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Oct 21, 2009 3:06 pm

Is anyone on here with Merrill Lynch or considering them as a potential employer?  How do they stack up to other firms like MSSB and EJ in terms of rookie training, compesation, expectations, etc.

Oct 21, 2009 3:24 pm

I considered them for a short while.  I was getting my resume doctored up to submit to them, Smith Barney and Ameriprise before I met a young man who was a leader with Primerica.  That is the company who I signed on with and it has been a match made in heaven since day one.  Here is there website if you would like to take a look at them:

 
http://www.primerica.com/public/
 
PM me if you have any specific questions, or just look at my past posts, which have been PRIMERIly (Haha!) about my experiences with Primerica.
Oct 21, 2009 3:36 pm

DAYUM! That's the first time I've seen someone speedball kool-aid.

Oct 21, 2009 4:03 pm

Just make sure if you sign on with Primerica that you learn this one term that is the basis on which your career with them will be built - downline. 

 
You can also apply that term to other great companies like Amway, Arbonne, Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, and a host of others. 
Oct 21, 2009 4:04 pm
Spaceman Spiff:

Just make sure if you sign on with Primerica that you learn this one term that is the basis on which your career with them will be built - downline.



You can also apply that term to other great companies like Amway, Arbonne, Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, and a host of others.





Oct 21, 2009 4:31 pm

Aside from the (great) slams on Primerica, does anyone have any insight to the original question? I am nearly 100% sold that the RIA route is the one for me (plus fee based planning) but I am curious about some of the bigger wires and what they have to offer.  I know ML has had their image tarnished (to say the least) but I do like thier increased focused on building an annuitized, fee based business and I am interested to hear from anyone who is/has worked for them in that model.  Thanks!

Oct 21, 2009 4:42 pm
Curious1:

Aside from the (great) slams on Primerica, does anyone have any insight to the original question? I am nearly 100% sold that the RIA route is the one for me (plus fee based planning) but I am curious about some of the bigger wires and what they have to offer.  I know ML has had their image tarnished (to say the least) but I do like thier increased focused on building an annuitized, fee based business and I am interested to hear from anyone who is/has worked for them in that model.  Thanks!



Fair disclosures before I answer:

1) I don't and never have worked at ML.
2) Everything I know is second hand from friends at the firm.

With that said, I think everyone is focusing on more fee based business. The big draw previously at ML was the name. While tarnished, I think you will still get an audience with some investors when prospecting. Their "model" seems to be "prospect, sleep, prospect". Most new people fail.

If you are just looking at the ability to do fee based business, find a firm that that you feel comfortable working at (find a culture that you fit into), and go there, even if it means teaming up with the local Mary Kay wholesaler for a dual-marketing party with Primerica. Most decent firms (and some indecent ones) will allow you to do fee based business.

Oct 21, 2009 4:49 pm

ROOGLE

Oct 21, 2009 4:50 pm
Squash1:

ROOGLE




Oct 21, 2009 9:45 pm

The big wirehouses are pretty much all the same. Same platforms, same culture (more or less), same neighborhood when it comes to payouts.

The difference is the branch, and the branch manager. You will get more support at some branches than others. Also, look for a branch with a large group of people in the training program, not just one or two.
Oct 21, 2009 9:54 pm

ML is dead.  It is now Bank of America.  They are not a wirehouse if they are owned by a company in Charlotte, NC ... home of NASCAR.  

Oct 21, 2009 10:43 pm

says the guy who works for a firm that can't be defined, so it gets looped in with primerica,ameriprise and scotttrade

Oct 22, 2009 9:24 am
Squash1:

says the guy who works for a firm that can't be defined, so it gets looped in with primerica,ameriprise and scotttrade

 
says the guy who works for (owns?) a firm with one employee.
 
Does not change the fact ML is no longer a wirehouse. 
Oct 22, 2009 9:28 am
voltmoie:

ML is dead. It is now Bank of America. They are not a wirehouse if they are owned by a company in Charlotte, NC ... home of NASCAR.





Volt - seriously? You think St. Louis is better than Charlotte?



I know you didn't say it, but I believe that is what you implied. If I'm off, I apologize.



But you are correct, ML certainly is no longer a wirehouse. No matter what Krawcheck says, they are a bank brokerage.



Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Oct 22, 2009 9:35 am

No, I love Charlotte.  Would live there over St. Louis anyday of the week but ML is owned by a bank. 


I'd say for banks, Charlotte is better.  For retail brokerage firms, St. Louis.  The proof would be in the companies that came out of those towns. 
 
 
Oct 22, 2009 10:01 am
Sportsfreakbob:

The big wirehouses are pretty much all the same. Same platforms, same culture (more or less), same neighborhood when it comes to payouts.

The difference is the branch, and the branch manager. You will get more support at some branches than others. Also, look for a branch with a large group of people in the training program, not just one or two.
 
I concur with sfb. The difference in the wires is not so much national as local. Individual branches have their own identity. Some are fee oriented cutlures, other transactional, some have a history of growing succesful new FAs, some are populated by tenured FAs who look at trainees as their source of next years' new revenue.
 
The branch manager is the critical component. You should be interviewing them as much as they you. How long have they been BM, how many new trainees do they hire each year, what's their retention rate, is there a structured mentor program, is teaming with seasoned FAs encouraged, can you sit with one of the branches current trainees to pick their brain.
 
Also, if your ultimate goal is to be an independent RIA, there is, in my opinion, no faster route to building the critical mass needed to launch on your own than by starting at a wire.
 
Hope this helps.
Oct 22, 2009 11:58 am
voltmoie:
Squash1:

says the guy who works for a firm that can't be defined, so it gets looped in with primerica,ameriprise and scotttrade



says the guy who works for (owns?) a firm with one employee.



Does not change the fact ML is no longer a wirehouse.




Hey Koolaid drinker.. i don't work for anyone except myself.. I was at Jones once, you will get it eventually..

Oct 22, 2009 11:59 am
voltmoie:

No, I love Charlotte. Would live there over St. Louis anyday of the week but ML is owned by a bank.

I'd say for banks, Charlotte is better. For retail brokerage firms, St. Louis. The proof would be in the companies that came out of those towns.







What???



Hmmm. Bank of America vs?? Edward Jones and Stifel... You are right St Louis definitely has more clout

Oct 22, 2009 12:27 pm
Squash1:


What???

Hmmm. Bank of America vs?? Edward Jones and Stifel... You are right St Louis definitely has more clout

 
lol - like I said, a 1 man firm - oh and while you can fire your B/D, you're still a slave to them.  So don't get all high and mighty about your "independance"  kool-aid drinker  .. Who said anything about clout? Don't change the argument to suit your weak agenda.
 
St. Louis has a rich history of retail brokerage .. EDJ, AG Edwards, Stifel
 
Charlotte has a rich history of buying brokerage firms .. AG Edward, Wheat, ML, US Trust, Prudential Securities
 
If anything EDJ is signifigantly more similar to BOAs delivery method of services than any other brokerage firm in America.  It's a cookie cutter approach.
Oct 22, 2009 12:34 pm
 I'll fire Jones as my b/d when I choose.  Until then, I'll take their salary, training, office, and branding.  In return I'll bust my arse but with the end in mind. They are simply the platform I utilize to deliver services. EDJ works for me, not me for them.  Right now it's a mutually beneficial relationship. 
 
Your mind creates your slave mentality, not the company you are affiliated with.  It's too bad for you that you couldn't see that but your situation is VASTLY different from mine.