FAST at Jones

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Aug 22, 2008 2:59 pm

How many Jones brokers use the FAST program?  For those prospects who dump their statements in my lap from 5 or so different advisors, is it worth it to use FAST?  Being new, my concern is spending too much time plugging numbers into the system but I also think it could be something that differentiates me from some of the competition. <?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


For non-Jonesers, FAST is some fancy financial assessment tool we have.  Beyond that I have no idea what it does because I've never used or been trained on it.


 


Advice, thoughts?

Aug 22, 2008 3:03 pm

Actually, I think we have finally gotten access to what most firms have had access to for at least a decade. No real differentiating going on there.

 
I seldom use it, and I don't know of many others in my region who do. There is now a portion of every regional meeting where the region's advocate spends thirty minutes or so begging us to run some reports.
Aug 22, 2008 3:10 pm

Hmmmm....

 
So if a prospect gives you statments from many different brokers; multiple roths, 529s, joint accounts, tax sheltered annuities, company stock, cd's money markets, life insurance policies, etc....   And they ask you "what chance do I have to retire at 50, 55, or 60?  Do you think it's feasable?  How much do I need to save now to retire?"  Do you whip out a calculator and run the numbers somehow?  What do you do?
Aug 22, 2008 4:49 pm

Yes, he's seriously asking that question.

Aug 22, 2008 4:50 pm

I would NOT use it for prospects.  I won't do one until they become a client.  That's like a CPA doing your taxes, and if you like the return, you'll then decide to become a client.

 
Better idea - this is what I do...have a binder with SAMPLE reports, portolios, etc.  Explain to them the concept and show them what you do.  Don't talk about specific investments, blah, blah.  Sell them on what you are going to do.  If they transfer in all their assets, then once you re-align everything properly (if needed), then do the Financial Assesment.  I always talk about my process being a matter of steps: agree on concepts, transfer in investments, put together plan, recommend portfolios, review.
 
And yes, most other firms have comparable software, but few people (even at Jones) actually use it with their clients.  It's something that the typical fee-only "financial planner" uses.  I know this because I have had clients bring in their 150 page "financial plan" from their "planner" and ask me to implement it.  It is basically every report in our our arsenal, nicely bound together. 
 
My other suggestion: only use the modules that are relevant.  I ALWAYS do the financial statements (always Net Worth, but rarely a Cash Flow, since most clients don't want to go through the exercise).  My second msot common module is one of the retirement modules.  I rarly do insurance (it's easier to just back-of-the-napkin this one).  I sometimes do the College savings one, but more because the client is curious (and it's easy).
Aug 22, 2008 4:52 pm
Borker Boy:

Yes, he's seriously asking that question. We're taught to sell. Period. Put them in mutual funds and go back to prospecting.

 
Borker Man, you are bitter.  You should move on.
 
We're taught to sell the first few years to survive (like every other firm, no exception).  After that, the smart advisors evolve their practice without needing their B/D to hold their hand.
Aug 22, 2008 6:53 pm

Of course we're taught to sell.  My question was whether or not people whip out some notebook paper and a calculator when clients ask them, "Can I retire in 5 years?"  OR if they do something a little more comprehensive.  THAT was my question.  Seems legitimate to me.

I think some people are getting the idea that I'm planning on crunching numbers and making reports all day and NOT getting out and prospecting.  Where you got that idea, I don't know.

I'm simply trying to figure out if FAST is a tool that I can use TO SELL.  Period.  What was so ridiculous about my question?

Aug 22, 2008 6:56 pm
B24:

I would NOT use it for prospects.  I won't do one until they become a client.  That's like a CPA doing your taxes, and if you like the return, you'll then decide to become a client.

 
Better idea - this is what I do...have a binder with SAMPLE reports, portolios, etc.  Explain to them the concept and show them what you do. 



I like this idea.

B24, do you use Portfolio on prospects before they are clients to show them how out of whack they currently are?

Aug 22, 2008 6:57 pm
fisher23:

Hmmmm....

 
So if a prospect gives you statments from many different brokers; multiple roths, 529s, joint accounts, tax sheltered annuities, company stock, cd's money markets, life insurance policies, etc....   And they ask you "what chance do I have to retire at 50, 55, or 60?  Do you think it's feasable?  How much do I need to save now to retire?"  Do you whip out a calculator and run the numbers somehow?  What do you do?
 
I tell them that if they don't know they need a new advisor.  Transfer the accounts to me, we will run a comprehensive financial plan, and make changes as needed.  This is an easy one.
Aug 22, 2008 7:04 pm
B24:

I would NOT use it for prospects.  I won't do one until they become a client.  That's like a CPA doing your taxes, and if you like the return, you'll then decide to become a client.

 




+1   That was a good one.

Aug 22, 2008 9:27 pm

B24, Excellent process. I like your style, and have done things similarly in my practice. I was at Jones, and did the same thing.



Selling "me" instead of the investments allowed me to bring over everyone I wanted to when I went independent, and will allow you to do the same should you decide that is best for you. Nice work!



BG

Aug 22, 2008 10:26 pm
fisher23:
B24:

I would NOT use it for prospects. I won't do one until they become a client. That's like a CPA doing your taxes, and if you like the return, you'll then decide to become a client.



