Mr. & Mrs. Client, I left Jones because

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Jun 6, 2010 3:07 pm

I am getting ready to leave Jones and go independent.  The reason for leaving is the same as many who have gone before; the need for better platforms, better investment options and better payouts.  I have been around for years and I am tired of the volunteering, the increasing smell of bullsh*t  and constantly being crowded (If Dairy Queen can't see the opportunity in my town do we really need another Edward Jones office?).

 I am looking for a clear way to phrase "why I left" to my clients.  To those of you who have left, please help.  I have my pitch down pretty good so far but I know that sometimes one word can make a difference.  Let me hear your stories.

ATTN: Jones lovers.  Please do not feel the need to probe the "real reason" why I am leaving.  I have been around you guys for years and know that you love to imagine that everyone who leaves must do so because they were either fired for production or some compliance issue.  Sometimes it is just a better fit elsewhere.

Jun 7, 2010 6:27 pm

It should be something like this......In the interest of my clients and of course you in particuliar.  I have chosen a different for my business.  The tools out there today are vast and I need access to them for your benefit.....in X, Y, Z.  I value our relationship and look forward to improving how I serve you and your family's needs....

Jun 7, 2010 10:37 pm

I left Edward Jones in order to have the freedom to manage my accounts as I see fit. The Jones model,because it has to accommodate 7000 brand new advisors every year, gives little freedome to the individual advisor in order to keep the newbies from making mistakes.

I've outlived the need for that oversight, wouldn't you agree?

Jun 8, 2010 10:19 am

I wanted to be free of all conflicts. And as an employee of Jones or any other firm I wouldn't be able to make the best recommendations for you only the best that EDJ would allow me to. Sometimes those recommendations would have been identical, but most often I found options that the firm felt wasn't in their best interest.

The clients must always come first and the only way for me to accomplish this was to align with a firm that felt the same way.

Jun 8, 2010 10:42 am

You didn't seriously think that I'd let comments like these go, did you? 

Lock - 7000 new advisors every year?  Really?  While it is true that we hire new advisors every year, 7000 is a bit of a stretch.  But, perhaps you just pulled that number out of your butt without thinking about what the actual number is.

I don't think I'd ever tell a client that I've outlived some oversight.  In my opinion it's always a good idea to have someone smarter than me taking a look at things.  Now, if  you want to go out and get your CFA, then maybe after that you can say that.  Telling them you've outlived the need for oversight might make them question who's watching over you while you're watching over their money. 

The reality is that noobs have more freedom than they realize.  I think most Jones FAs don't really realize how many investment choices they really have.  If you're going to sit across the desk from a client and tell them that you have lots of better choices than the thousands of mutual funds, stocks, bonds, ETFs, etc. that you did at EDJ, you'd better have your tongue planted firmly in your cheek.   

Next - not bad, simple to the point.   

Cheesey - always the antagonist.  I wouldn't have expected anything different from you.  Continue to throw stones at Jones while you walk away.   

Jun 8, 2010 12:37 pm

You my little man have a very very short memory. Checkout your lame ass response on the other thread  when you tried to take a stab at the old man (I know I can't take a joke).

 Maybe you should step away from the bong....

Jun 8, 2010 1:30 pm

Which other firms have you worked at Spiff?

Jun 8, 2010 2:14 pm

Spiff, I have to sort of agree with Lock on this to a degree.  Not the 7000 new reps and "not needing that level of oversight" thing (although I think what he meant to say was different than how it came out ).  But the investment option thing is not untrue.  You are right Spiff, that we do have access to virtually all funds (non no-load), ETF's and stocks.  And we have acess to plenty of no-loads, etc. through Advisory solutions.  We also have access to SMA managers.  So in theory we have access to just as many investment options as most firms.  But at closer inspection, all is not as it seems.

1. Being forced into A shares (unless you do Advisory Fee business) , eliminates ones ability to use "best in class" investment options.  Obviously, this is a problem at any firm if you choose ot use A shares.  However, above $100,000 most firms would use C shares in order to take this approach.  We are really not able to do that.

2. "Preferred Fund Families", coupled with the firm's "hire new" approach, and research support of the Preferred Fund families generally forces advisors into Preferred Fund families from Day 1.  To me, this creates an overt conflict of interest (above the natural conflicts we all have at any firm, under any fee/commission arrangement).  Yes, we are welcomed to use most fund families, but when you are brand new and know nothing else, you are going to use them.  And due to natural inertia, you will tend to stick with them, at least for a period of years. 

