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Jun 5, 2005 9:33 pm

I am currently a pharmaceutical rep getting out to join the Financial world. (something I have wanted for some time) I have an interview set up with Smith Barney and really know very little about the industry (companies, pay, etc.) Any advice for someone new would be appreciated. What Kind of $ can I expect, etc. Thanks in advance!

Jun 5, 2005 10:36 pm

As a former pharma sales manager, I can tell you that you will work ten times harder than you ever worked in drug sales. You will have to learn to aggressively close, not just deliver samples and buy lunches.


You will work 55 to 60 hours a week instead of 25, and make no more than half what you are making now. There's no company car, sales meetings in Hawaii, and no unlimited expenses account. If you can beat the odds and survive the first two years, you might make it. That is assuming you make the cut after the Legg Mason brokers move in to your branch!!!

Jun 6, 2005 1:59 pm

Smith Barney likes people from your industry, have you tried Merrill?


Yes, all of those things mentioned above are true, but here is the good news:


You are building something that is yours, and is meaningful because you found the clients. You can obtain a great sense of pride and satisfaction from helping people, and eventually make a lot of money.


I too, used to drive around and buy people lunches and get paid very well for it. However, eventually I longed for the more fullfilling satisfaction that comes from having your own book ( I have experienced this in the past.) Who cares about flying off to tropical vacations with people who only see you as a "means". The excitement wears off after a while.


If you are not an extremely ethical person, and have no sense of spritiuality.... you will probably get burned out fast. On the other hand, if you are looking for a fantastic carrer that is fullfilling on may different levels, you are headed in the right direction.

Jun 8, 2005 9:36 am

Moneymom,  are you insane? 


First of all, it isn't "yours" unless you are indy. 


"Who cares about flying off to tropical vacations with people who only see you as a means?"   Well maybe not you, but I suspect there are many people who would be just fine with that. 


Now, let let me get this one straight.  You are equating being extremely ethical with being at a wirehouse!  Ok.  Yea that makes sense.  Lets see....how many in billions did the wire houses just pay because of their recent "ethical" business behavior.   Give me a freaking break!  The people who run these companies and burned millions of investors should have gone to jail.  And you know, Moneymom, they burned the brokers just  much as they burned the clients.


Spritiuality and wirehouses?!  I see, yea.  Apparently you live on another planet than the one I live on.  I do not think you gave very good advice to A_OK. 

Jun 8, 2005 9:53 am

Wirehouses are for beginners and rookies! Ask someone in your office who has 15 t0 20 years what they woud do if they had to do it again they would tell you to,  Go INDY!

Jun 8, 2005 12:09 pm

Problem is, they will never be truthful with you even if they wanted to.  Last thing they need is for what they tell you to get back to their manager. 

Jun 8, 2005 9:23 pm

So what is it like really getting started. I was told they offer a base for 3 years. What can one ecpect after that? How do you find business (obviously cold calling) but what is the best strategy?

Jun 8, 2005 9:42 pm

I would have to disagree that everyone at wirehouses is
unethical.  That is rediculous.  Any company is going to have
a few greedy bad seeds.  When your company has 50,000 employees it
just increases your odds.  The fact that you even hear about
lawsuits against wirehouses is because its a news story when it does
happen due to the fact that these firms are extremely reputable. 



Malcolm, when someone at your firm rips off a client it doesnt even
make headlines because a) no one has ever heard of your firm so no one
cares; and b) its not a news story because people expect no name firms
to rip people off.  So dont say that just because you saw
something on the news about a wirehouse means they are corrupt. 
Its just because its news worthy when it does happen.   
 





Cold calling is tough enough without having to spend 20 minutes
explaining what your company is and how you're not a chop
shop.   If you are calling from a wirehouse you have instant
credibility.  I have never met an investor who would (without
knowing the broker personally) rather do business with a no-name
firm. 

