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Feb 16, 2006 2:37 pm

I had my first interview, for a "fincancial advisor" position where the intervewer (won't put a name) kept looking over my shoulder and nodding their head and was clearly not even listening to me. Had my second interview where the guy kept me waiting for 45 mins in the lobby, showed up seemingly drunk, slurring his words, so i interviewed him. Had my third interview where i was offered the pre-contract deal and told how lucky and privileged i am to be offered the job. However he didn't mention any of the facts i have discovered on this site. For example the over head charges come from my own pocket!!


Can anyone give me their insight? Should i do this? Is it a foot in the door? Or will i be used and abused? I have a background in sales and am not afraid of the challenge, but i am not happy about the fact that i was told to show up on my first day with a list of everybody i know and i must call them. That seems ridiculous to me. I get the feeling they offer no support in terms of finding clients and that most people probably leave within the first 3 months and management take whatever clients the new starters bring in, knowing people will give up and leave and therefore using them as free labor and to get more clients. Could this be right??


I know i want to break into the indusrty and obviously would rather do it at a better company, but i need to know if its worth me leaving my current job for this. Does anybody have anything good to say??


Feb 16, 2006 3:15 pm

Two thumbs down on AXA.  This business is hard enough without the extra handicaps.  It's barely worth it to try this business out unless as I've said before you have great contacts w/ money or are a genius marketer.  Odds are heavily against you.  From what I hear AXA is nothing to get excited about and if what you are saying is true, I wouldn't bother.


I wouldn't even try to get into this business fresh again unless I had the odds stacked heavily in my favor.  Life is too short to have to deal with the B.S you detailed in addition to the stresses of this business.


As far as the list of family, I have made the decision to not persue family money for many reasons.  Although some thinks it's a good idea and works for them, I don't want to talk business or have my business get in the way of my most cherished relationships. 


If you really want to get into this business it's worth it to aggressively persue a position at a well known "brand name" like Merrill, Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley, AG Edwards etc.... (I'd stay away from UBS though).  If they won't hire you now, find out what you need to do to get hired.  Stay persistent and don't take no for an answer.  Have a well defined business and marketing plan with a list of high quality people who meet a carefully defined target market.  You should have maybe 5000 names and phone #'s to start.  Keep on reading this forum and learn as much about the business as you can. 


I turned down an offer from Northwestern Mutual when I was trying to break into this business so I could persue Morgan Stanley as an employer, man am I glad I waited.


As far as whether it's worth it to leave your current job, I don't know what you do or what the work is like or what you are looking to acomplish or what's most important to you.


Feb 16, 2006 3:52 pm

I agree with you totally. Thanks for the input.

Feb 16, 2006 9:46 pm

i dont necessarily agree with all of the posts.  AXA is pretty rough in your first few months, and you definitely are not pampered.  Ive been there for 3 years, in a new town that I didnt know a sole in and I have made it happily thusfar. 


like everywhere else, it comes down to your branch manager and then your district manager.  if they are great at their jobs they will help you succeed to some degree, or at least make you feel better about it all along the way. 


there is virtually no product I have come across that I cant sell.  Sure the company loves it when I sale their annuity & insurance contracts, but my payout is the same regardless. 


a lot of the bad posts are probably in reference to the RBG division of the company.  This is usually an area for rookies to go in(usually right out of college) and they work the 403(b)/TSA market.  They are allowed to do other financial services and plans, but their primary goal is to write as many apps as possible to build a large book.  this is not a very sophisticated entry into the business, but its a way to get in for people wanting to try something new. 


on the traditional planning side at our office we have about a dozen very competent planners.  I have seen plenty come through the doors that dont last and did a poor job for thier clients.  most of the good ones have stuck around and our company compensates us well for our work. 


remember, everyone who has a complaint is probably someone who simply didnt cut it.  if you cant make the best out of wherever you are you arent cut out for this business anyway.  its nice to have some ammo on your side, but if your looking for a handout from a company, keep looking.  if you work hard at AXA, you will succeed.

