Merrill vs. Wachovia Securities

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Jun 19, 2007 12:20 pm

These are the two leaders right now.

ML Pros:  Big name, big opportunity, outstanding training
ML Cons:  Is $15MM AUM reasonable for a new broker?

WS Pros:  Business sent right to you, easier transition into business
WS Cons:  Ceiling?

I want to hear it from all sides where I should go.  There are obviously more pros and cons out there.  Let me hear what you have to say.

Jun 19, 2007 12:28 pm

If you love prospecting choose ML


If you only like prospecting choose Wachovia.


scrim

Jun 19, 2007 12:32 pm

I have heard from others that now is the time to go with ML.  My advantage/disadvantage is my age. 

I can network, and I am plugged into several organizations that could be a great opportunity to acquire some clients.  I also have an extensive natural market of high net worth clients through my dad's real estate brokerage.

Should I start with Wachovia to learn the banking side, and then go to a more traditional brokerage firm, or is now the time to jump straight in with ML?

Jun 19, 2007 12:41 pm
unc2006:

I have heard from others that now is the time to go with ML.  My advantage/disadvantage is my age. 

I can network, and I am plugged into several organizations that could be a great opportunity to acquire some clients.  I also have an extensive natural market of high net worth clients through my dad's real estate brokerage.

Should I start with Wachovia to learn the banking side, and then go to a more traditional brokerage firm, or is now the time to jump straight in with ML?



How old are you?

Do you have any relevant work experience?

Do not expect your Dad's customers and friends to give you money just because they know you.  For all you know they still have a mental picture of  you in diapers with drool running down your chin.  That isn't going to help your business.

Jun 19, 2007 12:45 pm

I am 25.  I don't have any experience with the securities industry, but I have quite a bit of work experience (I have been working since 15)  I know how to network and deal with people.  I have my S7 and 66. 


Jun 19, 2007 12:55 pm
unc2006:

I am 25.  I don't have any experience with the securities industry, but I have quite a bit of work experience (I have been working since 15)  I know how to network and deal with people.  I have my S7 and 66. 




Having your licenses will help.  But even as a mature 25 year old it will be hard to gather assets quickly enough to make those goals at Merrill.  Blarmstrom may be able to give you some perspective on that.

Personally I'd advise against starting at Merill unless they're going to put you in a position where you have a good mentor with whom you can do joint work for bigger cases.

Jun 19, 2007 1:01 pm

I have my S7 and 66.


How did you do that without any experience in the securities industry or a sponsor?

Jun 19, 2007 1:03 pm

I had a sponsor.  I worked for them for 4 days, until I figured out they were product pushing scum.

Let's just say I lost a good friend over his lies to me about the firm, and I don't want to ask my clients if they'd like to super size.

I have ethics, unlike my sponsor.

Jun 19, 2007 1:24 pm
unc2006:

I have heard from others that now is the time to go with ML.  My advantage/disadvantage is my age. 

I can network, and I am plugged into several organizations that could be a great opportunity to acquire some clients.  I also have an extensive natural market of high net worth clients through my dad's real estate brokerage.

Should I start with Wachovia to learn the banking side, and then go to a more traditional brokerage firm, or is now the time to jump straight in with ML?



IMO you should go to ML now. They will provide you with good training and you'll be around other rookies. If at the end of your 2nd year you don't have $20mill aum, then go to a bank program.


good luck

Jun 19, 2007 1:38 pm

I appreciate the input from all, but if y'all could be a little more specific I would really appreciate it.  I have a competitive resume, so the offers are coming in. 

I would like to hear more about the differences in the brokerage vs. bank route.

Is the earning potential still there for the bank route?  What is the failure rate in the ML program?  For you bank brokers, what are your biggest advantages and disadvantages?  Same question for the traditional brokers out there.

What are some other firms/banks to look for and avoid.  I want to fully explore my options this time around.  I am also not opposed to boutique firms.

Jun 19, 2007 3:26 pm

In general, bank programs are not going to limit your earning potential, at least for a while.  There aren't going to be a ton of million dollar producers in the bank, but there aren't at the wires either (and the numbers are skewed, because the wire hired a ton more people to get to the few that survived 20 years out).


I think more so that wires, banks are very individual, I would get some specific info about Wachovia.  I would also assume they would have more brokers earning on the high end than the typical, smaller bank program.

Jun 19, 2007 5:44 pm

don't over analyze it. go to ml and learn the business while they pay you. learn & work as much as possible for 2yrs, then see where you're at.


sorry if this sounds vague, but it's really not that complicated.


the major advantage of starting at ml vs a bank is that you'll learn how to work with higher net worth individuals. so if you end-up going to a bank down the road you'll be better prepared.


Jun 19, 2007 6:36 pm

We have a guy who just graduated the POA program and he was 27 when we
hired him, and his profile similar.  When I interviewed him he
mentioned he had offers from a few banks.  I asked him after he
graduated why he went with ML and he said he figured his path would
eventually lead to a non-bank type of business model...one like ML...so
why not just start there.  If it did not work, he got the
experience and could always seek out a bank. 



He graduated in 19 months with 15 mil and 12 mil in annuitized so it
worked out for him and he continues to do very well.  It can
happen, it all depends on you.

Jun 19, 2007 7:19 pm
unc2006:

I have heard from others that now is the time to go with ML.  My advantage/disadvantage is my age. 

I can network, and I am plugged into several organizations that could be a great opportunity to acquire some clients.  I also have an extensive natural market of high net worth clients through my dad's real estate brokerage.

Should I start with Wachovia to learn the banking side, and then go to a more traditional brokerage firm, or is now the time to jump straight in with ML?



Go to ML, get the training, bust your ass and either join another team or bail with all of the clients you prospected. 

Jun 19, 2007 7:57 pm

If I build a book with ML, can I take my clients with me even if I don't "make it?"

Jun 19, 2007 8:07 pm

Also, the recruiter for ML I spoke with said that real estate counts as AUM, but we didn't get into specifics.  Can anyone elaborate on how this factors into the 15MM goal?

Jun 19, 2007 8:11 pm

If I build a book with ML, can I take my clients with me even if I don't "make it?"


Yes. Although you will have to fight for them...


Also, the recruiter for ML I spoke with said that real estate counts as AUM, but we didn't get into specifics.  Can anyone elaborate on how this factors into the 15MM goal?


REIT funds, real estate hedge funds, and mortgages on real estate count, but thats about it...

Jun 20, 2007 3:43 pm
unc2006:

These are the two leaders right now.

ML Pros:  Big name, big opportunity, outstanding training
ML Cons:  Is $15MM AUM reasonable for a new broker?

WS Pros:  Business sent right to you, easier transition into business
WS Cons:  Ceiling?


Business sent right to you? I don't think it works that way. If you want that go to WB not WS.  No ceilings, but in your case I would be more worried about the floor.

I want to hear it from all sides where I should go.  There are obviously more pros and cons out there.  Let me hear what you have to say.



Jun 20, 2007 3:46 pm

I meant that business is referred to you from existing bank customers.  From what I have seen, "the bank" for many people is an easy sell.  WS has brokers in the bank branches, and that is what I am looking into.

Jun 20, 2007 3:51 pm

I hear you, you may notice that you will find it very difficult to find out any info on WS on this forum. After this recent merger it became obvious that they are not represented here and most of the things you hear are assumed and not driven by fact. It sounds like you have some good options and either one will probably be fine.Good luck.