Interview with MSSB

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May 11, 2011 8:57 am

Yesterday, I had my interview with MSSB. It was with the BM and complex manager, so everyone was there who makes the hiring decision. The interview went very good. So good, that I was offered a job on the spot. I said I would consider the offer and get back to them by the end of the week.

I'm going to decline.

Both individuals were very up front about the numbers involved. Based on what they told me, and my own research, it looks like most FA's ( at least at the bigger wirehouses) don't break into the six figures until about year 4 or 5. It also appears that most FA's plateau around $150k-$175k, eventually getting to about $200k after a very long time. Also, even if you hit your goals, you will be well under $100k.

From this information, I realize I can make just as much, if not more than what an FA makes in education. Additionally, going the education route allows for much more personal and career development. I will get at least two graduate degrees and go back into management/administration.

So to all who helped me out on my last thread, I want to say thanks. I have plenty of info, and I know I'm making the right decision for myself. Good luck to all FA's, I wish you success in your ventures.

May 11, 2011 9:20 am

I am glad that you are happy with your decision.  I hope you all the best in your new endeavors.  One thing i do want to say is that this business is too hard without full faith and conviction.  I think you made the best decision for you.  As i said before that other BM was definitely playing games because they hire very quickly in this business.   They either like you or dont like you...business plans and other such things are not the real influencer its just their stalling tactics.

May 13, 2011 1:48 am

[quote=mx597turbo]

From this information, I realize I can make just as much, if not more than what an FA makes in education. 

[/quote]

So, basically you're admitting that you don't think you would make it and that this career is not for you.  I'm not blaming you or trying to put you down, but that's how I read your admission.  In my opinion you are looking at it all wrong.  The first five years or so are an investment in your career and own business.  If that's how every business owner looked at it, there would be no privately owned businesses, and 99.7% of businesses in the U.S. are small privately owned business (according to the SBA).

In ten years as an FA, even if you're ONLY making $200k/year, you would be your own boss and you could dictate who you work with, when you work, and how you work.  You would probably be able to work 30 hour weeks, so at $200k/year that would be $133/hr.  Bro, I don't mean to be a killjoy, but I doubt you'll ever make $133/hr teaching.

My father was an entrepreneur and he had a saying that as long as you worked for somebody else you were effectively sticking your hand out having to take whatever your employer is willing to pay, and that the only true way to control your own pay is to work for yourself.  He also believed that it is riskier to work for whatever your employer is willing to pay than to dictate your own pay.  I agree with his outlook.

Basically you're saying that you'd rather have the comfort of a steady salary and stability of a government job than the control and freedom that comes with being self-employed.  There's nothing wrong with that.  I just think it's obvious that ours isn't the career for you.

PS.  I'm pretty sure that being in our industry you could afford two graduate degrees on your own (not that you would need them) and would have the option of going into management if you wanted to.

May 14, 2011 7:56 pm

I have to agree with CFP in a way.  From what I have experienced you REALLY want to be in this gig or it wil drive you out of your mind.  Especially with MSSB.  I have been in high levels of management with very large corporations in the financial serv. biz and if you think you are gonna get to 100k in 4 or 5 years you are smoking banana peels.  It is a blood bath out there.   Teaching is the most noble profession but because of the state of muni and state economics/pc BS it is becoming too politicized.  Do what you love but sometimes you need to take a leap of faith to find out what you will love.  I think everyone appreciates your honesty with yourself about this gig but if you are look for the short term 100k alternative, CFP is right, the only way these days is to grind it out and do it as your own boss on the phone, door to door or what ever works.  Leave you bridges intact, you will never know what the next 4 to 5 years will bring.

Jun 2, 2011 10:32 pm

Just wanted to update: I did receive an offical offer from MSSB, which I declined. I politely thanked the manage for his time, and wished him the best.

I was a little apprehensive about it at first, but I know I made the right choice. I have a 20hr. per week summer gig. I'm done by 12:30 and then it's off to the beach or gym for me. No stress, just chillin lol.

This upcoming year will be a little more demanding, but by this time next year I'll have my masters, and administrator certificate.

So all in all, things seemed to work out well. I hope it goes good for everyone on here too.

Jun 3, 2011 4:05 am

I'm glad that you made the right decision for you. I just interviewed with Merrill yesterday but we didn't talk numbers, or what I could expect to make. I know that this is a long term play, and I am more than willing to put in the time, but if someone could explain exactly why it takes 4-5 years to make 6 figures, I would greatly appreciate it. Bonus points for ML experience. 

Jun 3, 2011 4:05 am

I'm glad that you made the right decision for you. I just interviewed with Merrill yesterday but we didn't talk numbers, or what I could expect to make. I know that this is a long term play, and I am more than willing to put in the time, but if someone could explain exactly why it takes 4-5 years to make 6 figures, I would greatly appreciate it. Bonus points for ML experience. 

Jun 3, 2011 7:54 am

"but if someone could explain exactly why it takes 4-5 years to make 6 figures, I would greatly appreciate it."

For round numbers- for you to make $100k you have to do $300k in production. This equates to:
$6million into a-shares (equity) with roughly no break points or
$30million fee-based at 1% or
$7.5million in L-share VA or

All of these are pretty difficult to do, and for the a-share, you have to do that every year for 5 years because you would have to wait that long to make a switch and get any additional commission. For the VA you'd have to do it for four years before you would get a trail on your first policies.
Making $100k working at ML takes a few years and a lot of hard work. But once you hit that level it becomes easier to "ramp up" and start making bigger and bigger $$$.

Jun 3, 2011 11:28 am

Thanks for the feedback. It's all so new to me that I am just trying to soak it all in. Everyone here talks millions like I used to talk thousands in the commodity game. This is going to be fun. 

Jun 3, 2011 6:02 pm

I'm looking to buy books of business. Email with info of what you have at available at [email protected]

Jun 3, 2011 6:02 pm

I'm looking to buy books of business. Email with info of what you have at available at [email protected]

Jun 4, 2011 3:27 pm

This comment is for CFP.  Thanks a lot.  I respect you for your words of wisdom in your comments posted. I agree!