Jones Stories... for the JONES

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Aug 15, 2008 8:32 am

Hey folks, I would like to start a thread that i think a lot of folks would really appreciate. All the EDJ FA's out there could post thier experience / failures / success and those of other FA's you know who made it or didnt make it.  I know there are a lot of EJ haters here so those folks can ignore this thread.  I will go first.

 
I Just accepted the offer, start date Sept 29th to study the series 7.  (not very inspiring i know).  I am located NW Florida. 
 
I have met and become friends with several of the EDJ FA's in the area. One in particular was about 8 months out from KYC and was about to open his office, he said he was hoping to have 2 million AUM by december.  He was really struggling, mind games, lonely, so on so forth, I taked to him the other day and they had a FA leave an office in South Florida after 11 years with AUM of 55 million.... they offered it to him and he started yesterday.... I told him about some of the things some of folks on this forum have been through that 90%+ of the clients will follow the other FA as this really is about the person not the company that people trust and like.  In any event i will let you know how that goes for him... I really think he has gotten a double edge swoard, if he can manage to keep some of the book hes off to a great start, but he better keep prospecting......   theres another FA in the pipeline he just finished his KYC, and he is really struggling, dont think he's gonna make it ... I will let you know how he does as well.  And of course I will be struggling in a couple of months like all newbys...
Aug 15, 2008 9:08 am
Mr. Jones:

Hey folks, I would like to start a thread that i think a lot of folks would really appreciate. All the EDJ FA's out there could post thier experience / failures / success and those of other FA's you know who made it or didnt make it.  I know there are a lot of EJ haters here so those folks can ignore this thread.  I will go first.

 
I Just accepted the offer, start date Sept 29th to study the series 7.  (not very inspiring i know).  I am located NW Florida. 
 
I have met and become friends with several of the EDJ FA's in the area. One in particular was about 8 months out from KYC and was about to open his office, he said he was hoping to have 2 million AUM by december.  He was really struggling, mind games, lonely, so on so forth, I taked to him the other day and they had a FA leave an office in South Florida after 11 years with AUM of 55 million.... they offered it to him and he started yesterday.... I told him about some of the things some of folks on this forum have been through that 90%+ of the clients will follow the other FA as this really is about the person not the company that people trust and like.  In any event i will let you know how that goes for him... I really think he has gotten a double edge swoard, if he can manage to keep some of the book hes off to a great start, but he better keep prospecting......   theres another FA in the pipeline he just finished his KYC, and he is really struggling, dont think he's gonna make it ... I will let you know how he does as well.  And of course I will be struggling in a couple of months like all newbys...
 
How can he be struggling already? He hasn't even gotten started.
 
He doesn't even know the definition of struggling...yet.
Aug 15, 2008 10:13 am

Exactly, that is not struggling. Struggling is going through 2 yrs of having your balls hit like a speed bag, actually thinking you have made it past the garbage, still meeting expectations and "following the recipe", but not paying your bills.

Aug 15, 2008 10:17 am

Borker is right.  You don't know what struggling is until you've been out 3-4 years and have a string of $7000 gross months.   Now that's struggling. 

 
The only reason someone just out of KYC could be struggling is if they are lazy or completely inept at doorknocking.  Cause that's all he's doing right now. 
 
The guy that took over the office in S. FL isn't going to struggle.  Depending on where the other FA is going, he'll probably keep about half of the book.  I know what you've read on these boards about clients following their FA, but the statistics at Jones are that in the average competitive situation the office keeps about 50% of the existing assets.  I've seen some that keep more, and some that keep less.  I'd guess that he ends somewhere in the high $20 mil to low $30 mil arena when the dust settles. 
 
Mr. Jones, this business is a fickle one.  The guy who says he's struggling could turn around in the next couple of months and have some killer production and not be struggling anymore.  Or someone who has just put up some outstanding numbers but let their pipeline dry up could feel like he has absolutely no hope for the future.   It's a constant up and down with your emotions.  You've got to learn to deal with that if you want to survive.  First, you have to pass that S7 exam. 
Aug 15, 2008 10:37 am

I know a lot of Jones FAs. When I started out and went to the new FA meetings for the first few months, I met all these "highly successful FAs." The further along in the process I went, I noticed that there really is a key to success: being handed an office. All of these FAs that are praised at the summer regionals for being so successful really havent done any of the doorknocking. They got out maybe a week or two from eval/grad and then, congratulations! We have a full office the last broker just left, do you want it? Now, I do not blame them at all, I would jump on that chance in a heartbeat. But I did start to realize that most brokers at jones that are actually successful are so because of a golden opportunity. And that golden opportunity is not doorknocking. It is very discouraging to see all these FAs get so much recognition for having done nothing, and then we are supposed to listen to them tell us to "stick with it, it's all so worth it." Just my two cents, anyone else feel this way?

Aug 15, 2008 10:42 am

I don't mean to send the wrong message either, Jones is a great opportunity and doorknocking certainly can work for some people. But when you talk to FAs who are "highly successful" make sure you know what their situation is. I wouldnt listen to a guy who won the lottery tell me that I need to work hard for my money.

