Heard of GSS? And other advice for a newb

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Jun 18, 2007 1:45 am

First of all, thanks for the information on this forum... I came here trying to find more information about whether I should accept an Ameriprise offer... now I don't intend to return their calls. That was a bullet missed!

I have a second question about a place called "Garden State Securities". I have a feeling they are of the same quality as Ameriprise but I haven't found anything about them so far, good or bad. I wonder if anyone could verify my concerns or perhaps prove my hesitation wrong.

I have applied now to Raymond James, Wachovia, and A. G Edwards, and am looking for smaller brokers in my area (Raleigh-Durham NC) who would sponsor me for the 7 and 66 and where I could get some initial training. I am open to further advice.

A little about myself: Recent grad of CSU (Colorado) albeit in Liberal Arts and Philosophy. I have a number of sales and marketing related jobs in my past and I love talking to people. I had been looking at jobs in Bank sales when Ameriprise came along, before that had not considered being a broker.

However, The more I research being a FA or a broker the more it sounds like something I would really enjoy and be good at, but it also became apparent that Ameriprise was not the offer for me.

I realize my age (22) and my lack of formal financial training could be a detriment. So what should I do to position myself for success in this industry? If I get a AGE or RJ position or equivilent should I take it now? I am willing to get an MBA or other training but what job should I take in the mean time? I admit I am a bit impetuous and would like to start now, but maybe Insurance Sales in the short term would be wiser (I have talked to Western-Southern Life... should I go there for a few years)?

Any thoughts welcome, and thanks in advance.

Jun 18, 2007 8:02 am

If you have chosen not to accept a job offer, the right move is to communicate that in a professional way, because you never know what the future holds and it is a smaller world than you think.


Ameriprise is not necessarily a bad choice for some younger people - but that is not an opinion gained from personal experience.  If the bank environment is what you seek, you could include Bank of America in that group.  I would interview with New York Life if I was considering life insurance sales.  (Career Builder is a good place to search.)


If you choose a brokerage, make no mistake: it is a job about prospecting first.  If you don't have the patience and stamina for years of hard core prospecting, than a bank environment may be a better place to start.

Jun 18, 2007 2:26 pm
opie:

If you have chosen not to accept a job offer, the right move is to communicate that in a professional way, because you never know what the future holds and it is a smaller world than you think.

Jun 18, 2007 2:42 pm
opie:

If you have chosen not to accept a job offer, the right move is to communicate that in a professional way, because you never know what the future holds and it is a smaller world than you think.



True, I was just being humorous as, judging by the opinion on these boards, Ameriprise seems to be the butt of many jokes. I had no intention of actually insulting them or not picking up the phone... just politely declining their offer.

Thanks for the Bank of America idea, do they have a broker training program for new college grads?

My first preference is not really to sell insurance, but if that is what it takes to gain experience so that I could become a broker then that's what I'll do. But I will give New York Life a look see.

Thanks for all the advice


Jun 18, 2007 2:53 pm

Why do you not want to sell insurance?


What do you think exactly that a broker does?


What exactly is it that you want to do?

Jun 18, 2007 3:42 pm
anonymous:

Why do you not want to sell insurance?


What do you think exactly that a broker does?


What exactly is it that you want to do?



It is not that I don't want to sell insurance, I would just rather sell securities... personally stocks and bonds and such are more interesting to me.

I think a broker/financial adviser helps people invest the money in securities that are appropriate for them. Also they should explain to their clients what their financial position is relative to current market and keep them abreast of new investment opportunities as well as help advise them make wise strategic decisions (diversifying, selling/buying at times to minimize taxes, planning for retirement etc).
On a Nuts a bolts level, a broker must make a ton of calls, seminars, meet-and-greets, lunch 'n learns, etc. to meet and earn prospective clients and grow his book of business.

