My first 6 months & My Dilemma

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Apr 29, 2008 4:26 pm

Hello Everyone,

This is my first post but I have read the boards for awhile.  For some reason I was having trouble signing up before!

Well my story is that I graduated from California State University in 2005 with a BS in Business Management.  Well to pay my way through college I was doing web marketing and also playing online poker.  In short I was very successful in doing both ($200k+ in 2006) but stopped doing both in 2007 due to lack of interest/new laws/etc.

Since 2007 I had really wanted to get into financial services because I was in the position myself of having a lot of money and not knowing what to do with it.  The problems with getting a FA position with a good firm were  I was only 24 with no work experience (I didn't put that I played poker after college on my resume).  Well this adds up to not a single brokerage firm I applied for, well one that pays salary in training, wanting anything to do with me.  I couldn't even get a 2nd interview with Jones even after I had a personal referral from a successful FA with their company.

Since I really wanted to do FA, I took a position with a company where I am an independent contractor of financial services (no salary, I pay for everything, etc).  I had saved up money from before so was in position to take on this risk, but am really starting to see the hardships that come with lack of training and helping in actual FA areas.  My company does very little product/investment training and so I am having to teach myself almost everything.

My dilemma is that I have to make a big decision whether to stay with this company or not within the next month of so.  The pro's so far are that I have learned everything about mutual funds, life insurance, and annuities, but I really have no opportunity for selling or training on anything else with my current company.  Also, I have been able to pass my Series 6, 63, and 26, and my life and health license all on my first try.  If I decided to stay with my current company I will be getting my Series 65 this next month but don't see the need for the Series 7 (since I couldn't use it anyways).

My problem is that I am currently not making any money with my current job.  I have really wanted to learn everything and get all my licenses before I try and help people with retirement planning.  But again I can't wait for ever to start making money.  My company wants me to work in my warm market and I still have refused to do so until I learn what I am doing.  This leads to me trying to battle out in the very cold market with the many obstacles that a new registered rep faces. 

A big reason why I wanted to do FA in the first place is to truly help people with their finances, and not and try to sell them financial products.  I can already see that my current company is not in position to be a fiduciary with clients and is out to get them into annuities, life insurance, and rarely mutual funds.  I don't know if I will ever to be able to feel comfortable advising clients where I know that there are only a few options for them, which might not always be the best (but since I can't offer anything else theres not much I can do). 

Now after 6 months, I am faced with the challenge of trying to wait out the trial and error I am facing with being self taught, the cold market, and not really any help or going with my companies mission in the warm market to start actually making money.  Now if I decide I am going to try with a different firm, I am pretty sure I would need to get my Series 7 on my own and would have to learn everything self taught and pay for all expenses.  This would take up a lot of time and energy, and lead to an even longer time without an income but might payoff if I get hired with a really good company and succeed.

So my question is do I continue with my current company even though in the long run it might hurt me or do I really take on the struggle of trying to go with a different firm, even though it might take a long time and not even pay off if I don't get hired?

Thanks for any replies!





Apr 29, 2008 5:06 pm

Wow.  I am assuming you are with Primerica or someone similar? 

 
I think you have to re-evaluate your entire situation.  If you could not get a single interview with anyone, despite being referred by employees, I would say there is something more to your story.  Not sure how you present yourself on your resume, but that seems like the first place to look.  You might try hooking up with a local advisory firm, bank or other financial service providor in a support role.  This will give you some access to the industry, as well as some "real" work experience on your resume.  But it sounds like you are going nowhere fast, and will likely start burning through some "hard earned" cash pretty soon.  Trust me, you have all the time in the world.  Either get a salaried job as stated above, or go into some other type of sales profession to gain experience in sales.
Apr 29, 2008 5:08 pm

Teke, why didn't you put that you played poker on your resume? 

 
If I decided to stay with my current company I will be getting my Series 65 this next month but don't see the need for the Series 7 (since I couldn't use it anyways).