Feb 16, 2006 9:54 pm

axa sux

Feb 16, 2006 9:58 pm
baylorjoyce1:

i dont necessarily agree with all of the posts.  AXA is pretty rough in your first few months, and you definitely are not pampered.  Ive been there for 3 years, in a new town that I didnt know a sole in and I have made it happily thusfar. 


like everywhere else, it comes down to your branch manager and then your district manager.  if they are great at their jobs they will help you succeed to some degree, or at least make you feel better about it all along the way. (so if you're a complete failure at least they'll help you keep your self image good?)


there is virtually no product I have come across that I cant sell.  Sure the company loves it when I sale their annuity & insurance contracts, but my payout is the same regardless. 


a lot of the bad posts are probably in reference to the RBG division of the company.  This is usually an area for rookies to go in(usually right out of college) and they work the 403(b)/TSA market.  They are allowed to do other financial services and plans, but their primary goal is to write as many apps as possible to build a large book.  this is not a very sophisticated entry into the business, but its a way to get in for people wanting to try something new. 


on the traditional planning side at our office we have about a dozen very competent planners.  I have seen plenty come through the doors that dont last and did a poor job for thier clients.  most of the good ones have stuck around and our company compensates us well for our work. 


remember, everyone who has a complaint is probably someone who simply didnt cut it.  if you cant make the best out of wherever you are you arent cut out for this business anyway.  its nice to have some ammo on your side, but if your looking for a handout from a company, keep looking.  if you work hard at AXA, you will succeed.



Apparently AXA is a GRATE place for peeple who no nothing abuot speling or punxuation!

Feb 16, 2006 10:14 pm

wow. 


my bad.  last i checked my mom didnt still live with me to sing me the song about " i before e execept after......blah blah".  gimme a break, one misspelled word.  and if i write an entire post without apostrophe'e and hyphen's, im sure your genius brain can process the language regardless. 

Feb 16, 2006 10:15 pm

oh SH$$.  i had a typo, let me correct it before you have a great reply.  "apostrophe's".

Feb 16, 2006 10:50 pm

AXA is French for Annuity.



But seriously, do they do anything other than VAs and life insurance??

Feb 16, 2006 11:08 pm

seriously yes.  i would say my business is about 1/4 fee based plans & fee based accounts, 1/4 commision based brokerage, 1/4 Life Insurance/Annuities and 1/4 401(k)'s,LTC, DI.   I dont even use Alliance Bernstein who we own.  Our payout is consistent no matter if we use proprietary or non and anyone who tells you different is a moron.  Actually I got a higher payout on a Prudential product than I would have using a AXA Equitable contract just the other day.  I have never had an issue using any investment/insurance company that I have wanted or needed to use. 

Feb 17, 2006 12:02 am
baylorjoyce1:

oh SH$$.  i had a typo, let me correct it before you have a great reply.  "apostrophe's".



Actually the plural form of the word would be 'apostrophes'.

I hope you don't send many letters to your clients.

Feb 17, 2006 12:09 am

 


heres a post from joedabrkr


Fee Advisor: Talking Poinnts??


I tell people-"hey look we've known each other a while and I think I've proven to you that I have your best interests at heart.  That being said, the fact remains that I get paid when you move money, not for any of the other things I spend time doing things for you.  No matter how much I have my heart in the right place or carefully consider my reasons for a transaction that fact does not change.  Too, even if you would rather not admit it, I would bet that there has been at least one time in the last few years where you wondered if at least one of the transaction I've suggested was perhaps driven by revenues.  It's just human nature-both yours and mind.  Putting our relationship on a fee basis, wherever possible-separates the revenue/cost from the transaction, and allows both of us to focus solely at all times on whether or not the trade makes sense for you.  Making good investment decisions is tough enough without letting transaction costs and motivations cloud the picture.  Too, Mr. Client, I've found that clients often make better decisions in a fee platform because they're not worried about the cost of the transaction.  This is especially true when it comes to harvesting losses before things get too bad.  This area in particular is a weakness for many if not most individual investors.


