ML vs. EJ

or Register to post new content in the forum

58 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.
Jun 14, 2006 11:16 pm

I am fresh out of college, 22 years old.  I've built my experiences in college and high school knowing I wanted to be an FA, so I have attracted the attention of both ML and EJ.  Could and FA's (or IR's) give an honest opinion as to which would be most beneficial?  A few factors...


1.  My wife and I are purchasing a home...I know I can succeed in the business, but the career seems to have a little more security with EJ.  Your thoughts?


2.  EJ has mentioned the possibility of starting me on the "Goodknight Program" where they basically gift me $5MM in nickel and dime accounts as a start.  Has anyone done this?  Is it beneficial?


3.  What kind of expenses are incurred if you run your own office (EJ) vs. using an ML office?


4.  Is the EJ base negotiable?  The reason I ask is that ML is putting an offer on paper that can get me a mortgage because it's a draw.  The EJ offer (which is the page ripped out of the "So you want to be an IR" guide or whatever they call it) has a base of ~22M, expect 52M the first year though.  "Expectations" don't get me a home, where as base (on a draw) does.


5.  I'm kind of a "company man."  I've worked for the same company since I was in 11th grade (it's not McDonalds, it's a Fortune 500 company).  Which company is better for "career" purposes?  I don't want a job, I want a career.  I also don't want to have to explain to my book why I'm changing wirehouses every 3-5 years. 


Thanks all for your help.

Jun 15, 2006 12:23 am
entrylevelFA:

I am fresh out of college, 22 years old.  I've built my experiences in college and high school knowing I wanted to be an FA, so I have attracted the attention of both ML and EJ.  Could and FA's (or IR's) give an honest opinion as to which would be most beneficial?  A few factors...


1.  My wife and I are purchasing a home...I know I can succeed in the business, but the career seems to have a little more security with EJ.  Your thoughts?


2.  EJ has mentioned the possibility of starting me on the "Goodknight Program" where they basically gift me $5MM in nickel and dime accounts as a start.  Has anyone done this?  Is it beneficial?


3.  What kind of expenses are incurred if you run your own office (EJ) vs. using an ML office?


4.  Is the EJ base negotiable?  The reason I ask is that ML is putting an offer on paper that can get me a mortgage because it's a draw.  The EJ offer (which is the page ripped out of the "So you want to be an IR" guide or whatever they call it) has a base of ~22M, expect 52M the first year though.  "Expectations" don't get me a home, where as base (on a draw) does.


5.  I'm kind of a "company man."  I've worked for the same company since I was in 11th grade (it's not McDonalds, it's a Fortune 500 company).  Which company is better for "career" purposes?  I don't want a job, I want a career.  I also don't want to have to explain to my book why I'm changing wirehouses every 3-5 years. 


Thanks all for your help.



Here's my two cents.  Sounds like you may be a better fit for ML to me.  First, your branch expenses at Jones easily run 500/mo.  That's about half a mortgage payment for a typical first home in many parts of the country so definitely a factor to consider.  I dont know about Merrill but I know the expenses at Jones are real and you will feel it your first year.  


Not that the goodknight program is bad, but your perception of nickes and dimes is right on.  I would not even consider Jones if I were you unless I got a fat goodknight or a good existing office(there are a number of them these days).


As far as first year base pay.  I would take a lesson from the bank.  If they won't count "expectations" toward income I wouldn't either.  Doesn't surprise me that the Merrill offer is sweeter, Jones shells out a ton of money on that office you will work out of.  Merrill seems to give more to the starting rep.  It is also my understanding that an offer from Merrill is much harder to come by that an offer from Jones(can you fog a mirror).


Finally if you want a firm that you can grow with and stay at for years(ideally) I would give another point to Merrilll.  Much broader platform and opportunities to learn something about the biz other than new ways to sell stuff.  I am a Jones guy that went independent and would do it the same way again, so that is my first recommendation. But you said you are a company man, stay there for years etc. so I'd go with Merrill.

Jun 15, 2006 12:41 am

I say go with Merrill, they probably make the most sense, assuming they want you.


Good for you getting an offer so soon in your career.  Considering however that you've no experience with financial planning, I'd team up with a group that needs new blood, and that can make use of your referral network.


I've never heard of someone out-growing Merrill, but I read all the time about people outgrowing EJ.


I'm doing stuff with my wirehouse that I'd have no chance of doing with EJ.  They don't even like you to use C shares at EJ.


Ace

Jun 15, 2006 8:49 am

One of the things that happens when you're 22 is that you confuse a second interview with a job offer.


If---as in IF---a person gets an offer from Merrill they have been honored and it does not make sense to even wonder if it's a good idea to accept it.


It is also a bad idea to turn down an EJ offer in hopes that a Merrill offer will also be made.  The EJ decision maker doesn't like being treated like a kid who asks a girl for a date and she responds, "Saturday night?  Sounds nice, can I let you know on Saturday morning?"


