Please recap AG Edwards for me

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Jan 22, 2007 8:57 am

I searched the site and reviewed the info on AG Edwards in advance of an interview next week.  This is what I was able to glean:


1.  CEO & CFO may be a bit hinky, or at least were in 05.


2.  Great office culture.


3.  Great technology.


4.  Among the best commission rates for a newbie. 


5.  Least pressure to reach unreasnoable numbers in 1 year. 


6.  Best 401K


7.  Good training. 


Have I missed anything, misinterpreted or is any of this out of date?  I will be interviewing later this week.  I have also interviewed 3 times at SB and they are already talking about a start date. 


Thanks for any intel that you can give on AGE. 


redleg1

Jan 22, 2007 10:32 am

Redleg1 - where are you getting your information?  From first hand - or from a publication?  Just curious.  I can't speak about the CEO & CFO - however, the office culture is based on which office you're in.  There are some really bad, unsupportive offices.  The technology and rookie compensation are competative with other firms - there's nothing special about what AGE offers (my opinion). 


Here's your big error - "least pressure to reach unreasonable numbers in 1 year".  The reason most firms put the pressure on is to help you.  This is not a business to let a new person take 4 - 6 years to 'make it'.  Firms make a huge investment into new people - ROI has to be on a 'fast track'.  Also - nobody has good training in this business.


Have you looked at other firms - or are you convinced (even after reading all the posts on AGE) that you want to pursue AGE?

Jan 22, 2007 11:13 am

AGE is a fine firm that anyone would be able to grow and maintain a practice with.


They are right about pushing you to meet your numbers, it is for your own good.

Jan 22, 2007 12:05 pm

I'm also considering AGE after several hours of reading through these threads and others online.  AGE seems rather Teflon, even on this website.  I saved all "positive" AGE feedback in one folder and "negative" feedback in another.  I have been extensively researching this for over 5 months am finding the negatives to be far and few between.  Most negative comments date quite far back, so I'd like to hear some updated info. too. <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


Apprentice,


 


Negative opinions are ubiquitous within these threads concerning many companies, except AGE.  Therefore, it would be a fallacious assumption to suggest that someone hasn’t done their AGE homework by reading through these posts.  There are so few unfavorable comments about AGE compared to other companies that it kind of puts AGE on a pedestal.  I entered this search knowing absolutely nothing about the different companies and through it all, at this point in my research, AGE seems like the best place to learn/grow.  The posts on this website led me to AGE.


 


Please, take aim.  Do your best to shoot down AGE.  Provide me more to research.

Jan 22, 2007 12:48 pm

Thank you Buttowski for the education.  Your unique talent to sort feedback into 'Positive feedback' and 'Negative feedback', should serve you well.  I especially like the way that you outweigh the postive feedback against the negative feedback as you make your decision.  In fact - AGE will probably not even look beyond those abilities when they offer you a position.


Make sure that when you're an advisor - you take a poll of your clients to get their opinions before you make any difficult decisions.

Jan 22, 2007 1:50 pm


Oooh.  Ruffled some feathers, huh?  <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Redleg1, I hope I didn't start something that will not get your questions answered.  Sorry if that turns out to be the case. 


Simply put, if you do your homework (homework - which is USUALLY lauded within these forums) on AGE, it seems they are incredibly hard to pick apart.  I'm looking for a constructive counter to this statement.

Jan 22, 2007 4:43 pm

The negative comments on AGE are true. Two of their offices are run by former penny stock brokers who managed to escape a sinking penny stock firm as it slipped beneath the waves. They used their penny stock experience to become among AGE's top producers. One of their keys to success was taking the books of failed trainees for themselves. Trainees they never supported. These guys are about as bad as it gets and AGE is fully aware of the games they play. About 12 years ago or so, the New York Times ran an article about problems with rogue brokers naming these two guys, by name, in the article. Yet, they remain as mgrs today. So enter AGE at your own risk.

Jan 22, 2007 5:54 pm
BondGuy:

The negative comments on AGE are true. Two of their offices are run by former penny stock brokers who managed to escape a sinking penny stock firm as it slipped beneath the waves. They used their penny stock experience to become among AGE's top producers. One of their keys to success was taking the books of failed trainees for themselves. Trainees they never supported. These guys are about as bad as it gets and AGE is fully aware of the games they play. About 12 years ago or so, the New York Times ran an article about problems with rogue brokers naming these two guys, by name, in the article. Yet, they remain as mgrs today. So enter AGE at your own risk.



Laidlaw or Rooney Pace?

Jan 22, 2007 6:35 pm
joedabrkr:
BondGuy:

The negative comments on AGE are true. Two of their offices are run by former penny stock brokers who managed to escape a sinking penny stock firm as it slipped beneath the waves. They used their penny stock experience to become among AGE's top producers. One of their keys to success was taking the books of failed trainees for themselves. Trainees they never supported. These guys are about as bad as it gets and AGE is fully aware of the games they play. About 12 years ago or so, the New York Times ran an article about problems with rogue brokers naming these two guys, by name, in the article. Yet, they remain as mgrs today. So enter AGE at your own risk.



Laidlaw or Rooney Pace?



First Jersey

Jan 22, 2007 6:41 pm

Friend of mine went from New IR Training at Jones to New IR Training at AGE.  He said the CEO came to visit the new guys during lunch one day.  One of the new trainees asked him where he saw the company in 7 - 10 years.  I would assume the trainee is worried about a buyout or something.  Without blinking the CEO said "I don't care, I'm going to be retired by then, next question."  Now that's leadership. 

