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Jun 22, 2007 10:30 pm

Another Newbie here to this forum. Really nice set up. Here is my story:

After selling a business I recently restructured, I decided to jump back into the fray of employment. Almost immediately the Finance Service hounds began knocking on my virtual door with offers.

The Insurance Co's were very keen, but I wasn't interested in a single line house, I wanted to have the latitude to truly tailor the solution to the client.

The four multi-line companies that actually approached me were

Smith Barney
Waddell & Reed
Edward Jones
Ameriprise

I disregarded Ameriprise when the initial interview revealed a girl who really couldn't speak outside the talking points of "Oh you passed your tests, great, now we need you to come in and meet our Vice President who will be holding a presentation on Tuesday." I was not in the mood for a Hallelujah meeting where some Slick Rick tries to play the "hard facts of survival of the fittest" talk while trying to stroke my ego as being the one among the group that has it. That crap should have died with the penny stock brokers in the nineties.

Waddell & Reed were next. I really liked the personal touch, and the manager of the office was clear and concise. He cut to the chase which is what I was after. They would have been a shoe in had they actually had a trading system in place. The official company line was that they have a system that was supposed to be up and running qtr 3 last year, and they are still working on it. This is too bad, because their advisory pedagogy toward the clients was clean and allowed for flexibility. CAVEAT: flexibility if you are geared toward mutual fund solutions. While I am not adverse to mutual funds per se, I like the idea of being able to offer a client trading services at least for part of their portfolio.

Smith Barney has been a tomb. They seemed to have trouble actually getting their recruiting in order. I am not sure what that means, but at least locally the left hand doesn't seem to know what the right hand is doing. I also got the impression that they wanted me to cut my teeth with a limited array of products initially. Also they almost acted like they wanted to hide the fact that I was like everyone else going to be a gopher for the established advisors in the office. To me that smells like proprietary throat ramming. Surprises me considering the company.

Edward Jones looks to fit my needs best. I like the quasi autonomous setup. Flexibility in working environment. At 39 and one who has owned and developed businesses on both sides of the Atlantic, I am grateful for the concept of having access to resources without the trouble of dealing with a manager who wants to handhold. I also like the localization marketing strategy. My area is not loaded with EJ Advisors which makes this localization strategy an excellent recall and recognition activity. Since people and businesses tend not to move that quickly, your presence can create an organic weighted reliability.

I will be having my hour long interview on Monday.

I have a few questions that I was hoping current and even former Edward Jones Advisors could answer

1. What is the time frame from the second interview to getting all the paperwork signed and begin your 2 month study period?

2. Is the testing structure set up like a typical collegiate finals week where you study for 6 weeks and than test out the final 2 weeks?

3. Does EJ "sponsor" other licenses above the 7,63/66 and Insurance?

4. What are the AUM requirements over the first two years? I unfortunately forgot to ask this when I was talking to the "Manager"

5. How does the bonus structure work?

6. Some houses are commission oriented in rating your progress while others are more fee focused. Which is Edward Jones?

7. Are corporate clients possible at Edward Jones? I believe I read somewhere that they do not possess a single corporate or maybe it the wording was institutional client?

Now I understand that every house has its skeletons in the closet. In this industry it is in my opinion more about the individual advisor and less about which house they work for. Having said that, I really think that Edward Jones will work for me at least until the possibility of going Indy becomes a reality.

I appreciate any answers to the questions I have put forward, and please if you are only interested in sharing an EJ horror story feel free, just don't expect me to respond. I look at this way. Nobody twisted your arm to work there, and given the lack of proprietary products it really doesn't make sense that the company is behaving in a less than honorable fashion. Being the last privately held granddaddy on Wall Street appeals to me since the company can set its own time frames in regards to growing revenues vs. being beholden to analysts who grease the rails of stock trading with their stars upon thars approach.

Thanks again.

DJ

Jun 23, 2007 12:16 am

Give us a couple of weeks to read your post and we'll get back to you.....

Jun 23, 2007 12:33 am

Go do a search for EDJ to see this question hashed over 1000 times. PM
Spaceman Spiff, if you want to get some idea's about EDJ from someone
who is inside and likes it.



