Any thoughts opinions on Fidelity Investments?

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Oct 21, 2007 6:49 am

Thinking about taking a job as a Financial Representative here just to gain some experience and boost my credentials. I’m fresh out of college (May 2007), and I know that working as an FA at one of the major wirehouses would be a terrible mistake on my part. Any ideas?

   
Oct 21, 2007 11:37 am

Dont know much about their training program, but you are correct - going straight to a wirehouse out of school would most pro bably be a big mistake (if you can find one to hire you).

  Assuming Fidelity has a decent training program, its probably a good starting point. It will be hard for you to take clients with you when you finally do feel ready for the wirehouse, but it will give you a feel for the biz, and good experience talking to people about their money.
Oct 21, 2007 8:16 pm

try edward jones

Oct 22, 2007 4:45 pm

don’t try edward jones

Oct 22, 2007 4:54 pm

[quote=pratoman]going straight to a wirehouse out of school would most pro bably be a big mistake (if you can find one to hire you).[/quote]

why is this?

Oct 22, 2007 9:02 pm

Failure rate in our industry is extremely high as it is. You are clearly behind the 8 ball, coming straight out of school, with no sales experience, no contacts, no spheres of influence.

How many 55 year olds are going to give someone just out of school a million dollars of their hard earned money to manage>? You need seasoning.

Oct 22, 2007 10:30 pm

Pratoman…I swear I’m not chasing you around picking on your posts - just a few differences in opinion tonight.  Failure rate is ridiculously high, but I would venture to guess that this comes from a lack of effort and/or activity.  

  I just don't agree you need age/experience to be successful here.  One huge key will always be someones ability to build trust.  Some people just have it while others can learn by trial and error.  Beyond that, if you jump in with a wirehouse you should be better positioned for success at a younger age than anywhere else.  You just have to figure out how to leverage the firm.  A good example is managed money.  It's easy to understand and explain, the managers are researched and monitored by the firm, and most importantly a professional money manager will manage the clients assets, not the new FA.  At a younger age, I agree you are limited to this type of 'consultant' role, but you can still make it.  You also have access to more advice and if a you still feel you are in over your head, I am sure you can find a gray haired, senior broker to bring in to close that big deal you have been working on (for a price).  In the end, its about getting out there and learning for yourself, and if you hit the ground running, you can (and probably should) hit your numbers. 
Oct 23, 2007 9:09 am
I would tend to agree with you, most people don't want to give a 22 year old their life savings to manage.  Having said that, I've seen some cases where fresh college grads have made it in the wirehouse environment.  Often times, teams will bring younger people in to handle all the heavy lifting; make them cold call for them, get coffee, whatever.  And the junior person is learning invaluable lessons about the business.  We have several people like that in our office who are very successful now, but came up on teams straight out of school.    Or someone can just have a phenominal work ethic (this is very, very rare).  We have a guy in the office, 6 years in the business who started straight out of school.  His trailing 12 is over $750K and the craziest thing is that he built his book by cold calling.  He just called day and night non stop for 3-4 years.  But for every one person like this, there are probably 90 rookies straight out of college who will fail out of the business.      [quote=pratoman]

Failure rate in our industry is extremely high as it is. You are clearly behind the 8 ball, coming straight out of school, with no sales experience, no contacts, no spheres of influence.

How many 55 year olds are going to give someone just out of school a million dollars of their hard earned money to manage>? You need seasoning.

[/quote]
Oct 30, 2007 6:47 am

I was hired by a large wirehouse firm (one of the top three), but turned down the offer. I know why they hired me. They would milk me of who I knew, and who my parents were affiliated with, then let me go. They hired me once, they’ll hire me again in a few years. I think this is a good starting point to gain some experience, know what the industry is all about, be able to get a beard and start looking older. That way someone my dad’s age isn’t going to laugh at me when I ask him to hand over his company’s pension.

Oct 30, 2007 10:51 am

I just accepted an offer at one of the wirehouses.  I’m a bit older, 31, have finance and entrepreneurial experience under my belt.  This branch is a little smaller with less market share in my area which hopefully translates into additional prospects.  The BM is quite accessible, and the regional manager is in the office as well.

I wanted to start at a tier one firm and strive to meet their levels.  If that doesn’t work out there’s always the tier two firms.  I demand a lot from myself and wanted a firm that does as well.

Wish me luck.

Oct 30, 2007 12:32 pm
jmass03:

I was hired by a large wirehouse firm (one of the top three), but turned down the offer. I know why they hired me. They would milk me of who I knew, and who my parents were affiliated with, then let me go. They hired me once, they’ll hire me again in a few years. I think this is a good starting point to gain some experience, know what the industry is all about, be able to get a beard and start looking older. That way someone my dad’s age isn’t going to laugh at me when I ask him to hand over his company’s pension.

