Best entry level position?

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Jan 31, 2008 9:16 am

Hello, I was wondering what the best entry level position would be if I were looking to go into a stock brokerage firm or financial planning firm. I am still very young and have not graduated from college, most of the brokerage firms are reluctant to hire me since I am still in pursuit of my college degree and have no banking experience. Ideally I would like to get into somewhere that would sponsor me for series 7/66 but I have had some trouble since I have no experience. Do you think I will have to start as a teller in a bank or should I hold out to get a position working directly with a broker or Financial planner?

My last option is starting as a teller, but if I have to do it to make it in this industry then I will have to bite the bullet.

Thank you in advance to whoever posts positive feedback.

Jan 31, 2008 10:27 am

A big NO to the bank teller idea. Unless you need a job, then it will read somewhat better than burger flipper. It will not help you become a FA.

 
Any intern programs offered by your school?
 
 If not here are two routes to take. 1) keep knocking on doors and talking with branch managers. Give these people a reason to hire you, not as an FA, but as a sales assistant/cold caller/ seminar worker/grunt. Ask if there are any million dollar teams looking for help with their marketing programs and tell them you will work endlessly doing the grunt work as a way for you to learn the biz. Knock on a lot of doors, listen, and don't get discouraged. Getting through the front door is your first sales task.
 
 2) Get a job in sales. And I mean real sales where you need to "pitch" someone to buy, not a sales job where you are an order taker. This would be the route I'd suggest to my own kids.  For someone in your situation I'd suggest cell phone sales. Keep track of your stats, and then move on to bag sales once you graduate. That is sales where you drag a bag with you to sell the product. Examples are copier and medical device sales. If there is a decent car dealer in your town work for them. Decent, as in they treat their sales force profesionally. The point here is to get some selling experience. It doesn't matter whether its prosthetic devices or airplanes. Find something that doesn't sell itself and excel at selling it. Four or five years of experience combined with a successful track record of dealing with people one on one will open all doors to you. I know that four or five years sounds like a lifetime, but its not. If you go through door number one here it will take at least that long before you are given a shot at the FA training program. Besides, you find that you enjoy making $250k a year selling used Lear Jets to ranchers in Montana. 
Jan 31, 2008 10:31 am

How old are you?  A legal question on here!

Jan 31, 2008 10:51 am

Im 22 years old, im about to get my Associates degree and plan on getting my finance degree immediately after. I started college when I was 17 but was forced to go part time due to my mother losing her job. She is the reason for me wanting to go into the banking field. She was a Senior Vice president at a major international bank so I have been around the banking field all my life. I live in a very big city, Miami, so I have a lot of options on where I can apply. My real goal is to become a Stock broker but I do understand getting experience anywhere is the main goal. Thanks for the advice bond guy, I was hoping that working in the banking field would be a better idea but maybe another sales job is what I need.

Jan 31, 2008 12:16 pm

big difference between banking and investment banking.  don't even consider a teller position.  10 years later you might be 1 of 40-50 VP's making $60K/year.

Jan 31, 2008 1:47 pm
BondGuy:

A big NO to the bank teller idea. Unless you need a job, then it will read somewhat better than burger flipper. It will not help you become a FA.

 
Any intern programs offered by your school?
 
 If not here are two routes to take. 1) keep knocking on doors and talking with branch managers. Give these people a reason to hire you, not as an FA, but as a sales assistant/cold caller/ seminar worker/grunt. Ask if there are any million dollar teams looking for help with their marketing programs and tell them you will work endlessly doing the grunt work as a way for you to learn the biz. Knock on a lot of doors, listen, and don't get discouraged. Getting through the front door is your first sales task.
 
 2) Get a job in sales. And I mean real sales where you need to "pitch" someone to buy, not a sales job where you are an order taker. This would be the route I'd suggest to my own kids.  For someone in your situation I'd suggest cell phone sales. Keep track of your stats, and then move on to bag sales once you graduate. That is sales where you drag a bag with you to sell the product. Examples are copier and medical device sales. If there is a decent car dealer in your town work for them. Decent, as in they treat their sales force profesionally. The point here is to get some selling experience. It doesn't matter whether its prosthetic devices or airplanes. Find something that doesn't sell itself and excel at selling it. Four or five years of experience combined with a successful track record of dealing with people one on one will open all doors to you. I know that four or five years sounds like a lifetime, but its not. If you go through door number one here it will take at least that long before you are given a shot at the FA training program. Besides, you find that you enjoy making $250k a year selling used Lear Jets to ranchers in Montana. 
 