Briefly, EDJ see's itself as platform for the distribution of financial
products. It is structured as an Limited Partnership which is run for
benefit of the GP's (general partners). Once you understand how EDJ is managed for cash flow, things like the indy offices, preferred funds, low payouts, revenue sharing, weak platforms etc begin to make sense.




Jun 23, 2007 3:47 am
joedabrkr:

Give us a couple of weeks to read your post and we'll get back to you.....



, Sorry I can get carried away when typing. LOL

Jun 23, 2007 3:50 am
AllREIT:

Go do a search for EDJ to see this question hashed over 1000 times. PM
Spaceman Spiff, if you want to get some idea's about EDJ from someone
who is inside and likes it.



Briefly, EDJ see's itself as platform for the distribution of financial
products. It is structured as an Limited Partnership which is run for
benefit of the GP's (general partners). Once you understand how EDJ is managed for cash flow, things like the indy offices, preferred funds, low payouts, revenue sharing, weak platforms etc begin to make sense.






Which question are you talking about? I asked several, and I believe I was fairly specific.

Jun 23, 2007 3:54 am
DJRoss:
AllREIT:

Go do a search for EDJ to see this question hashed over 1000 times. PM
Spaceman Spiff, if you want to get some idea's about EDJ from someone
who is inside and likes it.



Briefly, EDJ see's itself as platform for the distribution of financial
products. It is structured as an Limited Partnership which is run for
benefit of the GP's (general partners). Once you understand how EDJ is managed for cash flow, things like the indy offices, preferred funds, low payouts, revenue sharing, weak platforms etc begin to make sense.






Which question are you talking about? I asked several, and I believe I was fairly specific.





We'll so were we. If you did a little footwork, you'd discover answers to all your questions.

Jun 23, 2007 7:08 am

DJ,


I have been doing lots of searches on this site and there are answers to your questions doing the "search" function. However, I haven't seen this question answered:


7. Are corporate clients possible at Edward Jones? I believe I read somewhere that they do not possess a single corporate or maybe it the wording was institutional client?


Jun 23, 2007 7:22 am

After reading many of the different posts, you know what question that I would ask about Ed Jones? I would ask people what they REALLY made each year they started out at Ed Jones. (To be fair, in smaller communities, 50k a year is a great compensation, especially if everyone around you is making 25k a year.)


There was this post that was something to the affect of "What was your EJ eye-opener moment". It was something like a top producer bragging about 70k in trails.


Again, this is the question that I would ask. To be fair, I would ask people to qualify there answer with the city they are in. (Population, average salary of residents, cost of housing, etc.) This would be helpful in understanding how costs of the assistant and office furniture, etc work.


Jun 23, 2007 9:38 am

Their 401k is pathetic. The limited partnership option is just as worthless. They are incredibly limited - maybe one step ahead of Waddell as far as products and services. Oh yeah, and its a cult.


Jun 23, 2007 9:42 am

Institutional clients? Yes I had a few at EDJ. Not common but wasnt a problem. Ran them as type 9 a.k.a DVP/RVP accounts.

Jun 23, 2007 4:43 pm
joedabrkr:

Give us a couple of weeks to read your post and we'll get back to you.....


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But you've got to admit, the poster seems to have their act together, in knowing what to ask. Hands down, a better class of "newbie" poster than what we're used to seeing, no?

Jun 23, 2007 4:57 pm
Bache&co:

Institutional clients? Yes I had a few at EDJ. Not common but wasnt a problem. Ran them as type 9 a.k.a DVP/RVP accounts.


Darling, your clients were institutionalIZED, not institutionAL.

Jun 23, 2007 5:14 pm
doberman:
joedabrkr:

Give us a couple of weeks to read your post and we'll get back to you.....


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But you've got to admit, the poster seems to have their act together, in knowing what to ask. Hands down, a better class of "newbie" poster than what we're used to seeing, no?



No doubt!

Jun 25, 2007 1:51 am

I have read the rumor threads here regarding EJ going asset based vs. sticking with their classic pay me now approach.

I haven't been able to find a single post that provides clear cut information on what the knew program is like and what the requisites are to any type of wrap account.

If I understand correctly, the premise prior to the change was a MAP system with a 500K minimum to qualify.

Anyone know what the wrap options are now?

Jun 25, 2007 1:52 am
doberman:
joedabrkr:

Give us a couple of weeks to read your post and we'll get back to you.....


