Advice on Firm and Current Situation

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Jul 18, 2008 1:02 pm

Here's the Situation:


Offers from ML,MS, and EJ.
Wife in Medical School Graduating in May 09
We may have to move next summer for her residency and will be somewhere else for 3-4 years.
 
 
 
How concerned should I be about this move being a possiblity?
Would this be a death knell to my business?
I want to take the ML job, but would another firm make more sense givin the circumstances?
 
Thanks for the advice.
Jul 18, 2008 1:18 pm

Assume when you move out of state, 90% of your clients will not follow you.  I'm not sure that with this much moving in your future this is the right business for you.

Jul 18, 2008 1:59 pm

With residencies, fellowships, and long term jobs as a physician it's impossible to know where you're going to be 10 years from now.  I agree that with a company like ML you might be better off.  Keep in mind this is my outsider's opinion, as I'm not yet in this business.  It seems to me though that EDJ wouldn't be a good fit, since you'd be building your business based on face to face interaction and then up and leaving in a few years.  It would be hard to keep those clients.  At least with a wirehouse you can prospect not just locally, but in areas where your wife is applying for her residency.  With local clients you gain, you could try to keep them after moving by coming back to town twice a year for a face to face review meeting.  Take that advice for what it's worth (nothing), but hopefully it helps.


Good luck to you and your wife!!!
Jul 18, 2008 3:36 pm

Thanks for the advice.

I'm thinking of staying home for 1 year during her internship.
This would given me about 2 years in one location.
I could then sell or house and move to the location of her residency.
We would be there for 3 years at least.
After that we would live somewhere permanent.
 
I have no idea where the residency will be.
Jul 18, 2008 3:40 pm

Also, I'm leaning toward ML too. I think the training would be better, higher salary, and I think I would have a higher client retention from the move.

Jul 18, 2008 4:13 pm

Geez Ice ....are we always on the same page????

Jul 18, 2008 4:25 pm

Bull - Just a few thoughts to ponder. When you are interviewing ask the prospective employer about your multiple moves. I think you may well be in for a shock.

The example you are suggesting : 1) Hired in San Diego ( work there for a year ) , 2) Move to Miami ( work there for three years ) and 3) Finally relocate to Syracuse.
You then tell all your clients you are now finally settled in one location. Being logical this is a CLIENT business that requires your undivided attention and you need to retain them. Do you really think they are going to follow your travels?????
One other point - the employer. What is the benefit to them.
Jul 18, 2008 7:05 pm

Boy from a location standpoint you reaally went downhill! Syracuse?? I grew up there and would never live there voluntarily.

Jul 18, 2008 7:41 pm

If you let your prospective employer know about the upcoming moves, i think you are done. Why would a Branch Manager be willing to pay your salary and training costs, if he knows that in a year or two, just when you are about to ramp up, you;ll be gone.?

Jul 18, 2008 8:27 pm

I'm thinking of staying home for 1 year during her internship.

 
Why?  What's the point of being married?
Jul 19, 2008 1:38 am

I actually told the VP at ML that i may move in 2 years. He said that whether i stay or go to another ml branch isn't going to make or break him, but he was concerned about my long term success with the move. I was pleasantly suprised that he even considered my well being.

Jul 19, 2008 8:25 am
bullinachinashop:

I actually told the VP at ML that i may move in 2 years. He said that whether i stay or go to another ml branch isn't going to make or break him, but he was concerned about my long term success with the move. I was pleasantly suprised that he even considered my well being.



I think he loves you.

Jul 19, 2008 12:27 pm
bullinachinashop:

I actually told the VP at ML that i may move in 2 years. He said that whether i stay or go to another ml branch isn't going to make or break him, but he was concerned about my long term success with the move. I was pleasantly suprised that he even considered my well being.





I don't think you quite get it. He was pleased to hear that you are going to work hard for him for two years, then leave a bunch of assets behind in his office when you move. Don't be mislead. Just being honest.

Jul 19, 2008 4:35 pm

I would not recommend you pursue being an advisor until you and your wife settle in a permanent location.  It may seem that you would be a more attractive hire for someone if you were already licensed and two years into the business, but that's not the case, particularly if you are coming from across the country.  You may end up in a location that won't have a branch of the firm you are with -- then there would be issues of training costs, etc.  The first three years in this business, gathering your initial assets, is a killer -- that's why the fail out rate is so high.  You are talking about doing those two years over again at a new location.  It just doesn't make sense. 

 
Now, you could consider an insurance broker/dealer.  That wouldn't be a bad background for the spouse of a physician to have... the insurance business would be more portable, and you have a natural market who have a desperate need for insurance products.
Jul 19, 2008 8:15 pm

Maybe your right... I don't get it.

 
Are you saying that if i move from one merrill lynch location to another that i will have to leave all aum at the previous location? I understand that some clients will stay with the local branch, but what about the all the other clients. I should be able to get 5m just from family and friends that don't even live in my current state. Surely i don't have to leave those assets just to move locations?
Jul 19, 2008 8:24 pm

I'd look at ML.  You have the ability to move from one office to another (I know several guys who have worked in three offices within 10 years).  There have even been articles in-house of how senior advisors have moved their practices from one state to another.  If you are profitable they will work with you.

Jul 19, 2008 8:44 pm

Bull - Vast majority of your clients will want an advisor they can sit down with, face-to-face.  Yes, you could take them with you, if they are willing.  Most won't want to and will feel as if you mislead them when you became their advisor because you knew you were going to move away.  And if you tell them you'll be moving, or they ask what your wife does, it will dramatically reduce your success in getting their business. 


Sure, you can take friends and families with you, but even if that gets you to 5m in assets, that won't be enough to survive on. 


Bondo - hate to tell you that Mother Merrill doesn't have branches everywhere.  He isn't going to have as much choice in their relocations as those brokers, he's got to go where wife is accepted for her residency.  May have more choice on where they will eventually live once she's practicing.  I've got two homes and no ML office for at least 45 miles (and my second home is an affluent area).  Yeah, it might work, but what if he goes through building a book and then moves where there is no ML office???  I just don't see it as being worth the risk. 
 
I still like the idea of an insurance B/D - Mass Mutual, etc.
Jul 20, 2008 7:56 am
bullinachinashop:

Maybe your right... I don't get it.



Are you saying that if i move from one merrill lynch location to another that i will have to leave all aum at the previous location? I understand that some clients will stay with the local branch, but what about the all the other clients. I should be able to get 5m just from family and friends that don't even live in my current state. Surely i don't have to leave those assets just to move locations?





Certainly you can move them. But unless they are great clients and have a great connection with you (which often takes years to develop), they are eventually going to want a local advisor again).



Also, consider that you will have to re-establish a local presence again. Keep in mind,most people do business with people they know and like, not new people to the area or ones that cold call them.

Jul 20, 2008 11:30 pm
Jul 21, 2008 8:45 am

Joe,

Keep in mind, this guy is talking about moving every couple years.  I think the % that would move would be much higher if you move and stay with the same firm (thus avoiding the paperwork thing), but if you are forced to change firms, it is going to be tough with a client you have only had for 3 months.