly terms.

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Maybe I am missing something, but I am having a hard time understading this institutional price comment. Everyone purchases equities at the prevailing market price. I have used half a dozen DMA platforms including all the current and former ECNs and systems from many of the wirehouses offered to institutions. I am at a wirehouse now in retail and while your wirehouse or retail plaftorm may have a shitty interface, and slow execution, equity trades are done at market prices in the year 2008. What are these better prices you guys are discussing?

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donatello wrote:Morphius,
 
The few points I've thrown out to you have not even partially been answered, which I expect.
 
But to clarify the first point first on the discretionary account management: Are you saying that you can purchase, for your client, institutional share prices of stock through a program you don't have on your system but can buy the program somewhere? So you can do exactly what a PM at American Funds can do---purchasing STOCK in an account and buying at the level that American Funds can buy-cheaper than the rest of the retail world? You have to pay for it? It's extra? What's the name of the program? Let's start there and then I will go to the next point.
 
And just so you know, this is an academic debate and not a dig at your firm. No hard feelings at all. If I'm wrong, I'm a good enough person to admit. Let's just spar for a bit on friendly terms.donatello,  Friendly sparring is fine with me.  What in the world do you mean by "institutional share prices of stock through a program?"  There is only one price for a publicly traded stock, and it is the same for me as for the American Finds PM.  And how does one buy it "through a program?"

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Morph - thanks for the comments - i will go to the link you included and do my research.regarding institutional prices - i can only assume he means to refer to institutional share classes of MF's. This comment confuses me as well.

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Morphius wrote: donatello,  Friendly sparring is fine with me.  What in the world do you mean by "institutional share prices of stock through a program?"  There is only one price for a publicly traded stock, and it is the same for me as for the American Finds PM.  And how does one buy it "through a program?"
 
What Morphius and Bob, you guys don't think Donatello can call up the market maker and say, "MSFT is trading at $28.  I'd like to buy it at $20 because I'm at a wirehouse"?  Seems completely plausible to me............

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Morphius,
 
You just made my jaw drop!
 
I would love to explain the difference between the price you can purchase stock and the price a portfolio manager can purchase stock at, but pm me if you really want to know for time's sake.
 
Let's go on to the second point.
 
Line of credits, and commercial real estate deals and construction loan lending. ALL of us who have been in the business for a while (at my firm) do these accounts. Every client that I have with over $250k in a regular account has a line of credit opened. These individuals can borrow money cheaper than most people. We have discretion to discount the amount, based on the size of account. These lines of credit are not margin and therefore not under the SEC, and they go off the LIBOR index--LIBOR + 1, 1/2 whatever--like a bank. (We can already do that since we own two banks)
 
Now to focus, we are talking about capabilities at ML/BofA vs. independent-specifically LPL, and my point is you do NOT have the capabilities I have and competition becomes much harder for you in the future. I have never taken an account from LPL and have never had a client give me a statement from them, for the record.
 
In saying that, LPL is a fine firm and I think my buddy who is in your top 10% revenue for your firm is one of the most intelligent individuals I know. But that does not change your capabilities.
 
Again, let's try another lending scenario. I had a client come to me wanting to build a house. He wanted to do one closing and do a construction to permanent loan---drafts to the builder (one closing-one closing cost). I made several thousand dollars on this-a good percantage of the loan and I keep the lending product on my books further adding to revenue that counts towards my bonus. Can you do it?
 
 

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donatello wrote:Morphius,
 
You just made my jaw drop!
 
I would love to explain the difference between the price you can purchase stock and the price a portfolio manager can purchase stock at, but pm me if you really want to know for time's sake.It takes less time to explain something via PM than posting here?  No, I'm content to have you explain this to silly old me right here so we can all learn from you.  Exactly HOW can a PM purchase stock at a different price than me?  And what "program" is involved? 
 
donatello wrote:Let's go on to the second point.As you said, let's take these things one at a time.  Once we resolve the share price/discretionary account confusion I'll be happy to address the second point.  You do want to resolve that issue, don't you?
 

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Joined: 2004-11-30

BAC will put a stranglehold on Merrill to the likes noone has ever seen. I know, I worked for them as an FA. Compliance will be so stieffling, frustration will get the best of most FA's and departures will be enormous.

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