Situation seeking advice

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Feb 27, 2006 4:39 pm

Hello all . . . I have scoured the forums here and

have learned quite a bit just from the good

conversation. I come seeking advice about my

situation in particular.



I am a college senior graduating in Dec with a

Com/Mktg undergrad and Business minor. I am

currently in the process of applying for the MBA

program at my school (where I still have two

seasons of football eligibility remaining) - so I will be

here for around 1.5 - 2 more years (unless I go to the

NFL )



I am interested in the financial services business - I

feel that my name being "out there" because of

athletics may help my cause - I am also well

respected in my home town (although I doubt I would

want to 'cut my teeth there'.)



Should I pursue the MBA or take a different route?

Any other suggestions or thoughts would be greatly

appreciated!

Feb 27, 2006 5:37 pm

This is a hard question to answer.


You don't need an MBA to be a successful Financial Advisor, but an MBA may provide opportunities if you don't succeed at this business, which unfortunately (in all honesty) is the most likely outcome (I can just hear all the b*tches pissing and moaning about my "negativity"). 


If you are going to do this business you should leverage EVERY CONCIEVABLE ADVANTAGE you have, so yes....cut your teeth on your hometown, especially if you are well respected. 


If I was in your situation, I'd try an internship with a major brokerage and really meditate on whether it's a good fit.  Spend some time with rookies, who are currently "in the trenches" and can give you a more vivid current perspective on what it's like (established brokers aren't sweating daily to keep their jobs so probably won't be as helpful in articulating the challenges you would face starting out, time tends to soften edges). 


If you can't do an internship, you should shadow a couple different rookies with different firms, then if you decide you can handle that, see  if you can shadow a very successful (a million dollar producer or close) for a day. 


The above will be far more helpful in ascertaining which direction you should go than the majority of answers you'll get here.  Good luck.

Feb 27, 2006 5:43 pm

Also, I'll add that generally speaking this business attracts chronic optimists (who else would pursue a career with a 90% chance of failure?) so when you shadow the rookies, take 'em out to lunch and build some rapport.  Then you ask them point blank "So what are your true thoughts on this business?"  Otherwise you might get a lot of candy and not much meat, which is understandable because these rookies are having to keep a VERY positive attitude just to survive.


Also, buy 'em a couple beers.....they'll deserve it.

Feb 27, 2006 5:45 pm

Great advice Dude. I cannot tell you how much of an advantage you may have by being a recognized person in your area. My partner used to play major college football back in the mid/late 90's here in our city. He still has some Div. 1 records and is well known throughout SoCal. Lets just say the easiest ice breaker when meeting with prospects is to have them recognize his name and we then talk about football for 20 minutes.


Use that as leverage- it will help open some doors for you. Then its up to you to develop the relationships and bring in business.

Feb 27, 2006 7:18 pm

Thanks so much for the advice guys . . .


I am currently talking with a local UBS branch about an internship and have sent inquiries to everywhere - ML, MS, banks, etc etc. I was actively recruited by Northwestern Mutual but quickly realized that their "Financial Reps" are insurance salesmen and that they were trying to use me for my contact list.


I have one relative who was a successful wholesaler for First Trust Portfolios, (back when it was Nike Securities) who is helping me a lot through the proccess. Another relative (and I realize the craziness that this might cause) started out with EDJones and just moved to a bank (which also causes craziness on this board).


That's just a little more background info on my situation -- I do realize that the MBA is not really neccesary to be a FinPlanner but I guess it may be my best option -- in case I am in the 90%. The odds are against me, but I feel like my contact list could be pretty good.


In any case, I truly like the thought of helping people realize their financial goals AND living a prosperous lifestyle. Maybe I'm naive...

Feb 27, 2006 7:32 pm

Also -- as far as the football situation goes, everybody wants to know everything about the program etc etc -- So I do feel like this would be a career where I could leverage that advantage very well, even when I'm a washed up has-been.


And yes, whether I deserve it or not  I am well respected in my hometown (which also happens to be full of fans)


Would a career other than financial planner suit these advantages better? -- I realize this is a tough, broad question. Just trying to spark some ideas. And I really do appreciate people taking the time to throw in their $.02.

Feb 27, 2006 7:37 pm

Since you are going to be at college for a few more years, I suggest you get your MBA , instead of jumping right into a rookie investment rep position. Couldn't hurt and gives you another way to go incase you decide you don't like this career.


It's great that you have a good contact list and are respected in your community, but will that translate to people giving you their money to manage?  Only you know this.  Sometimes people like to keep some distance between their money and their friendships, no matter how qualified you are.  One thing that is very hard on starting reps is the age difference (usually unless you are in Seattle or something  ) between you and your prospects.


The propserous lifestlye will come in time, but first you will have several years of hard knocks and rejection. In the end it is all worth it.  I would do nothing else.

Feb 27, 2006 7:42 pm

Hey Harry,


Completed MBA a few years ago and the benefits are minimal (short term).  What really helps is one's diverse experience, ability to sell and a good home reputation (among other things).


Taking tests next month.. Disclosure... :)


Good luck and GO FOR IT! What can you lose? Momentum and energy maybe?

Feb 27, 2006 7:44 pm

I would get the MBA, do they offer a financial planning degree which will qualify you for the CFP at the school you plan to attend, would be nice to kill two birds with one stone.