Aug 15, 2008 10:45 am

I wholly agree with Spiff in that this is a fickle business.  What I've found is that if you do what you know you must do, business will fall from the sky...usually from places where you least expect it. 

 
My advice to new brokers, for what it's worth, is not to look for that magic bullet; just do the things that you know you should be doing and business will find you.  It's as simple (or as complex!) as that.
Aug 15, 2008 10:55 am

    There is no doubt about that. If you want to be successful at EJ (or anywhere for that matter), in the first 5 yrs you need a natural market or to take over assets. If you grind it out for 5 yrs, you wont catch the people who did take over big offices or 10mil in assets, but you will have reached a good level of production. The question you must ask yourself is do you want to run through savings or go into debt to get through the first 5 or do you need to find a different avenue, like a junior position on a team or at a bank. If you have any ounce of competitve fire in you the BS that regions spew regarding the "success" of the people who have gotten handouts will make you puke. Guys in my region, who had a family and no savings when they started took on 50-100k in credit card debt to make it to year 5. I dont know if that makes any sense, but they made it, they drink the koolaid and hopefully in 10 more years they will have 100k in LP ( that they bought) and they will be on the positive side of the coin.

Aug 15, 2008 12:25 pm

I had heard many stories about some of the top producers in my region getting a leg up to their careers.  I have a couple of vets in my old region who I still talk with on a regular basis.  One, I found out, failed at two locations in the late 80's.  He then took over a 40 mil office, (non competitive) and now manages over 150m and is always one of the top monthly gross production.  Sad part is...I THOUGHT he was one of a very few who actually started from scratch, doorknocked and now has a great business. I always referred to him when I struggled, because I felt he had walked in my shoes...well he did, but he failed 2 times doing it!!  I bet a large portion of the successful vets in any region...had a leg up...meaning...they were given assets.  Doesn't bode well for the new news......

Aug 15, 2008 12:38 pm

Wow. You guys sure know how to cheer a guy up.

 
I leave for KYC tomorrow. My thinking is, it really is just a numbers game and my only goal is to try to improve my ratios over time. That should happen because I'll get better at pre-screening, and also better at building rapport and trust.
 
It's an exponential thing. What I think traps so many of us is that once you start to get momentum on your side, the natural impulse is to take your foot off the accelerator and let it coast.
 
The guy who did my face-to-face started new-new 9 years ago. My field trainer started new-new 3 years ago. Both are doing well, and both said the secret to their success was simply being scared to death of not being able to feed their kids. Until that fear overcomes a person's fear of prospecting, asking for the sale, etc. you probably WON'T do everything you could.
 
On all the "kool-aid" bashing, I think of the EdJ opportunity as more of a franchise. We are basically buying into a system that has proven to work at least 10,000 times so far. And just like any other franchise, the system is static and may not work with too many changes to it. My goal, at least initially, is to not try to outsmart the system or reinvent it. Like so many of you guys have said here, it's really a matter of just getting in front of as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Jones goes face-to-face, the wirehouses go by phone. But it's all the same.
Aug 15, 2008 12:47 pm

jtorgerson, ask where the new/new reps are that started in 2001 and 2002, there are almost none of them.  When I left Jones, our region (about 45 reps) had no reps who had started in 2001 and 2002, at least 20 guys had burned through there (me included).  One guy went to another region to take over a $50M+ book, and surprise, he's still with Jones. I have a feeling that reps who start in 2008 could be in the same boat.  Not to scare you, but you should go in with your eyes open.

Aug 15, 2008 12:50 pm

Being a fellow Jonesy and getting handed a "leg up" after going through the PASS program I can tell you the numbers don't lie.  1 out of 3 new news make it versus 80% of GK FA's at the 3 yr mark... I don't remember the stat for people taking over a branch but I bet its better than 50/50.  On the flipside, you can't expect to make it if your handed 10 mil and decide not to prospect.  You will go bust.  Getting a leg up is a nice start but its not the golden ticket unless you put the work in.

 
 
Aug 15, 2008 12:51 pm

I really appreciate your enthusiasm and positive attitude, jtorgerson. Once you get familiar with the Jones system, make a note to post to this thread on 08/15/2011.

 
Although a big percentage of those who frequent this forum today will have moved on to other careers by then, I'll hopefully still be around to read about how you're doing at that point in your career.
Aug 15, 2008 1:21 pm
now_indy:

jtorgerson, ask where the new/new reps are that started in 2001 and 2002, there are almost none of them.  When I left Jones, our region (about 45 reps) had no reps who had started in 2001 and 2002, at least 20 guys had burned through there (me included).  One guy went to another region to take over a $50M+ book, and surprise, he's still with Jones. I have a feeling that reps who start in 2008 could be in the same boat.  Not to scare you, but you should go in with your eyes open.



Absolutely, and I appreciate it! I was in business for myself in an unrelated field for over 6 years, and I see many, many new businesses drop in the first 3-5 years, so it's not unique to Jones or even the financial industry. Anyone who doesn't expect mind-numbingly hard work in this or any other startup is in for one hell of a disappointment. Success will come to those who do the same things, over and over and over.


