Should I Consider First Command?
I answered an ad online for an FA position with First Command Financial Services.
They responded back with a link to a series of personality assessments. They say they will get back with my shortly.
I can't find anything on the Forums about these guys. I do really well on sales personality assessments, so I know they will be calling me back.
If anyone knows anything about these guys, I'd appreciate your help!
STAY AWAY WITH A TEN FOOT POLE!!!
Trust me on this, I know them very well. They treat their reps like crap, horrible payouts and horrible products. You can't even do individual securities, only mutual funds. Don't even waste your time.
Personality assessments are the easiest things in the world to game. First Command services military personnel and families. Just think about it, do service men & women get paid well?
I would stay away. They approach sales in the "HARD PRESSURE" method. Not much of the financial advisor kind of investing.
I just learned that First Command used to go by the name USPA&IRA. I remember them quite well from the military. During my Officer's Basic Course, they made us go to a MANDATORY reception hosted by these jerks. They high pressured all of us to buy crappy investment products. The rep didn't like me because I knew more about investments than he did (apparently, my Motley Fool Subscription provided a better foundation than their training classes).
They tried to make everyone who didn't buy in look like an idiot. I don't know if I was more angry with them for their sales practices or at my leadership for forcing me to go to this stupid "reception."
They just contacted me to set up an interview..... I think I'll pass....
At least they changed their name. What kind of stupid name is USPA&IRA anyway? It sounds like a username on this forum....
MBA, actually you should accept their interview offer and then relay your story to the person you interview with and simply walk out.
Then, go make some phone calls to some of the local firms in your area, wirehouse, regional or otherwise and explore your options and find the best fit for you. Most branch managers will likely arrange to meet with you if you approach them the right way.
My experience is that starting out in the business, it helps to have a name your average client will recognize. People know who ML, Smith Barney, Edward Jones, etc. is for the most part and that's half the "battle" (excuse the GI Joe/Military pun) for gaining trust. Step 2 is gaining their trust through your philosophy and ethical compass.
Ice - I get what you mean.
But First command takes the cake. They took the trust that the military gave them and betrayed it. These people are crooks over and above even Bernie Madoff in my opinion.
If I could get away with it, I would beat the crap out of every First Command advisor and management.
I rarely bad mouth another FA, but I must say, the one I know at First Command is a total jerk. And a failed politician to boot.
I have friends and family in the military, FC has a pretty bad rep. Garbage products built to rope people that don't make a lot of income into "saving for retirement". What they really get is high fee, low return, low performance products.
I know you said that you are going to turn them down (and rightly so), but just so it's said in the forum for others that will search about this later, I would rather sell extended warrantees as a part of those auto-dial scams than work for that place.
As a former enlisted Marine and prospective advisor (in the training phase) with First Command, I'd recommend scheduling or honoring your existing appointment with them to provide your honest feedback, if you consider veterans worth your time. Granted you're not obliged to sit with a company you detest to squander precious minutes of your life. But for all the "support" the general public claims to have for our military, your expertise and experience investing with or consulting a company billing itself as a military family "helper" can help bring change to First Command's practices.
You may be thinking, 'It's not my responsibility to change a company's nor their reps' ethos.' But vets have no quality financial advice available to them, and those living on base are a captive audience. As one forum member illuminated previously, military personnel aren't well paid, particularly the enlisteds.
This unfortunate fact shouldn't reflect on the quality of financial advice available to them; if it does, that implicates not only First Command but the entire financial industry believing that lower-income investors as neither worth shows of integrity nor deserve to protect and grow what little wealth they have.
Think of this opportunity like deposing Saddam Hussein or Bashar ul-Assad: you can either provide the input to improve the only somewhat capable or willing leaders in that area, or you can bring them to extinction leaving a power vacuum that a sincerely evil predator will fill.
You may be saying,'It behooves First Command to peruse the internet constantly to gauge consumer feedback and reform its procedures.' You'd be correct. But that mentality still doesn't help the military, nor does it help civilian clients to whom First Command has expanded investment opportunities and cold calling.
So if you want to bemoan your dealings with FC in investors' gossip forums where you effect zero change like a bunch of soccer moms, pat yourself on the back. But for those of you keen investors and advisors who want to hold First Command accountable to the causes it claims to champion, please make your appointments with their advisors to speak your mind.
With enough complaints, they'll be forced to reevaluate their operations. Meanwhile, you'll be helping veterans and other low-income Americans make sound investment decisions with one of the only companies that that doesn't treat us with their stock-boosting faux respect.