A Day In The Life of An FA

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Aug 12, 2010 10:51 am

I feel like I have a pretty good feeling for a new advisors schedule, time, requirements, etc.  What about an established F/A.  What does your day look like once you are in 5 yrs, 10 yrs?  I recently was thinking of this and as I continue to prepare for entering the industry I realized that I didn't really know. 

Aug 12, 2010 11:51 am

In your 5-10th year, your job would change from primarily opening accounts, to relationship building. You'd essentially work pretty hard at working the 20% of your book that can/will give you more money. I'd call it the asset gathering stage of your career. You'd be doing financial plans, profiling, in an extensive way, throw in some client driven seminars value added stuff, even some shmoozing. That phase for me lasted about 3 years, realized I had mostly what I could get. After that, it's just account management, and the typical day now is about 4 hours long before I'm bored sitting at the office. 

So, for your first 3-5 years, you just focus on opening accounts, selling a product/service. Once you hit 300-400 decent households you can go to phase 2. But, that's just the way I see it, there are other ways of doing the biz.  

Aug 12, 2010 1:07 pm

BigFire thanks for your response.  What would your daily schedule look like in each of these as mentioned?  My strength is sales and new account development and relationship building.  I also thrive off of this and my concern is that once established well that I will be stuck in an office all day.  I figure I have local Chamber activities, rotary, networking groups, community involvement, etc. that would keep me engaged and out in the marketplace. 

Aug 12, 2010 1:19 pm

[quote=Madman]

BigFire thanks for your response.  What would your daily schedule look like in each of these as mentioned?  My strength is sales and new account development and relationship building.  I also thrive off of this and my concern is that once established well that I will be stuck in an office all day.  I figure I have local Chamber activities, rotary, networking groups, community involvement, etc. that would keep me engaged and out in the marketplace. 

[/quote]

Once you hit critical mass, how youn spend your time is up to you.  I know a Merrill guy (he's 67) that has $150mm.  He works about 4-5 hours a day.  Comes in, calls 5-10 of his good clients, goes home.  He does a lot of entertaining after hours (not networking stuff).  He brings clients out on his yacht and out to his summer home on Block Island.  Nice life.  Is that what you were asking?  :)

Aug 12, 2010 1:34 pm

[quote=Madman]

BigFire thanks for your response.  What would your daily schedule look like in each of these as mentioned?  My strength is sales and new account development and relationship building.  I also thrive off of this and my concern is that once established well that I will be stuck in an office all day.  I figure I have local Chamber activities, rotary, networking groups, community involvement, etc. that would keep me engaged and out in the marketplace. 

[/quote]

Phase One: New account stage of career. Using muni bonds, I'd spend the vast majority of my time calling folks with issues that have some sort of direct appeal to that person. Local issue, state issue, an issue from the University they attended, a bond that is somehow connected to them. The more connected, the better. The clients you really, really want for the future, ALL need tax free bonds, to some degree or another. When you network, tell folks about tax free bonds, and then ask if you can keep them informed on issues. Then if they say yes, ask them where they went to school. When a good issue comes up, call your leads, prospects, clients. Some clients will show buying signals for a larger more diversified portfolio, so spend your time with those folks too, but that is a secondary job description. Do you really want to have to bust your tail dialing and smiling, hitting the pavement for more than 3 years? If not, make sure you stay focused on getting 10 new accounts each month. 

The networking stuff, I've avoided that my entire career, thought it a total waste of time, and to this day I don't regret it one bit. On the other hand, I'm involved with a local Golf/Country club, and after 3 years I've started opening decent accounts with the folks I know there. I golf about 150 rounds a year, so going to the club is first off for my entertainment, the biz is secondary and I've never been pushy about it. Almost to a fault....

Phase one, you need to work 50-60 hrs per week. Phase two, probably 40 hrs is enough, and about now, I'm working 30 hrs a week. I could work more, but I value my free time more than I value making more money. 

All the above is just my view on things, and that is based on what I've done, and what I've seen work well for most others. I'm not a big fan of the "financial planner" marketing style, or the person that tries to get as much juice as possible from the get go when making a new account relationship selling big insurance policies etc. Though, I know folks that have done it that way, and been succcessful.  

