My first post! very excited, help?

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Aug 5, 2007 2:52 am

First and foremost, I learn A LOT from this forum. big thanks to everyone! I am very excited about this industry.


I'm 21 years old, and I'm graduating this coming December with a double degree in Business Economics and Sociology. I busted my butt off in college to finish both degrees in two years all at the same time working 30 hours a week each year. I've had experience working at Washington Mutual, State Farm Insurance and right now I'm interning at an indy firm under LPL. I am very excited to graduate and hopefully land a job as an FA. Unlike most 21 year olds, I do have a general knowledge about investments, understand that there is a 90% attrition rate, realize it's a mostly sales-based job and that first two year's expected AUM goal is approximately 15 mill. I've also read books such as "Getting to Yes", Bill Good's marketing and I make about 250 dials at my current job while building close relationships. However, they are being shady and using me since im still in college and refuse to sponsor me for my series 7 or 66 until graduation in Dec.


I've tried talking to some branch managers at UBS, SB, MS, ML around my southern ca area and they all told me they would not give anyone the job who is 21 because they lack the networking and sales knowledge to survive. They told me my only shot at landing a FA job is to have my series 7. I know most of the board members might be skeptical of my abilities, but I am currently in two fraternities with a huge alumni database, my friends work at retail banks and offered to give me 100k+ leads, I am planning to join a community board around my area full of wealthy 1mill+families, my uncle works for LAPD, my cousin is an attorney and another cousin is a CPA. The hardest struggle is not getting the clients, but getting people to trust me, but I look like i'm 24-27 anyways. My question is...


How do I convince a branch manager to hire me?

Aug 5, 2007 2:53 am

whoops, sorry finished college in 3 years and 1 qtr.

Aug 5, 2007 8:03 am

Jim,


At your age, I'd really advise the insurance company route for a couple of years. 


1) You'll get hired
2) You'll make more money
3) You'll learn the sales skills necessary
4) You'll get the experience and won't have any problem getting hired at a wirehouse in a couple of years if you want to make a change.


Regardless of what anybody thinks of insurance companies, it can only help an advisor to truly understand insurance and be able to sell it.

Aug 5, 2007 12:19 pm


Aug 5, 2007 1:04 pm

joe please take the carrot out of your @ss before you post kthxbye

Aug 5, 2007 1:44 pm

I started at 22 immediately after graduation.  Its not easy at that age, and the insurance route would be easier, not too mention better financially.  Another route is to try a bank for a while first.  Which ever you choose do keep in touch with the branch managers at the wires and keep them posted on your progress.  I know of a manager who was on the fence with a rookie and recommended him to take a job somewhere else but to keep posted of progress.  After a while the manager hired the rookie on and it all worked out. 

Also, at that age focus on retirees.  They know you're young, but everyone is a kid to them, not too mention they are more willing to help guide a young professional.  Where as a 40-50 something looks at you like their kids (since you're about the same age) and they most likely don't trust them with money.

Aug 5, 2007 2:47 pm

The original plan for me was to hit 75 k my first year and hitting well over 100+ my second year (when I'm 23) and I figured only something with commission is going to do the job. I have worked at an insurance company before, but my true passion is financial advising. For me this is the best time where I'm right out of college and can afford a 40k job base. However I'm scared once I become too comfortable with my salary at an insurance company, I will not be willing to take the risk to transition over to a FA wirehouse to accept a base pay of 40k. My other alternative is becoming a client associate for these wirehouses, the compensation is around 40k+10k bonus? No commission, no sales involved, which is what i DON'T like. it's basically a secretarial, administrative job. The manager told me most client associates move up until a financial advisor position in 1-2 years.

Aug 5, 2007 3:26 pm
JimYoung:

The original plan for me was to hit 75 k my first year and hitting well over 100+ my second year (when I'm 23) and I figured only something with commission is going to do the job. I have worked at an insurance company before, but my true passion is financial advising. For me this is the best time where I'm right out of college and can afford a 40k job base. However I'm scared once I become too comfortable with my salary at an insurance company, I will not be willing to take the risk to transition over to a FA wirehouse to accept a base pay of 40k. My other alternative is becoming a client associate for these wirehouses, the compensation is around 40k+10k bonus? No commission, no sales involved, which is what i DON'T like. it's basically a secretarial, administrative job. The manager told me most client associates move up until a financial advisor position in 1-2 years.