A client has $2,000,000 in a brokerage account.  99% of this is in mutual funds.  1% is in Coca-Cola stock.  For sentimental reasons, he wants to keep it.  Your firm wouldn't let you acat the account if you had your 7?


"I have really wanted to learn everything and get all my licenses before I try and help people with retirement planning."
 
I'm not trying to judge your attitude, but I can virtually guarantee that this attitude will lead to failure.   
 
My company wants me to work in my warm market and I still have refused to do so until I learn what I am doing.

How are you going to learn what you are doing with actually doing?  Most of your warm market probably has very easy situations.  Just make sure that you have someone who can look over your shoulder who can make sure that you are doing the right thing.  Here's a good suggestion.  Go meet with someone from your warm market.  Post the facts here and let us help you with the recommendations.  You see, in order to help people you don't need to know all the right answers.  You need the right questions.  Plenty of people can help you with your answers.


A big reason why I wanted to do FA in the first place is to truly help people with their finances, and not and try to sell them financial products. 
 
The fact that you want to truly help people with their finances is admirable.  I sell tons of financial products.  Do you know why?  It's because I want to help them with their finances!
 
Thus far, you are a failure.  Why would a "good firm" hire you when you don't have a track record of success?  If you want to leave your firm, that's fine.  However, firms want to hire successful people.  Become successful and you can go where you want.

 



Apr 29, 2008 5:26 pm

You made $200K+ right out of college but you "lost interest?" 

How's your "interest" level coming along in this "job" that has paid you absolutely nothing so far?



Apr 29, 2008 8:09 pm
I applied to some really good firms like ML, Morgan Stanley, SB and didn't put "played poker" on my resume.  I was told it was bad to have "poker player" as my employer, so my resume looked like I had not really worked since college.  Also I had an interview with MetLife but they didn't invite me for a second.  There is really nothing more to my story as it seems that bigger firms wouldn't want to take a chance on me or they just weren't hiring in my area.

I guess my question is do you guys feel that you can truly help out everyone with just a Series 6 license?  I have already talked with many people about their finances but I have yet to "close a sale".  I have only been registered with Finra since the end of March, so I don't feel like I'm that far behind. 

Also, I would be trying to get a position with a firm that would train me as a new FA.  I would already have my licenses so I wouldn't have to waste time in the beginning.




Apr 29, 2008 8:22 pm

teke, if MetLife didn't invite you for a second interview, you need to take it personally.  There is something wrong with you.  Bad resume?  You're ugly?  You don't know how to dress?  I'm not trying to be harsh, but there is something wrong with what you are doing.


Being a bum doing nothing for a year looks terrible.   Spending a year playing poker and doing web marketing and making $200K looks great.  They want people who know how to make money.   Are you a tax cheat?


"I guess my question is do you guys feel that you can truly help out everyone with just a Series 6 license?"
 
No.  However, you don't just have your 6.  You also have your life and health.  With this combination, you can help almost everyone.    
Apr 29, 2008 8:36 pm
Anonymous,

Hey you might be right.  Since MetLife didn't want me I should go jump off a bridge right?

You see my resume had that I did website marketing but when I tried to explain what I did he didn't understand.  Plus I didn't say how much money I made playing poker because I didn't even mention that I played ever.

I feel that since now I have a little experience and proved that I could do well (by passing all my tests, etc) that I could change firms if need be.  And no, there is nothing I'm hiding and my U-4 is clean.  So there is no issues instead of lack of experience and/or ways to describe my experience if I have to leave everything off of my resume.
Apr 29, 2008 9:41 pm

teke1600,


I may often be a jerk, but my purpose is always to be helpful.   If MetLife didn't want you, you don't need to jump off a bridge, but you have to do some major introspection.   Everyone makes it to a second interview.
 
I feel that since now I have a little experience and proved that I could do well (by passing all my tests, etc) that I could change firms if need be. 
 
