Advice On Getting Started

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Dec 26, 2008 11:19 pm

I am just getting started in the business here as the new year starts. I recently graduated from college and have spent the last few months working on achieving my licenses.

 
Now that I am done with all of that, and have been hired, I would greatly appreciate some advice. Basically I would just like to know where to go from here, and what should I do to give me the best chance to be successful.
 
I am 24 years old and do not have a lot of responsibilities (no wife, kids, etc..) so I can truly give this my all. I really would just like some direction. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Dec 26, 2008 11:44 pm

Start as a sales assistant @ a wirehouse.

Learn how to do all the grunt work before making the commitment to become a trainee. That way (among other things) when you do become a trainee you can honestly tell a client that you've been in the biz for "X" number of years.

Most people will tell you "No one is going to trust a kid fresh out of college with their investments" and you know what - they have a point and are probably right.

You're going to do what you want - and I guess that's okay. But if you're asking for advice and getting it - you should probably listen and follow.

Good luck either way.

Dec 27, 2008 12:11 am
YTB:

Start as a sales assistant @ a wirehouse.

Learn how to do all the grunt work before making the commitment to become a trainee. That way (among other things) when you do become a trainee you can honestly tell a client that you've been in the biz for "X" number of years.

Most people will tell you "No one is going to trust a kid fresh out of college with their investments" and you know what - they have a point and are probably right.

You're going to do what you want - and I guess that's okay. But if you're asking for advice and getting it - you should probably listen and follow.

Good luck either way.


Disagree...I started as a kid out of college in a bear market 8 years ago....

Dec 27, 2008 6:16 am

I also disagree with YTB.  Start as a sales assistant if you want to be a sales assistant.


Working as a sales assistant will teach you to become a good secretary.


This business is simple.  During the day, do NOTHING but see people or fight to see them.  Don't go home until your work is done.

Dec 27, 2008 10:34 am
330Buckeye:

I am just getting started in the business here as the new year starts. I recently graduated from college and have spent the last few months working on achieving my licenses.

 
Now that I am done with all of that, and have been hired, I would greatly appreciate some advice. Basically I would just like to know where to go from here, and what should I do to give me the best chance to be successful.
 
I am 24 years old and do not have a lot of responsibilities (no wife, kids, etc..) so I can truly give this my all. I really would just like some direction. Any advice is greatly appreciated.




I have a crazy idea....why don't you ask the firm that hired you how to get started?

Dec 27, 2008 11:19 am

you guys disagree with me, but all you're offering is the status quo - the same status quo that see's a high percentage of failures in trainee programs.

What I'm suggesting is by no means glorious, by no means easy on the ego and by no means
starting at the top. But what I do know as fact is that the transition of SA's to successful trainee's and eventual FA's is much higher than the status quo you're offering.

One ammendment to my suggestion would be that if you do go the SA route, make sure your manager, and assigned FA/team know that your intentions aren't to be a 20 year SA.  Nor is it to sit back and only take lunch orders. Rather that you want to be a part of their business - helping them grow assets and revenue and eventually become an FA after you've cut your teeth learning the business.

Basically, make yourself a junior partner on branch salary.

Ask for modest monthly goal/cut to see if you can even do this. You're 24 so there's no shame in this route and the upside is higher than the steep likely downside of the trainee.

Dec 27, 2008 6:51 pm

Ytb is correct. 1 out of 10 24 year olds will make it past the 5 year mark in the biz by being tossed to the wolves immediately, so kudos to those who've made it past that point. I started fresh out as a 23 year old 3 years ago and probably wish I'd been eased in a little more. I think back to the amount of times I told people in their 40s and 50s that I'd be with them from now til retirement and wonder how many of them wondered if I'd even hit puberty yet.

Dec 28, 2008 7:15 am

Ytb and 3rdyrp2, you aren't reading what I'm writing.  I did not say that a kid right out of college should join a wirehouse trainee program.  I agree that their chance of success with the wirehousis very slim.  That doesn't mean that the alternative is to be a glorified secretary.   One needs to learn to sell.   


The failure statistics are close to meaningless.   Do what needs to be done on a daily basis and do everything jointly and failure is virtually impossible.  The problem is that most people don't have the ability to do what needs to be done on a daily basis.  The problem with a wirehouse is that a 22 year old can do what needs to be done on a daily basis, and they still may get canned from the wirehouse.  So what?  That person received a salary, picked up skills, gained clients, and can then go work somewhere else as a financial advisor and will ultimately do very well IF they continue do what needs to be done on a daily basis.  That being said, a wirehouse isn't the place for a 22 year old.
 
I brought in a young guy this past year.  2009 will be his first full year.  He will probably make over $100,000 this year.  His sales skills are still very much lacking.  He'll make this income because he does what needs to be done and does most of his work jointly.  It's a simple formula that is very hard to do.
Dec 28, 2008 8:55 am

Find a guy with gray hair and experience to team up with who knows how to close the living benefits of annuities.  You concentrate on getting people to meet with you and your partner by cold calling over the phone.  You don't have to worry about your age when your old ass partner shows up with you and he can also teach you how to close.  The biggest thing you can add to anyone is your willingness to do the tough prospecting that most guys who have been in the business don't want to do.