Let me see if I have this right.  You're almost 21 and you know that your "true passion" is financial advising?

Aug 5, 2007 4:35 pm

Lots of people bash on Jones (myself included) but you may want to look at them.  They hire people your age more often than most.

Aug 5, 2007 4:56 pm

Jim, You'll do more financial advising with an insurance company than a wirehouse.   This is because anything that you do in the beginning at the wirehouse, other than gather assets, will put you one step closer to getting canned.

Aug 5, 2007 5:37 pm
Devil'sAdvocate:
JimYoung:

The original plan for me was to hit 75 k my first year and hitting well over 100+ my second year (when I'm 23) and I figured only something with commission is going to do the job. I have worked at an insurance company before, but my true passion is financial advising. For me this is the best time where I'm right out of college and can afford a 40k job base. However I'm scared once I become too comfortable with my salary at an insurance company, I will not be willing to take the risk to transition over to a FA wirehouse to accept a base pay of 40k. My other alternative is becoming a client associate for these wirehouses, the compensation is around 40k+10k bonus? No commission, no sales involved, which is what i DON'T like. it's basically a secretarial, administrative job. The manager told me most client associates move up until a financial advisor position in 1-2 years.



Let me see if I have this right.  You're almost 21 and you know that your "true passion" is financial advising?




Yes, I'm already 21, turning 22. I've worked at an indy under LPL for quite some time. I've known I wanted to be in sales ever since I was a kid, I just wanted to sell a legitimate product.

Aug 5, 2007 5:44 pm
JimYoung:

Yes, I'm already 21, turning 22. I've worked at an indy under LPL for quite some time. I've known I wanted to be in sales ever since I was a kid, I just wanted to sell a legitimate product.



Damn all that seasoning.  Wanted to be in sales since you were a kid?  Hell, you are a kid.


If you want a really bright future go into the bridge rebuilding business.

Aug 5, 2007 6:33 pm
JimYoung:

First and foremost, I learn A LOT from this forum. big thanks to everyone! I am very excited about this industry.

I'm 21 years old, and I'm graduating this coming December with a double degree in Business Economics and Sociology. I busted my butt off in college to finish both degrees in two years all at the same time working 30 hours a week each year. I've had experience working at Washington Mutual, State Farm Insurance and right now I'm interning at an indy firm under LPL. I am very excited to graduate and hopefully land a job as an FA. Unlike most 21 year olds, I do have a general knowledge about investments, understand that there is a 90% attrition rate, realize it's a mostly sales-based job and that first two year's expected AUM goal is approximately 15 mill. I've also read books such as "Getting to Yes", Bill Good's marketing and I make about 250 dials at my current job while building close relationships. However, they are being shady and using me since im still in college and refuse to sponsor me for my series 7 or 66 until graduation in Dec.


I've tried talking to some branch managers at UBS, SB, MS, ML around my southern ca area and they all told me they would not give anyone the job who is 21 because they lack the networking and sales knowledge to survive. They told me my only shot at landing a FA job is to have my series 7. I know most of the board members might be skeptical of my abilities, but I am currently in two fraternities with a huge alumni database, my friends work at retail banks and offered to give me 100k+ leads, I am planning to join a community board around my area full of wealthy 1mill+families, my uncle works for LAPD, my cousin is an attorney and another cousin is a CPA. The hardest struggle is not getting the clients, but getting people to trust me, but I look like i'm 24-27 anyways. My question is...


How do I convince a branch manager to hire me?


I'll give you an A+ for enthusiasm and ambition and I think you have some natural tools that would be a plus in this business.  You've also done some homework on the industry and show a decent grasp of the basics.  That being said, I also have a few words of caution for you...