 


OH MY GOD! ARE YOU A RETARD! The audacity to think that you didnt do a first draft and then proofread it is horrific. 


shame on you

Feb 17, 2006 2:22 pm

Baylor,


I worked at AXA for nearly 4 years, the first 3 I was DLC consistently and the last year I was almost at NLC. I left for ML and the difference is ridiculous. I never realized what working for a real firm was like. The ONLY thing I wished I still had from AXA was the Methuselah planning software....


As for the fact that your compensation/ benefits isnt in any way tied to what product/ company you sell is bull$hit. Only you and I may know that. If you are on the traditional side of AXA then you are on the POP program, and we both know that your overhead and benefits (ex. 401K matching) are tied DIRECTLY to how much AXA Equitable annuity and life business you "provide" to your clients.

Feb 17, 2006 3:10 pm
baylorjoyce1:

 


heres a post from joedabrkr


Fee Advisor: Talking Poinnts??


I tell people-"hey look we've known each other a while and I think I've proven to you that I have your best interests at heart.  That being said, the fact remains that I get paid when you move money, not for any of the other things I spend time doing things for you.  No matter how much I have my heart in the right place or carefully consider my reasons for a transaction that fact does not change.  Too, even if you would rather not admit it, I would bet that there has been at least one time in the last few years where you wondered if at least one of the transaction I've suggested was perhaps driven by revenues.  It's just human nature-both yours and mind.  Putting our relationship on a fee basis, wherever possible-separates the revenue/cost from the transaction, and allows both of us to focus solely at all times on whether or not the trade makes sense for you.  Making good investment decisions is tough enough without letting transaction costs and motivations cloud the picture.  Too, Mr. Client, I've found that clients often make better decisions in a fee platform because they're not worried about the cost of the transaction.  This is especially true when it comes to harvesting losses before things get too bad.  This area in particular is a weakness for many if not most individual investors.


 


OH MY GOD! ARE YOU A RETARD! The audacity to think that you didnt do a first draft and then proofread it is horrific. 


shame on you



I am thoroughly ashamed. 



Thanks for taking the time to check my posts for me.

Feb 17, 2006 3:47 pm

blarmstorm.


i am not under the pop contract currently.  we are currently switching our compensation to consist of GDC instead of the wonderful "pc" world, and the advisors contracts are going to be revised for the change.  currently i am getting no higher payout for non proprietary products, and thats no bull$hit. 


congrats on going to merrill.  way to go.  i worked for AXA for 3 years and that is after working for a independent beforehand.  i understand what a true open structure is. 


and if a match on a company 401(k) for your old contract caused you to sell proprietary, then you got bigger issues to swallow.  maybe i am fortunate not feel like i have to put my clients before my own interests and to be honest im not saying nor do i think you did that. 


jodabrkr-  i didnt go around checking your post.  i was simply doing what most do and clicked on a topic that i wanted to see the responses to, where you happened to have posted.  as i read it i caught the error and was reminded of it when you decided to play mom and teach me how to spell.

Feb 17, 2006 4:26 pm
blarmston:

Baylor,


I worked at AXA for nearly 4 years, the first 3 I was DLC consistently and the last year I was almost at NLC. I left for ML and the difference is ridiculous. I never realized what working for a real firm was like. The ONLY thing I wished I still had from AXA was the Methuselah planning software....


As for the fact that your compensation/ benefits isnt in any way tied to what product/ company you sell is bull$hit. Only you and I may know that. If you are on the traditional side of AXA then you are on the POP program, and we both know that your overhead and benefits (ex. 401K matching) are tied DIRECTLY to how much AXA Equitable annuity and life business you "provide" to your clients.



Whattodo, here's good insight from someone who has seen the differences I was aluding to in my post. 

Feb 17, 2006 4:43 pm
baylorjoyce1:

 


heres a post from joedabrkr


Fee Advisor: Talking Poinnts??


