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Aug 13, 2007 1:46 am

Hello all.


I need some advice from those more experienced in this field than I. I was a referral to Ameriprise, tried to succeed in their system, and due to a lack of any income to speak of and dissatisfaction with their processes left the industry. (That was 6 months ago)


I want to stay in the financial advisory field, but also am in the situation of needing to make a living to support myself. (Approximately 60k gross income per year, if you need to know)


I am open to the insurance route, if it could lead into helping my clients with financial products at some point down the road, or sooner. Another avenue might also be to explore working as an assistant to an established Indy, with the opportunity down the road to earn some equity in my own practice.


I have been approached by MassMutual and NYLife, but I would like to do my due diligence this time around before making what I hope to be my last career change into this arena.


Any and all advice appreciated. Thanks.

Aug 13, 2007 6:45 am

Both are excellent companies.  They are two of the strongest companies in any industry in the country.  The local agency will play a big part in your ultimate success or failure.


Your goal of 60K is very achievable, but you must do nothing but see people or fight to see people from 8-4.  Anything else must be done after hours.


If all is equal, MassMutual has some advantages over NYL.


The two primary advantages are that MM has a disability insurance product and they accept brokered business.  Accepting brokered business is of huge importance if you ever leave the company but elect to stay in the business.

Aug 13, 2007 7:58 am

It is my experience that you can tell a lot about a company by asking the simple question, "Do you sponsor new hires for Series 6 or Series 7?"


If the hiring manager goes off on a song and dance about how it's important to get you started quickly so they sponsor you for the Series 6 you are interviewing in a SEVERELY limited environment.


Additionally, they do not appreciate knowledge for knowledge's sake.

Aug 13, 2007 8:29 am

Go to a wirehouse and they'll sponsor you for the 7.  Go to an insurance company and you'll be sponsored for the 6.  If you ask to be sponsored for the 7, they will most likely do it. 


A wirehouse is a limited environment because insurance issues tend to get ignored.  This is almost 100% true with disability insurance.


An insurance company is a limited environment because the rep will usually be doing funds instead of individual stocks. 


What's worse for the client...an environment where insurance gets ignored or one where mutual funds get used?


No company appreciates knowledge for knowledge's sake.

Aug 13, 2007 1:52 pm

Have you considered a bank?


Didn't you sign an agreement to pay back training costs if you left Ameriprise?


I do not blame you for failing at Ameriprise.  It is a very poor training program and inferior platform.

Aug 13, 2007 2:03 pm
maybeeeeeeee:

Have you considered a bank?


Didn't you sign an agreement to pay back training costs if you left Ameriprise?


I do not blame you for failing at Ameriprise.  It is a very poor training program and inferior platform.



What qualifications do you have to make that judgement?

Aug 13, 2007 5:42 pm
DAtoo:
maybeeeeeeee:

Have you considered a bank?


Didn't you sign an agreement to pay back training costs if you left Ameriprise?


I do not blame you for failing at Ameriprise.  It is a very poor training program and inferior platform.



What qualifications do you have to make that judgement?



It's not Raymond James, duh.

Aug 13, 2007 7:08 pm
deekay:
DAtoo:
maybeeeeeeee:

Have you considered a bank?

Didn't you sign an agreement to pay back training costs if you left Ameriprise?


I do not blame you for failing at Ameriprise.  It is a very poor training program and inferior platform.

What qualifications do you have to make that judgement?

It's not Raymond James, duh.


Aug 13, 2007 11:27 pm

Thanks for the feedback.


       anonymous - If I am assuming correctly, brokered business is  when the insurance company lets an outside agent use them for his/her own clients and be compensated for it, correct?


       datoo - I already have my series 7,66 and my CA L&H, so sponsoring is not an issue, but I do understand the philosophy behind what you said. I have already experienced one limited environment, I do not want to rinse and repeat.


       maybeee - I don't know if it's a state or office specific issue, but in NoCal, I paid for everything myself, and the sponsorship 'class' was mostly voluntary and I was not compensated for my time in it. Also, I paid for all my licensing myself, and when officiallhy hired on Ameriprise 'bonused' my costs back to me, which I was then taxed on. Yay.


I have not considered a bank. I am not necessarily opposed to it, but all things being equal, would like something with at least the illusion of more independence in dealing with my clients. I admit I could be a little close minded on this one and would be willing to consider the option if proved wrong. 

Aug 14, 2007 7:02 am

Correct.  This is important because if you leave a company like NYL, but stay in the business, there will not be a way to continue to service their insurance needs and if you are successful, you can be leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars of easy sales on the table.

Aug 14, 2007 7:48 am
anonymous:

Correct.  This is important because if you leave a company like NYL, but stay in the business, there will not be a way to continue to service their insurance needs and if you are successful, you can be leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars of easy sales on the table.


Is that the term "Captive Agent" come to life?  Besides NYL what are the other mega firms with capitve agents?

Aug 14, 2007 8:37 am

They are not captive.  A captive agent would not be able to sell outside products.  For instance, a State Farm agent can't sell a Guardian disability contract.  A NYL agent can sell a Guardian DI contract.


The company most like NYL is Northwestern Mutual Life.  I would call both of these companies "semi-captive".   These agents have the ability to sell outside of their firm, but they have contracts that limit their ability to do so.  How much outside selling they can get away with is really dependent on their GA. 


The problem is that when a NYL or NML agent leaves their company, there is no way to service their old clients and it is rarely in the clients' best interest to make a change.  NYL and NML are great companies from an agent's perspective, if and only if, the agent is going to stay there for their entire career. 

Aug 14, 2007 8:40 am
anonymous:

They are not captive.  A captive agent would not be able to sell outside products.  For instance, a State Farm agent can't sell a Guardian disability contract.  A NYL agent can sell a Guardian DI contract.


The company most like NYL is Northwestern Mutual Life.  I would call both of these companies "semi-captive".   These agents have the ability to sell outside of their firm, but they have contracts that limit their ability to do so.  How much outside selling they can get away with is really dependent on their GA. 


The problem is that when a NYL or NML agent leaves their company, there is no way to service their old clients and it is rarely in the clients' best interest to make a change.  NYL and NML are great companies from an agent's perspective, if and only if, the agent is going to stay there for their entire career. 



Thank you for that--I'm sure that many of the folks reading this learned something.