Picking a firm

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Apr 11, 2006 9:08 pm

OK free for all is welcome. Say I have three equal salary offers to train for two years at the following firms. Which would you choose and why?





morgan stanley

smith barney

merrill lynch



comments welcome!

Apr 11, 2006 10:14 pm

Are you a good advisor?  Are you confident? Go with Merill, get
more money for only 18 months salary (negotiate).  After that you
will enjoy the best tools in the industry and capture shares of the
finest financial service firm in the world (MER).  

Apr 11, 2006 10:29 pm

Of course I should learn how to spell the name of my firm (Merrill)

Apr 11, 2006 10:40 pm

Or go to the bank, enjoy average technology but great referrals, and buy shares of MER inside your IRA.  

Just kidding...2 for 1 happy hour at Chilis...feeling like posting...

Apr 12, 2006 4:16 am

Yes that 2 for 1 deal at Chilis is pretty good.

Apr 12, 2006 9:08 am

like college, your success is up to you.  you can go to harvard and be a piece of $hit and not amount to anything.  You can also go to a community college and become a multimillionairre. 


Again, it's up to you.

Apr 12, 2006 10:09 am

Yes I am confident but I am not a planner...yet. Offer is Two years training on salary and I am already have an 18 month above normal salary offer with Merrill, lots of hard work and of course no name guarantees anything. Could not agree more. Just curious about reactions to these big three. My impression is Merrill has the best training but perhaps more rigid culturally, more scrutiny, pressure. I have owned a business so lots of scrutiny will annoy. I can handle it but don't like it. Morgan looks like they are turning the corner but it has been messay. Smith Barney is the most established "conveys" the big money feel in my area but who knows. I place 70% of my decision on the chemistry of the local office and 30% on the name of the firm. So main issue is the local management I think. Thanks for the comments. Others are welcome.

Apr 12, 2006 11:38 am

SB is more entrepreneurial than Merrill. That is a significant difference.   Financial planning tools need improvement but on a relative basis to Merrill I do not know which is better.  SB fee based platform is better for 3rd party managers in my opinion.   SB is also paying for your CFP now.  Don't know if Merrill does that.  


As you know the br mger will make a big difference but that is a hard on to get a real feel for until you actually make the leap.  

Apr 12, 2006 1:44 pm
BankFC:

Or go to the bank, enjoy average technology but great referrals, and buy shares of MER inside your IRA.  

Just kidding...2 for 1 happy hour at Chilis...feeling like posting...



good one!

Apr 12, 2006 1:47 pm

Don't just think in terms of salary.  Look at the whole picture.  The money probably isn't equal.  Look at the small print.

Does the salary decline over the training period? Do you get full commissions or do they cut the payout because you're on salary? Do you get production credit on everything you sell, or just a few categories. There's a lot more going on here besides salary.


In any case, you're 100% right about the local chemistry.  A good relationship with your branch management is crucial, no matter what your base salary is.


Apr 12, 2006 2:54 pm

1.Does the salary decline over the training period?

2.Do you get full commissions or do they cut the payout because you're on salary?

3.Do you get production credit on everything you sell, or just a few categories



1. At ML and SB salary does not decline but at ML it cuts off after 18 months due to package offer

2.Will clarify on commisions - I know at MB they give NONE for first year and continuation of salary requires 4 million in door first year. fine by me. At ML and SB some commission and incentive but not 100% due to salary.

3.Will ask - good point. Fine print can be a bear can't it?



With appreciation,



Ontheverge

Apr 12, 2006 2:56 pm

"SB is more entrepreneurial than Merrill. That is a significant difference. Financial planning tools need improvement but on a relative basis to Merrill I do not know which is better. SB fee based platform is better for 3rd party managers in my opinion. SB is also paying for your CFP now. Don't know if Merrill does that. "



I find EVERYONE wants to own the word entrepeneurial. Everyone. Interesting. I do sense this in SB though. Planning tools concern me some at SB too. Can you clarify what you mean about 3rd party fees. Forgive the ignorance. Believe I understand but not sure.

Apr 12, 2006 4:14 pm
ontheverge:

I find EVERYONE wants to own the word entrepeneurial.



The degree of autonomy (aka:Entrepreneurial) at a given branch depends as much on the local branch management as on the firm itself.  Do your research and remember that your mileage may vary.

ontheverge:

" SB is
also paying for your CFP now.  Don't know if Merrill does that. "



Both Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch will pay for your CFP.