Buy-and-hold Edward Jones is considering a platform option it has long eschewed as foreign to the firm’s culture: fee-based accounts.
According to Jones reps, CEO Jim Weddle announced that the firm is considering a fee-based platform at a recent regional sales meeting. The move would be surprising for Jones, a firm that prides itself on its conservative buy-and-hold investment philosophy: Weddle told Registered Rep. as much in an interview for the March 2006 cover story, “The Old-Fashioned Way.”
John Boul, head of the firm’s public relations department, confirms that Jones is considering the new platform but said no further information or comment was available.
Reps say it’s still very much in the exploratory phase. “There’s no structure yet,” says one Jones rep. “They don’t know if it will be separately managed accounts or mutual fund wraps or both,” says one Jones broker. In what is perhaps a related matter, Jones reps received a letter from management recently informing them that they had three months to study for and pass the Series 66 exam, which qualifies you to be an investment advisor rep. “But they didn’t tell us why,” says one rep.
For Jones producers—especially those with wealthier clients—the lack of a fee-based platform has been a major complaint. That and the lack of email access—until this year.