You have not proved what you think that have proved.   Let me give you a recruiters viewpoint.  Thus far, you have "proved" the following:
1) No decent firm is willing to hire you.
2) You are unwilling to call on people other than strangers.
3) You don't have the ability to close business.
4) You were unemployed for a year.
 
Show success and you will be very employable, but thus far, you are much closer to unemployable.  If you owned a firm, would you want to hire someone who has had zero success and was out of work for a year?
Apr 29, 2008 9:52 pm

teke

 
From personal experience I can tell you that playing poker for a living will not keep you from getting a job in this industry...I played for a living for serveral years and decided to be completely honest on my resume...I let them know the truth....that even though I had some very prestigous previous employment...professional poker was the most discipline job I ever had.  I was hired...and as a matter of fact they seemed pretty intrigued by the whole thing, they asked lots of questions about it...hired me...and gave me a starting salary higher than most.
Apr 29, 2008 11:01 pm
Hey Kool-Aid:

teke

 
From personal experience I can tell you that playing poker for a living will not keep you from getting a job in this industry...I played for a living for serveral years and decided to be completely honest on my resume...I let them know the truth....that even though I had some very prestigous previous employment...professional poker was the most discipline job I ever had.  I was hired...and as a matter of fact they seemed pretty intrigued by the whole thing, they asked lots of questions about it...hired me...and gave me a starting salary higher than most.
 
I agree - I'm an avid runner and on my resume I include some marathons that i've completed.  I've gotten wirehouse interviews even being straight out of college due to branch managers telling me that unique things like that are what set people apart in the hundreds of resumes they have come their way.
 
Managers look for a track record of success - if you successfully devoted a year of your life towards something that requires skill, don't be afraid to let them know. 
Apr 29, 2008 11:13 pm

Teke, you did awesome in 2006 with the poker and website marketing, so you're obviously creative and you have some good street smarts.  Maybe you just need to polish up your interviewing skills.  If you live near your college, I bet the Career Development Office there would be glad to review your resume, do a mock interview, and give you any tips and advice they can to help you out.  If that's not an option, maybe you could get the FA you know with Jones to do a mock interview with you.  It sounds like you just needs some good training to build up your confidence and teach you to close the deal.  Maybe working on some of those things and then reapplying to a place like Jones would work.

Apr 30, 2008 9:54 am

First thing , I must say this is a "Classic ". If it was not so absurd it would not even be worth responding to , that being said most participants offer insight , perspectives and valuable thoughts and ideas.

GEEZ....you were making 200K and you lost interest!!! Many people spend a lifetime and do not obtain an income that you suggest you were earning.
You decided to get in to this industry.....a deep rooted passion to plan financial security for people. Your degree obviously taught you nothing about business....the activity and purpose of business is to generate a profit. Business 101.
You want to only meet with potential clients that are strangers....not your natural market or family or friends. Obviously , you would prefer to " buck the system " and take the hardest route march to success. Making 200K a year would to my mind would mean that you would have some well heeled friends that could gain from your experience and insight.
No well respected firm would hire you....and you state Edward Jones did not give you a second interview.....have you really done any self review???
If you were unable to focus for a year what makes you think that you can focus on client's monies and your career for the next 35 years?
On that note....my wife and I are off on vacation ( earned by producing results for the company ) that required something more than a casual amount of effort to obtain.
My suggestions....go back to playing poker , after all the money is yours and you will not be playing " poker " with somebody else's hard earned money.
May 1, 2008 9:18 am

Teke - if I were looking to hire you on as a new FA, and you could prove that you made $200,000 while in college - you'd be hired on the spot.  This business is about making money - and people who can show that they know how to make money will always get a chance to make their manager happy.

 
I'm confused - you speak about making lots of money, but then you limit yourself by saying that you just want to stick with the series 6.  You need to be honest with this forum, and yourself. 
May 2, 2008 6:18 am

Hey guys,

I'd like to thank for the responses.  I probably deserve the "new guy" bashing because I probably think I know what I'm talking about when I really don't.  On a side note - It kinda silly to bash "new" posters when they post in the "rookies" forum.

