Considering the career change

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Jan 13, 2009 3:37 pm

I was recently laid off due to an acquisition. I have 8 years sales experience in software and I am 29 years old. I have been wanting to be an FA for years, since I met my wife who was a Registered CSA (she is pregnant and not working now). My problem has been does a 40 or 50 year old man want a 20-something's advice? Well now I think I have the experience to do it and the hunter mentality to hit the pavement hard. Would anyone recommend going down the Edward Jones route or a true wire house? With a family on the way I am motivated to succeed, but would like some advice. Thanks!

Jan 13, 2009 3:42 pm

Altec, if you have a family on the way, and a wife not working, I would seriously re-consider.  Unless you have tons in savings, it's a tough road for 4 or 5 years.  I guess it depends on what income you need and have had in the past. 

Anyone any age can do it.  But the odds are stacked.
Jan 13, 2009 3:43 pm
Do you have at least $50,000 in the bank? Married, wife not working, baby on the way, you will need it.
 
 
Jan 13, 2009 3:56 pm

I agree, unless you have minimal expenses(mortgage, car, credit cards, lifestyle... etc).

 
My wife is a school teacher and we bought a smaller house on purpose because we knew my income would be crap for the first couple years...
 
But I think it's possible to do so...
If you go with Jones, make sure you get assets($5mill or more preferably $10 mill) or you won't make it...
If you go with a wirehouse, get on a team or maybe even find a nice salaried job for the first years and learn..
Jan 13, 2009 4:07 pm

I guess in addition to that what are you looking at as a supplemental base to get started. A friend, a former EJ'er said between 40-50k with total comp close to 80k in year one on target - a bigger base at the UBS, MS and ML's of the worlds. Does that sound right? We have six months cash in the bank...will it really be that lean of times?

BTW - Thanks for all the insight so far!

Jan 13, 2009 4:12 pm

Try 20-25k(most I've heard of is 32k in CA.) SALARY with EDJ, opportunity to hit bonuses for 9 more, and commisions. Just wanted to give a more realistic expectation, and The numbers I have heard for year one are 35-55k TOTAL.

Jan 13, 2009 4:26 pm
Squash1:

I agree, unless you have minimal expenses(mortgage, car, credit cards, lifestyle... etc).

 
My wife is a school teacher and we bought a smaller house on purpose because we knew my income would be crap for the first couple years...
 
But I think it's possible to do so...
If you go with Jones, make sure you get assets($5mill or more preferably $10 mill) or you won't make it...
If you go with a wirehouse, get on a team or maybe even find a nice salaried job for the first years and learn..
 
When you say "get assets" I assume you mean get a Goodknight or take over an office. Is this something one should negotiate prior to their payroll date?
Jan 13, 2009 4:27 pm
Altec100:

I was recently laid off due to an acquisition. I have 8 years sales experience in software and I am 29 years old. I have been wanting to be an FA for years, since I met my wife who was a Registered CSA (she is pregnant and not working now). My problem has been does a 40 or 50 year old man want a 20-something's advice? Well now I think I have the experience to do it and the hunter mentality to hit the pavement hard. Would anyone recommend going down the Edward Jones route or a true wire house? With a family on the way I am motivated to succeed, but would like some advice. Thanks!




If you sell people what they want to buy, you will do very well even in your first year. If you try to jam them up with pie charts/asset allocation and all the same crap that every other BSD is pushing on them, it will be a b*tch.

Jan 13, 2009 4:29 pm

Like Ice says

 
You need to figure out bare minimum you need to bring in each month to survive and then only count the salary of where ever you go towards that..
 
Jones first year comp probably closer to $48K, but then there is postage, phone, and other misc items you have to pay for.
 
I think if you could live on $30K and your wife goes back to work, you won't have a problem. But make sure you can cut way back if need be..
Jan 13, 2009 4:44 pm
Squash1:

Like Ice says

 
You need to figure out bare minimum you need to bring in each month to survive and then only count the salary of where ever you go towards that..
 
Jones first year comp probably closer to $48K, but then there is postage, phone, and other misc items you have to pay for.
 
I think if you could live on $30K and your wife goes back to work, you won't have a problem. But make sure you can cut way back if need be..
 
$30K?? Wow! If I could live on that, I don't think I would be looking for a ballbreaking job like FA w/ EDJ! Indeed, I would get a job at Guitar Center and jam all day on $5000 Gibsons! Seriously, are you saying one can expect to shell out $18K in expenses against $48K in receipts? BTW, this will sound really ignorant, but can you give me an example of a "wirehouse"? Thanks!
Jan 13, 2009 5:48 pm

Some good points...This is a change I am driven to do, but maybe if I hold of for 12 months or so I maybe better positioned to succeed. If I am going to do it, I want to do it right the first time.

I can't live on 35k. We don't live beyond our means, but I am in the Northeast, and even for our modest home the mortgage isn't cheap. I have seen the Ins. BD mentioned, does anyone else have any good recommendations in the interim? I do need to land a gig soon, as I don't want to drain the resources and I would like to make some good contacts along the way to have a solid contact list.

Thanks again.

Jan 16, 2009 9:12 am

Altec, that's a great pic you've got.  Can I assume you're not bullish?

Jan 16, 2009 10:53 am

Altec,

Another big factor to consider besides which firm, how they'll pay you to ramp up, and probably the biggest factor- who do you know with appreciable assets (6 figures minimum) that you can bring on board early on? I've seen many people with solid sales skills who've fallen on their face and starved their way out of the business because their circle of friends and family were too small or those with money were already committed elsewhere.

In my case, when I entered in 1988, my uncle who was in my local market and already 15 years in the business and had circled virtually every relative with money in my large extended local family. To this day, I've still very few of those folks in my practice as he's still going at 68.
I had to cold prospect for almost every nickel in the first few years. If I was not 22 at the time, I'd have been out.

A good contrast is a friend of mine who I helped intro into the business 3 years ago. He's at another firm than me but he was 52, a career changer from commercial RE management at the senior executive level. He was very connected in his church, on the board of local private school, big player in his University's alumni assoc., 20 year resident in his area, extremely well connected to hundreds of wealthy folks, neighbors, former business associates, etc. You get the picture. Also started with a few million of his own dollars. The firm who hired him clearly saw his value and guaranteed six figures 1st year which really did not make a diff. He grew to $100+M and produced $900k in revenue in just over 2 years from a standing start. Most of his clients were just making a 20-25% comittment but those were million dollar plus starter accounts! He does not KNOW what 12 hours of cold calling feels like. Never done it. Never had to find a charity or board to join to build contacts or anything new that he was not already involved in.  It took me 14 hard years and a good partnership for many of them to get into his production range.