Question about EDJ and Series 7 (HELP!)

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Nov 14, 2008 3:32 am

First and foremost I apologize for the length of this post but it is important for me to provide structure to the question so that I can receive the most informed answers. Your feedback is very important and greatly appreciated.


Background:


I was hired by Edward Jones back in June and, because I’ve been finishing my military obligation, won’t be starting with the firm until Jan 5th. As anyone who’s worked with EDJ knows the first 10 weeks on the job is the “Study for Success” program in which we are paid full time to study a minimum of 40 hours per week for the series 7 & 66. Upon successful completion of the tests we then move on to training in either St. Louis or Tempe for KYC training.


Basically, a new FA hire is assumed to have little technical knowledge of the series 7 material and uses the first handful of weeks to learn the material. Outside of a few corporate finance courses I had in my MBA program I had a very “general” knowledge of the material but not nearly enough to pass the exams. Immediately after being hired by EDJ and informed of the FINRA mandated exams that I must pass I wanted to ensure that I would be as prepared as possible for my first day of studying by the time Jan 5th rolled around. I immediately purchased a great deal of series 7 prep material and began my own study program back in June and have been committed to the material ever since by putting in about 2 hours per day.


Here is what I have done since June to prepare myself:


-          Went through the “Series 7 Exam for Dummies” (written by Steven Rice who is an instructor and part owner of the Empire Stockbroker Training Institute) three times and took every practice test.


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-          Went through “Pass the 7” by Robert Walker twice also taking every question possible



-          Went through Kaplan Financial’s Securities License Exam Manual once taking every practice question in the book.



-          Went through Kaplan Financial’s Series 7 “Drill & Practice” CD ROM



-          Made over 600 flash cards from ALL material combined from all three text books and flip through them frequently



-          Completed the Pass Perfect “Series 7 Databank” CD ROM which contained 7000 questions



-          Completed all ten Kaplan Financial Practice Exams




After all of this, I was taking the Kaplan Tests as I would the real thing with three hours per segment and a 30-60 minute break in between. After going through each test the first time I am scoring 85% - 90%. I don’t start with day one of studying with EDJ until January but I already feel as if I’m ready for the real thing. It’s almost like registering for a college class, learning the material on my own, and asking to take the final before the first day of the course.


With all of this, here’s the question.


I’m a little hesitant to ask EDJ fearing that I may come off as over-zealous, arrogant, or unwilling to conform to the way they want things to work. Is it possible for me to pay the $250 and take the series 7 on the first day if I’m fully able to pass or is their strict policy that I MUST complete the “Study for Success” program no matter how prepared I am? The worst that could happen is that I don’t pass, learn what my weaknesses are, and lose my $250. On the other hand, if I pass, that’s several weeks that the firm will not have to waste paying me to study thereby saving the stakeholders a little capital and expediting the process to get me into KYC and into the community.


I certainly hope someone in here can help me with this question.

Nov 14, 2008 5:38 am

I am not affiliated with Jones so can't comment on the procedural aspect of your question but would certainly recommend incidentally the addition of the CDs Robert Walker does for not only the 7 but 66 as well. I used him in addition to Dearborn/Now Kaplan and would attribute a 5 point or so bump to the CDs.

Nov 14, 2008 6:58 am

I am aware of someone in our Region in the exact same position as you.  I will ask him how he got his license before his actual hire date.  I believe he was sponsored by another firm (w/EJ permission), paid for, and passed his 7 before the end of his military employment.  It may be Monday before I can get back w/details. 

Nov 14, 2008 8:47 am

If you wait till you start and take your exam, and for some reason fail, it will be more than, learn from my mistakes and lose 250 bucks.  They will fire you.  If there is any doubt at all, you should do the study for success program.

Nov 14, 2008 8:58 am

bm80,


explain to them what you have done and ask for their recommendation.  EJ enjoys working with "keeners" especially from the military.  The follow instructions.