But I guess its been hard for me to see who is truly trying to help me in life.  My last "job" was playing poker.  I had to learn completely on my own, I had to practice on my own, I had to deal with huge income swings all alone.  I knew that with time and experience that poker would pay off.  You know what?  Not a single person thought I was going to make it and I dealt with the toughest criticism you could ever imagine.  I've never worked so hard, in such an adverse environment, as playing poker for a living. 

So yeah, I made over $200k in 2006 and $150K of it was in one huge tournament that I won.  It is easy to think that there must be something "wrong" since I lost interest, but losing interest was me not wanting to deal with thousand dollar swings every single day and having to manipulate people out of there money in order to win.

Thankfully I am able to read between the lines and I guess posting my story on the forum was just setting me up for the bash posts. 

I guess what I really wanted to ask was:

 "Since I have proved, in a very short time, that I can be one of the most successful people in my profession,  I have a question about my new career change to financial services.  I understand that I may come off as arrogant, but I know that I am one of the most intelligent human beings when I put my heart into it.  I am able to create visions, take on risks that normal people couldn't fathom, and better the people around me in more than just a financial aspect. 

Since I know I will soon be one of the best registered reps in the world, I am wondering what my best options would be since I have so far been unable to communicate my vision with a very small sample of firms in my area, and need to make a serious decision in the very near future about my fate.  Right now I am with a firm that might now offer my best chance at my inevitable success, but I don't want to dismiss anything just off of something I have read on the internet. 

I already have my LH, Series 6, 63, 26, and very soon 65, 7 and 66 licenses, which will only further back up my credibility as a financial rep, in which I will soon have experience to go along with my other real life assets for credibility.  I am very open to any prospecting and marketing ideas that other successful Reps can offer and would like some sincere advice on what the best aspects of the business I can be focusing on as newly licenses rep.  

If the name of a B/D is really that important to clients, I want to know.  If I will have less opportunity as an independent contractor, I want to know.  If you think everything I've said above is just an impossible dream, than keep any negative comments to yourself.  I've heard enough people in my life tell me to stop following my dreams and I guess I'm lucky to be smart enough to follow my own vision and not take there "seemingly" good advice seriously"


May 2, 2008 6:43 am

Teke, you may want to re-read this thread again.  Not a single person has bashed you.   We're all trying to be of help to you.


Perception is reality.   Because you have not mentioned the poker playing to recruiters, you give the perception that you were unemployed for a year.  Thus, you were a bum or you simply weren't good enough for anyone else to hire.  The fact that you are now a financial advisor with no clients gives the perception that you aren't capable of doing this job.


Anyone who is not an idiot and is willing to study can easily pass the 6, 63 and L&H exams, so that doesn't mean too much.  The 7 and the 65 mean a little more, but not that much.


In terms of your question, it comes down to the fact that until you can show a track record of success, you are not very employable.  Your self confidence is great, but you have to be able to give those who would be hiring you, confidence in your ability.
 
Therefore, all that you need to do is to show people that 1) during your year of "unemployment", you were in fact not unemployed and instead was a very successful self employed poker player.  Your tax return can back you up on this one. And 2) that you are now working as a successful RR.  Of course before you can do this, you are going to have to make it true.
 
With a track record of success, choices are yours.  Without one, you are lucky to be working.  
May 2, 2008 7:41 am

Teke,

Assuming for the moment that you are serious and not a troll - which may well be a wrong assumption - here's a bit more feedback as you requested.  First let me excerpt a few important comments you offered:

I have only been registered with Finra since the
end of March.  I have yet to "close a sale".  I feel that since now I have a little experience
and proved that I could do well (by passing all my tests, etc) that I could
change firms if need be. I am faced with the challenge of trying to wait
out the trial and error I am facing with being self taught, the cold market,
and not really any help or going with my companies mission in the warm market
to start actually making money. Since I know I will soon be one of the best registered reps
in the world. There is an old adage that comes to mind: We judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions.  That, alone, may give you some insight into why you are struggling to get anyone to hire you - you have yet to show by your actions that you can survive as an FA, much less "become one of the best registered reps in the world."   But you are already a legend in your own mind.