Dec 28, 2008 8:25 pm

In my office, 6 trainee advisors (out of 53 since I started the program) have succeeded on their own.  8 have left to join teams, 39 have either failed out or left to join another firm (mainly the former).  Of the 6 that are still here, the paths to their success are as follows:

1.  Advisor has significant family money that he is managing.
2.  Advisor has a cozy relationship with management and has been able to have quality clients reassigned to him when other trainees failed out of the program.
3.  Advisor has maintained cozy relationships with other trainees and has gotten their accounts reassigned to her before failed trainees quit the business and management can intervene.
4.  Advisor leveraged his investment banking background and has built up a significant book of UHNW clients.
5.  Advisor has landed one giant relationship through his network and his success and future is this biz hinges on pleasing this client's every whim.
6.  Advisor who has cold-called his way to moderate success (me).

Unless you have the ability to succeed via routes 1-5, you will likely need to go route 6.

Dec 28, 2008 11:40 pm
anonymous:
 
I brought in a young guy this past year.  2009 will be his first full year.  He will probably make over $100,000 this year.  His sales skills are still very much lacking.  He'll make this income because he does what needs to be done and does most of his work jointly.  It's a simple formula that is very hard to do.
 
 
I am thinking about doing this, how was your guy able to achieve such good success in his first year? Did you give him some of your "dead" accounts? Or did he use old fashion methods like cold calling and networking?
 
When I hire a guy on I want to be upfront with him on what he can expect to earn and how to do it.
Dec 28, 2008 11:56 pm
georgicaclose:


6.  Advisor who has cold-called his way to moderate success (me).

Unless you have the ability to succeed via routes 1-5, you will likely need to go route 6.

 
If you are still around why say moderate success, being able to show up every day is success in this business. Cold calling works, residential or businesses...
Dec 29, 2008 1:23 am
georgicaclose:

In my office, 6 trainee advisors (out of 53 since I started the program) have succeeded on their own.  8 have left to join teams, 39 have either failed out or left to join another firm (mainly the former).  Of the 6 that are still here, the paths to their success are as follows:

1.  Advisor has significant family money that he is managing.
2.  Advisor has a cozy relationship with management and has been able to have quality clients reassigned to him when other trainees failed out of the program.
3.  Advisor has maintained cozy relationships with other trainees and has gotten their accounts reassigned to her before failed trainees quit the business and management can intervene.
4.  Advisor leveraged his investment banking background and has built up a significant book of UHNW clients.
5.  Advisor has landed one giant relationship through his network and his success and future is this biz hinges on pleasing this client's every whim.
6.  Advisor who has cold-called his way to moderate success (me).

Unless you have the ability to succeed via routes 1-5, you will likely need to go route 6.

 
^^This is the truest stuff I have seen here...
 
 
Dec 29, 2008 9:44 am
Squash1:
anonymous:
 
I brought in a young guy this past year.  2009 will be his first full year.  He will probably make over $100,000 this year.  His sales skills are still very much lacking.  He'll make this income because he does what needs to be done and does most of his work jointly.  It's a simple formula that is very hard to do.
 
 
I am thinking about doing this, how was your guy able to achieve such good success in his first year? Did you give him some of your "dead" accounts? Or did he use old fashion methods like cold calling and networking?
 
When I hire a guy on I want to be upfront with him on what he can expect to earn and how to do it.
 
I believe that almost anyone has a chance to make 6 figures rather quickly.  It probably can't be done by most people in their first 12 months, but it can be done once someone gets up to speed...maybe months 4-16 instead of 1-12.   "By up to speed", I'm simply meaning that they have a full calendar and they don't sound like a complete idiot on the phone and they can present themselves ok in front of a client.  I'm not saying that they'll make 6 figures, but that it is a very real possibility.
 
1) He spends his time seeing people or fighting to see them.
2) He does most things joint work.
3) Our work environment is such that we don't have to put insurance sales through a grid.  Therefore, anyone with income or assets is a decent prospect.
 
I believe that it's impossible to not do well in my work environment.  Yet, this same guy would have had almost no chance to succeed at a wirehouse.
Dec 29, 2008 10:14 am

Did you train him at all or just say here is a list start calling?

Dec 29, 2008 10:56 am
anonymous:

[quote=Squash1][quote=anonymous]

  
I believe that almost anyone has a chance to make 6 figures rather quickly.  It probably can't be done by most people in their first 12 months, but it can be done once someone gets up to speed...maybe months 4-16 instead of 1-12.   "By up to speed", I'm simply meaning that they have a full calendar and they don't sound like a complete idiot on the phone and they can present themselves ok in front of a client.  I'm not saying that they'll make 6 figures, but that it is a very real possibility.
 
1) He spends his time seeing people or fighting to see them.
2) He does most things joint work.
3) Our work environment is such that we don't have to put insurance sales through a grid.  Therefore, anyone with income or assets is a decent prospect.
 
I believe that it's impossible to not do well in my work environment.  Yet, this same guy would have had almost no chance to succeed at a wirehouse.
 
Anonymous,
 
What kind of activity would be needed in order to hit 100k within the first 4-16 months? Would 200+ dials and 40 cold walks cut it? Of course, I don't expect you to give me a downright accurate prediction, but generally speaking.
Dec 29, 2008 3:49 pm

Listen to iceco1d.  If your phone calls and cold walks are designed to give you appointments, you can't do 200 and 40 because you will have a full schedule.

Dec 29, 2008 4:01 pm

Start out selling insurance. Not nearly as cutt throught. You make it there in ten years when you're not a kid you can use your insurance book.

Dec 29, 2008 4:02 pm

throat that is

Dec 29, 2008 4:49 pm
Gaddock:

throat that is



I love it when you say "throat."