Aug 12, 2010 1:52 pm

While I would normally agree w/ BigFire, I think you need to be aware of one factor: ATROPHY (ie, clients die, go broke, pay for college, and get scared)

I've been in the business 11+ yrs and while a good bit of how you handle each year depends on what your niche/ product is.

For example in the past 3 yrs, I would imagine its pretty hard to exhibit a management stance and one needs to be prospecting/reassuring. The standards have gone up and the money investors want to pay is now at the forefront of the discussions.

As Big mentiones, his way is one and there are many different ways of doing biz.

I generally try to do the following:

6AM - In office, getting started up... ie. email, research, coffee, etc.

630-830- On phone- prospecting, qualifying prospects or leads from sales team.

830-930- General market stuff, trades, meeting on floor, whatever...

930-12p- Call clients, prospects, build relationships etc. Always trying to get a trade or lay groundwork.

12p,1p, 2p (depending)- explore ways to grow my business, this may include studying for an exam, or meeting w/ someone that claims to be able to help grow my biz, usually a wholsaler.

2-4p- Prospecting local businesses on the phone.

4-5 - making my office look the way I want it to for the next day.

This is a basic outline I try to follow, but beleive me it never goes according to plan.

I still want to make 200 dials a day. I doubt that will ever change. Doesn't mean I do it but I know for every guy I talk to today I will hopefully be trading in 90.

The question is... What do you want out of this biz...?

Make alot of money (100k a month??), be a planner, do seminars, they all have their stepping stones and will change the formula. I am mostly transactional, but work at a firm that isn't. They push for the fee based, managed money, etc style more, but are quick to admit most of those cats don't come close to the numbers I do...

to each his own...

Aug 12, 2010 1:56 pm

[quote=BigFirepower]

[quote=Madman]

BigFire thanks for your response.  What would your daily schedule look like in each of these as mentioned?  My strength is sales and new account development and relationship building.  I also thrive off of this and my concern is that once established well that I will be stuck in an office all day.  I figure I have local Chamber activities, rotary, networking groups, community involvement, etc. that would keep me engaged and out in the marketplace. 

[/quote]

Phase One: New account stage of career. Using muni bonds, I'd spend the vast majority of my time calling folks with issues that have some sort of direct appeal to that person. Local issue, state issue, an issue from the University they attended, a bond that is somehow connected to them. The more connected, the better. The clients you really, really want for the future, ALL need tax free bonds, to some degree or another. When you network, tell folks about tax free bonds, and then ask if you can keep them informed on issues. Then if they say yes, ask them where they went to school. When a good issue comes up, call your leads, prospects, clients. Some clients will show buying signals for a larger more diversified portfolio, so spend your time with those folks too, but that is a secondary job description. Do you really want to have to bust your tail dialing and smiling, hitting the pavement for more than 3 years? If not, make sure you stay focused on getting 10 new accounts each month. 

The networking stuff, I've avoided that my entire career, thought it a total waste of time, and to this day I don't regret it one bit. On the other hand, I'm involved with a local Golf/Country club, and after 3 years I've started opening decent accounts with the folks I know there. I golf about 150 rounds a year, so going to the club is first off for my entertainment, the biz is secondary and I've never been pushy about it. Almost to a fault....

Phase one, you need to work 50-60 hrs per week. Phase two, probably 40 hrs is enough, and about now, I'm working 30 hrs a week. I could work more, but I value my free time more than I value making more money. 

All the above is just my view on things, and that is based on what I've done, and what I've seen work well for most others. I'm not a big fan of the "financial planner" marketing style, or the person that tries to get as much juice as possible from the get go when making a new account relationship selling big insurance policies etc. Though, I know folks that have done it that way, and been succcessful.  

[/quote]

Well put...

Aug 12, 2010 2:05 pm

[quote=Madman]

I feel like I have a pretty good feeling for a new advisors schedule, time, requirements, etc.  What about an established F/A.  What does your day look like once you are in 5 yrs, 10 yrs?  I recently was thinking of this and as I continue to prepare for entering the industry I realized that I didn't really know. 

[/quote]

Dont.

Biz sucks.

Go to med school.

Aug 12, 2010 2:38 pm

[quote=jackofalltrades]

While I would normally agree w/ BigFire, I think you need to be aware of one factor: ATROPHY (ie, clients die, go broke, pay for college, and get scared)

I've been in the business 11+ yrs and while a good bit of how you handle each year depends on what your niche/ product is.