3. Advisory Solutions: Since you get impacted considerably on your production goals for putting new money into Advisory versus commissioned products, newer FA's (like, under 5 years) simply can't afford (from an income OR production perspective) to put new money into ffee-based investments.  Hence, another MAJOR conflict of interest.  Putting production requirements ahead of investment recommendations

4. Advisory Solutions: Yes, there are a couple hundred funds and ETF's we can use.  But they essentially dictate the asset allocation structure and force us into investing EXACTLY how they want us to.  No ability to use World Allocation Funds (First Eagle, Blackrock, Ivy Asset Strat, MFS Global TR, etc.) or employ any investment strategy other than strict style-box buy-and-hold investing.  In fact, getting a client out of harms way during a crash would require them to sign a new IPS.  And even then, the IPS is created through a series of questions that cannot be adjusted.  For example, my REALLY conservative 50 year-old client cannot be any more conservative than Balanced Growth & Income (50/50) if I answer the questions honestly, and answer them the MOST conservative way possible.  In order to be LESS conservative than 50/50, I would need to lie on the risk assesment.  But not lie about their risk tolerance, I would need to lie about their stage in life (i.e. retired, high earnings years, etc.).  I simply won't do that.  So JONES forces me into being MORE aggressive with clients than I want to be.

5. SMA's: The minimum account size is so high, and the manager options so few that it is not a very realistic option for most clients.

Listen, I defend Jones on many things.  But I really feel squeezed on my investment strategy in many ways.  I know they are coming out with a UMA platform next eyar, but we all know what it will encompass....it will be Jones Advisory Funds, coupled with either stocks from the Jones model portfolio only (in their chosen proportions), or SMA managers, as well as bond ladders that Jones creates.  GREAT tool for advisors that are not interested in managing the investment side.  No doubt.  But it will still be very rigid in construction.

Jun 8, 2010 2:20 pm

[quote=BigCheese]

You my little man have a very very short memory. Checkout your lame ass response on the other thread  when you tried to take a stab at the old man (I know I can't take a joke).

 Maybe you should step away from the bong....

[/quote]

Somehow I knew when I put your name in that post that your bear trap memory would latch on to it forever.  That seems to be the way it works.  Dude, it was a joke.  Let it go. 

Jun 8, 2010 2:23 pm

Space: frankly does it make it sound so much different at 3000 or 4000 than it does at 7000? Edward Jones needs to protect itself from it's advisors, from the fact that each newbie gets an office before he knows enough and so every one of the remainder are restricted.

And really??? You have someone "smarter than yourself" looking over your shoulder? Who is that, Space? Because the people looking over my shoulder at Jones was Field Supervision ( who literally is my branch supervisor), and you'll never hear me admit he was even smarter than sperm. No RL, AL, or StL rep ever looked at my book of business and I bet my experience is hardly the exception.

So I'm good with what I said. Thanks.

Jun 8, 2010 2:40 pm

B - I don't disagree with most of your statements.  There are certainly restrictions on the way we invest at Jones.  From what I've seen from a lot statements from other companies, the industry and it's clients would be a LOT better off if there were similar restrictions at other B/Ds.  Maybe there are and I just don't see them. 

GHGR - Why does it matter how many firms I've worked for?  This is an I'm leaving JONES conversation, not an I'm leaving MER conversation. 

Jun 8, 2010 3:34 pm

At Jones, I have often heard "do what's best for the client". But my experience has been "do the least harm to the client while being profitable". I'm not sure if that is much different than other houses, but I find it anything but impressive. I have found FA investment ignorance acceptable(by Jones), but lack of production unacceptable. That may be understandable, but is it right. If and when I leave Jones, would I leave my money to be invested by another Jones FA? No way.

Jun 8, 2010 4:24 pm

Spiff -

You have no basis for comparison AT ALL. Lay off defending Jones for once. I'm even an FA at Jones and there's a lot that I like about this firm, but all you do is waltz into every thread and absolutely PRAISE Edward Jones.

A) It's the only firm you've worked for.  B) You regurgitate every little bit of propaganda that's pro-Edward Jones C) It's starting to make everyone sick

Reading your Edward Jones' posts is like listening to FA's at KYC make small-talk

Jun 8, 2010 4:03 pm

[quote=gethardgetraw]

Reading your Edward Jones' posts is like listening to FA's at KYC make small-talk

[/quote]

That's hysterical!  I was a visiting vet a couple years ago, and chuckled at nearly every conversation I walked by. 

Jun 8, 2010 5:01 pm

[quote=gethardgetraw]

Spiff -

You have no basis for comparison AT ALL. Lay off defending Jones for once. I'm even an FA at Jones and there's a lot that I like about this firm, but all you do is waltz into every thread and absolutely PRAISE Edward Jones.