I didn't have any sales experience when I entered this field. If I could do one thing different in college I would have found jobs that had me constantly selling ANYTHING. It would have straigtened the learning curve. Just an FYI copier sales can be a great avenue toward this career. My mentor sold for Kodak before becoming an FA. I hear that medical device sales is harder to get into right out of college than getting hired as an FA at a major wire. I have a couple clients who work in that industry. They do VERY well. The point is that first get into entry level sales to figure out if you can even sell or more importantly if you enjoy it. Contrary to many firms hiring guidelines becoming a Financial Advisor is not a "entry level" position. Your young and have a lot of time to find your niche. Don't jump into the deep end of the pool if your not even sure if can swim!
Jan 31, 2008 2:01 pm

Miami?


Work your way up the coast hitting every office of the majors, Smith Barney, Merrill, Morgan Stanley, and Wachovia. Call every office in the phone book between Miami and West Palm Beach. Go for the appointment.
 
Being in Florida you are in a hot bed of small stock broker type firms. Stay away! These are not who you want to work for.
 
Sales- There are some major international aircraft brokers located in SE Florida. As well as yacht brokers and some big time boat dealers. All will make you big dough and give you needed experience.
 
Holman Automotive group has several dealerships in the miami Ft Lauderdale area. They sell everything from Honda to Rolls Royce. In my area, New Jersey, Holman is a professional sales organzation. I've bought cars from the same guy for over 20 years. Here's a clue: most dealerships treat their people so poorly most have a 100% turnover every few months. Not Holman. At least not here.
 
Lastly, there are exotic car dealers up and down the coast there. "Gee, I spent my day doing test drives in Ferraris and Lambos." Poor boy!
 
Take some time to really figure out what you want. If its money know this: We, those of us on this forum, all deal with wealthy people. That is, people with a lot of money. None of these people, as in not one, is a Financial Advisor. There are lots of ways to make money.
 
Jan 31, 2008 4:47 pm

Well I was really leaning more towards the Stock brokerage side, I guess I said Financial Advisor because I figured getting my foot into the door anywhere in the industry is better than not getting my foot in the door at all. I would like to be a an equities trader who manages accounts for his clients, I have a lot of networking contacts from different college organizations and know a lot of people who are going to need their money invested now and in the few years to come. I guess I will try to see if I can swim before I jump into the deep end. Thank you all for your comments I appreciate it, if anyone has n e thing else to say just post it ill check up. 

Feb 1, 2008 12:24 am

Hey sig ep, I went to school if fla, was in a frat, etc. I am 22, just graduated in dec and working as an associate FA for Raymond James. I already passed my series 7 & 66. I started off as an intern at their home office in St. Pete and worked my butt off (in at 7:30 am- out no later then 7:30, sometimes as late as 11:30pm). Did that for 9 months and then it opened a lot of doors, I was able to get this gig in my home city. In Florida RJ is one of the best firms around, its the largest company in the state and with RJ stadium in Tampa the name is well known.  I would recommend following a similar path. Apply online, work hard, network, then make things happen on your own, don't take no for answer and when you finally sit down with a branch manger really know your crap (more so what the buss is like then investments you'll learn that in detail later).

Also while in school keep your gpa up 3.5 or better (Cum laude, so ppl think your smart) and take a lot of leadership positions, pres of your frat etc, so they know your a winner.  Also from what I understand this business is about pursitnec if you impress them and then bug them (subtly but consistently over a period of a month or two) someone will give you a shot. Then all you have to do is perform.

Feb 1, 2008 12:27 am

Oh, also spell better when dealing with professionals then while posting on a forum.  My spelling is horrible. 

Feb 1, 2008 9:47 am
Moneyguy877:

Oh, also spell better when dealing with professionals then while posting on a forum.  My spelling is horrible. 

 
pour speling will knot keip you from suckseeding in this bidnis. I am living proof.
Feb 1, 2008 12:31 pm
iceco1d:
BondGuy:
Moneyguy877:

Oh, also spell better when dealing with professionals then while posting on a forum.  My spelling is horrible. 

 
pour speling will knot keip you from suckseeding in this bidnis. I am living proof.
 
I think you mean....
 
Aye em living prewf
 
Eye stend korwreckted.
Feb 1, 2008 1:45 pm

My situation is similar to yours.  My mother got cancer my first year in college and I had to go to school part time and acquire a full time job.  Over the next few years I worked in a pseudo sales position mainly doing administrative work and customer service.  While being an admin assistant was never really something I had the desire to do, I got damn good at it. 

 
I moved to Florida due to my husband joining the military and at that point I decided to feel out a few fields via temp jobs.  I went through about three positions including retail (where I learned that I'm def. the m-f/9-5 type), electrical contracting project assistant, and safety and training at a cigar factory.  Needless to say, I was still in search of something with growth oppurtunity.  Fortunitely, I left each temp position on my own terms with appropriate notice and I was able to go back to each temp firm when in need of another position.  I contacted the owner of such a firm and he informed me that he has some senior financial advisor in need of an assistant.  I interviewed with him and several other companies.  I was offered 3 positions in one day and I felt the financial realm would be the most beneficial to my future so I took the position. 
 