I tell people-"hey look we've known each other a while and I think I've proven to you that I have your best interests at heart.  That being said, the fact remains that I get paid when you move money, not for any of the other things I spend time doing things for you.  No matter how much I have my heart in the right place or carefully consider my reasons for a transaction that fact does not change.  Too, even if you would rather not admit it, I would bet that there has been at least one time in the last few years where you wondered if at least one of the transaction I've suggested was perhaps driven by revenues.  It's just human nature-both yours and mind.  Putting our relationship on a fee basis, wherever possible-separates the revenue/cost from the transaction, and allows both of us to focus solely at all times on whether or not the trade makes sense for you.  Making good investment decisions is tough enough without letting transaction costs and motivations cloud the picture.  Too, Mr. Client, I've found that clients often make better decisions in a fee platform because they're not worried about the cost of the transaction.  This is especially true when it comes to harvesting losses before things get too bad.  This area in particular is a weakness for many if not most individual investors.


 


OH MY GOD! ARE YOU A RETARD! The audacity to think that you didnt do a first draft and then proofread it is horrific. 


shame on you



Oh, and by the way it should be "here's", as the apostrophe indicates it is the contraction of "here" and "is" 

Feb 18, 2006 12:28 pm
joedabrkr:
baylorjoyce1:

 


heres a post from joedabrkr


Fee Advisor: Talking Poinnts??


I tell people-"hey look we've known each other a while and I think I've proven to you that I have your best interests at heart.  That being said, the fact remains that I get paid when you move money, not for any of the other things I spend time doing things for you.  No matter how much I have my heart in the right place or carefully consider my reasons for a transaction that fact does not change.  Too, even if you would rather not admit it, I would bet that there has been at least one time in the last few years where you wondered if at least one of the transaction I've suggested was perhaps driven by revenues.  It's just human nature-both yours and mind.  Putting our relationship on a fee basis, wherever possible-separates the revenue/cost from the transaction, and allows both of us to focus solely at all times on whether or not the trade makes sense for you.  Making good investment decisions is tough enough without letting transaction costs and motivations cloud the picture.  Too, Mr. Client, I've found that clients often make better decisions in a fee platform because they're not worried about the cost of the transaction.  This is especially true when it comes to harvesting losses before things get too bad.  This area in particular is a weakness for many if not most individual investors.


 


OH MY GOD! ARE YOU A RETARD! The audacity to think that you didnt do a first draft and then proofread it is horrific. 


shame on you



I am thoroughly ashamed. 



Thanks for taking the time to check my posts for me.


I still love you Joe.

Feb 18, 2006 12:29 pm
baylorjoyce1:

blarmstorm.


i am not under the pop contract currently.  we are currently switching our compensation to consist of GDC instead of the wonderful "pc" world, and the advisors contracts are going to be revised for the change.  currently i am getting no higher payout for non proprietary products, and thats no bull$hit. 


congrats on going to merrill.  way to go.  i worked for AXA for 3 years and that is after working for a independent beforehand.  i understand what a true open structure is. 


and if a match on a company 401(k) for your old contract caused you to sell proprietary, then you got bigger issues to swallow.  maybe i am fortunate not feel like i have to put my clients before my own interests and to be honest im not saying nor do i think you did that. 


jodabrkr-  i didnt go around checking your post.  i was simply doing what most do and clicked on a topic that i wanted to see the responses to, where you happened to have posted.  as i read it i caught the error and was reminded of it when you decided to play mom and teach me how to spell.



You cannot even take the time to capitalize "i" and you criticize Joe?  My Joe???  Get out.

Feb 18, 2006 2:15 pm

Baylor,


Congrats on your tenure at AXA. I simply needed a change because I felt that AXA was a glorified insurance company that projected itslef as a financial planning firm. Maybe your branch was different, but I needed to get 2 forms signed in order to even request quotes from insurance/annuity carriers outside of AXA.


When I was on POP (a type of commission plus bonus compensation structure), the only production that counted towards offsetting overhead ( office space, telephone usage, assistant support, etc.) and adding to benefits ( 401K match, etc.) was the business generated by AXA Equitable annuities...


Also, the only training wwe ever got was for strategies directing relating to the use of AXA proprietary products... Again, possibly your experience is different, but forgive me if I have your doubts...


Hey, at least the stock has skyrocketed right????