Jun 8, 2005 9:45 pm
Scorpio:



Cold calling is tough enough without having to spend 20 minutes
explaining what your company is and how you're not a chop
shop.   If you are calling from a wirehouse you have instant
credibility.  I have never met an investor who would (without
knowing the broker personally) rather do business with a no-name
firm. 





On occasion wisdom comes out of the mouths of babes.

Jun 8, 2005 9:47 pm

This is like starting your own business. You will have to network with all your friends and family, constantly asking for referrals. Your branch manager is not going to help you get clients, he is going to expect you to get them yourself anyway you can. You will have to come up with your own strategy.


As for the salary, there are no free lunches in this business. If you get a salary, you will be expected to produce or you will be out the door!


Jun 8, 2005 9:50 pm
Coag:

This is like starting your own business. You will have
to network with all your friends and family, constantly asking for
referrals. Your branch manager is not going to help you get clients, he
is going to expect you to get them yourself anyway you can. You will
have to come up with your own strategy.


As for the salary, there are no free lunches in this business. If
you get a salary, you will be expected to produce or you will be out
the door!





It is not true that your branch manager will not help you get
clients--he or she will whenever they can.  What they have to
remember is that you're not the only person in the office who is worthy
of their help.

Jun 8, 2005 11:33 pm

I would just make sure I sat at the chair of someone as wise as Puttrader... Tell me more O wise oracle!!! 

Jun 9, 2005 11:58 pm
Scorpio:

I would have to disagree that everyone at wirehouses is
unethical.  That is rediculous.  Any company is going to have
a few greedy bad seeds.  When your company has 50,000 employees it
just increases your odds.  The fact that you even hear about
lawsuits against wirehouses is because its a news story when it does
happen due to the fact that these firms are extremely reputable. 



Malcolm, when someone at your firm rips off a client it doesnt even
make headlines because a) no one has ever heard of your firm so no one
cares; and b) its not a news story because people expect no name firms
to rip people off.  So dont say that just because you saw
something on the news about a wirehouse means they are corrupt. 
Its just because its news worthy when it does happen.   
 





Cold calling is tough enough without having to spend 20 minutes
explaining what your company is and how you're not a chop
shop.   If you are calling from a wirehouse you have instant
credibility.  I have never met an investor who would (without
knowing the broker personally) rather do business with a no-name
firm. 





Wow...you sound just like a wirehouse guy.....this from a guy who was there not so long ago.



If you work at a wirehouse, most likely you have to keep cold calling
because you keep blowing up your book with tainted inferior research
and 'house' products.....just maybe.....

Jun 10, 2005 8:17 am
joedabrkr:







Wow...you sound just like a wirehouse guy.....this from a guy who was there not so long ago.



If you work at a wirehouse, most likely you have to keep cold calling
because you keep blowing up your book with tainted inferior research
and 'house' products.....just maybe.....





Those little smile things are nonsensical.  Note how Joe D'Broker
is trying to sneer at wirehouses then puts a little wink which has the
effect of neutralizing the sneer.



Reading his stuff--which is always laced with emoticons--is like
watching a judge sentence people to death while winking and smiling at
them as if to say, "............not really."



What is also curious is how Joe constantly suggests that wirehouse brokers are going to blow their book apart.



It is nonsense to conclude that going "indy" is going to suddently take
away wrong decisions, make every piece of research golden, cause your
gross production to increase, or any of the other almost mystical
things that those guys believe.



It is my experience that the vast majority--as in HUGE majority--of
"Indy" brokers were middle of the packers in th wirehouses from which
they came and they choose to go out on their own as a way to increase
the portion of their gross revenue that they keep.



The reality is that they are "also rans" in life, and changing what it
says on the door of their office does not change their status as an
also ran.

Jun 10, 2005 3:48 pm

Scorpio


I never said the brokers at wire house were unethical. In fact, I know them to be for the most part hard working good people.  My reference was to the people running these firms.  Now, you made an assumption as to where I hang my shingle.  Your assumption was wrong.    

Jun 10, 2005 9:08 pm

Ok my bad.