Though I didn't need my 7 to be someone's pretty much personal assistant, I took it and passed on the first try with only 1 year in the industry and no proir finance experience.  Soon, I'll be transfering to Hawaii where I'll need my 66 to trade so I'm currently studying for that test.  I plan staying in this field for a very, very long time. 
 
If there were one thing I could change about my path at this point is that I wish I had spent a few years in direct sales.  I'd love to go FAIT (Financial Advisor in Training) but I've got three large strikes against me at this point: 1) No Degree (though I'm working on 2 currently), 2) No direct sales experience and 3) I am young.
 
I plan to spend the next three years in a registered account admin position while I finish my degrees at night at University of Hawaii.  Upon returning to the mainland in 2011 with two degrees and multiple licenses in hand, I will be looking to secure a position as a wholesaler. 
 
Trust me, the return for a little grunt work in this field is worth spending a little time in a less thna desirable position.  Get your foot in the door as a Account Admin, Personal Assistant or even Receptionist if at all possible. 
Feb 1, 2008 6:52 pm
BondGuy:
Moneyguy877:

Oh, also spell better when dealing with professionals then while posting on a forum.  My spelling is horrible. 

 
pour speling will knot keip you from suckseeding in this bidnis. I am living proof.



lol, thats very comforting to hear!

Feb 1, 2008 6:54 pm

lauren  "I went through about three positions including retail (where I learned that I'm def. the m-f/9-5 type)" 9-5 types don't make it in this business.. more like 5-9 types at least for 3-5 years.

Feb 2, 2008 11:12 am

lauren,

I applaud you.  Most folks I encounter don't have the patience or persistence to make the financial assistant route work.  You sound like you may - MAY - have the stuff to be the exception. 

My main advice is this: focus as much as you can on working with and learning from successful FAs.  Show them you want to be as much help to them as you can be, including helping with anything that gives you exposure to HOW they actually do the key steps of finding and winning clients.  Offer to sit in on client meetings to "take notes" or otherwise provide instant support.  That won't always be accepted or possible, but it would be a hugely valuable learning experience - much more practical or useful than a degree assuming this is the field you wish to pursue.  Even if you do go the wholesaler path, you'll be much more effective there if you understand how successful FAs operate.

Continue to show patience - no FA will want to mentor or exert much energy on an assistant who is looking to 'move up' right away, but if he knows he'll get several good years from you that is a different thing.  Show him your first priority is providing great support to him, but that you want him to care enough about you to show you the ropes as you go along.  It's a delicate balancing act, and one that most assistants don't handle properly, to their detriment.

Good luck & thank you and your husband for his service to our country - home of the free, because of the brave!


Feb 2, 2008 3:09 pm

wow lauren thank you for the advice my situation is very similar to yours. I have similar big strikes against me, 1) no degree yet 2) No licenses 3) I am very young. I guess i will keep trying to be persistent until i get my foot in the door somewhere, it will pay off. There is an opening at a bank in my area as Investment clerk so I am after that job even if it is just a few years to get some experience in the financial world, work there for a year or 2 and finish up my degree and then start applying to the big firms.

Thank you again to everyone who has sent positive feedback it is much appreciated. 

Feb 2, 2008 10:30 pm

I had banking experience before getting licensed. It was totally irrelivant, which every single employer made a point of stating. The broker side of the financial industry is wrestling in the olympics vs roided up men in make up slapping each other with folding chairs. Everyone in a licensed role considers commercial bankers to be total 9-5 pikers with no balls who do nothing but rack up vacation time and punch a clock. Go to a DIRECTLY related position, being an FA at a regional if necessary.

Feb 4, 2008 9:21 pm

Thanks, Morphius.

I've truly been blessed in my current position.  I went from no experience to working for a team of 4 very well known high producers at the second largest brokerage firm in the US.  I work directly for the "rain maker" and actually I do more analytical work for the clients and the FAs than the operational paper pushing.  That could be different upon my relocation to Hawaii, but I know for now I need to work the 9-5 while I go to school at night so I can finish my degree before moving back to the financial trifecta that is Houston, Austin, and DFW in 2011.

In addition to the wonderful oppurtunities I've already been afforded through my group, my firm fully reimburses my education expenses.  Overall, for what is offered to me through the firm, I can certainly stand to be patient at this point in my life. I know it'll pay off within at least the next 5 years. Time and dedication are my most valuable (and only... lol) assets at this point.