Hiring w/o college degree

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Jul 15, 2006 7:29 pm

i touched on this regarding my own situation, but now have a friend that also wants to know. Is there a wirehouse firm that will hire someone into their training program that has extensive sales experience but no college degree?


Jul 15, 2006 8:49 pm

It is next to impossible to get an offer from any of these firms with out a BA/BS: 


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Merrill


Wachovia


Smith Barney


UBS


Goldman Sachs .. Hard even with an  MBA


Morgan Stanley



Try Edward Jones or Ray Jay.. 




Jul 15, 2006 9:40 pm

You will be hard pressed to find a firm that will risk putting someone through a training program that does not have a college degree. The reason is because most firm want to know that you have the proper qualitative and quantitative ability that college will teach you. This business is not just "sales", you must have the ability to analyze financial statements and break down a 10-K or similar literature as well as send well formed correspondence to not only clients but possibly your peers in your firm. In a nutshell, an individual creates an even larger liability in this industry without a college degree than they would have even if the had a BA/BS.

Jul 15, 2006 10:49 pm
Shmer33:

It is next to impossible to get an offer from any of these firms with out a BA/BS: 


 <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Merrill


Wachovia


Smith Barney


UBS


Goldman Sachs .. Hard even with an  MBA


Morgan Stanley



Try Edward Jones or Ray Jay.. 




Bill Gates is gonna buy a brokerage firm and ONLY hire billionaire college droputs.

Jul 15, 2006 10:56 pm
newkid:

You will be hard pressed to find a firm that will risk putting someone through a training program that does not have a college degree. The reason is because most firm want to know that you have the proper qualitative and quantitative ability that college will teach you. This business is not just "sales", you must have the ability to analyze financial statements and break down a 10-K or similar literature as well as send well formed correspondence to not only clients but possibly your peers in your firm. In a nutshell, an individual creates an even larger liability in this industry without a college degree than they would have even if the had a BA/BS.



Newkid you have no CLUE.  Sadly most experienced advisors have no idea how to read financial statements.  It is for most a sales job focussing strictly on asset gathering.  Too, most advisers do not actively manage clients' money, but rather delegate it to mutual funds  or separate account managers.

Jul 15, 2006 11:15 pm
joedabrkr:
newkid:

You will be hard pressed to find a firm that will risk putting someone through a training program that does not have a college degree. The reason is because most firm want to know that you have the proper qualitative and quantitative ability that college will teach you. This business is not just "sales", you must have the ability to analyze financial statements and break down a 10-K or similar literature as well as send well formed correspondence to not only clients but possibly your peers in your firm. In a nutshell, an individual creates an even larger liability in this industry without a college degree than they would have even if the had a BA/BS.



Newkid you have no CLUE.  Sadly most experienced advisors have no idea how to read financial statements.  It is for most a sales job focussing strictly on asset gathering.  Too, most advisers do not actively manage clients' money, but rather delegate it to mutual funds  or separate account managers.


Nonetheless most reputable firms won't touch you without a degree.


There are a lot of reasons, including the danger of having to defend you in an arbitration hearing when the plaintiff's attorney starts to ask you about your education, where you went to school, what your GPA was and what degrees do you hold--just too much risk to have to admit not much education after all.


Joe is right, the job has virtually no need to break down a 10-K.


Add that in order to make this a career you're almost certainly going to need a CFP--and they're taking steps to deny the designation to anybody who does not have a degree.  This is going to force more and more firms to adopt a only degrees can be hired policy.

Jul 15, 2006 11:53 pm
NASD Newbie:
joedabrkr:
newkid:

You will be hard pressed to find a firm that will risk putting someone through a training program that does not have a college degree. The reason is because most firm want to know that you have the proper qualitative and quantitative ability that college will teach you. This business is not just "sales", you must have the ability to analyze financial statements and break down a 10-K or similar literature as well as send well formed correspondence to not only clients but possibly your peers in your firm. In a nutshell, an individual creates an even larger liability in this industry without a college degree than they would have even if the had a BA/BS.