Stallling an offer for a day or two is fine.  "I need to think it over, can I let you know Monday?" stuff is fine, but what won't be acceptable is to try to put the decision off for more than a few days.


Additionally you can screw up like this.  You accept an offer with EJ, then somebody else offers, so you quit EJ to accept that offer.


Remember everything goes on your U-4 and what your's now reports is that you are not loyal and cannot be trusted.  If you accept a job with a firm stay there for at least a year, longer would be even better.


What you have to remember is the firms have business models that they, the firms, believe will make their firm as profitable as their firm can be.


A rookie advisor is going to find the going tough regardless of which firm they work for and it's really easy to conclude that if you had more variety in your offerings you would make more sales.  Obviously there's truth in that point of view, however if you're washing out anywhere the problem is you, not your choice of things to sell.


If you're selling shoes and lose sales because you don't have a huge collection of styles and sizes blame the inventory--but if you lose almost all of your sales it's not your inventory, it's you.


++++


In another vein, you ex EJ types who are on this forum sneering that EJ will hire anybody.


What does that say about you?

Jun 15, 2006 9:02 am

Merrill. 

Jun 15, 2006 9:19 am

Thank you all for your helpful feedback.  Big Easy...I most certainly know the difference between a second interview and an offer.  An offer is an offer when its in writing.  Until then, I have nothing. 


Ace Planner...the interviews with ML have dealt mostly with my feelings towards groupwork (apparently young guys like me think they can build a business on their own at 22).  Thank you for reiterating this point though.  I am optimistic about working with a group, but wasn't sure if that was the right decision to make.  Having that confirmed by a third party makes me feel better.


Thanks again for the help, I will most certainly weigh all of your advice into my decision.

Jun 15, 2006 9:23 am

Merrill is going to offer you a lot broader choice on how you build your career (there are many options as to what your market is - ie. small business owner vs retiree) and you will learn a lot more and probably develop into a stronger sales person.


But..I'd hold off on that mortgage for 6 mos to a year to see if you actually survive either.   I interviewed with ML yesterday and the production requirements and time line are strict and impressive.  You need a $15 mil book within 24 months.    I'm guessing a lot don't survive a year or two.  I'd wait until you're past the first year or two in the industry and have a better idea of whether or not you'll still be here first.


Besides, if you do do well you may find you can afford a lot more house a year from now.  ML gives nice bonuses every time you hit a milestone and especially sweet if you beat them.


Don't count on surviving on a draw.  Having made a career in sales for most of my adult life, I'm telling you no one survives on draw because no one keeps you unless you are exceeding it by a margin, consistently.


Jun 15, 2006 11:00 am

Very good points, lostintexas.  I know for a fact I can't "survive" my whole life on a draw.  I also know if I don't exceed my draw with commissions, I won't have a job!  It's kind of a situation where I know I can succeed, but the bank doesn't.  Good point about the mortgage...perhaps it would be wise of me to hold off (for both negative and positive reasons).


How did your interview with ML go?  That 15MM is pretty intimidating, breaking it down by your quarters of production are even more intimidating! 

Jun 15, 2006 11:13 am

I have idea.  Why not go to work somewhere where failure is almost preordained for a few years.  Buy the house, have a kid, mature into a full fledged adult.


Then, armed with your seasoning and experience go into the business.


Your employer will be more inclined to offer an attractive training era compensation package, your prospects will find you more credible, and you will work smarter and harder because of the obligations of being an adult.


Years ago I was involved in an effort to determine what motivates young people.  We surveyed them and came to find that most of them were perfectly comfortable with the income that our minimum standards offered--which is why so many of them were achieving little more than the minimum.  It was their comfort level.


The decision was made to ignore young applicant as much as possible, and to put great value in being married with a mortgage.  A kid or two is even better.

Jun 15, 2006 11:15 am
Big Easy Flood:

I have idea.  Why not go to work somewhere where failure is NOT almost preordained for a few years.  Buy the house, have a kid, mature into a full fledged adult.


Then, armed with your seasoning and experience go into the business.


Your employer will be more inclined to offer an attractive training era compensation package, your prospects will find you more credible, and you will work smarter and harder because of the obligations of being an adult.


Years ago I was involved in an effort to determine what motivates young people.  We surveyed them and came to find that most of them were perfectly comfortable with the income that our minimum standards offered--which is why so many of them were achieving little more than the minimum.  It was their comfort level.


The decision was made to ignore young applicant as much as possible, and to put great value in being married with a mortgage.  A kid or two is even better.



That's what happens when the phone rings and you post something without looking it over.

Jun 15, 2006 12:28 pm
entrylevelFA:

5.  I'm kind of a "company man."  I've worked for the same company since I was in 11th grade (it's not McDonalds, it's a Fortune 500 company). 
Which company is better for "career" purposes?  I don't want a
job, I want a career.  I also don't want to have to explain to my
book why I'm changing wirehouses every 3-5 years. 


Thanks all for your help.