The fact is you have yet to land a single client or make a sale.  Contrary to your assertion, you have proved nothing yet, other than what you are doing isn't working.  Now, after all of one month - one single month! - in production, you are spending your energy talking about other firms and other licenses and other irrelevant distractions, when all you should be doing every waking moment is prospecting and selling.  Without doing that, it won't matter what firm you are with or what licenses you have or don't have, because you will not be a FA for long.  Keep doing what you've been doing and you'll keep getting what you've been getting.

That's not bashing, Teke, that's telling it to you straight.  We're trying to help.

The good news is it is entirely within your power to rapidly turn this situation around, but only if you ACT, and act NOW.  Your intelligence and risk taking abilities and other self-described strengths mean nothing if you don't cause yourself to do the things that will actually make you an FA: getting clients.  THEN you can help them and eventually become the best RR in the world.  But first things first. 

Get a client.  Then another.  Then another.  Rinse and repeat.

This isn't about firms or licenses, my young friend - this is all about you.  Keep your eye on the ball and do what you need to do.

May 2, 2008 10:22 am

Take the series 7, go back to Jones (I was there for 14 years--Indy now) and apply again.  It will make a difference to another firm if you already have all your licenses.  That being said--we are all sales people--but you have to realize that you are helping people accomplish saving and investing that left to their own -- would never invest!  Those that invest on their own are not your target.  So get out of the comfort zone--do your job!

 
If you have a hard time getting over this--come spend some time with me and I will get you out of your comfort zone.  It sounds as though you need a mentor and some sales training.
 
You have to work at this or you will get beatup  or worst, you are DOA  in this business.
May 2, 2008 10:24 am

Have a great weekend everyone!

May 2, 2008 1:51 pm

OK teke:

 
Here is some very good advice...while I am a "rookie" in this business (1 year selling), I am a veteran in Life.  I am 42 years old..like you I have played poker for a living (7 years)..quite successfully, I might add.
 
Something else we have in common is that self confidence..i.e. thinking we are smarter than your average bear.  The big difference ...and this may come with age, is I DON'T TELL ANYONE ABOUT IT!!!!!   People will realize your "greatness" by actions...not words.  In this business I have found, that having other vets help you out and give you ideas is super-important.  In order to get the best people to help you, you need to have a bit more humility and realize that although you have great potential, you are still a lump of clay!  So, my advice is...be more humble...think the way you do now...but to yourself.  The world respects a great man who doesn't have to tell everyone how great he is!
May 2, 2008 8:37 pm

I can handle "constructive" criticism, but I guess really wasn't asking everybody for answers to what I was doing wrong but what I should be doing in the future to better myself.  I have taken 4 securities licenses in the last 3 months and am taking the 65 in two weeks.  I haven't even had time to prospect.  Plus with the very little time I have prospected my "unknown" firm hasn't appealed to prospective clients, which is why I brought up finding a new firm in the first place.

While I understand that having a track record of success would be the best way to prove I am worthy, I haven't even tried to prove that yet.  I have been reading books, studying for tests, and making very few cold calls.  I have been on a few appointments and one was with a poker player who won $1.4 million.  It was a tough situation because of tax implications, divorce issues, and overall trust issues since I was new.  I was still able to give him some great advice but didn't get him into any retirement plan. 

So yes I didn't and have still not "closed a sale". 

Another appointment I had involved a IRA rollover but when the client requested to move the funds, there existing IRA holder gave them the run around so I am still in the process of that.  So in my short time of prospecting I wouldn't say it has been a complete failure. 

Basically, if the firm I work for could end up being the main cause for many hardships, I would like to know.  Other than that I know that I will be extremely successful, but maybe not in the time frame I would hope for.