  A few years ago when I graduated from college my friend and I both wanted to be Financial Advisors. We both interviewed and were hired by a top tier firm. The difference between us is that he had the same chip on his shoulder that you. "They just want my contacts", "They want my families money" "They'll take my daddy's rich friends" and so on. So he took a job to "gain experience" at the local discount office. Which was positioned strategically between Claire's Discount Jewelry and "Thai Nail Salon"!  I took the other road and accepted the job with an open mind, I found a good mentor that I trusted, I worked hard, and I was accountable for my victories and defeats.   He's worked his way up to branch manager. Makes around 50-60K/yr.  Deals with penny pinching "clients' who will go to Vanguard tommorow if they lower their annual fee .001 point.  Also, he is extremely bitter and thinks wirehouse brokers are the devil because of what he sees as charging high fees.   Me on the other hand.....I make his annual salary about quarterly (if thats not important to you than go be a private banker!). I have a loyal group of clients that see the value in what I do and appreciate the services I provide. I'm not saying that I don't ever lose an account to the competition, but that's the nature of the business we are in.    My point is... your making excuses for being nervous and scared to enter this business. If you truly want to do this than I don't see where you will benefit from going to work at a discount brokerage firm. I highly doubt you will ever make it back to where you could have started. Why would I hire someone who's been sitting in a phone center taking inbound calls for the past 3 years? Your less marketable than before. However, maybe someone out there has a story or did it themself? I just haven't seen it yet.      
Oct 31, 2007 1:13 am
apex01:

[quote=jmass03]I was hired by a large wirehouse firm (one of the top three), but turned down the offer. I know why they hired me. They would milk me of who I knew, and who my parents were affiliated with, then let me go. They hired me once, they’ll hire me again in a few years. I think this is a good starting point to gain some experience, know what the industry is all about, be able to get a beard and start looking older. That way someone my dad’s age isn’t going to laugh at me when I ask him to hand over his company’s pension.

  A few years ago when I graduated from college my friend and I both wanted to be Financial Advisors. We both interviewed and were hired by a top tier firm. The difference between us is that he had the same chip on his shoulder that you. "They just want my contacts", "They want my families money" "They'll take my daddy's rich friends" and so on. So he took a job to "gain experience" at the local discount office. Which was positioned strategically between Claire's Discount Jewelry and "Thai Nail Salon"!  I took the other road and accepted the job with an open mind, I found a good mentor that I trusted, I worked hard, and I was accountable for my victories and defeats.   He's worked his way up to branch manager. Makes around 50-60K/yr.  Deals with penny pinching "clients' who will go to Vanguard tommorow if they lower their annual fee .001 point.  Also, he is extremely bitter and thinks wirehouse brokers are the devil because of what he sees as charging high fees.   Me on the other hand.....I make his annual salary about quarterly (if thats not important to you than go be a private banker!). I have a loyal group of clients that see the value in what I do and appreciate the services I provide. I'm not saying that I don't ever lose an account to the competition, but that's the nature of the business we are in.    My point is... your making excuses for being nervous and scared to enter this business. If you truly want to do this than I don't see where you will benefit from going to work at a discount brokerage firm. I highly doubt you will ever make it back to where you could have started. Why would I hire someone who's been sitting in a phone center taking inbound calls for the past 3 years? Your less marketable than before. However, maybe someone out there has a story or did it themself? I just haven't seen it yet.      [/quote]   I think you're insinuating that I'll be like your friend and stick with a discount firm forever. I'm simply doing this to gain experience, grow up a little bit, and show my clients when I go to work at a major firm, that I have enough industry experience to handle their assets. You took a risk, and risk takers either sink or swim. You were lucky that you made it out alive. Perhaps, I'll play it safe and increase my chances for success. Like it's been mentioned before, there is no reason a 60 yr old millionare should trust a 22 yr old with his money. No reason at all. As an advisor, you are to "advise" him on his assets. By the way, if you don't mind me asking, how old are you now? It will just give me a better basis for argument, that the industry isn't what it is today, what it used to be five, ten, fifteen years ago. I'm also not just speaking out of my ass. I've gained very valuable insight from these forums, and several mentors within the industry, both on the bank side, and the wirehouse side. Either way, I appreciate your opinion, and I'm happy for you, but again for the mass majority of us college grads. we're way in over our heads when we walk in bright eyed into a major wirehouse expected to cold call our way to 15 mill/36 months.
Oct 31, 2007 9:30 am
jmass03:

[quote=apex01][quote=jmass03]I was hired by a large wirehouse firm (one of the top three), but turned down the offer. I know why they hired me. They would milk me of who I knew, and who my parents were affiliated with, then let me go. They hired me once, they’ll hire me again in a few years. I think this is a good starting point to gain some experience, know what the industry is all about, be able to get a beard and start looking older. That way someone my dad’s age isn’t going to laugh at me when I ask him to hand over his company’s pension.

