If you knew then what you know now

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Dec 19, 2006 1:20 pm

OK, I have been with Jones for about a year now.  Things are going well, building the business new/new, no doubt I will make it in the biz.  One of the things that concerns me is how I am building my business.  For those of you that started with Jones, or another regional/wirehouse, etc., knowing what you know now, what would you change about how you built your business the first few years?  Would you target wealthier clients?  Avoid small accounts?  Open as many accounts as possible regardless of size?  Target certain age/occupation/type of business?  Focus more on fee business?  Seminars, teaching classes?    You can skip the..."I would have left Jones sooner" act - I am not planning on leaving...yet...so lets focus on the actual business building.


I can afford to live a little lean right now to build my book the right way (I have a lot of money in savings, and live frugaly), so I was curious what people would have done a bit differently.

Dec 19, 2006 1:26 pm

You can't build a book the right way at Jones because you can only do transactional business.  You are wasting your time and talent there.

Dec 19, 2006 1:51 pm

Spend less time working on, thinking about, going after accounts that are small for the effort spent.  I have no problem opening small relationships if it doesn't look like it will be very resource intensive in the long run.  But...I would have spent more time trying to find people who were the type that I enjoyed calling when it was time to check in with them.  The bigger the potential relationship the better, but I should have focused on $/hr and enjoyment more than I did.  The EJ method of developing many relationships and see what pops would have worked better if I had been more focused that way; my peers that did so grew faster initially.

Dec 19, 2006 2:05 pm
Cowboy93:

Spend less time working on, thinking about, going after
accounts that are small for the effort spent.  I have no problem
opening small relationships if it doesn't look like it will be very
resource intensive in the long run.





This is where the EDJ platform fails (based on what I saw on the
website). These are the accounts that you set up with a target date
fund and move on. Easy to service and good in the long run as you have
a relation to handle bigger things in later stages of life.

Dec 19, 2006 2:49 pm
AllREIT:
Cowboy93:

Spend less time working on, thinking about, going after accounts that are small for the effort spent.  I have no problem opening small relationships if it doesn't look like it will be very resource intensive in the long run.



This is where the EDJ platform fails (based on what I saw on the website). These are the accounts that you set up with a target date fund and move on. Easy to service and good in the long run as you have a relation to handle bigger things in later stages of life.


I'm not sure what website you are looking at that tells you how each individual IR manages his book, but your statement makes it sound like we all spend hours each day trying to figure out how to allocate a $10,000 account.  If they aren't buying a specific investment of their choosing, like a stock or individual bond, the only decision I have to make is what strategy fund I'm going to use.  Not quite the Fidelity Freedom approach, but pretty close. 


Broker24, while their assumptions about your business practices are wrong, they are correct about starting to focus on specific types of clients.  Even with only a year under your belt you need to start thinking very specific long term.  What do you like to do?  Insurance/Estate Planning, Retirement Plans for businesses, financial planning for individuals, retirees?  The quicker you can figure out what you enjoy the more you can target.  Nothing like building a book of stock buyers only to find out you prefer managed money. 


I'd also break out of the Jones marketing mold.  At your stage in the business the marketing strategy is to go doorknock another 500 doors.  You can do that if you want, but it will start to suck pretty soon.  Talk to some other brokers in your area, about advertising in the paper, mass marketing, etc.  Buy a list and go doorknock those people.  There are a lot of avenues besides doorknocking.  Oh yeah, become the king of referrals.  The people in my region who have grown the fastest have been the ones who as for referrals constantly.  Keep up the good work!  I'd like to keep making money on my LP.

Dec 19, 2006 3:17 pm

If you must pursue small accounts, pick one or two series of asset allocation funds and stick with them as much as possible.  I personally prefer MFS, Accessor(accessor.com) or Oppenheimer, myself.

Keep your book simple and streamlined so you don't have to follow too many different things.

Dec 19, 2006 3:46 pm

Joe,


What indy outfit are you with?


Dec 19, 2006 3:47 pm

Accessor funds are pretty good.

Dec 19, 2006 4:05 pm

Joe & I are both with LPL.


One thing I would do, particularly where you are, is lay off the $5,000 CDs.  For the life of me, I can't understand why Jones even runs those ads.  $5K CDs have got to be the most unprofitable, undifferentiated business you can do.  What I wish I'd done sooner is what I'm doing now...set a new business minimum.  As of 1/1/07, new business to be maintained by me is $250K.  Anything less will be assigned to an associate as soon as I reach $50 million AUM.  Under no circumstances will I do a CD under $50K and under very limited circumstances  (recurring roth contributions) will I open any new relationship under $10K.

Dec 19, 2006 4:11 pm

I am moving upstream as well... $250K and up is the 2007 minimum, but I will open accounts for 200K if they elect to monthly contributions such as 2k-3k/ month into a CMA or brokerage account.


I have realized that it takes just as long to close an 800K account as it does a 300K account. Assessing my 2006, I realize that way too much time was spent on mining smaller accounts. I could have been focusing my time on larger relationships instead. Oh well- live and learn....


BTW- UCONN is 9-0 and rapidly moving up the rankings

Dec 19, 2006 7:02 pm
Indyone:

Joe & I are both with LPL.

One thing I would do, particularly where you are, is lay off the
$5,000 CDs.  For the life of me, I can't understand why Jones even
runs those ads.  $5K CDs have got to be the most unprofitable,
undifferentiated business you can do.


Because when the CD matures, you have funded account, a happy
client, and a relationship. This is a marketing route for less
established advisors.


