Looking to join the business

or Register to post new content in the forum

43 RepliesJump to last post

 

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
May 26, 2008 11:21 am
Guys would like some advise here if you don't mind.
 
I'm 25 years old and have been in the car business for the last three years. (I spent a year in sales then got promoted to F and I for the last two.) I've got a great thing going at my store and I'm about to be promoted to a Sales Manager position. I currently make around 75 a year and when I get promoted again that should rise. I've been able to stock away a lot of money in a very short amount of time, for my age, but I'm starting to get burned out a bit.
 
I've got a two year old, and my second child is 6 weeks away. My wife has one more year of school left, so right now I'm 85% of our income and once our new born gets here she's going to stay at home and finish school.
 
The car business never changes...you will always work long hours. I love the money, and I'm not afraid to work (wouldn't of made it this far this fast otherwise.) But with two kids coming I don't want my entire life to be work, work, work.
 
I've applied at a brokerage firm and have an interview Tuesday. I don't think I'll have a problem getting the offer (excellent credit, proven in sales, great references, not affraid to bust my butt and put in the hours to be successful), but is this the time to jump in the business?
 
I've read several things about the very high turnover rate so that scares me a bit, but on the flip side I know how to sell. I have given my current Morgan Keegan broker several references and I'm hoping I could pull those guys over to me, plus bring some of my established car customers over.
 
The other thing I'm worried about is the sudden drop in income. We live well, and we live well below our means, but we are about to take on an added expense (new child), and an income drop (wife is about to quit working.)
 
How long did it take ya'll to grow your businesses to a stable level and any other adivse, insite ya'll have for me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
May 26, 2008 4:25 pm

There is no denying that there is a high turnover rate. This is a very difficult business to succeed in. But those who are focused and not afraid to work harder than hard make it.

And if you are concerned about working too many hours with two kids at home, then you should probably not be doing this right now, as Ice said in his post.
 
Beyond that, starting at a wirehouse will probably get you a salary of 50-70, with 70 being if you really really impress them and they feel they gotta have you. You will earn commission on top of that, so its not inconceivable that you could make 60-80-90 the first year, and second. The third year is when your salary drops off, and at that point, you better have 20-25 million in assets, if you are worried about making enough to pay the bills.
I've seen folks do that in 2 years and i;ve seen succesful FA;s who have taken 4 years to get there.
May 26, 2008 4:36 pm

I'd have to agree with Ice that it might not be the best time for you to get into this.  That being said, your family could provide the motivation needed for you to succeed.


If you did make the jump, your best bet would be to get into a wirehouse's training program.  Based on previous work experience, you may be able to get anywhere from $40k-60k depending on the manager.  The fact that you are new to the industry entirely suggests you'll probably be at the $40k mark for at least 2 years if you were to make it that long.
 
Don't count on your previous referrals to your advisor to come to you right out of the gate.  Why would I trust someone who is starting on Day 1? 
 
Also, you will be getting licensed and taking tests for the first 6 months, and if you fail one, depending on where you're at, you will be fired immediately.
 
Your network from the car industry will be something that you should leverage if you can. 
 
The hours you work when you begin a career in this industry will be just as long if not longer than the car business.  And by some accounts, you will need to do it for at least 5 years. 
 
It's up to you, but I'd keep saving and building your network at this time like Ice said.
May 26, 2008 5:01 pm
pratoman:

There is no denying that there is a high turnover rate. This is a very difficult business to succeed in. But those who are focused and not afraid to work harder than hard make it.

And if you are concerned about working too many hours with two kids at home, then you should probably not be doing this right now, as Ice said in his post.
 
Beyond that, starting at a wirehouse will probably get you a salary of 50-70, with 70 being if you really really impress them and they feel they gotta have you. You will earn commission on top of that, so its not inconceivable that you could make 60-80-90 the first year, and second. The third year is when your salary drops off, and at that point, you better have 20-25 million in assets, if you are worried about making enough to pay the bills.
I've seen folks do that in 2 years and i;ve seen succesful FA;s who have taken 4 years to get there.
 
Thanks both of ya'll for your honest input.
 
The way I see it is I'm putting in 60-70 hours a week right now. In the car business I'll be putting in 60-70 hours a week 20 years from now. Weekends, holidays, you name it we work 'em. My son is too young for sports or hobbies right now so although I hate not being there all the time I've got a few years before I miss an event of his. At the point he starts getting to that, and his brother won't be far behind, I want to have control over when I'm working.
 
I've been putting 12% (before my company match) into my 401k, plus maxing out my Roth IRA, I've got a little in a mutual fund, some individual stocks, and some cash, so I could take a pay cut if need be for a couple of years. (I'm 25 and I came from a single parent family where we didn't have a dime so I'm OCD over saving and having assets for crunch times.)
 
