Just offered a sponsorship from AMEX

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Jun 25, 2005 2:08 pm

Basically I have a degree in economics but never gave this career much thought.  However, after listening and researching this field it for the past few weeks it has now got me interested.


I kind of fell into this American Express job (seems to be more of the norm the more I look) but mainly I am wondering if this is a good place for training and learning the ropes or should I look elsewhere.


I really do like the option of being independent and the draw they give you to get your feet wet for first 10 weeks.


I started looking into Edward Jones some but never really warmed up to it.


I am a newbie and if you want to bash any company please state why you are doing this.  I have checked out amexsux.com and actually found some positives about working there.


Jun 25, 2005 2:22 pm
Juiced6:

Basically I have a degree in economics but never
gave this career much thought.  However, after listening and
researching this field it for the past few weeks it has now got me
interested.


I kind of fell into this American Express job (seems to be more of
the norm the more I look) but mainly I am wondering if this is a good
place for training and learning the ropes or should I look elsewhere.


I really do like the option of being independent and the draw they give you to get your feet wet for first 10 weeks.


I started looking into Edward Jones some but never really warmed up to it.


I am a newbie and if you want to bash any company please state why
you are doing this.  I have checked out amexsux.com and actually
found some positives about working there.





There are few places where a young person can go to work that will provide a better all around result.



1.  You will get very good training regarding the industry, financial planning, and the like.



2.  You will endure a boot camp style environment--they don't take
schidt easily at AEFA or whatever they call themselves these
days.  If you're a punk you'll hate it, but if you're a decent kid
you'll take it for what it is.



3.  Most important, if you make it there you'll be very attractive
to a full service brokerage firm in five to ten years.  Nobody
should go to work at a "real" brokerage house until they're at least
thirty--and forty would be even better.



Take their offer, go there, work hard, pay attention to what they're
telling you, learn to prospect, learn to present, learn to close. 
While you're doing it try to get to know somebody who works at a real
firm, and when you're ready get that person to introduce you into the
local branch.  You come in with a completely different dynamic
when you didn't send a resume.

Jun 26, 2005 12:31 am

Care to explain this boot camp style environment?


Anyone else?

Jun 26, 2005 1:21 am

Ever seen Boiler Room?



Same stuff - except that it's legal.

Jun 26, 2005 7:28 am
D.H.K.:

Ever seen Boiler Room?



Same stuff - except that it's legal.





What a load of crap.



The only thing AEFA has in common with a boiler room is that they are both NASD member firms.



As for the request to discuss the boot camp analogy.  AEFA is
known for hard driving sales manager types, not unlike drill
instructors.



They schedule early morning meetings, they expect you to be there until
nine at night.  You'll be "at work" for about 14 hours a day and
while you're there older men (occasionally women) will be barking at
you.  In a way they're trying to break you down so that you'll
become a "lean mean fighting machine."



They tend to hire in groups--so there will be others--intentionally
chosen to be similar in personalities--going through the same
thing.  There's lots of calling, lots of mailing, lots of
appointments.  Lifelong friendship forming stuff--not unlike
fraternity pledge classes or buddies from combat.



It is true that they tend to push their own funds, and it is true that
there is not a lot of variation in product but what those who whine
about the firm would have to admit is that their target
market--"natural market" as they call it--is the everyday guy. 
They (AEFA) realize that they're not going to appeal to the guy or gal
who has several hundred thousand dollars to invest.



For my money they're doing a better favor for the most number of people
than anybody else.  The reality is that there are millions--tens
of millions--of people out there who are saving absolutely
nothing.  Smith Barney is not looking for them, and won't deal
with them if they show up at the door.



But AEFA is, and that is good--even smart.  Very much the Keep It Simple Stupid
approach to financial planning.  Get the guy to actually pay to
have you develop a savings plan for him (so he'll feel obliged to
follow it).  It will always be that he needs to bump up his life
insurance coverage (which he does) and start to put some money into a
mutual fund (which he does).  Put him on automatic withdrawal from
his paycheck and you've done him a favor.



There are a lot of other firms out there that do something similar-but
they don't have the name recognition.  There is also the opposite
end of the spectrum.



Years ago there was a firm called A.L. Williams--Art Williams was a
high school football coach somewhere who sold insurance and mutual
funds during the summer.  He started a pyramid type organization
that recruited other teachers and eventually the dregs of society--it
was a pyramid after all.



Along the way he "wrote" a book to promote his "Buy Term and Invest The
Rest" point of view--they'd give you the book, come back in a week and
twist you out of any insurance you had into their own very high premium
term policies and then sell you a check-o-matic arrangement into a
front end load mutual fund--normally Fidelity's Destiny Fund--which
meant that their take of the first year's payments was 50%.