Newkid you have no CLUE. Sadly most experienced advisors have no idea how to read financial statements. It is for most a sales job focussing strictly on asset gathering. Too, most advisers do not actively manage clients' money, but rather delegate it to mutual funds or separate account managers.



Nonetheless most reputable firms won't touch you without a degree.



There are a lot of reasons, including the danger of having to defend you in an arbitration hearing when the plaintiff's attorney starts to ask you about your education, where you went to school, what your GPA was and what degrees do you hold--just too much risk to have to admit not much education after all.



Joe is right, the job has virtually no need to break down a 10-K.



Add that in order to make this a career you're almost certainly going to need a CFP--and they're taking steps to deny the designation to anybody who does not have a degree. This is going to force more and more firms to adopt a only degrees can be hired policy.





NASD,



I am curious, do you believe the CFP will become the minimum requirement within the industry or just someone thing the public will look for?

Jul 16, 2006 12:40 am

I don't expect everyone to agree with this, but as a CPA/CFP with a BS degree, and knowing how hard this business still is to master, I think a four year business degree, and a CFP minimum requirement would be a good thing.  Without a doubt, there are some fine advisors out there without these credentials, but there are far too many pretenders that end up doing a lot of damage to client portfolios before they weed themselves out.  If our minimum standards were higher, perhaps the investing public would have more confidence in our collective group, and perhaps the industry fail rate wouldn't be quite so high.  I would welcome the raising of the bar...just a thought.

Jul 16, 2006 2:57 am

thanks guys for the posts...

Jul 16, 2006 7:14 am

I predict that within the next 5-7 years, the number of people getting CFPs will start to decline.  The reason for this is that The CFP might be a good knowledge base to have, but it does nothing to help someone succeed in this business.  We're starting to see tons of CFPs who can't make it in this business.


In fact, I believe that it is actually a real detriment to a new guy.  Well, not really a detriment, but a new guy would have a much better chance of succeeding this business if he spent those hundreds of hours spent studying and instead used the time to prospect.


Start succeeding in this business and then get the CFP or CLU/ChFC to increase your knowledge base. 

Jul 16, 2006 7:56 am

I can see a day when decent firms will require their representatives to obtain the CFP designation within, say, five years.


If those who offer the CFP designation require a college degree it will become a defacto rule of those firms that they cannot hire people without a college degree.


As IndyOne indicated, the bar is way too low.  I know that I am becoming repetative, but this business is not going to ever be considered a profession as long as it is even possible to be hired when you really don't know how to use the words "your and you're" or "their, there, and they're."


These seemingly small issues are just the tip of the stupidity iceberg.


The reality is that you are going to be constantly defending your book.  There will be people who move away and they'll transfer their account to a more local advisor--you can make the argument that you're still just a phone call away, and they'll even agree with you then sign the transfer papers.


Every day there is a chance that some other advisor is going to contact your client---after all, you found them somehow.  So will others.


When the market has eaten a huge portion of their portfolio--even if it's guaranteed--they're going to be looking around.  Don't lose sight of the fact that  you're not the only game in town. If you tell somebody, "Don't worry you have insurance that will give you your money back" they're going to have to be complete morons to not think, "I could do that by never talking to you again."


How valuable a source of referal is a guy who is dead in the water, waiting for his lockup period to expire so he can get the hell away from you?  Not getting sued is not the objective.


Then there's the stupidity issue.  If you are stupid--and several of yo who will read this are--you don't even understand that you act and look stupid.  Stupid people have a certain look to them, and they certainly have behavior patterns that scream "Hey, look at me!  I'm stupid!"


That you don't see it is because you're stupid.  But people with money see it.  Older people will never trust you, and younger people will learn to distrust you.


There are too many advisors who have the glint of intelligence in their eyes, who speak in the tones, syntax and vocabulary of the educated, who are "dressed for success" and who will win your clients away from you sooner or later.