Jan 22, 2007 6:43 pm
Spaceman Spiff:

Friend of mine went from New IR Training at Jones to New IR Training at AGE.  He said the CEO came to visit the new guys during lunch one day.  One of the new trainees asked him where he saw the company in 7 - 10 years.  I would assume the trainee is worried about a buyout or something.  Without blinking the CEO said "I don't care, I'm going to be retired by then, next question."  Now that's leadership. 



He's no Ben Edwards, that's for sure.  I was lucky enough to meet Ben several times, and he was a great man and a great leader.

Jan 22, 2007 6:44 pm
BondGuy:
joedabrkr:
BondGuy:

The negative comments on AGE are true. Two of their offices are run by former penny stock brokers who managed to escape a sinking penny stock firm as it slipped beneath the waves. They used their penny stock experience to become among AGE's top producers. One of their keys to success was taking the books of failed trainees for themselves. Trainees they never supported. These guys are about as bad as it gets and AGE is fully aware of the games they play. About 12 years ago or so, the New York Times ran an article about problems with rogue brokers naming these two guys, by name, in the article. Yet, they remain as mgrs today. So enter AGE at your own risk.



Laidlaw or Rooney Pace?



First Jersey



Laidlaw and Rooney were, I believe, founded by guys who were originally with First Jersey.

One of my buddies started with First Jersey as a cold caller in their Garden City, LI office.  He had some stories to tell....

Jan 22, 2007 6:45 pm
apprentice:

Redleg1 - where are you getting your information?  From first hand - or from a publication?  Just curious.  I can't speak about the CEO & CFO - however, the office culture is based on which office you're in.  There are some really bad, unsupportive offices.  The technology and rookie compensation are competative with other firms - there's nothing special about what AGE offers (my opinion). 


Here's your big error - "least pressure to reach unreasonable numbers in 1 year".  The reason most firms put the pressure on is to help you.  This is not a business to let a new person take 4 - 6 years to 'make it'.  Firms make a huge investment into new people - ROI has to be on a 'fast track'.  Also - nobody has good training in this business.


Have you looked at other firms - or are you convinced (even after reading all the posts on AGE) that you want to pursue AGE?



apprentice,


My information comes from a careful reading of all information available on this site, other sites and discussions with brokers (firm and indys).  The only negative info that I have found came from a thread in mid July. 


If you know of two managers that have ethical challenges, please give us at least enough info to discern their location.  I would like to avoid these two if possible.  I am in Texas. 


On the subject of production quotas:  I know they are inevitable and I do not think they are a bad thing.  I spent over a decade as an Army officer and a decade marketing my own (highly successful) business.  I will put far more pressure on myself than any manager can.  I just do not want to get hooked into a firm that is intent on "hiring the masses, firing their @sses and keeping their relatives". 


I intend this to be my last career.  I am trying to be very careful to solicit as many and varied educated opinions as possible. 


To summarize at this point, most think AGE is a good firm, with one exception.  I appreciate the opinions to this point. 


Thanks,


redleg1

Jan 22, 2007 6:56 pm

I have been with AGE for five years after five at ML and I find it a
wonderful place to work.  I am sure that with nearly 7000 brokers
there are at least a few with questionable ethics.  The culture is
suprisingly family like for such a large firm.  I have been in
Bagby's office three times and he was always sharp, funny and
charming.  Prodution goals are reasonable, but as you say, I will
drive myself harder than any manager can drive me.  The payouts
are far superior to ML for a 500k producer if you look at the real
numbers.  When you get to $1 million or more, ML pays more
though.  Others have suggested accurately that your branch and
branch manager may have more impact than the other factors.  I
have seen branch managers spend lots of time developing brokers and
others who more or less give you a desk and a phone and hope for the
best.  If you want to know more, feel free to email me directly.




Jan 22, 2007 10:40 pm

I had a very bad experience with AGE.  But I am sure you will not deal with the same issues.. 

Jan 23, 2007 8:48 am

Redleg1 - the number one reason people are successful in this business is because of who they are and not who they work for.  Your service is honorable (Army) and I've seen a lot of ex-military folks do very well - regardless of which firm they represent.  You understand the discipline of growing something from nothing.  My AGE experiences are far from Texas.  Keep us updated on your success!

Jan 23, 2007 12:32 pm

BG, Joe and Spiffs' comments are all true. There are some bad BMs', Ben Edwards was a great guy & leader and Bagby isn't. You have to stay on your managers good side. As other threads have stated the BM is a huge factor. Most of the big producers with them are producing managers. So listening to their b*llsh!t of how they made it can really be annoying.  All things considered it's as good as any other wire but don't delude yourself into thinking that they are above the other firms. Good luck!

Jan 23, 2007 12:38 pm
no idea:

BG, Joe and Spiffs' comments are all true. There are some bad BMs', Ben Edwards was a great guy & leader and Bagby isn't. You have to stay on your managers good side. As other threads have stated the BM is a huge factor. Most of the big producers with them are producing managers. So listening to their b*llsh!t of how they made it can really be annoying.  All things considered it's as good as any other wire but don't delude yourself into thinking that they are above the other firms. Good luck!


Well said. The local manager's committment to trainee's success is key. Firm name is a secondary consideration. AGE, with the right mgr is as good as any other firm. However, AGE's policy of staffing offices with producing managers combined with a weaker than most training program makes it a choice only after elimination of other local options.

Jan 23, 2007 8:56 pm

Ohhhh call me a broken record, but I don't care.


RayJay is the better pick.  Why?  cause the top guys have all been in your shoes and Tom James is still a financial advisor.  I love the guy.  And I love our company.


But, the branch manager and cronyism is rapant throughout the industry.


Pick your branch managerat AGE or elsewhere with care.