Personally I want to be an entrepreneur and succeed by my own efforts. I want to find a business where I can utilize my intellectual curiosity but sill help people and talk to them face to face, hopefully communicating and explaining complex issues. And, ya, I would like to know that if I work hard I can make a lot of money.

Did I miss anything?

Jun 18, 2007 4:09 pm

You just switched from wanting to be a broker to wanting to be a broker/financial advisor.    It sounds like you want to be an investment advisor and not a financial advisor.


Jun 18, 2007 5:28 pm
anonymous:

You just switched from wanting to be a broker to wanting to be a broker/financial advisor.    It sounds like you want to be an investment advisor and not a financial advisor.




Sorry, I admit I am not too clear about all the different terms and meanings. Have I made a big mistake? are brokers/Investment advisers/financial advisers substantially different? What is the exact difference between them? They all require the series 7 and 66 right?

I admit, I am early in my career searching process so perhaps I need to refine my target job title. Any help is appreciated and thanks Anon for pointing out my ambiguity... I'll keep researching.

Jun 18, 2007 5:50 pm

As a recent college grad, your natural market will be folks around your age/background/financial status.  Before you make a decision on where to hang your hat, ask yourself these questions?


How many of them will have significant enough assets to make the relationship profitable?


How many folks outside your natural market (realistically) will give a recent college grad a large sum of money to invest?

Jun 18, 2007 6:15 pm
deekay:

As a recent college grad, your natural market will be folks around your age/background/financial status.  Before you make a decision on where to hang your hat, ask yourself these questions?


How many of them will have significant enough assets to make the relationship profitable?


How many folks outside your natural market (realistically) will give a recent college grad a large sum of money to invest?



I have thought about that, that is part of the reason I am considering starting in Insurance first, I understand a 20-something in insurance is more palatable than telling someone 30+ years older what to do for retirement.

But am I really stuck on my Natural Market? I am not going to try and sell my parents and my brothers etc... I have heard people who get leads through seminars and such, I love talking in front of people. Perhaps I am naive... let me know.

Also, I have thought about selling to a younger market, say young professionals like my friends just out of College. I am good friends with a computer software guy making 70k a year first job out of school (undergrad). I am sure in NC with Duke, Chapel Hill, NC State, Wake Forest etc etc, there are plenty of young smart professionals who need to start saving for houses and families etc.

I know I don't know a lot about this business, but I am willing to learn. That is why I am posting here... to learn. And if this REALLY is unworkable now I can find something else to do for 10 years.

Thanks for the input.

Jun 18, 2007 6:18 pm

Detonated, I'm simply trying to make the point that insurance is of huge importance and you need to embrace it if you are going to do the best job possible of helping  clients achieve their goals.  If you want to earn your living simply by gathering assets and selling investments, then insurance doesn't have to be part of your practice.

Jun 18, 2007 6:37 pm
anonymous:

Detonated, I'm simply trying to make the point that insurance is of huge importance and you need to embrace it if you are going to do the best job possible of helping  clients achieve their goals.  If you want to earn your living simply by gathering assets and selling investments, then insurance doesn't have to be part of your practice.



Thanks for the advice... I will keep that in mind.

Tell me something, where should I go to make sure I work for a reputable Insurance company, if I decide to go that direction?

For instance, I am looking at an offer from Western-Southern Life in NC, how do I know if they are a good firm (wont push unreasonable product on customers, treat their agents well, etc.)? They seem like a job environment I could fit into from my interview with them, but is there some third party rating or something I could look into?

Thanks again.

Jun 18, 2007 8:33 pm

Go to top gun producers dot com.  You'll get lots of good answers on your questions.


There are 4 companies where you must interview.  All 4 of them may be inappropriate for you.  Northwestern Mutual, Guardian, MassMutual, and New York Life.  All 4 of these are strong national companies, but the local agency is more important.  There are advantages with mutual companies over stock companies.  All 4 of these companies are mutual companies.  I would also suggest a company that accepts brokered business.  MM and Guardian do, the others do not.