After my initial recruitment
I decided to start doing some research in earnest. I am not interested in working for a wirehouse, so I checked out which options were available in my area.
I have 3 new interviews with
AG Edwards (not strongly represented in my area)
Beneficial Financial Group (interesting company. Smaller, no proprietary products and resembles an Indy. I am not sure about payouts, but I do know they are open to commission, fee-based, fee only, etc.
I will call LPL and RJ tomorrow regarding any firms in my area. I figure given the suggestion in my initial thread, why not see if I can get on with an Indy right out the gate. I can imagine I will have to cover my licensing cost, but it really isn't that much of a deal if you are actually paying cost vs. the mark up some of these houses charge. I was told by Beneficial that I would need to cover the costs of my 6,7,63 and Insurance license, they also said it would run about $500. At Waddell & Reed they said my 7 would cost me $900 bucks. Now I could have misunderstood the manager at W&R, and the $900 was for the 7,63 and Insurance tests, but that still is a nice margin.
You might also want to check with some of the career insurance agencies in your area. They have similar characteristics to the companies you are looking at, plus generally they have a more diverse insurance portfolio. You'll still be able to sell investments as well and get decent payouts at the same time. I would suggest looking at the major mutuals like Guardian, Mass Mutual, Northwestern Mutual, and NY Life.
Good luck in your decision, and remember that no matter where you go, make sure the branch and management have a culture you are comfortable with.