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Apr 10, 2007 2:32 pm

Here is my situation - I am an experienced professional working at a big 4 accounting firm (licensed CPA but  no broker license yet).   I make a decent salary; however, I am looking for a change of pace.  I am not afraid of work, (I have worked 100+ hours per week) and I am very goal oriented.  A career as a FA seems to be appealing due to it has great rewards (if you put in the work).


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I am looking for a good training program from an established wire house to learn the basics.  I don’t mind taking a cut in salary; however, i do not go below certain level.  Based on discussion with a recruiter, SB will provide me an acceptable salary for the first couple of years, till I am able to stand alone.  My goal is work a few years till I believe that I am proficient, and then weigh my options (stay or go indy)


 



Any Suggestions on a good / firm program? What about SB? Any other firms that you have experience with? 



How to find a good mentor?



Any other websites / contacts that will be helpful in making my decision and preparation?


 


Your candid suggestions / thoughts are appreciated.  Respectfully, Len32

Apr 10, 2007 2:51 pm

1)On commission, recruiters get paid. Your interest first, recruiters may not have.


2)To become Indy, one must prepare ahead of time, like a Remora.


3)Highly sought after, you will become.


4)The darkside is strong, Do not sign away to the darkside.


Apr 10, 2007 4:14 pm

Thanks Yoda.  I guess I better brush up on my Star Wars terminology and read between the lines!!<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Apr 10, 2007 4:34 pm

The only question I am qualified to answer is regarding finding a mentor. I would suggest asking family or friends who their trusted advisor is and start there. I contacted one of my father's friends who I knew was successful and met with him. Although I will not be working with him he was able to give me a lot of sound advice and point me in the right direction. I meet with him about once a month to ask questions and to learn anything I can. You will find a lot of useful information on this website as well, much more useful than the advice received by Yoda!

Apr 10, 2007 4:51 pm

Len32, your welcome.


Sometimes simplicity, provokes thought. It's not always as easy as 12345.

Apr 10, 2007 6:20 pm

Any of the major firms are going to give you good training.  You cannot go wrong with RayJay, AGE, ML, SB, etc.  STAY AWAY from EDJ and Ameriprise.


You want to be sure that you can build your business (prospect) they way that you want.  ALSO, you want to make sure you have complete freedom to recommend ANY product.  That is vs. shoving some crappy mutual fund or Variable Univer Life policy down the throats of your friends and family when you know it is not right for them.


LASTLY, you do understand this is a sales job?  Right???  You have to ASK people for money.  This is a comission sales job.  Beware about asking too many questions about salary.


Good luck, and keep us posted.

Apr 10, 2007 7:18 pm

VBrainy (along with 12345 and Yoda) thanks for your suggestions and concerns. Although I don't have direct sales experience asking people for money, I believe that I can overcome that hurdle with a little practice (my pay check will depend on it). As part of my current occupation, I 'm constantly tending to partners and directors at my firm, along with responding to my client's requests. That being said, I am always trying to be efficient with everyone's time, and maintain good sincere customer service.  I hope this translates well to this industry. However, your point is well taken, and if you have any good reading recommendations around the FA sales industry, please let me know.  Once again, thanks for taking the time to respond.  This site has been extremely helpful.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Apr 10, 2007 8:05 pm

I believe that the best training programs in the industry are ML and SB. (full disclosure - I am at SB)


I went throught the SB training program 7 years ago, and it was thorough. They;ve since refined it. ML program is good as well. Be aware of the differences between the two firms, major one is that I think ML is more structured, SB more entrepenurial. Neither is better, one approach is better for some, the other is better for others, depends on the personality. SB is going through some issues right now, as part of Citigroup. But that will be behind them in the near future, with announcements due out tomorrow on restructurings. SB is the most profitable business in terms of margins, so I suspect we wont be affected drastically.


Morgan Stanley is coming on strong, having hired the CEO from ML about 18 months ago, they are become more like ML.


You got some good advice on this board, particularly, that you need to not lose sight of the fact that its a sales job, first and foremost. What wasnt mentioned is that a big trend in the industry is forming of teams. Advisors are teaming up, and there are opportunities to not go it alone. There are opportunities to join the training program as part of  a team of established advisors. Be careful tho, some will say they want to add to their team, but all they really want is cold callers, so you need to really explore the "opportunity" if it presents itself, and do a lot of due dillegence.


There is a team in my office actually loooking for an addition to their team, and specifically looking for a Team Associate with a background as a CPA. If you are interested, PM me with your location, if your in the area, we can talk if you'd like.

Apr 10, 2007 11:19 pm

I am confident that Morgan Keegan's training is right up there with SB and ML.

Best of luck to you.  

Apr 11, 2007 2:42 pm

Thanks Chris B.

Apr 11, 2007 5:00 pm
len32:

 However, your point is well taken, and if you have any good reading recommendations around the FA sales industry, please let me know.  Once again, thanks for taking the time to respond.  This site has been extremely helpful.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />




"Prospecting Your Way to Sales Success" -  Bill Good


Available at:


www.billgood.com


Bill is either in the process of or has just completed updating this book. This book targets our industry. FAs who followed the program outlined in this book or modified it to their personality are among today's biggest producers.


Lots of helpful free content on the website as well. 

Apr 11, 2007 8:24 pm

So can we expect a review from your dog, too?


Someone mentioned Dale Carnegie: this would be a good course to take to improve your salesmanship, too.


What's with the fishbowls from Amerprise.  I saw one at my favorite takeout mex food - you have to put in your business card and they call you at work and have to agree to alot to get the FREE lunch: what if your employer doesn't want you to get these calls at work?


Or do they call the employer and tell them "you" recommended they talk to everyone at work??  I'd think twice before dropping my business card in.