At 21, you're not ready to manage assets.  You may think you are, but at this point, you have no clue just how little you know about what effect market conditions can have on various investments and asset classes.  All the theoretical studies and simulated trading don't begin to give you the same knowledge that trading a significant amount of live assets (that aren't your own) through an entire market cycle.  When a client is on the other end of the phone or across the desk from you panicking about his/her sliding account balance, you won't know for sure how you'll react until you're there.


The managers you are talking to know what they are talking about.  You'd be wise to set your sights one rung down the ladder as a licensed assistant or junior team member and learn the business in a low-risk setting before you roll all the marbles and flame out at 22.


On your current internship...you're not being used...you're being given a tremendous opportunity to learn the business in a low-risk environment.  You may think at 21 that you're ready to manage money, but you're not even close.  You're getting excellent experience at asset gathering, which in my opinion, is the toughest part of the job, but your employers/mentors are still the ones sealing the deal.  The sale gets a lot tougher when the prospect knows that a 21-year-old will be taking care of the investment management on their life savings.


Your friends at the bank won't be giving you those leads unless you work for their bank.  Otherwise, giving you those leads is a violation of privacy rules, not to mention actions against the bank's best interest.  If your friends are making those promises to you, they're playing with fire and at a minimum, such activity will cost them their jobs if discovered...never mind the potential criminal and civil actions.


...and finally, your income numbers are a bit rosy to say the least.  Impossible? No.  Improbable?  Absolutely.  $75K at 40% means production of $187,500.  $100K means production of $250,000.  Despite your confidence, I have serious doubts that you'll hit those numbers at age 22 & 23 with little experience.  Lots of guys with your intelligence, ambition and "connections" have found that making a nice income right out of the gate in this business is harder than it looks.


You show promise...enough that if you work hard and make smart decisions, I think you'll be among the 10% that survives.  Just understand that the road to riches might be a tad longer than you're estimating...

Aug 5, 2007 8:40 pm

some great posts in this thread.


great intel

Aug 5, 2007 10:01 pm

Don't listen to that crap about your age.  Just wear it on your sleeve and people respect you more for it.  I'm 23, was hired at 21 by a major wirehouse and have brought in 5mm in assets (in 8 months of production.)


There are BM's out there that will hire someone who is this informed and interested in the position, find them.  (Hell, even Ameriprise will sponsor you, maybe go that route as last resort and jump ship asap).


So none of you math wizards out there question my dates, I was hired in May of 06, turned 22 in June and have been in production since January.

Aug 6, 2007 10:20 am
gad12:

Lots of people bash on Jones (myself included) but you may want to look at them.  They hire people your age more often than most.



I've seen lot's of "kids" get hired in their early 20's at Jones and do just fine.  I've also seen a lot that didn't make it.  I can also say the same thing of 40 year olds. 


I would disagree with the statements being made that his age is the reason he shouldn't be managing assets.  If he gets hired somewhere and goes through training with a bunch of other older new FAs he'll have the same knowledge as they do.  But maybe, because of his age and lack of other responsibilities, he can work longer or harder.  With no wife, kids, mortgage, lawn, etc he can simply concentrate on the biz.  All that time and nothing to do but pound the phone and streets.  What he lacks in age, he can make up for in hours on the job. 


Jim, include Jones in your prospective employers.  Just because they are the favorite company to hate on this forum, doesn't mean you shouldn't give them a shot too.

Aug 6, 2007 11:02 am

Jim---

I'm in a very similair position to the one you are in right now. We should keep in touch. I'm graduating in May 2008, as a 22 turning 23 year old college graduate.

I currently intern for a large wirehouse (SB, ML or MS) and for one of the top 250 independent wealth management companies in the country (as rated by various magazines at around 100). For one company, I'm making dials all day, for the other, I'm assisting in financial planning documents and helping the people who meet with clients.