Alot of this is the idea of having customers pass a wall of fear,
that prevents them from fully trusting new people untill they get a
sense of the relationship and abilities on both sides.


Indyone:

What I wish I'd done sooner is what I'm doing now...set
a new business minimum.  As of 1/1/07, new business to be
maintained by me is $250K.  Anything less will be assigned to an
associate as soon as I reach $50 million AUM.  Under no
circumstances will I do a CD under $50K and under very
limited circumstances (recurring roth contributions) will I open
any new relationship under $10K.





Dec 19, 2006 7:46 pm

When you start making serious cash consistently be disciplined not just in your 401k but build up cash reserves in your PA. The patient few with cash are typically rewarded. May 2002 I transferred in one of my largest accounts. We bought in middle October 2002. Throw a dart it is up, wish i'd had lots of cash.

Dec 19, 2006 10:31 pm
$$$$$:

Joe,


What indy outfit are you with?




After reading all your whining on the BAC thread, I work for the indy firm you should stay away from......

Dec 19, 2006 10:34 pm
BankFC:

Accessor funds are pretty good.



You were the one who turned me on to them.....thanks!

Although their support is less than impressive.

Dec 19, 2006 11:55 pm
AllREIT:
Indyone:

Joe & I are both with LPL.

One thing I would do, particularly where you are, is lay off the $5,000 CDs.  For the life of me, I can't understand why Jones even runs those ads.  $5K CDs have got to be the most unprofitable, undifferentiated business you can do.


Because when the CD matures, you have funded account, a happy client, and a relationship. This is a marketing route for less established advisors.


I hear you, but I can't imagine attracting anything but sh*tty little clients with this method...

Dec 20, 2006 1:07 am
Indyone:
AllREIT:
Indyone:

Joe & I are both with LPL.

One thing I would do, particularly where you are, is lay off the $5,000 CDs.  For the life of me, I can't understand why Jones even runs those ads.  $5K CDs have got to be the most unprofitable, undifferentiated business you can do.


Because when the CD matures, you have funded account, a happy client, and a relationship. This is a marketing route for less established advisors.


I hear you, but I can't imagine attracting anything but sh*tty little clients with this method...



Exactly.....that "funded account" also means that the client has the "right" to call and waste your time and energy any time they have something stupid on their minds...

Dec 20, 2006 1:11 am
Indyone:
AllREIT:
Indyone:

Joe & I are both with LPL.

One thing I would do, particularly where you are, is lay off the
$5,000 CDs.  For the life of me, I can't understand why Jones even
runs those ads.  $5K CDs have got to be the most unprofitable,
undifferentiated business you can do.


Because when the CD matures, you have funded account, a happy
client, and a relationship. This is a marketing route for less
established advisors.


I hear you, but I can't imagine attracting anything but sh*tty little clients with this method...





Success, one person at a time(tm).



So after the CD matures, it becomes very easy to have the conversation(tm).
You can roll them to another CD, talk about setting up Roth IRA's,
suggest muni bonds, suggest muni bond funds, ask them about other
assets, do a financial plan, ask if there are other people who might be
interested etc.



If you don't like servicing the customer, roll them to a longer maturity CD.






Dec 20, 2006 1:28 am
AllREIT:
Indyone:
AllREIT:
Indyone:

Joe & I are both with LPL.

One thing I would do, particularly where you are, is lay off the
$5,000 CDs.  For the life of me, I can't understand why Jones even
runs those ads.  $5K CDs have got to be the most unprofitable,
undifferentiated business you can do.


Because when the CD matures, you have funded account, a happy
client, and a relationship. This is a marketing route for less
established advisors.


I hear you, but I can't imagine attracting anything but sh*tty little clients with this method...





Success, one person at a time(tm).



So after the CD matures, it becomes very easy to have the conversation(tm).
You can roll them to another CD, talk about setting up Roth IRA's,
suggest muni bonds, suggest muni bond funds, ask them about other
assets, do a financial plan, ask if there are other people who might be
interested etc.



If you don't like servicing the customer, roll them to a longer maturity CD.








And what if you spend all that time having "the conversation" only to learn that they were predisposed to opening that 5k "funded account" with you in a CD because they're a rate hog, hate risk, and that's really about the only money that they have in the whole wide world?

Dec 20, 2006 2:42 am
joedabrkr:


And what if you spend all that time having "the
conversation" only to learn that they were predisposed to opening that
5k "funded account" with you in a CD because they're a rate hog, hate
risk, and that's really about the only money that they have in the
whole wide world?





Sell them a fixed "bonus" annuity.



---

Actually at that point we have the serious conversation(tm)



: This all the money I have from collecting bottles and cans for 25 years. I can't afford to lose a single nickel.

: I have many clients with situations
similar to yours. What I usually recomend is either buying another CD,
or I can cut you a check and keep you on my list if anything else shows
up.

:Is that a real Van Gogh?

:Yes








Dec 20, 2006 1:08 pm

1.  If you are still selling the firm rather than yourself, stop.  You have some experience, so YOU are the expert, not EDJ.


2.  Like has been said above, spend your time working with people who either have larger accounts now or potential to grow.  When you first start out it makes sense to allocate that $10,000 account to several different funds, not because the same can't be accomplished with an asset allocation fund, but because you need the practice.  You need to hone your presentation on the $10,000 accounts, so when the $100,000 or $1,000,000 presentation comes up, you don't blow it.  Now, those people go into an asset allocation fund, or some set allocation you do, don't waste time reinventing the wheel for small accounts.  I know they get a bad wrap, but the Putnam Asset Allocation funds have performed well, and their management problems are behind them, that's where my "park it and forget it" money goes.