Nov 14, 2008 9:12 am

My recommendation....seriously.  After you pass your exams, you are going to be ba11s to the walls with work.  Take the next few months to keep studying, START prospecting (networking, figuring out your area, where to find clients, etc.), start developing your business plan, and start learning the business while you are not against the clock.  Read as much as you can about everything in this business BEFORE the Jones training starts. 


I can appreciate that you are excited and prepared for the exam and all that, but don't forget what lies ahead.  The better prepared you are for "life after the 7", the better off you will be in the long-run.  This is a golden opportunity that most Jones folks don't get to have (preparing for the actual JOB in advance).  So take advantage of it.  Trust me.


 
What area of the country are you in?
Nov 14, 2008 9:15 am

I am pretty sure you have to be sponsored by the a firm to take the Series 7. So I don't think you could just sign up and take it..



Edward Jones has a pretty strict policy in the beginning on how things are done... I admire you wanting to get ahead and be prepared, however the study information that Jones provides and the 10 weeks you spend studying is more than adequate, even for someone who has no idea what finance or investing is about. I would highly doubt they would let you take the test and bypass their systems(saving money isn't the issue for Jones, they make plenty of it(LP returns average 21%/year)).. They want you to do it their way..



If you are that much a go getter, maybe try another firm while waiting and see if they will let you just take the test..



By the way, your scores are good, but remember the lowest guy in his medical school class still gets to call himself "DR". I had a Jones rep tell me if I scored over 80% I studied too much...I did..

Nov 14, 2008 9:53 am

What B24 said.

Network, map your market, take a Jones FA to lunch every day. Get known in your region now and you might even stumble into an attractive open office. ... Find CPAs and estate attorneys and get to know them.
 
Nov 14, 2008 10:15 am

squash,

just how f'n new are you? 
You're pretty sure.... or are you guessing? 
Of course you have to be sponsored to take the 7! 
Nov 14, 2008 10:39 am

My thoughts: even if you have the choice of bypassing it Do the study for success program (if you've done all that it should be very easy to get by with minimal effort), Get PAID (even if its $10hr thats an extra $10 an hour u can use/save, and spend time with friends and family before u start Training), enjoy some "semi" free time before you start working your ass off, and use the time to start talking with future prospects. Like someone said earlier take that time to learn about the business and meet with other FA's. Just my opinion!

Nov 14, 2008 12:19 pm
UNDERMINDED:

If you wait till you start and take your exam, and for some reason fail, it will be more than, learn from my mistakes and lose 250 bucks.  They will fire you.  If there is any doubt at all, you should do the study for success program.

 
We just had a person in our region fail by a few points, and they're going to get another shot at it. 
 
Does anyone know if Jones continues to pay them to study while they wait 30 days for a new window to open?
Nov 14, 2008 12:56 pm

I think so.  Typically, if you are very close, and you have shown the "effort" to pass the exam, they will give you another shot.  But the do have to pay you.  Even as an FA, there is a "minimum" draw that you get (many don't know this) on your paycheck. 

Nov 14, 2008 3:05 pm

Thanks everyone for the responses. I greatly appreciate all the recommendations, especially the idea of focusing on the post-7 aspects of the bizz (prospecting, business plan, etc) while I have time, and will most certainly take these ideas into serious consideration. Thanks again.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Nov 14, 2008 3:30 pm

keep us posted baster

Nov 14, 2008 7:43 pm
Borker Boy:
UNDERMINDED:

If you wait till you start and take your exam, and for some reason fail, it will be more than, learn from my mistakes and lose 250 bucks.  They will fire you.  If there is any doubt at all, you should do the study for success program.

 
We just had a person in our region fail by a few points, and they're going to get another shot at it. 
 
Does anyone know if Jones continues to pay them to study while they wait 30 days for a new window to open?



You do not get paid from the time that you fail the course to the time that you take the test again and pass.  Once you pass you go back on the payroll.

Nov 14, 2008 11:43 pm

baster..,
If you are fine with the schedule I will not waste my time looking for a shortcut.  I agree w/everyone else but I was offering to help.  Good luck but most importantly, work hard.