At this stage, I have been "offered" a job by both internships, and I say "offer" with caution of course -- I'm not in a position to be safe that I have an offer and then be dissapointed later. Anyways one position would be as an assistant to a Client Relationship Manager, i.e. helping with client documents, composing plans, analysis, what have you. The other would be as part of a small team for the wire house under a very sucsessful FA who also hired a younger kid out of college (he has a passion for mentoring college interns), the guy is 23 and in the top 5 of his training class.

What do I do? Which route do I go? I enjoy the sales, and the fast pace environment at the wirehouse. But I'm also a young kid. I've brought appointments for the boss over the phone with people over $1.5m a couple times and a lot smaller fish. I too, have a passion for financial planning, if you can call it that, just look at my bookshelf and you'll see every Nick Murrary...

I was going to make a post down the line about my situation -- I'm a lurker. But it seems like the right time, since Jim is also in a situation such as this.

Thanks in advance for your expertise.

Aug 6, 2007 11:48 am

DA has it right, you're still a kid. As such I'm not skeptical of your abilities. You have no abilities. You have no sales experience or for that matter life experience. How are you going to relate to your target market, which is mostly plus 50 years old? What idiot 50 plus person would give their life savings to a 22 year old with no experience? The BOMs are trying to tell you something they know that you don't. Your reluctance to believe them points exactly to the inexperience they speak of.


The door isn't closed to you. It's just not yet open. To get the door to open the BOMs are advising you to get on the path that will open that door. Step one; get some sales exerience. Show that you can be successful. Do that and after spending two or three years of getting doors slammed in your face, or hung up on, or UPs walking off the lot without buying, give us the success report. Tell us that inspite of how hard it is selling whatever it is that you're selling, that you are the company's top salesperson.  Because when you can tell us that you can also tell it to a BOM. And the door will open.



Aug 6, 2007 1:10 pm
Spaceman Spiff:
gad12:

Lots of people bash on Jones (myself included) but you may want to look at them.  They hire people your age more often than most.

I've seen lot's of "kids" get hired in their early 20's at Jones and do just fine.  I've also seen a lot that didn't make it.  I can also say the same thing of 40 year olds. 


I would disagree with the statements being made that his age is the reason he shouldn't be managing assets.  If he gets hired somewhere and goes through training with a bunch of other older new FAs he'll have the same knowledge as they do.  But maybe, because of his age and lack of other responsibilities, he can work longer or harder.  With no wife, kids, mortgage, lawn, etc he can simply concentrate on the biz.  All that time and nothing to do but pound the phone and streets.  What he lacks in age, he can make up for in hours on the job. 


Jim, include Jones in your prospective employers.  Just because they are the favorite company to hate on this forum, doesn't mean you shouldn't give them a shot too.


Spiff, while age is not an absolute, I'll respectfully disagree that it's not a huge impediment to successful investment management.  Sure, a 20-something can do a basic mutual fund allocation if given some guidance by the firm, but when I look back at the bigger mistakes I made investment-wise, they are pretty much at the front of my career when I was 20-something and had little or no experience in the industry.  Sure, I was familiar with the great depression, and the bear of the early 70's and the meltdown in 1987, but until I experienced the effects of the market on my investment decisions, both good and bad, I was relatively clueless.  Most of the biggest mistakes I've seen in competitor accounts tended to happen early also.


I also think you're a little off on the 20 vs. 40 thing too.  If all things were equal financially, I think you'd see a lot more 40-something newbies survive than 20-somethings.  One of the big reasons that older newbies don't survive is that economically, they can't wait out the lean years at the beginning, whereas if you're fresh out of school, don't have a house payment, a wife and three kids, it's easier to tough it out.  A 40-something newbie at least has some additional life experience to draw on, and probably some good experience watching his/her 401(K) at the previous employer over the years.


I might give someone like Jim a shot on my $4,000 Roth contribution because he's a likeable guy and eager to please, but the million dollar rollover account...not likely at this stage in the game.

Aug 6, 2007 4:22 pm

 You should apply at J.T. Marlin



 The post above mentions Ameriprise...normally I would say no , but given your situation thats not a bad idea. Get your 7 and bail.


good luck!