Fidelity Branch Advisor

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Oct 27, 2010 7:32 pm

My nephew just scheduled a second interview with Fidelity.. Some sort of advisor for a branch location.. Seems to be $40s base with no commission but bonuses instead(actually advising).. No prospecting other than referrals from call center, walk ins and cultivating own referrals..

Anyone know anything about this position..?

Nov 13, 2010 2:37 pm

Squash2,

I worked for "Fido" for 4 years, and worked very closely with the branches.  What you described is a very distorted perception of the position.  Fidelity Financial Consultants (i.e. branch advisors) are like captive brokers.  They very much have sales goals/quotas; their bonuses are closely tied to their production (so it is effectively commission...don't believe the Fidelity BS spin); they very much have to prospect...except they do so primarily by calling households who have Fidelity retail accounts, so while technically it's a warm call because of the existing relationship, it is (in a sense) a cold call because many of those customers are not expecting or welcoming your call.  So, like I said, you are very much a prospecting financial advisor, but with a ready made list of prospects at your disposal.  Success is not guaranteed.

Fidelity is a sh*t company to work for.  I worked there twice - once in '93-'94, and again from '01-'04, and still have many friends who are still there, and many of them echo my observations that Fidelity has deteriorated into a financial services sweatshop.  It was great and very professional in the early '90s (my first go round with them).  It's all about making Ned and Abby Johnson (Fidelity's father and daughter owners) loads and loads of money that they don't need, on the backs of the employees.

On the flip side, the two main advantages of Fidelity are that they are well known for "training the industry", meaning you learn a lot about retirement and financial planning and the industry; and second, branch financial consultants can build up a nice clientele and later leave Fidelity and take their clients with them to a wirehouse or independent firm.  I know many, many, many reps who have left and taken tens of millions of dollars with them and had nice careers as top producers at other firms.  In hindsight, I wish I had done this.

I guess it all boils down to this - what kind of experience does your nephew have?  If little or none, and he can get a Fidelity branch job, I say go for it with the intent of learning the industry, getting fully licensed, building a clientele, and then leaving Fidelity in 3-5 years.  Fidelity is a good place to launch a career, not develop it.  

So, there you have it, my two cents.  Hope this helps.  

Jan 26, 2012 6:03 pm

Are Fidelity reps who leave allowed to take their client lists with them, along with client contact information?  We're an RIA firm looking to bring on a Fidelity rep and want to see what info Fidelity will allow them to bring and if they are allowed to contact their clients immediately after the transition.  Thanks for any advice you have!

Jan 26, 2012 8:38 pm

[quote=john.prescott]

Are Fidelity reps who leave allowed to take their client lists with them, along with client contact information?  We're an RIA firm looking to bring on a Fidelity rep and want to see what info Fidelity will allow them to bring and if they are allowed to contact their clients immediately after the transition.  Thanks for any advice you have!

[/quote]

Pretty sure they are not a part of the broker protocol, and likely the employment contract they signed prohibits them contacting those "clients".
Get a copy of the employee contract and read it. You don't want a FINRA arbitration hearing because of it.