Jun 11, 2005 12:01 am

Put Trader = condescending & patronizing insults = little winky


Not exactly college calc II, but I like the math.


It's been my experience that the vast HUGE majority of Indy brokers have just quit drinking the wirehouse Koolaid and decided to emancipate themselves from egos like yours. (see, we like big words too!)


Now go back to your big beautiful wirehouse and leave us poor little emoticon-wielding Indys alone...

Jun 11, 2005 1:20 am
Put Trader:
joedabrkr:







Wow...you sound just like a wirehouse guy.....this from a guy who was there not so long ago.



If you work at a wirehouse, most likely you have to keep cold calling
because you keep blowing up your book with tainted inferior research
and 'house' products.....just maybe.....





Those little smile things are nonsensical.  Note how Joe D'Broker
is trying to sneer at wirehouses then puts a little wink which has the
effect of neutralizing the sneer.



Reading his stuff--which is always laced with emoticons--is like
watching a judge sentence people to death while winking and smiling at
them as if to say, "............not really."



What is also curious is how Joe constantly suggests that wirehouse brokers are going to blow their book apart.



It is nonsense to conclude that going "indy" is going to suddently take
away wrong decisions, make every piece of research golden, cause your
gross production to increase, or any of the other almost mystical
things that those guys believe.



It is my experience that the vast majority--as in HUGE majority--of
"Indy" brokers were middle of the packers in th wirehouses from which
they came and they choose to go out on their own as a way to increase
the portion of their gross revenue that they keep.



The reality is that they are "also rans" in life, and changing what it
says on the door of their office does not change their status as an
also ran.





Dude....er...Mr. Put--



I know you and I don't see eye to eye on everything, but really
now......one emoticon in the whole post amounts to "laced with
emoticons?"



My observation over quite a few years.....many wirehouse brokers do in
fact do serious damage to their books on a regular basis due to
misguided efforts by the sales organization and investment
bankers....poorly conceived products or perhaps by getting into trends
well near the end.



No it doesn't take away wrong decisions, nor make all research
'golden', not by any stretch of the imagination.  It does,
however, take away a lot of the pressure for short term production
results which tends to distort decision making and interfere with
intelligent decision making.  It also eliminates 'help'(i.e.
interference) from folks who couldn't make it as brokers so instead
they became product VP's or some other silly baloney.  It also
makes one much freer to shape one's business.



Yes, I'm sneering a bit at 'them', and a bit at 'you', because y'all
still believe the 'big lie' that leaving a wire to go indy is a step
down for a failed producer.  Keep thinking that guys, and leave
the good times to those of us who have taken the leap of faith to
'graduate' to a private practice we own, and 'retired' from the
constant BS of corporate politics and PC posturing at the wires.



If my b/d doesn't get the job done, I can fire them and move on, with
the full knowledge and consent of my clients.  Try to pull that
off at Merill or SSB.  It's getting harder and harder to free
oneself as the big firms try to tighten up the handcuffs, be they
golden or legal.



If their business model was so good for the qualified adviser, why do
they have to defend it so viciously when someone wants to leave? 
Why would folks be willing to leave the wire platform and forgo the
big  hiring bonuses.



One of those things that kinda makes ya go "hmmmmmmmm".



And btw, no emoticons in this post.  Except this one!

Jun 11, 2005 1:25 am
Put Trader:
joedabrkr:







Wow...you sound just like a wirehouse guy.....this from a guy who was there not so long ago.



If you work at a wirehouse, most likely you have to keep cold calling
because you keep blowing up your book with tainted inferior research
and 'house' products.....just maybe.....





Those little smile things are nonsensical.  Note how Joe D'Broker
is trying to sneer at wirehouses then puts a little wink which has the
effect of neutralizing the sneer.



Reading his stuff--which is always laced with emoticons--is like
watching a judge sentence people to death while winking and smiling at
them as if to say, "............not really."



What is also curious is how Joe constantly suggests that wirehouse brokers are going to blow their book apart.