Better idea - this is what I do...have a binder with SAMPLE reports, portolios, etc. Explain to them the concept and show them what you do.

I like this idea. B24, do you use Portfolio on prospects before they are clients to show them how out of whack they currently are?





I used to. Now I have found that I was doing way too much work for prospects that would never become clients. I now spend more time on conceptual stuff prior to becoming clients. I may show them SAMPLES of portfolios, FAST plans, Morningstar's, etc. that I use in different situations, but I am not going to go through the exercise of putting together a plan for someone that's not even a client. That's what they pay me for.



That might sound arrogant, but I have found that you do less "selling" of products/portfolios and more advising on planning concepts. I actually find I land more clients this way. Let me explain:



When you meet a prospect and immediately launch into "this is what we are going to do with your portfolio, look at this, look at the returns, blah, blah" they either agree with it or not. They might not like your investment choices. They might be "indexers" and you are not. They may have the "I'm smarter than you" complex. Point is, you just don't win trying to impress by shpwing returns and portfolios and how you are going to "change" their portfolios. But if you can get them to buy into your process, your plan, your strategy, then the choice of investments is almost an afterthought - they have already bought into your ability, so they now just buy into your investment choices. It's not ALWAYS that easy, but I have improved my closes this way. Anytime I drift back to selling investments and returns, I can sense myself losing the prospect.

Aug 23, 2008 9:16 am

B24 is exactly right.
1: Never do FAST in front of them.  It is like sausage.  If you ever watch someone make it there is no way you would eat it.  Make them leave the information with you.  Not only will your reports be more accurate, you will have more time to develop an appropriate strategy.
2: Don't show them how to implement it until they are clients.  If you solve their "problems" as a prospect they don't need to become a client.
3: Use FAST.  There are a lot of "ideas" about FAST and there are facts (math).  I have the math and across the Segments adopters of FAST are significantly growing assets and revenues faster than non adopters. 
ytrewq

Aug 23, 2008 5:33 pm

Wow, great ideas.  I really have no idea what I'm doing in appointments.

I had 13 appts last week and I feel like I just blew most of them.  I wish I could start over.

Aug 25, 2008 8:58 am
fisher23:

How many Jones brokers use the FAST program? For those prospects who dump their statements in my lap from 5 or so different advisors, is it worth it to use FAST? Being new, my concern is spending too much time plugging numbers into the system but I also think it could be something that differentiates me from some of the competition. <?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />





For non-Jonesers, FAST is some fancy financial assessment tool we have. Beyond that I have no idea what it does because I've never used or been trained on it.





Advice, thoughts?





You don't have to use the FAST program if you don't want to. However it is a tool for your clients and if they don't get that information from you and you don't help lay out some type of plan.. All you hold yourself out to be is an idea guy that sell stocks, bonds and mutual funds.. That kind of service is very replaceable.



Miss J

Aug 25, 2008 12:56 pm
fisher23:

Wow, great ideas.  I really have no idea what I'm doing in appointments.

I had 13 appts last week and I feel like I just blew most of them.  I wish I could start over.

 
That's part of being a one-man show. You don't have access to a vet down the hall to get pointers on presentations. You either have to bother another Jones FA across town (who's busy doing his own thing) or wait until your next trip to St. Louis or Tempe.
 
You'll eventually get better at your appointments, but, unfortunately, you'll fail to close a lot of prospects along the way while "practicing," which cuts into your paycheck.
 
I'm still amazed at how "green" (pardon the pun) new Jonesers are when they're put out on the street to start handing out investment/financial advice. It's very, very scary.
 
(I'm not bitter, B24, just not interested in sugar-coating anymore.)
Aug 25, 2008 2:45 pm

THe bitter comment is just the start Borker.....cover your back...the wolves are starting to circle....

Aug 25, 2008 5:22 pm

Spears, I could care less whether Borker stays or goes at Jones. It was simply an observation. My guess is that he is looking right now. I'm the last one to be angry by someone leaving Jones. It's not for everyone. And some people are very successful there.

Aug 25, 2008 5:24 pm
Borker Boy:
fisher23:

Wow, great ideas. I really have no idea what I'm doing in appointments.I had 13 appts last week and I feel like I just blew most of them. I wish I could start over.



That's part of being a one-man show. You don't have access to a vet down the hall to get pointers on presentations. You either have to bother another Jones FA across town (who's busy doing his own thing) or wait until your next trip to St. Louis or Tempe.



You'll eventually get better at your appointments, but, unfortunately, you'll fail to close a lot of prospects along the way while "practicing," which cuts into your paycheck.



I'm still amazed at how "green" (pardon the pun) new Jonesers are when they're put out on the street to start handing out investment/financial advice. It's very, very scary.



(I'm not bitter, B24, just not interested in sugar-coating anymore.)





Borker, everyone's situation is different. I have known guys at wirehouses in an office of 40 guys and they could not find any help. OTOH, my mentor was so very helpful that I never felt short-changed as far as assistance, ideas, whatever. A lot of it depends on your area and who you are dealing with as far as veterans. But what Fisher is experiencing is not unique to Jones.

Aug 25, 2008 5:34 pm

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....(wolf sound)....