I think too there is a problem with a lot of new/new is that they are going to "give this a shot". That is a form of quasi-commitment that feels exciting while it's new, but won't hold up to resistance. In my last business, I decided that I couldn't give myself an escape route, and I am not going to do it in this one.
 
Do I have any certainty that I'll make it? Nope. I can only control what I can control, and that boils down to attitude and activity.
Aug 15, 2008 2:00 pm

If you look at all the wirehouses, it is the same.  The new/new attrition is like 85%, and the guys that join a team (their form of a "Goodknight" or "existing office") end up making it.  The big difference is what we call it.  It's not unique to Jones.

Aug 16, 2008 12:09 am

-I started NEW-NEW at Jones and didn't have a single asset handed to me, didn't even get an office until well after my can-sell.  Built up my book to just over 100 million in 10 years, and still am above 150 million now, even with the temporary back-up of the market.  I've brought in 15 million in new assets so far this year, and have been wrapping my book aggressively in MAP and Advisory Solutions to those clients were it makes sense. 


-What amazes me most about those brokers that get handed 5 or 10 or even 20 million, is they think it is a lot of assets, and the brokers around them think it is a lot of assets.  What I mean is....those EDJ brokers that get these assets are usually passed by NEW-NEW's in around 3-5 years because they don't fill their pipeline like they should.  Long term, 5 to 20 million in assets are a detriment, actually harmful to most if you look at the big picture.
 
-I still am on top of my game, in my opinion, at hammering prospects, nailing client appointments, product knowledge, and gathering assets, so if any of you EDJers want to PM me, go ahead, just don't expect an answer immediately, as I only check this site about once a week.
Aug 16, 2008 9:25 am

I have to agree with Rank. There is an even mix of new/new's and GK's in my region, out a few years. Obviously the GK's started out hitting their numbers. But about yr. 2, it seems that a lot of the GK's are plateauing already (scary), while the new/new's continue to gather assets and open accounts. The problem is, the GK's will squeek by with a 8 or 10K month, while the new/new does 6 or 7. But those new/new's are opening lots of accounts to get that gross, while the GK's seem to be getting a lot from existing clients.



The one advantage to the GK is the emotional advantage of being able to make the hurdles the first few years and not fail out early. But as Rank said, it does become a detriment a few years in.

Aug 16, 2008 9:27 am
Mr. Jones:

Hey folks, I would like to start a thread that i think a lot of folks would really appreciate. All the EDJ FA's out there could post thier experience / failures / success and those of other FA's you know who made it or didnt make it.  I know there are a lot of EJ haters here so those folks can ignore this thread.  I will go first.

 
I Just accepted the offer, start date Sept 29th to study the series 7.  (not very inspiring i know).  I am located NW Florida. 
 
I have met and become friends with several of the EDJ FA's in the area. One in particular was about 8 months out from KYC and was about to open his office, he said he was hoping to have 2 million AUM by december.  He was really struggling, mind games, lonely, so on so forth, I taked to him the other day and they had a FA leave an office in South Florida after 11 years with AUM of 55 million.... they offered it to him and he started yesterday.... I told him about some of the things some of folks on this forum have been through that 90%+ of the clients will follow the other FA as this really is about the person not the company that people trust and like.  In any event i will let you know how that goes for him... I really think he has gotten a double edge swoard, if he can manage to keep some of the book hes off to a great start, but he better keep prospecting......   theres another FA in the pipeline he just finished his KYC, and he is really struggling, dont think he's gonna make it ... I will let you know how he does as well.  And of course I will be struggling in a couple of months like all newbys...
Aug 16, 2008 9:56 am

He's not struggling -- the definition of "struggling" is when one starts out with "ZERO" AUM and has to build their book dollar-by-dollar, jump through the hoops to get an office built-out, jump through the hoops again to qualify for a BOA, and keep jumping through the hoops for the bones to get  to the next segment. I sure get "SOUR" taste in my mouth when I see a new-new FA steps into an existing office, with existing assets, a BOA and immediately reach segments 3,4, and 5; qualify for bonuses, trips etc, and the powers that be think they are the "Golden One". Sure, there are a select bunch that started from scratch and excelled rapidly -- my hat is off to those individuals  .

Aug 16, 2008 10:12 am
Defector:

He's not struggling -- the definition of "struggling" is when one starts out with "ZERO" AUM and has to build their book dollar-by-dollar, jump through the hoops to get an office built-out, jump through the hoops again to qualify for a BOA, and keep jumping through the hoops for the bones to get  to the next segment. I sure get "SOUR" taste in my mouth when I see a new-new FA steps into an existing office, with existing assets, a BOA and immediately reach segments 3,4, and 5; qualify for bonuses, trips etc, and the powers that be think they are the "Golden One". Sure, there are a select bunch that started from scratch and excelled rapidly -- my hat is off to those individuals  .

 
Well, that is definitely the case with me - new/new in a totally new town (no Ed J presence at all), no office, no BOA, and my grand total of AUM at the moment is: $0.00. I don't even have business cards yet. I have a great amount of support in my region in terms of training, involvement, and the occasional "atta-boy", but other than that, I'm very much on my own. This is going to be quite an adventure.