For example in the past 3 yrs, I would imagine its pretty hard to exhibit a management stance and one needs to be prospecting/reassuring. The standards have gone up and the money investors want to pay is now at the forefront of the discussions.

As Big mentiones, his way is one and there are many different ways of doing biz.

I generally try to do the following:

6AM - In office, getting started up... ie. email, research, coffee, etc.

630-830- On phone- prospecting, qualifying prospects or leads from sales team.

830-930- General market stuff, trades, meeting on floor, whatever...

930-12p- Call clients, prospects, build relationships etc. Always trying to get a trade or lay groundwork.

12p,1p, 2p (depending)- explore ways to grow my business, this may include studying for an exam, or meeting w/ someone that claims to be able to help grow my biz, usually a wholsaler.

2-4p- Prospecting local businesses on the phone.

4-5 - making my office look the way I want it to for the next day.

This is a basic outline I try to follow, but beleive me it never goes according to plan.

I still want to make 200 dials a day. I doubt that will ever change. Doesn't mean I do it but I know for every guy I talk to today I will hopefully be trading in 90.

The question is... What do you want out of this biz...?

Make alot of money (100k a month??), be a planner, do seminars, they all have their stepping stones and will change the formula. I am mostly transactional, but work at a firm that isn't. They push for the fee based, managed money, etc style more, but are quick to admit most of those cats don't come close to the numbers I do...

to each his own...

[/quote]

Well, there is some good advice, and a pretty good example of what was asked for. You sound like you're successful, and growing in a way that makes the sky the limit. Good for you. I too worked for a firm that wanted things one way, while I did another. A long term exit strategy, you probably have one.., is a good idea. I went indy, and it has surpassed my rosiest expectations.  

Aug 12, 2010 9:14 pm

Thanks BFP...

I am an Indy (about 6 yrs now), but affilated w/ a Regional BD... its a great relationship, but the firm seems to be going down the MM road. They all do... Indy has been rosy as can be. I was a bit lonely at first as I came from a big office and alot of competition and comradery, but as I get older I appreciate it more and more.

Aug 13, 2010 9:52 am

[quote=jackofalltrades]

While I would normally agree w/ BigFire, I think you need to be aware of one factor: ATROPHY (ie, clients die, go broke, pay for college, and get scared)

I've been in the business 11+ yrs and while a good bit of how you handle each year depends on what your niche/ product is.

For example in the past 3 yrs, I would imagine its pretty hard to exhibit a management stance and one needs to be prospecting/reassuring. The standards have gone up and the money investors want to pay is now at the forefront of the discussions.

As Big mentiones, his way is one and there are many different ways of doing biz.

I generally try to do the following:

6AM - In office, getting started up... ie. email, research, coffee, etc.

630-830- On phone- prospecting, qualifying prospects or leads from sales team.

830-930- General market stuff, trades, meeting on floor, whatever...

930-12p- Call clients, prospects, build relationships etc. Always trying to get a trade or lay groundwork.

12p,1p, 2p (depending)- explore ways to grow my business, this may include studying for an exam, or meeting w/ someone that claims to be able to help grow my biz, usually a wholsaler.

2-4p- Prospecting local businesses on the phone.

4-5 - making my office look the way I want it to for the next day.

This is a basic outline I try to follow, but beleive me it never goes according to plan.

I still want to make 200 dials a day. I doubt that will ever change. Doesn't mean I do it but I know for every guy I talk to today I will hopefully be trading in 90.

The question is... What do you want out of this biz...?

Make alot of money (100k a month??), be a planner, do seminars, they all have their stepping stones and will change the formula. I am mostly transactional, but work at a firm that isn't. They push for the fee based, managed money, etc style more, but are quick to admit most of those cats don't come close to the numbers I do...

to each his own...

 [/quote]

Who do you call at 6am?

Aug 13, 2010 9:56 am

[quote=chickenfeed]

[quote=jackofalltrades]

 [/quote]

Who do you call at 6am?

[/quote]

People in a different country than ours.... I'll give you a hint 5-6 hours time difference.

Aug 13, 2010 10:06 am

You call people in a different country??

How do you get lists for that?

Aug 13, 2010 10:11 am

D n B

Aug 13, 2010 9:19 pm

x