I don't mind putting in two or three years of similar hours to what I'm doing now I just want to see from you guys if there's:
A. Good job satisfaction (not much in my line of work, but pay and benefits are great)
B. Time it took to get to similar income to what I've got now
C. At what point to the hours break off to a more reasonable 40-50 hours with holidays off, that type of thing.
 
Most salesmen don't make it 6 months in the car business, it's tough and no one is going to do you any favors you 'make it or break it' on your own. After reading this bored and others I feel like it's the same way in this business.
May 26, 2008 5:03 pm
snaggletooth:
It's up to you, but I'd keep saving and building your network at this time like Ice said.
That's probably what I'll end up doing.
May 26, 2008 8:56 pm

Ice -

Very well put!
May 27, 2008 8:43 am
iceco1d:

River,

 
The only apprehension I would have about recommending you go to a wire is this:  Job Security.
 
In the meantime, you will be screwed as far as getting your old job back.
 
Same situation for Edward Jones, except slightly lower hurdles, but about half the salary.
 
You could also consider going with an insurance company B/D - perhaps other members could chime in about those pros/cons, as I'm most lacking in my knowledge for this business model...but only because I'm most lacking in my interest in this business model as well.
 
As far as your A, B, C questions:
 
a)  Job satisfaction is probably just about unmatched in this profession, ONCE you've "made it."  In the meantime, you will be overworked (actually, you will overwork yourself, no one is going to babysit you) and underpaid.  I would say you will stop sweating so much somewhere between years 3 - 5.  I'm guessing you will feel like you've "arrived" between years 5 - 10. 
 
b)  There is no answer to your income question.  If you opt for a wire you could easily make $75K in your first year...if you are good at your job.  Then again, if you opt to to affiliate with a local Indy office, get no salary, and build your business primarily on fees...you could be in year 2 before you are even out of the red, let alone MAKE any money. 
 
 
Job security and the inability to 'jump' back into my current job are my two biggies. It's not that I dislike my job, it's just not rewarding. The other situation is right now I'm putting my self in a very strong position for later in my life. If I jump right now and don't make it I've put myself right back in the rat race to retirement.
 
I truely feel like I would enjoy helping people with their financial well being. Everything from estate planning, to insurance, investing, credit, to real estate, and vehicle purchases.
May 27, 2008 10:06 am
River_King:
 
Job security and the inability to 'jump' back into my current job are my two biggies. It's not that I dislike my job, it's just not rewarding. The other situation is right now I'm putting my self in a very strong position for later in my life. If I jump right now and don't make it I've put myself right back in the rat race to retirement.
 
I truely feel like I would enjoy helping people with their financial well being. Everything from estate planning, to insurance, investing, credit, to real estate, and vehicle purchases.
 
If you do decide to get into this business, you might not want to help people with everything.  Most advisors are far more successful because they specialize in something or a few things.
 
Whether you make a move at 25 or 28, either way you're still young.  Make sure you get your family squared away first.  I know a lot of advisors have begun their careers while just starting their family and some of them have become successful.  It's the ones that didn't become successful that I generally don't hear about.  I don't have a family yet, so I can't really say for sure, but I don't think I would've wanted to start with a second baby on the way and a wife that wasn't working.
May 27, 2008 10:43 am

I agree with Ice.  Aside from the life timing, this is a tough market to get started in.  I started during the last bear market, and if I wasn't so dang stubborn (or maybe stupid) I probably would have gotten discouraged.  Look at how many financial firms are laying off right now.  Waiting a few years won't hurt you at all, but jumping in now may cause you to give up and never come back.

May 27, 2008 11:54 am
iceco1d:

Well put Snags & new_indy...that's actually something to think about River:  Age 25 vs 28?  Not really relevant in the "grand scheme" of things.  You'll still be waaaay young enough to enjoy a loooong career as an advisor, but think of how much more stability you'll have in 3 years (wife working again maybe, kids starting school/pre-school, another 3 years of big time savings on your part, a promotion, etc.). 

 
However, if this is a career you are very seriously interested in, start learning NOW in your spare time.  Learn a bit about investments, but do NOT just focus on that.  Learn a bit about retirement income planning, estate planning, insurance, etc. AND be sure to maintain and build your network NOW.  And for heaven's sake, start learning about prospecting NOW.  The more you learn now in your spare time, the less you need to learn when you enter the biz.  The more contacts you have now, the better quality of contacts you have now, the bigger/better your "warm" prospects are going to be in 3 years. 
 
I'd also stick around this forum permanently if I were you...read every thread ever posted.  Ask questions.  As long as you are asking intelligent questions, and accept the responses as help, not criticism, you are going to learn a TON from vets on this forum (no, I'm not one of them, but I help where I can!). 
 
Best of luck man. 
 