Suggest prospect but don't intrude or be too pushy: it's a turnoff.  

Apr 11, 2007 9:29 pm
jokeriswild:

So can we expect a review from your dog, too?


Someone mentioned Dale Carnegie: this would be a good course to take to improve your salesmanship, too.


What's with the fishbowls from Amerprise.  I saw one at my favorite takeout mex food - you have to put in your business card and they call you at work and have to agree to alot to get the FREE lunch: what if your employer doesn't want you to get these calls at work?


Or do they call the employer and tell them "you" recommended they talk to everyone at work??  I'd think twice before dropping my business card in.


Suggest prospect but don't intrude or be too pushy: it's a turnoff.  



Did you even read the first post or are you just writing whatever comes to mind?

Apr 11, 2007 9:45 pm
12345:
jokeriswild:

So can we expect a review from your dog, too?


Someone mentioned Dale Carnegie: this would be a good course to take to improve your salesmanship, too.


What's with the fishbowls from Amerprise.  I saw one at my favorite takeout mex food - you have to put in your business card and they call you at work and have to agree to alot to get the FREE lunch: what if your employer doesn't want you to get these calls at work?


Or do they call the employer and tell them "you" recommended they talk to everyone at work??  I'd think twice before dropping my business card in.


Suggest prospect but don't intrude or be too pushy: it's a turnoff.  



Did you even read the first post or are you just writing whatever comes to mind?



It's called Free Association. It's a technique used in psychoanalysis and shouldn't be used on an internet discussion board.

Apr 11, 2007 10:38 pm
Bobby Hull:
12345:
jokeriswild:

So can we expect a review from your dog, too?


Someone mentioned Dale Carnegie: this would be a good course to take to improve your salesmanship, too.


What's with the fishbowls from Amerprise.  I saw one at my favorite takeout mex food - you have to put in your business card and they call you at work and have to agree to alot to get the FREE lunch: what if your employer doesn't want you to get these calls at work?


Or do they call the employer and tell them "you" recommended they talk to everyone at work??  I'd think twice before dropping my business card in.


Suggest prospect but don't intrude or be too pushy: it's a turnoff.  


Did you even read the first post or are you just writing whatever comes to mind?



It's called Free Association. It's a technique used in psychoanalysis and shouldn't be used on an internet discussion board.



I agree.  Speaking of psychoanlysis, I smell a troll(not you BH) with multiple personality disorder...

Apr 11, 2007 11:09 pm
12345:
jokeriswild:

So can we expect a review from your dog, too?


Someone mentioned Dale Carnegie: this would be a good course to take to improve your salesmanship, too.


What's with the fishbowls from Amerprise.  I saw one at my favorite takeout mex food - you have to put in your business card and they call you at work and have to agree to alot to get the FREE lunch: what if your employer doesn't want you to get these calls at work?


Or do they call the employer and tell them "you" recommended they talk to everyone at work??  I'd think twice before dropping my business card in.


Suggest prospect but don't intrude or be too pushy: it's a turnoff.  



Did you even read the first post or are you just writing whatever comes to mind?



you're instincts were right-my post was based on the title of the book "Prospecting"-prior post I responded to-was this a wrong thing to do? and couldn't resist the dog review comment. Was I wrong to do that?  Don't understand the fishbowl (a prospecting technique): I'll ck it out more next time I pickup takeout from the restaurant.

Apr 12, 2007 2:02 pm
jokeriswild:

So can we expect a review from your dog, too?

Someone mentioned Dale Carnegie: this would be a good course to take to improve your salesmanship, too.


Take the Dale Carnegie class, you will gain alot from it, especially if you use the online course materials that go with it. 


Apr 12, 2007 3:31 pm

[/quote]


you're instincts were right-my post was based on the title of the book "Prospecting"-prior post I responded to-was this a wrong thing to do? and couldn't resist the dog review comment. Was I wrong to do that? 


You're a smartass. We get it.


Don't understand the fishbowl (a prospecting technique): I'll ck it out more next time I pickup takeout from the restaurant.


It's a way of collecting names. In our business list developement is a large undertaking. The business card free lunch bowl gig is an old, yet tried and true method of collecting names of area business people. It is impossible to have too many names in the prospecting system.


While I do not employ this method personally my hat is off to those who do. Getting names by any possible means is the name of the game. Better yet if they're given voluntarily. The bowl gives you a card with a name, title, and phone number. The people brokers/FAs are likely to follow up with do not have boss/phone use issues. Usually, they are the boss.  

[/quote]
Apr 16, 2007 10:31 am

"(I have worked 100+ hours per week) and I am very goal oriented."


 


Having a network of wealthy people is more inportant than hard work. If you don't have one you will most likely fail.


 


  "A career as a FA seems to be appealing due to it has great rewards (if you put in the work). "


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Only 10% of Wirehouse trainees make it as a broker.




Any Suggestions on a good / firm program? What about SB? Any other firms that you have experience with?  ML and SB are great. I would avoid Insurance Firms like the plague.



How to find a good mentor?
Very hard. Most successful brokers are sociapaths.

Apr 16, 2007 3:01 pm

Thanks NS. Your comments are very thought provoking.  So based on your comments, very few new brokers will make it unless they good network of wealthy people.  It is a little discouraging, but I still feel optimistic that I can succeed.  <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


Just being inquisitive, and without being overly probing, what was your background prior to becoming a broker?  Did you have a good network of wealthy people?


 


I defiantly agree that having a good network of wealthy people will give you a better chance at succeeding in this business, but what about someone who is has just average contacts, and goes in business with determination and a good plan? What kind of chances does he / she have? 


 


Are they going to fail because they don’t have a network, or is it b/c they cannot establish one?


 


What do other brokers on this forum (experienced and new) think?


 


 Your comments are appreciated.