New Career, Old Broker

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Aug 22, 2009 8:45 am

Morning Guys,

 
I have been registered since 2000 but I took the "safe" route and worked at a discount firm.  I made a decent living until earlier this year when I was laid off.  I felt a little betrayed but I guess its the nature of the business. 
 
I started doing some analysis on all the insurance and managed accounts I sold during my time on the discount side and was surprised.  I could have made quite a living if I would have been selling for myself.  Before anyone interjects, I am fully aware that selling outside of the discount world is a bit different as most the clients already have money at the firm.  I'm just a little upset that I took the easy route where I could have low six figures and work 9-5 instead of stretching myself and trying to really build a sustainable business where I could possibly make real money.
 
Enough of the backstory as I am sure most aren't that interested.  I've been looking at both Edward Jones & AxA Advisors.  I've read the reviews here on EJ and I am so thankful that I've found this board.  I was wondering if anyone worked or heard anything about AxA Advisors?  It is a much more entrepeneurial position as you pay for everything and there is very little in terms of salary if any at all.
 
Finally, is there one thing you wish you knew when building your business as a rookie?
 
Any responses will be greatly appreciated.  This seems like a great community. 
Aug 22, 2009 5:40 pm

I thought AxA was a good mix of insurance products/investments.  I haven't heard much about the frenchies and thought it would offer a good boutique feel to a practice.  Additionally, the few people I met outside of my hiring interviews seemed extremely bright and were also making sick amounts of money.  I purposely avoided banks because I felt that I could not achieve my long term financial goals at a bank.  At my discount firm it was commonplace for someone to make between 130-180k depending on branch location etcetera.  I have loftier goals, anyone here in a banking environment making high six or seven figure incomes?

 
You are right though, I don't hear much about AxA, however there were a few posts about branch mgrs only churning new hires for their contacts on the glassdoor.  But EDJ was absolutely massacred on that site by insiders and I come here and see the same so I am a little hesitant to go down that path.
 
Anyone else have any insights into AxA Advisors?
Aug 22, 2009 9:16 pm

Some AXA offices are very well run...others are crap. I read too many horror stories that I never interviewed with them.

With your licenses and experience, you can get into a top-tier program anyway (with a decent salary, if that's important to you). So AXA's probably not the best choice.

Aug 22, 2009 11:13 pm
Streetbroker:

I thought AxA was a good mix of insurance products/investments.  I haven't heard much about the frenchies and thought it would offer a good boutique feel to a practice.  Additionally, the few people I met outside of my hiring interviews seemed extremely bright and were also making sick amounts of money.  I purposely avoided banks because I felt that I could not achieve my long term financial goals at a bank.  At my discount firm it was commonplace for someone to make between 130-180k depending on branch location etcetera.  I have loftier goals, anyone here in a banking environment making high six or seven figure incomes?

 
You are right though, I don't hear much about AxA, however there were a few posts about branch mgrs only churning new hires for their contacts on the glassdoor.  But EDJ was absolutely massacred on that site by insiders and I come here and see the same so I am a little hesitant to go down that path.
 
Anyone else have any insights into AxA Advisors?

Commonplace my ass. "Produce"(GDC) maybe - "make"(gross) I doubt it.

Aug 23, 2009 7:49 am

Hey Debolt,

 
I swear I'm not blowing smoke up your ass about that.  If you had any sort of sales acumen you'd make about a buck thirty.  Salary was 50k and the rest is all variable comp.  Most hung around that 120-130 mark.  If you worked at an office that had large balances you'd get hit with compensation on flows so that would bring you closer to the 180-200k mark.  Compensation was relative to the goals and the next guy.  Typically $18mil in managed money and a couple mill in Insurance.  Constantly rising targets.  I personally only made a little over $71k because all I could stomach positioning were SPDA's.  At the end of the day I don'twant to have to push something I know that's wrong for compensation.  I really wasn't in love with their mgd product and the market was falling off the cliff.
 
Hopefully that wasn't much of a derail for everyone.  Anyone else have any AxA insight?
Aug 23, 2009 7:55 am

[email protected],

 
I'm not concerned with large upfront salaries.  I'm looking to have some time to build a business.  I have a few clients I want to bring over with me as they'll probably fit into the new business model.  The majority of them would just complain about the fees.  I'm auditioning coaches and reading voraciously what's in the marketing world right now.  I want a real shot at this and I don't want to worry about a firm getting in the way.  The office I interviewed with is here in the heart of NYC and it looks like they stay out of your way barring compliance issues. 
Aug 23, 2009 11:46 am

Street,

I can say with confidence, if high fees are your concern you would be foolish and ill informed to pursue a career with AXA. I have read their MF fees are very high and the products(proprietary) are sub par in performance. I had been recruited by them as well and after doing about 30 min. of research I called and cancelled the next interview. After reading your experience I would think you have far more potential opportumities than a hackjob like AXA.
Good luck.
Aug 23, 2009 12:55 pm

High fees aren't my concern.  My concern is dealing with discount clients who complain about paying for mgmt.  I don't want to deal with that caliber of client anymore.  DCnew, so you have a strong reaction to AxA as well, why is it viewed as a hack firm?  I'm so surprised as I never have heard anything about it really besides the alumni from my alma mater.  They are pretty intelligent people from my estimation.  I was under the impression that their annuity products were very strong?

Aug 25, 2009 1:14 am

Street

Check out a Bank opportunity, your earning income is not as capped as you think, there are million dollar producers out there.  Plus when you build to 50 million you can go independent and take a good amount of clients with you.  The bank will be closer to what you are used to than cold calling with AXA or Edward Jones.  If you don't like that idea try a wirehouse.  I would go with Jones before AXA, but I only know one AXA guy and a ton of Edward Jones guys.  If you were putting clients into wrap accounts at your discount you may have a shot and moving some of those clients since the fee may be pretty close.  Sell them on the more personalized service you can offer now since your new firm will not expect you to bring in 50 million AUM a year, talk about doing all around financial planning, taxes, estate, insurance instead of just funds.  You will take a small percentage of clients but that still could be 10-20 million which is a nice start. 
Nov 18, 2009 1:02 am

If you don't mind me asking, at which discount broker did you work?

Nov 18, 2009 9:35 am

Between AxA and EDJ, go with EDJ.  More freedom and wider variety of products available.

 
A good bank program may work for you.  In the discount world, you were essentially dealing with warm leads- they had already decided to do business with your firm.  Same thing at a bank- when get a referral it is to someone who already deals with the bank and are more receptive to your introduction than they would be to a cold call from another firm.
 
Majority of bank brokers are in the 200-500k production category...75k-200k compensation range.  That said, a good bank rep, covering branches with a decent amount of assets, can easily get to 1mm over time. 
 
In your due diligance, look at the variety of products offered by the companies and how regimented their business models may be.  You will probably find that the insurcance companies are much more restrictive regarding what you can easily do.
 
Good Luck.