Thanks.
I planned on becoming a financial advisor when I got out of college. However some untimely events in my life turned me to selling cars before I was even done with school. (I needed a job with benefits.)  I knew going into that job that turnover was high and I was entering into a declining car market. I made it, not because I'm the best there is, but because I was in the right place at the right time, worked hard, played my cards right and moved up. I've been lurking on this site for a long time, but just recently posted because Edward Jones started advertising needing a rep in our area. (I never had anything to contribute to a conversation before since I'm not in the industry.) This is the first time in a couple of years I can recall them hiring a rep in my area. I've read all the EDJ bashing in this forum so I probably wouldn't want to stay there past my 3 year commitment, however I don't think many in this forum would argue about their training.
 
As far as learning the business goes I don't know much, or claim to. However I pick my FA's mind every chance I get and read this forum. I work with bank reps and loan officers and I like to pluck them for information about the happenings in their world as well.
 
Prospecting
I live in a town of about 55,000. I was an 'A' student in school at the local high school and played football for the local college. While in school I managed the local youth sports program at our Parks and Recreation department. I've got my Outlook programed to tell me when to send out birthday cards and follow up letters to my customers. I've been involved in just under 1,000 car deals now so that's a major undertaking. I've got lots of repeat and referral business and my wife jokes that I can't go out in public during the day because a simple trip to Wal Mart takes me two hours by the time I get done with saying 'hi' to everyone.
 
Part of me says "I know I'm going to make it for the reasons I've listed in this thread," and the other part me says "don't give up the next egg you've started to build for yourself making a career move at the wrong time in your life into a career that most people don't make it."
May 27, 2008 12:01 pm
River_King:
 
Thanks.
I planned on becoming a financial advisor when I got out of college. However some untimely events in my life turned me to selling cars before I was even done with school. (I needed a job with benefits.)  I knew going into that job that turnover was high and I was entering into a declining car market. I made it, not because I'm the best there is, but because I was in the right place at the right time, worked hard, played my cards right and moved up. I've been lurking on this site for a long time, but just recently posted because Edward Jones started advertising needing a rep in our area. (I never had anything to contribute to a conversation before since I'm not in the industry.) This is the first time in a couple of years I can recall them hiring a rep in my area. I've read all the EDJ bashing in this forum so I probably wouldn't want to stay there past my 3 year commitment, however I don't think many in this forum would argue about their training.
 
As far as learning the business goes I don't know much, or claim to. However I pick my FA's mind every chance I get and read this forum. I work with bank reps and loan officers and I like to pluck them for information about the happenings in their world as well.
 
Prospecting
I live in a town of about 55,000. I was an 'A' student in school at the local high school and played football for the local college. While in school I managed the local youth sports program at our Parks and Recreation department. I've got my Outlook programed to tell me when to send out birthday cards and follow up letters to my customers. I've been involved in just under 1,000 car deals now so that's a major undertaking. I've got lots of repeat and referral business and my wife jokes that I can't go out in public during the day because a simple trip to Wal Mart takes me two hours by the time I get done with saying 'hi' to everyone.
 
Part of me says "I know I'm going to make it for the reasons I've listed in this thread," and the other part me says "don't give up the next egg you've started to build for yourself making a career move at the wrong time in your life into a career that most people don't make it."
 
That's interesting.  I would think EDJ and car sales might actually go hand in hand.  The "friendly neighborhood" approach might work somewhat well with your town of 55,000.  Besides referrals, what have been the best prospecting methods for you in the car industry?
May 27, 2008 12:47 pm

[quote=River_KingI've been lurking on this site for a long time, but just recently posted because Edward Jones started advertising needing a rep in our area. (I never had anything to contribute to a conversation before since I'm not in the industry.) This is the first time in a couple of years I can recall them hiring a rep in my area. I've read all the EDJ bashing in this forum so I probably wouldn't want to stay there past my 3 year commitment, however I don't think many in this forum would argue about their training.

 [/quote]
 
Don't make any assumptions about who you would want to stay with or leave before you even start.  Some of the opinions on this site can be a bit 'slanted'.
 
And FYI, if EDJ is looking to fill an existing office, you should certainly inquire.  You never know how big it is.
May 27, 2008 1:13 pm
Broker24:

[quote=River_KingI've been lurking on this site for a long time, but just recently posted because Edward Jones started advertising needing a rep in our area. (I never had anything to contribute to a conversation before since I'm not in the industry.) This is the first time in a couple of years I can recall them hiring a rep in my area. I've read all the EDJ bashing in this forum so I probably wouldn't want to stay there past my 3 year commitment, however I don't think many in this forum would argue about their training.

 
 
Don't make any assumptions about who you would want to stay with or leave before you even start.  Some of the opinions on this site can be a bit 'slanted'.
 