McDonald's is a Fortune 500 company (#109)

 

Jun 15, 2006 1:23 pm
entrylevelFA:

How did your interview with ML go?  That 15MM is pretty intimidating, breaking it down by your quarters of production are even more intimidating! 



The interview went well until.....they actually read my resume and realized that despite 8 years of college, much of a CFP course of study completed AND 30 years of work experience, more than half of it in sales, I do not have a bachelor's degree.  In their corporate world, that automatically ruled me out.


They finished with..."if you can get it soon, we are very interested."


So far they are the only firm I've run into that with.   I have a second interview with AG Edwards today and UBS next week.  Wish me luck.


Jun 15, 2006 2:21 pm

Scorpio, that's hillarious.  Didn't even notice.  I meant I'm not flipping burgers, but you are pretty sharp!


lostintexas, good luck.


Big Easy Flood, I entirely understand about the life experience "neccessary" to succeed in this business.  Though I don't have all the gray hair, I am married and in the process of buying a home (which does create grays!) and my last four years of work/school I have put in at least 80 a week counting social organizations I joined.  Is it possible?  I know the general failure rate is about 66-70%  Higher for guys like me, lower for seasoned guys like you.  I just feel like I understand that basically, I am entitled to nothing.  My branch manager isn't going to feed me with a silver spoon.  I am going to have to put in long hours and hope for a little luck.  I've always achieved at a young age, and by my calculation, you need to start young to hit the $1MM in production.  Give it to me straight, if I'm willing to take my shots at first, what are my odds?

Jun 15, 2006 3:33 pm
lostintexas:

The interview went well until.....they actually read my resume and realized that despite 8 years of college, much of a CFP course of study completed AND 30 years of work experience, more than half of it in sales, I do not have a bachelor's degree.


Tommy: You know, lots of people go to college for eight years, Richard: Yeah, they're called doctors. 


From Tommy Boy


I have to ask, how did you spend eight years in college without getting a degree in something?

Jun 15, 2006 6:08 pm

3 different majors, technically 4.


Clothing and Textile Design, Agricultural Economics, Business and Electrical Engineering


Plus the CFP courses (2 so far).


ADHD at its finest!   Oh...almost all of it taken at extremely competitive schools!


Now I want to go back and get an actual degree in Archeology so I can spend my retirement touring the world digging!

Jun 16, 2006 12:11 am

ML has a better range of tools, and a better name. Like a EJ broker
told me, if you don't mind making 100k a year, and topping out at that,
come work for EJ. I say if you want to be a player, go work for
ML. 

Jun 16, 2006 12:23 am

No one is interested because to get the CFP now you need a bachelors



Bankrep CFP

Jun 16, 2006 8:31 am

ML vs. ED? That is like comparing someone getting their PHD vs. someone

just starting romper room.

Jun 16, 2006 10:29 am
bankrep1:

No one is interested because to get the CFP now you need a bachelors



Bankrep CFP



Does it matter what your bachelors degree is?  This is a stupid requirement, unless the requirement is that the BA be somewhat connected to the industry of financial adivce.  Is it? I haven't checked.


So, if I have a degree in Mesoamerican Anthropology and a minor in Art with a ceramics concentration (true story) this somehow makes me more qualified to sit for the CFP exam than a person who has been in the financial advisory business for the past 10 to 20 years?** This advisor who didn't either finish college or didn't attend a college because of unfortunate circumstances such as lack of money, military duties to family burdens, etc. is now forbidden to advance their career and gain a valuable designation?  Plus, if you are already a CFP you can have an 8th grade education?  No requirements to go back and make existing CFPs have a BA? 


This strikes me as being extremely unfair.  But we all know the reason behind this. The CFP organization wants to keep a stranglehold on their niche of the business and doesn't want to see broker/dealers and investment advisors stepping onto their turf.  I can understand that they don't want unqualified people to portray themselves as "Financial Planners" when they are really glorified sales people in the insurance and investment fields.


I say if you can pass the CFP, which is not an easy thing to do, then who gives a rats butt if you have a degree in Medieval History, Comparative Literature or Underwater Basketweaving.


** I thought (when I was in my 20's) I was going to be excavating archaeological sites and analyising pottery shards, then life takes another turn and who knows what lies ahead.    Best laid plans and all that stuff.

Jun 16, 2006 10:42 am
babbling looney:
bankrep1:

No one is interested because to get the CFP now you need a bachelors



Bankrep CFP



Does it matter what your bachelors degree is?  This is a stupid requirement, unless the requirement is that the BA be somewhat connected to the industry of financial adivce.  Is it? I haven't checked.


So, if I have a degree in Mesoamerican Anthropology and a minor in Art with a ceramics concentration (true story) this somehow makes me more qualified to sit for the CFP exam than a person who has been in the financial advisory business for the past 10 to 20 years?** 


What means, regardless of your major (since a broad-based liberal arts core should be required no matter what your major), is that you've achieved (minor though it may be) an educational level that's more and more becoming the absolute minimum.