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But you've got to admit, the poster seems to have their act together, in knowing what to ask. Hands down, a better class of "newbie" poster than what we're used to seeing, no?



Thanks for the kudos.

Jun 25, 2007 8:55 am
DJRoss:

I have read the rumor threads here regarding EJ going asset based vs. sticking with their classic pay me now approach.

I haven't been able to find a single post that provides clear cut information on what the knew program is like and what the requisites are to any type of wrap account.

If I understand correctly, the premise prior to the change was a MAP system with a 500K minimum to qualify.

Anyone know what the wrap options are now?



Apparently there ARE no other options right now....they're supposed to roll them out soon, and nobody seems to know the details yet.  Others such as Spaceman Spiff are more qualified to answer this question since I don't work for Jones.  But I did stay at a Holliday Inn Express last night!

Jun 25, 2007 9:53 am

See my answers below each question...



1. What is the time frame from the second interview to getting all the

paperwork signed and begin your 2 month study period?

--not long...couple weeks tops depending on interviewer's schedule



2. Is the testing structure set up like a typical collegiate finals week where

you study for 6 weeks and than test out the final 2 weeks?

---Sorta, but the actual tests are only 1 day each (7, 66, insurance)



3. Does EJ "sponsor" other licenses above the 7,63/66 and Insurance?

--yes and no; for example, your office must be profitable before they'll

reimburse you for CFP expenses; usually takes 2-4 years to get to

"profitability" by their definition



4. What are the AUM requirements over the first two years? I unfortunately

forgot to ask this when I was talking to the "Manager"

--strangely, there aren't any really...but plan to be sitting on at least

$5m/yr in AUM and you should at least survive; others will quibble w/

this, but by and large you should "make it" if you can scrape together

$25mil in 5 years, $50mil in 10 years, etc.



5. How does the bonus structure work?

--ask EJ; these have improved, but still not huge relative to your payout

form production or the salary



6. Some houses are commission oriented in rating your progress while

others are more fee focused. Which is Edward Jones?

--commission oriented...the only people in the universe that are that way

(among the top 10 brokerage firms anyway)



7. Are corporate clients possible at Edward Jones? I believe I read

somewhere that they do not possess a single corporate or maybe it the

wording was institutional client?

--they brag about NOT having corp/institutional clients...or about the

focus on the individual investor; could be an issue for someone w/

contacts that could lead to institutional-type accounts....you're fighting

w/one arm tied behind your back compared to the big boys

Jun 25, 2007 10:45 am

The answer to the institutional clients is simple.  The FA can land as many as they want.  We don't have any in house group that goes after clients like a Goldman would.  No one at the home office level is in competition with the FAs for any business. 

Jun 25, 2007 3:56 pm
DJRoss:


I am grateful for the concept of having access to resources without the trouble of dealing with a manager who wants to handhold. 
No manager per se, just some flunky in St Louis that calls to check how many contacts you've made today, or to practice your call script, or pitch the latest bond in newir inventory, etc.  If your sales numbers are good you'll rarely hear from them, if you're numbers dip  they'll call every week.


As an unlicensed newbie going through training you will be treated like a twenty-two year old, fresh out of college.     

Nobody twisted your arm to work there, and given the lack of proprietary products it really doesn't make sense that the company is behaving in a less than honorable fashion.
Don't give them to much credit.  In practice, their preferred vendors are proprietary funds (and lead them to just as many ethical temptations).


Being the last privately held granddaddy on Wall Street appeals to me since the company can set its own time frames in regards to growing revenues vs. being beholden to analysts who grease the rails of stock trading with their stars upon thars approach.
I don't know if this matters.  GPs want to make profit as much (probably more) as any stockholder.  GPs also can have much more direct influence if they are dissatisfied.  They may not have a stock price to manipulate, but they like profit just like the other guys.

DJ

Jun 25, 2007 6:07 pm

Thanks for the responses, I am getting an interesting picture. I will be talking to a RL this afternoon to ask him a few question regarding some of the issues here as well as concerns.


I have also talked to a Prudential recruiter today. Not much on this site (I have search regarding Prudential.) Wonder if there is anyone who has worked for them aside from the one guy with a single post. Pros- Cons

I can imagine it would be a bit rough bringing your customers into an Indy business from Prudential given their proprietary line of products.