If you don't dress like a mortician in a better suit and with a smile--you're not a long timer.


If you don't speak in the well modulated tones of a CEO conducting a board meeting--you're not a long timer.


If you don't really think any deeper than "Who's on the pole" at Darlington, or if you really care if the New York Yankees are winning, or if you'd rather be playing golf than looking for clients, or you have no idea who Ben Bernanke is, or you know you're in over your head but figure you can bluff it---you're going to fail.


That you fail is not the issue--the issue is as you fail you take your clients down with you.  People's lives are ruined.


Some of you are sociopaths--you have no real moral compass so you won't feel any real emotions if you walk away from Mr. and Mrs. Jones who are unable to retire because you shoved them into an investment that didn't grow.  Oh sure, fifteen years after they met you they still have their $100,000 so you're telling yourself you did them a favor.


They didn't entrust you with their $100,000 with the goal of getting it back--their goal was to make it grow.


How many of you feel qualified to make that happen?  How about well qualified to make that happen?

Jul 16, 2006 8:24 am

I concur.  I agree.  But you misspelled repetitive.  You misspelled repetitive.


I just try to be someone who can swoop in help people who are currently being "helped" by the lower caliber "talent" that there's plenty of in the business.


Requiring the CFP would sort out at least a % of the people who don't like no stinking tests and stuff.

Jul 16, 2006 8:38 am
Cowboy93:

I concur.  I agree.  But you misspelled repetitive.  You misspelled repetitive.



That is clever--I like clever.

Jul 16, 2006 2:48 pm
NASD Newbie:
joedabrkr:
newkid:

You will be hard pressed to find a firm that will risk putting someone through a training program that does not have a college degree. The reason is because most firm want to know that you have the proper qualitative and quantitative ability that college will teach you. This business is not just "sales", you must have the ability to analyze financial statements and break down a 10-K or similar literature as well as send well formed correspondence to not only clients but possibly your peers in your firm. In a nutshell, an individual creates an even larger liability in this industry without a college degree than they would have even if the had a BA/BS.



Newkid you have no CLUE.  Sadly most experienced advisors have no idea how to read financial statements.  It is for most a sales job focussing strictly on asset gathering.  Too, most advisers do not actively manage clients' money, but rather delegate it to mutual funds  or separate account managers.


Nonetheless most reputable firms won't touch you without a degree.


There are a lot of reasons, including the danger of having to defend you in an arbitration hearing when the plaintiff's attorney starts to ask you about your education, where you went to school, what your GPA was and what degrees do you hold--just too much risk to have to admit not much education after all.


Joe is right, the job has virtually no need to break down a 10-K.


Add that in order to make this a career you're almost certainly going to need a CFP--and they're taking steps to deny the designation to anybody who does not have a degree.  This is going to force more and more firms to adopt a only degrees can be hired policy.

NASD:I respectfully disagree. The ability to read a balance sheet, income statement and cut through all the garbage in 10-Ks and prospectuses IS invaluable. I learned long ago that wall street "research" is a scam. If I wasn't in the business, the most important questions I would answer a prospective adviser would be...(1) What is your net worth? and (2) What is your personal portfolio rate of return vs. its benchmark(s) for the past 5 years? (Most "advisers don't know.) I have seen CFPs declare bancruptcy. There is only ONE way we keep score in this country and it is how much $$ are your portfolios making (or not losing.)

Jul 16, 2006 3:46 pm
Revealer:

 NASD:I respectfully disagree. The ability to read a balance sheet, income statement and cut through all the garbage in 10-Ks and prospectuses IS invaluable. I learned long ago that wall street "research" is a scam. If I wasn't in the business, the most important questions I would answer a prospective adviser would be...(1) What is your net worth? and (2) What is your personal portfolio rate of return vs. its benchmark(s) for the past 5 years? (Most "advisers don't know.) I have seen CFPs declare bancruptcy. There is only ONE way we keep score in this country and it is how much $$ are your portfolios making (or not losing.)