A) It's the only firm you've worked for.  B) You regurgitate every little bit of propaganda that's pro-Edward Jones C) It's starting to make everyone sick

Reading your Edward Jones' posts is like listening to FA's at KYC make small-talk

[/quote]

There are absolutely a lot of times that I will praise Jones for things I think they are doing right.  But mostly, like with this thread, it's in defense of something that someone else has said that I believe to be inaccurate.   In the case of Cheese, I argue with him sometimes just to get under his skin.  I knew that's what was going to happen here.  And it worked.      

Just FYI, my pro-EDJ stance has been making everyone here sick since 2006. 

I'm guessing, like B24, that you are taking exception with my comments about the amount of choices that Jones FAs have with their investments.  My point was that I believe we actually feel a lot more handcuffed than we really are.  Just because we have preferred fund families doesn't mean we have to use them.  Lock's post made it sound like Jones was saying he had to use American Funds, for example, and only American Funds and that by going independant he can now use hundreds of different families.  Which of course is absolutely not true.  If you call that regurgitating pro-Jones propaganda, then so be it.  I think it's disengenuous to tell clients that your move to independance opened the door to different investments that you more than likely could have purchased for them at your previous firm but didn't because you didn't take the time to look any farther than the lists Jones provides you. 

Jun 8, 2010 5:08 pm

To the OP - tell people whatever you want about why you are leaving Jones.  If you have provided them with the level of service Jones preaches, they should move with you whether you have a better platform or not. 

If it were me I'd say something like:

Mr. Client, EDJ is a fine company, but in an effort to better service my clients, I felt the need to move on to what I believe is a better situation for you, my business, and my family.  The level of service I have provided you while at EDJ will not change.  I promise you that.  In fact I'm going to work hard to improve it.  My hope is that we can continue to grow our relationship well into the future, regardless of the name on the door of my office.  Now, when can you come by to visit me in my new office?  

Jun 8, 2010 5:13 pm

Spiff-

You are so full of crap you must beleive it. There was a time on these fourms I actually thought I was learning something. All you do is think you make me mad. If anything you prove my point everytime you hit the keyboard. If you are the kind of rep Jones covets, your firm is in more trouble than I thought.

When you start to forumulate your own thoughts...you will free yourself from yourself. Perhaps the webmaster would consider your constant diatribes cruel and unusual punishment for the rest of us and ban you from the forums.

Can you imagine...a business day without posting.

Jun 8, 2010 5:44 pm

I'm not trying to make you mad.  Just react.  I don't enjoy making people mad, but I do enjoy trying to see if I can get guys like you to respond.  Kind of like Pavlov's dog.  Ring a bell and you sit up and beg.

I'm no more full of crap than you are.  You have an opinion of Jones that is the opposite of mine.  So if the admin is going to boot me for be pro-Jones, he has to boot you for being anti-Jones. 

Jun 8, 2010 5:47 pm

Do us a favor and go back to work.When you learn something that you think we can benefit from bring it back to the forums. Otherwise take your 3000 propaganda posts and stick it where you can't see it for a long long time.

Once again. I am done with you Spiff. You bring no value just a bunch of bullshit. Sounds to me like others agree. At least B24 can be objective.

Jun 8, 2010 6:55 pm

[quote=BigCheese]

Do us a favor and go back to work.When you learn something that you think we can benefit from bring it back to the forums. Otherwise take your 3000 propaganda posts and stick it where you can't see it for a long long time.

Once again. I am done with you Spiff. You bring no value just a bunch of bullshit. Sounds to me like others agree. At least B24 can be objective.

[/quote]

And what value do you bring to the table?  All I've heard you talk about, ever, is how bad a company Jones is and how much kool aid their FAs drink.  You bring no more value to the table with your posts than I do. 

You know what I think is funny?  And a bit ironic at the same time.  You try to blast me for not posting anything but 3000 propaganda posts, but yet when I did a search for BigCheese, 95% of the posts you typed were in something having to do with Jones.  The only one that I remember seeing that wasn't about Jones was the one about LPL going public.  I saw NOTHING that would have added any value to anyone's business. 

When I did the same search on myself, there were posts on taxation, doorknocking, politics, muni bonds, inverse ETFs, etc in addition to my posts in Jones topics.  Many of those posts ended up with some decent info for me and for any of the other people who happened to read them.  

So where do you get off telling me that I add no value?     

I'll believe the "I'm done with you" comment when you actually follow through on it.