I had the experience of being in a hotel in San Francisco when they had
a cheer leading session.  I sat in the lobby in amazement as the
biggest collection of sleazeballs I had ever seen wandered around in
garb that identified them as "Humphrey Heroes" or "Warren Warriors" and
so forth.  They started their meeting with a prayer--all holding
hands and swaying back and forth, like a cult.



Or a Mary Kay meeting where almost everybody in the room was a functional illiterate.



Then, when their rah-rah session was over and they had all bowed their
heads for the benediction they came out screaming across the lobby
things like, "Hey Joe, I got $500 in ones--let's go stuff garters down
at the titty club" or "I've got an open bar going in my suite for
anybody on my team" and so forth.  Nothing like a group of morons
who start and end their meetings with prayers--but rush out to get
drunk or grope pathetic creatures willing to lap dance for a few
dollars.



A.L. Williams was noticed by the SEC--not even the NAD, it went
straight to the SEC.  Anyway, ole Art and some of his higher level
associates "retired" and the firm changed its name to
"Primerica." 



Along the way Citigroup bought it in one of the strangest acquisitions
in history--it's as if Sandy Weill simply looked at the numbers and had
no regard for the fact that it was populated by sleazeballs who were
doing anything but good by their clients.



I own Citigroup stock and am delighted when I hear people like Ben
Stein talk about how well management is doing, how the credit card
division is superb and all that I sometimes think I should buy
more.  Then I flash back to those cretins in the hotel lobby and
conclude that there is actually something profoundly wrong with
Citigroup and look for something else.



So, there you have it.  Two extreme looks at the same segment of
the opportunity spectrum.  Our firm won't even invite a Primerica
person in for an interview--while we actively court those who are
successful at AEFA.



There are a host of firms that fall in between--out there pushing that
"Mr. Johnson, you need more life insurance and a mutual fund" approach
that is actually exactly what about 90% of our fellow travellers do
need.  Some of them will actually ruin your future
prospects--others are neutral.  But one of them--AEFA--actually
does good in the eyes of those of us who you will want to be able to
talk to when you mature and have some credibility.

Jun 26, 2005 1:39 pm

So my biggest concern now is - why does AEFA take so much crap?


I guess im a little leary about working for them but will probably take the job just to see how it goes.


I was slowly aiming at opening an engine shop (building race engines or hi perf street engines etc) so this is almost a total 180.


I probably will take the job and see - they give you like 2 months to swim or your gone.


Thanks for the info.

Jun 26, 2005 2:32 pm
Juiced6:

So my biggest concern now is - why does AEFA take so much crap?


I guess im a little leary about working for them but will probably take the job just to see how it goes.


I was slowly aiming at opening an engine shop (building race engines
or hi perf street engines etc) so this is almost a total 180.


I probably will take the job and see - they give you like 2 months to swim or your gone.


Thanks for the info.





And to think that there are those who believe that this industry has turned into a joke.



Here we've got a slacker who wants to rebuild engines--which is fine we
need engines rebuilt--but he thinks he'll just accept two months worth
of paychecks from American Express.



Well, how long can it take to learn how to tell somebody about mutual funds?



Thank God I'm old enough to outrun the morons who are coming along.

Jun 26, 2005 2:37 pm

 "they give you like 2 months to swim or your gone"


2 Months, thats a short time frame for new rep. 


As stated dont let em rip through your family and friends.  Make sure you do right by them(warm market) and let the chips fall where they may.  The companies will come and go but your family/friends you want around forever. 


Good luck with new career.

Jun 26, 2005 2:50 pm

Well considering this was an option for me right out of college but decided to take a different route does not make me a slacker and a moron.


What you fail to realize is that I am much smarter than one sentence posted on an internet forum.  I came looking for some advice on here and thought you actually where somewhat knowledgable now I see what others do about you - you are an ass.


You might be surprised that for 2 years I ran a printing a business from scratch and that made a very nice living for me.  What did I know about the industry?  Zero.  Did it keep me from failing?  Not one bit.  Everyone starts somewhere in this career just like any other.  Some have more advantages than others but in the end it is the drive of the individual that makes or breaks them. 


The mere fact that you just assume something shows you either failed at this or just not open to change or both.  And since I never did give my age - how do you know i am not 30 years old.


Jun 26, 2005 2:54 pm

Well logan - its 2 months for 5 clients


but numbers they state that if you make it that far you will stay with them for awhile


Yeah thats what I am leary about is what they will make me push as opposed to what I can offer.


Thanks for the kind words.

Jun 26, 2005 3:21 pm
Juiced6:

You might be surprised that for 2 years I ran a
printing a business from scratch and that made a very nice living for
me.  What did I know about the industry?  Zero.  Did it
keep me from failing?  Not one bit. 