It is nonsense to conclude that going "indy" is going to suddently take
away wrong decisions, make every piece of research golden, cause your
gross production to increase, or any of the other almost mystical
things that those guys believe.



It is my experience that the vast majority--as in HUGE majority--of
"Indy" brokers were middle of the packers in th wirehouses from which
they came and they choose to go out on their own as a way to increase
the portion of their gross revenue that they keep.



The reality is that they are "also rans" in life, and changing what it
says on the door of their office does not change their status as an
also ran.





And by the way your response is typical of one who is still drinking
the wirehouse kool-aid.  Very defensive....put down the indy guys
as being a step lower on the chain of evolution.



Your cheese was moved along time ago Put.  A qualified producer
doesn't need your type any more.  We're tired of busting our butts
to pay for the bloated overhead that represents the massive salaries of
overpaid CEO's and senior VP's who don't contribute anythin of
consequence to our business.  We can hire Katherine Gibbs
graduates to work under our supervision to handle the paperwork that
your senior admin folks do.  We can buy our research rather
inexpensively from any number of resources.



If life at the wires was so good, why so much in the way of deferred
comp handcuffs, shoving noncompete and client property language into
all sort of agreements.....why?  If it's so good there, why do
they devote so much effort in trying to keep you there if you want to
go?  If it was so superior, how can folks go indy and take their
clients with them.



Hmmmmmm.....resisting the temptation to lace my post with emoticons

Jun 11, 2005 10:18 am
joedabrkr:





And by the way your response is typical of one who is still drinking
the wirehouse kool-aid.  Very defensive....put down the indy guys
as being a step lower on the chain of evolution.






Odd that you'd choose to describe yourself as being a step lower in anybody's eyes.



I certainly never said that.  What I said was that it is my
experience that most of the guys who break away do so for a variety of
reasons, but the one most often cited is that you can make more money.



Yet study after study shows that that is not really true for the
average guy.  The siren song of being independent quickly becomes
the reality of having to pick up the tab for virtually everthing.



If you're sitting in an office at UBS you dont' give a damn about the
cost of electricity, what it says in the phonebook, how much you have
to send the IRS for Mary Sue's matching FICA, and on and on and on.



Oh sure you're giving UBS 60% or more of your gross but all the things
UBS is giving you in return are worth a lot too.  Not to mention
the fact that prospects immediately assign credibility to guys and gals
hired by the wirehouses.



I have a good friend who is indepdendent.  His firm is named
something generic like "Wealth Strategies" but when he introduces
himself he'll say he's with Raymond James--which isn't even true, but
he doesn't want to have to explain the complex relationship.



It's so much "cleaner" to just say, "Hi, I'm Phil Attio, I'm with Salomon Smith  Barney....."


joedabrkr:





Your cheese was moved along time ago Put.  A qualified producer
doesn't need your type any more.  We're tired of busting our butts
to pay for the bloated overhead that represents the massive salaries of
overpaid CEO's and senior VP's who don't contribute anythin of
consequence to our business.  We can hire Katherine Gibbs
graduates to work under our supervision to handle the paperwork that
your senior admin folks do.  We can buy our research rather
inexpensively from any number of resources.






You will get no argument from me regarding the presence of an abudance
of SVPs in the huge wirehouses.  What you're being shortsighted
about is the whine that some significant portion of your gross goes to
compensate them.  A wirehouse earns its income from a lot of
places--and way down on the totem pole is the firm's share of retail
commissions.


joedabrkr:



If life at the wires was so good, why so much in the way of deferred
comp handcuffs, shoving noncompete and client property language into
all sort of agreements.....why?  If it's so good there, why do
they devote so much effort in trying to keep you there if you want to
go?  If it was so superior, how can folks go indy and take their
clients with them.





Something we do know is that big hitters rarely leave.  It may be because of the golden handcuffs in some cases.



Tell me someting Joe--if you were such a big deal in your previous life
at a wirehouse why did the golden handcuffs not keep you there too?