NJ suburb branch vs. NYC starting out?

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Aug 4, 2011 5:45 pm

Hi all,

Been lurking here for a couple days, great stuff.

I've decided to take the plunge and apply as an FA at MSSB and ML very soon.

My background- In my mid-30's with a CFA and top10-15 MBA.  Was working as a sellside analyst but never really liked the intense spreadsheet work behind a monitor, but loved pitching ideas to clients.  Looking to make a switch and the FA route really appealled to me.  If I am gonna work 80 hour weeks, I would at least want to be working for myself, building up a book that has long term value, and in the process being able to help individuals manage their money.

I have lived all over the NYC metro area, currently in northern NJ.  I have a decent network that I can tap into however this network is quite spread out with most prospective clients in LI and NJ.

What I am trying to do is weigh the pros/cons of having an office NEAR the city (eastern Bergen cty) vs IN Manhattan. In NJ I would have a 15-20 min drive to work vs 45-60 mins public transport in NYC.  Also, not sure how the smaller branches are perceived by upper mgmt.

For those that are in smaller suburb branches- what has your experience been like?  If you have clients that work in NYC do you meet at their homes, after hours at the office or on weekends?

Also, I am planning on calling some branch mngrs to set up some time to meet with them and discuss my qualifications.  Is this a recommended approach vs the online application process?

Thanks in advance for your input.

Aug 4, 2011 11:23 pm

[quote=weierhaus]

Hi all,

Been lurking here for a couple days, great stuff.

I've decided to take the plunge and apply as an FA at MSSB and ML very soon.

I have lived all over the NYC metro area, currently in northern NJ.  I have a decent network that I can tap into however this network is quite spread out with most prospective clients in LI and NJ.

What is your plan to transfer the assets into your firm?

[/quote]

Aug 5, 2011 8:16 am

Zwing- I plan on following a heavy prospecting/calling plan along the lines of the 500 day war.  At the same time I will "warm up" my network letting them know I am now an FA and following up with monthly email or snail mail with some product and/or offer for a portfolio review.

As many have pointed out on this forum, a network takes time to reap benefits, and many FA's have to prospect anyway once the low hanging fruit is picked in year 1.  I have cold called many moons ago as an undergrad intern qualifying prospects for a broker, and while I was not very fond of it, I think I can do it reasonably well.

I think I will focus on selling a service vs. a product simply because I feel my background lends itself more to that route.  However, I will be quick to change if it is not working as planned.

Will probably start actively trying to sign up people in my network after 1-2 years of nose to the grindstone prospecting.

Aug 5, 2011 9:38 pm

[quote=weierhaus]

Zwing- I plan on following a heavy prospecting/calling plan along the lines of the 500 day war.  At the same time I will "warm up" my network letting them know I am now an FA and following up with monthly email or snail mail with some product and/or offer for a portfolio review.

As many have pointed out on this forum, a network takes time to reap benefits, and many FA's have to prospect anyway once the low hanging fruit is picked in year 1.  I have cold called many moons ago as an undergrad intern qualifying prospects for a broker, and while I was not very fond of it, I think I can do it reasonably well.

I think I will focus on selling a service vs. a product simply because I feel my background lends itself more to that route.  However, I will be quick to change if it is not working as planned.

Will probably start actively trying to sign up people in my network after 1-2 years of nose to the grindstone prospecting.

[/quote]

I wish you well.