What in the world does that have to do with being able to disect a balance sheet?


You're wrong--most brokers don't know their way around balance sheets and income statements at all.


It's a very precise semi-science and unless you are a student of that company the numbers thrown out four times a year are meaningless to a registered representative.

Jul 16, 2006 10:15 pm

Newkid you have no CLUE.  Sadly most experienced advisors have no
idea how to read financial statements.  It is for most a sales job
focussing strictly on asset gathering.  Too, most advisers do not
actively manage clients' money, but rather delegate it to mutual
funds  or separate account managers.


I think we have someone with a college degree on our hand. Oh by the way



BBA Financial Engineering, University of Michigan, Manga Cum Laude

MBA University of Michigan



I think I have a "CLUE" about the industry.

Jul 16, 2006 11:16 pm
newkid:

Newkid you have no CLUE.  Sadly most experienced advisors have no
idea how to read financial statements.  It is for most a sales job
focussing strictly on asset gathering.  Too, most advisers do not
actively manage clients' money, but rather delegate it to mutual
funds  or separate account managers.


I think we have someone with a college degree on our hand. Oh by the way



BBA Financial Engineering, University of Michigan, Manga Cum Laude

MBA University of Michigan



I think I have a "CLUE" about the industry.



First of all, WTF is "Financial Engineering"?  Sounds like the kind of hijinks that got Enron and others in trouble.

Second of all, I don't think you have the "clue" you might claim.  If you have the degrees you lay claim to, it means you have plenty of academic learning, and congratulations for that acheivment.  It does not, however, mean that you know spit about the actual workings of this business, or even the real world at all.  Too, as NASD Newbie might point out, in cyberspace anyone can claim to be ANYTHING!

Jul 17, 2006 8:39 am
NASD Newbie:
Revealer:

 NASD:I respectfully disagree. The ability to read a balance sheet, income statement and cut through all the garbage in 10-Ks and prospectuses IS invaluable. I learned long ago that wall street "research" is a scam. If I wasn't in the business, the most important questions I would answer a prospective adviser would be...(1) What is your net worth? and (2) What is your personal portfolio rate of return vs. its benchmark(s) for the past 5 years? (Most "advisers don't know.) I have seen CFPs declare bancruptcy. There is only ONE way we keep score in this country and it is how much $$ are your portfolios making (or not losing.)



What in the world does that have to do with being able to disect a balance sheet?


You're wrong--most brokers don't know their way around balance sheets and income statements at all.


It's a very precise semi-science and unless you are a student of that company the numbers thrown out four times a year are meaningless to a registered representative.

I agree. Most advisers DON'T know how to read a balance sheet/ income statement. I do. It was very easy to see the impending blowup in WCOM (one of jones' top picks I might add). Know how? I couldn't understand what the H was on the balance sheet. When you can't understand it.....RUN! "Make sure it passes the Mom test" isn't just for ethical considerations, it is for the ability to explain it to your "Mom" in simple terms. I think it was Peter Lynch who said, "If you can't explain it in 25 words, you don't understand it."

Jul 17, 2006 11:26 am

i can definitely understand why firms, especially the major ones, would want their advisors to hold degrees, but something needs to be said of work experience also.  I just got hired at a major wirehouse and i don't have a degree, however, i have been in the business for about 8 yrs now and was an advisor in the bank channel. I am trying to get my degree online now, but it is slow because of dedicating some much time to work. Oh well, it's nice to know that there are firms out there that are willing to give people a chance...

Jul 17, 2006 11:35 am
bjack73:

i can definitely understand why firms, especially the major ones, would want their advisors to hold degrees, but something needs to be said of work experience also.  I just got hired at a major wirehouse and i don't have a degree, however, i have been in the business for about 8 yrs now and was an advisor in the bank channel. I am trying to get my degree online now, but it is slow because of dedicating some much time to work. Oh well, it's nice to know that there are firms out there that are willing to give people a chance...



Your customers have no chance--and that's what is wrong.