Two years?  That long?



As for not failing, of course you did or you'd still be doing it.



You're a slacker drifting from job to job--you ran a printing place (I
suppose something like a Quick Print franchise and you were the manager
not the franchisee) and now you're either going to become a financial
advisor or rebuilt engines.



That you cannot grasp the intellectual disconnect is proof positive
that you should rebuild engines and leave the thinking jobs to those
who can think.



Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with rebuilding engines--it's
just that one rarely thinks, "You know, I'll either push pistons down
into cylinders or I'll push mutual funds......."



For those of you who are in the warm glow of thinking you've got a real
career opportunity here think about the fact that this kid thinks what
you do is so meaningless that he can do it for a couple of months then
move on to rebuilding engines.



Not that there's anything wrong with rebuilding engines.  J. Seinfeld

Jun 26, 2005 3:42 pm

You sir do not have a clue.


Rebuilding engines is one thing - making hi-performance another.  It probably requires more thinking and more math than analyzing how a certain fund will do.


Go look at turbo charger flow charts and make sense of them.  Go read books about it and do the 12 formulas it takes to find the best one and you know what - you still wont find it.  Engines are way over your intellect so i suggest leaving it out of any further statesments you may make.


As for printing - once again you assume.  It was actually a ground up deal for a former employer.  I quit the career because of whiney nonpaying contractors.  Could you start a business you know nothing about and be successful?  Doubt it.  You like to point the finger at people who do not have MBAs etc and say they are failures when in fact they probably made it better than you did or hell are even more knowledgable than you.


How come the man behind Bush's presidential victories does not have anything more than a high school degree?  Wow - he must be a failure because he got a controversal man elected twice.


What you dont know or understand put makes it inferior to you.  And well that is just pathetic.


In all honesty the engine career would be more of a challenge then selling life insurance and mutual funds - you may not accept it but then again you dont know a thing about fast cars except what Ferrari and Porsche sells. 

Jun 26, 2005 3:47 pm

The other side of Amex advisors - my own franchise office, very little contact with corporate. I no Amex funds, but they have some good certificates and term life. No pressure or hassles, with a huge ad campaign in the fall coming for Ameriprise (who cares about the broker dealer name, anyway). Amex has always been a Midwestern company, with nice people. Pressure at the start, but if you can make it through, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Jun 26, 2005 4:01 pm
Juiced6:

Go look at turbo charger flow charts and make sense of them. 





I repeated myself several times so that you would not feel bad.  I
couldn't care less how sophisticated rebuilding race car engines is--it
has nothing to do with anything.  Being a doctor is plenty
complicated too, and I don't think doctors are logical candidates to
become financial advisors.



What is offensive to me is your "screw 'em I'll suck a couple of months
worth of paychecks out of them and move on" approach.  You, boy,
are a first rate slacker--as I said drifting from job to job.



You're not bright enough to even get it--wander on down the road and tune up a car.



The world needs people to flip burgers and tune up cars.



WAIT--before you go.  How does having a degree in economics prepare you to rebuild engines?

Jun 26, 2005 4:02 pm
fargo:

The other side of Amex advisors - my own franchise
office, very little contact with corporate. I no Amex funds, but they
have some good certificates and term life. No pressure or hassles, with
a huge ad campaign in the fall coming for Ameriprise (who cares about
the broker dealer name, anyway). Amex has always been a Midwestern
company, with nice people. Pressure at the start, but if you can make
it through, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.





Exactly.  It's ridiculous that so many potentially good financial
advisor types wash out because they don't have enough sense to realize
that they're not ready for a wirehouse.

Jun 26, 2005 4:04 pm

If his father was a general, he'd be coming for your job, ClerkBoy!

Jun 26, 2005 4:19 pm
Starka:

If his father was a general, he'd be coming for your job, ClerkBoy!





Starka, you should set the crazy envy aside on Sundays--it will eat at your soul and leave nothing there.



Tell me, had I already made it in my career before my father got his first star?



What a sad little man you are--so filled with hate and envy.



I get all warm thinking that you're so miserable.  The world needs
sad sack losers for the rest of to point and an tell our kids,
"Whatever you do, don't be like him."


Jun 26, 2005 4:24 pm

I knew you couldn't resist!


Yes, you were a failure before the General (you know, Daddy) got his star.


Envy the likes of you? LOL, no, not quite.  Pity, maybe, but envy?  No.



LOL...I still own you!

Jun 26, 2005 4:45 pm

Hey Juice check this site also- 


http://financial-planning.com/phorum/index.php



Some general threads on AMEX and other companies.

Jun 26, 2005 4:53 pm

It's bigoted loons like PT that make me question the wisdom of the 1st amendment.


My $$$ is on Starka...