And FYI, if EDJ is looking to fill an existing office, you should certainly inquire.  You never know how big it is.[/quote]
Point well taken.
May 27, 2008 1:27 pm

If it is an existing office and a competitive situation, most of the real money in the office will be gone before you even get licensed.  I wouldn't use that as a deciding factor.

May 27, 2008 1:37 pm

River, some thoughts:


You thinking regarding timing, family wise, is exactly right. Right now is the time to pound out the long hours. Working hard while the kid are still babies is the best time to get it done.
 
Your assetment regarding the future work hours in the car biz, also spot on. That will never change. The car biz is a tough gig. Most on this board couldn't do what you've already done. That you are successful bodes well for you future, regardless of the path you pick.
 
I don't see the risk in leaving your job? If you've been there for three years then obviously it's a good store. That is, good management, not the A holes one sees running many dealerships. If that is the case and you handle it professionally they will be sorry to see you go. Because of turnover in the car biz they will be happy to welcome you back if you decide to return. You are a proven performer. You might have to start once again in sales and work your way back up, but, at least you are in. You are, at this point, one step up from sales. It's not as if you're stepping out of the Pilot's seniority line at American Airlines. And then there is the competition, other dealerships? Good car dealers love good sales people. You are proven and there's no reason you couldn't land an F & I position elsewhere.
 
Starting in this biz now? Why not? It doesn't matter when you start. How hard you work is all that matters. In fact, down markets or uncertain markets are good times to start. Seems that many advisors don't do a good job of contacting their cleints in down markets. That creates opportunity.
 
Start now or wait? There is no wrong answer. As long as you continue to well in your current career the door will be open.
 
Wire or regional? Before you sign up with Jones get yourself interviews with all the wirehouses in town or nearby. They have the best training and offer the best training salary/beni  package. Dress conservatively, good luck!
May 28, 2008 3:25 pm
snaggletooth:
That's interesting.  I would think EDJ and car sales might actually go hand in hand.  The "friendly neighborhood" approach might work somewhat well with your town of 55,000.  Besides referrals, what have been the best prospecting methods for you in the car industry?
When I first got hired I sold cars to all my college buddies. That helped, but really what did it was every person I sold to I could find that common ground. Either they went where I went for high school/college, or I know some one that works where they work, goes to church where they go to church, whatever. Same goes for me now in F and I, if I can establish a link between me and you I open the door and my penetration rate goes through the roof.
 
People around here don't really want to be sold anything. They want to purchase products from friends. If you present your product as a friend, stay a step ahead of the conversation (lead them where you want them to go) you'll close the deal in the car business and make good money doing so.
May 28, 2008 4:08 pm
River_King:
 
When I first got hired I sold cars to all my college buddies. That helped, but really what did it was every person I sold to I could find that common ground. Either they went where I went for high school/college, or I know some one that works where they work, goes to church where they go to church, whatever. Same goes for me now in F and I, if I can establish a link between me and you I open the door and my penetration rate goes through the roof.
 
People around here don't really want to be sold anything. They want to purchase products from friends. If you present your product as a friend, stay a step ahead of the conversation (lead them where you want them to go) you'll close the deal in the car business and make good money doing so.
 
That's interesting, thanks for sharing.  You have got some great experience behind you at 25.  This is a people business with an emphasis on relationships.  Some people don't get that.  But I think with your experience dealing with people and forging relationships and getting referrals, you've learned a lot.
 
The truth of the matter is that you will take a pay cut, maybe by half of what you're making now.  If your family can handle that and knows it going in, then give it a shot if you want.
 
If you find a wirehouse and get a small salary to begin and meet your hurdles, you can be successful with hard work.
 
I don't have a good grasp on what it's like to work in a town of 55,000 people.  I'm assuming you'd have to go outside of your town to prospect.  I'm in an area of 4 million, so I'd be interested to know how some of you guys in small areas work.
May 28, 2008 4:57 pm

Hi,

 I agree with snagglepuss, you have some great experience behind you. Just one thing wrong...no door knocking experience! Do as I did, get that experience from selling vacs door to door. It's not as hard as you might think, but without it you would be a setting duck in a business that requires door knocking. Dont start out with just any vac company, work for a good one, after 3 or 4 years and you think you still would like this business, then you would have the necessary skills to make it.
May 28, 2008 6:46 pm
snaggletooth:

I don't have a good grasp on what it's like to work in a town of 55,000 people.  I'm assuming you'd have to go outside of your town to prospect.  I'm in an area of 4 million, so I'd be interested to know how some of you guys in small areas work.

Ofcourse I can only speculate about the FA part right now I would think it would require me to hit several smaller communities around my town. Our dealership pulls people from a range of about 45 miles in every direction. So I would expect to pull from a similar maybe slightly smaller region.
May 28, 2008 7:51 pm

River_King, if you are willing to put in the work EVERY DAY, you will succeed.  There is absolutely no reason to wait.