  A few years ago when I graduated from college my friend and I both wanted to be Financial Advisors. We both interviewed and were hired by a top tier firm. The difference between us is that he had the same chip on his shoulder that you. "They just want my contacts", "They want my families money" "They'll take my daddy's rich friends" and so on. So he took a job to "gain experience" at the local discount office. Which was positioned strategically between Claire's Discount Jewelry and "Thai Nail Salon"!  I took the other road and accepted the job with an open mind, I found a good mentor that I trusted, I worked hard, and I was accountable for my victories and defeats.   He's worked his way up to branch manager. Makes around 50-60K/yr.  Deals with penny pinching "clients' who will go to Vanguard tommorow if they lower their annual fee .001 point.  Also, he is extremely bitter and thinks wirehouse brokers are the devil because of what he sees as charging high fees.   Me on the other hand.....I make his annual salary about quarterly (if thats not important to you than go be a private banker!). I have a loyal group of clients that see the value in what I do and appreciate the services I provide. I'm not saying that I don't ever lose an account to the competition, but that's the nature of the business we are in.    My point is... your making excuses for being nervous and scared to enter this business. If you truly want to do this than I don't see where you will benefit from going to work at a discount brokerage firm. I highly doubt you will ever make it back to where you could have started. Why would I hire someone who's been sitting in a phone center taking inbound calls for the past 3 years? Your less marketable than before. However, maybe someone out there has a story or did it themself? I just haven't seen it yet.      [/quote]   I think you're insinuating that I'll be like your friend and stick with a discount firm forever. I'm simply doing this to gain experience, grow up a little bit, and show my clients when I go to work at a major firm, that I have enough industry experience to handle their assets. You took a risk, and risk takers either sink or swim. You were lucky that you made it out alive. Perhaps, I'll play it safe and increase my chances for success. Like it's been mentioned before, there is no reason a 60 yr old millionare should trust a 22 yr old with his money. No reason at all. As an advisor, you are to "advise" him on his assets. By the way, if you don't mind me asking, how old are you now? It will just give me a better basis for argument, that the industry isn't what it is today, what it used to be five, ten, fifteen years ago. I'm also not just speaking out of my ass. I've gained very valuable insight from these forums, and several mentors within the industry, both on the bank side, and the wirehouse side. Either way, I appreciate your opinion, and I'm happy for you, but again for the mass majority of us college grads. we're way in over our heads when we walk in bright eyed into a major wirehouse expected to cold call our way to 15 mill/36 months. [/quote]   I understand what you saying, however,  the lack of industry experience isn't what is going to hurt you. It's not being able to bring in assets. Even if you do have all product knowledge in the world 4 years from now who cares if you can't get in front of people?  Maybe there is more prospecting necessary at a discount brokerage than I know, but my opinion is they take inbound calls all day long or call my clients to try and talk them out of rolling their assets to me. Beyond that it seems like a customer service job.  In your mind their may be no reason for 60 year old millionaire to give a 22 year old his money, however,  it's been done. Is it a process? Does it take a few years before you have everything sometimes? absolutely! I am 29 years old and still get carded on a consistent basis. So I doubt we look much different in age. You have no argument. I started at one of the worst times. The church down the street from my house had I sign out front that said "trust in God, not the market".......I can't make something like that up!   I'm really not trying to beat up on you. You sound like a smart guy and your proveing that by seeking out counsel and speaking to people in the business. Just don't sell yourself short. I realize that I took a risk....and I wouldnt recommend telling a successful adviser he was "lucky" to make it. You'll know what I mean by that someday.  Whatever road you decide to take best of luck.
Oct 31, 2007 12:02 pm

Jmass, I won’t tell you that going to Fidelity is the wrong move, but I also won’t invalidate what apex is telling you.  Take his/her post to heart as this is obviously an intelligent advisor on a successful trajectory.  If I were a BOM (I guess I am in a sense - just not in a hiring mode), I’d hire that kind of intelligence and attitude all day long.  That post sounds like it comes from someone with more experience than a 29 year old could possibly have.

  Good luck to you, jmass   ...and good post, apex...well said.
Oct 31, 2007 3:58 pm

[quote=Indyone]Jmass, I won’t tell you that going to Fidelity is the wrong move, but I also won’t invalidate what apex is telling you.  Take his/her post to heart as this is obviously an intelligent advisor on a successful trajectory.  If I were a BOM (I guess I am in a sense - just not in a hiring mode), I’d hire that kind of intelligence and attitude all day long.  That post sounds like it comes from someone with more experience than a 29 year old could possibly have.

  Good luck to you, jmass   ...and good post, apex...well said.[/quote]   Indyone,   Thanks for the comments.  I just wanted to give Jmass a perspective from someone around his own age.  As for experience,  I think we can both agree that it comes from being in the trenches day in and day out. The more people you meet with. The different scenarios your run into. .  My experience is just that.....I get in front of lots of people. It builds consistency which leads to confidence.  That's why I've been successful and that is why 60 year old clients trust me with their money.  Of course it wasn't like that early on and that is why you find mentors to bounce your thoughts off. I suppose if I have been "lucky"  in this business it was that I did have a couple of those people and still do.   I've just seen what a wonderful life this career can give you as I'm sure you have. I just don't want to see an able person make a decision based on a short term outcome.
Nov 1, 2007 7:58 pm

not a bad place to start at all. Look at it as grad school. Take the job with an exit strategy in mind from day one. Jump all over their silly initiatives and look for opportunities to make outbound calls whenever you can. get your 66, insurance license and even CFP if they’ll pay for it. then pull the ripcord and say good bye. The best thing about the opportunity is that you can make all your mistakes with a decent safety net in place.