I also think the CFP opens some doors that otherwise might not be available to you.  I think you would make a great partner for a seasoned rep, you have the exposure/name he has the knowledge and experience do a couple seminars or profile events to get the name out that your a team.

Feb 27, 2006 7:47 pm

Any sales/relationship driven type career will benefit from your "popularity".  Look, just as in life, rapport is your ticket to success in this or any other business.  Logic does not close sales/open relationships, emotions do.  Rapport is the subconscious language that generates positive emotions and motivates people to work with you.  Your recognition is a strong first step to achieving rapport.


I would choose a carreer not on what will most likely benefit from your advantage, but one in which you feel most fufilled and excited.  You will have to get up every day and live with what you do.  What if I told you that being an embalmer would most suit the conditions you cited?  What about a proctologist?  Well if you can't imagine yourself fondling a*sholes or dead people then I'd suggest you think most about what excites you. 


If you haven't already you should read my post "So ya' wanna be a Stockbroker?" in addition there are probably dozens of others that cover the same concept from different paradigms. 

Feb 27, 2006 7:55 pm
LloydHarry:

Thanks so much for the advice guys . . .


I am currently talking with a local UBS branch about an internship and have sent inquiries to everywhere - ML, MS, banks, etc etc. I was actively recruited by Northwestern Mutual but quickly realized that their "Financial Reps" are insurance salesmen and that they were trying to use me for my contact list.


I have one relative who was a successful wholesaler for First Trust Portfolios, (back when it was Nike Securities) who is helping me a lot through the proccess. Another relative (and I realize the craziness that this might cause) started out with EDJones and just moved to a bank (which also causes craziness on this board).


That's just a little more background info on my situation -- I do realize that the MBA is not really neccesary to be a FinPlanner but I guess it may be my best option -- in case I am in the 90%. The odds are against me, but I feel like my contact list could be pretty good.


In any case, I truly like the thought of helping people realize their financial goals AND living a prosperous lifestyle. Maybe I'm naive...



Is your relative with Claymore now?

Feb 27, 2006 8:33 pm

Get the MBA. Most firms will let you put it on your biz. card.

Feb 27, 2006 9:36 pm

Joe - no, relative is not with Claymore.


Dude - I agree 100% about enjoying what you do. The thing is, I have never come accross a career that has struck me like this one. Other than sports, I have not had a passion for any other career field like I have for this one.


I guess part of it is the challenge of commission, of building your own clientele, or just plain WORKING and then reaping the reward if you do it good enough.


Thanks so much for the info everyone. I do plan on getting the MBA while I can since I do not know for sure what I want to do. My ex-wholesaler relative says that an internship in a bank trust dept or something along those lines may be better than one at a firm such as UBS. Any thoughts on this? Or on UBS vs. SB for internships? I know a lot of it depends on the Branch Mgr.

Feb 27, 2006 9:41 pm
bankrep1:

I would get the MBA, do they offer a financial planning degree which will qualify you for the CFP at the school you plan to attend, would be nice to kill two birds with one stone.


I also think the CFP opens some doors that otherwise might not be available to you.  I think you would make a great partner for a seasoned rep, you have the exposure/name he has the knowledge and experience do a couple seminars or profile events to get the name out that your a team.



I will definately look into this - it sounds like the CFP would be great if I do decide to become a FP. I also think that type of combo could work out great for both ends - me learning and a partner benefiting from 'recognition.' I think this may be part of the reason some firms seem pretty interested in having me come in -- But I don't want to just be 'used' as an intern so some rep can rake in big bucks. Now if I was a certified FP, a partnership may work out well.

Feb 27, 2006 10:26 pm

Lloyd,


Don't forget nobody is going to give you something for nothing.  A big shooter won't give two craps about who you are, but this is the guy you want to learn from, not the one kissing your butt at any firm.  You want to learn from the cream of the crop, the guy doing over a million in revenue and making more than half the NFL players.


Your going to have to do some things you might not enjoy, but if your learning from the best that is opportunity.  You also probably won't reap any rewards from this business unless your screwing people over (like dirk) for a good 3 years so don't get to excited.

Feb 28, 2006 10:13 am

I once had the opportunity to be a junior broker for the #3 and #4 producers in a major wirehouse wire.  No guarantees on partnerships, or furute revenue sharing, nothing like that.  Just the promise to teach me the biz from 2 million dollar producers who both built their practices from nothing (or so they say).


I am in a good situation now, but now and again, I wonder what life would have been like if I had taken that opportunity... 

Feb 28, 2006 11:29 am
LloydHarry:

Hello all . . . I have scoured the forums here and
have learned quite a bit just from the good
conversation. I come seeking advice about my
situation in particular.

I am a college senior graduating in Dec with a
Com/Mktg undergrad and Business minor. I am
currently in the process of applying for the MBA
program at my school (where I still have two
seasons of football eligibility remaining) - so I will be
here for around 1.5 - 2 more years (unless I go to the
NFL )

I am interested in the financial services business - I
feel that my name being "out there" because of
athletics may help my cause - I am also well
respected in my home town (although I doubt I would
want to 'cut my teeth there'.)

Should I pursue the MBA or take a different route?
Any other suggestions or thoughts would be greatly
appreciated!



Honestly, I don't see how you could survive in this business unless you had a BURNING desire to do it.  It is not easy.  This has to be your top priority and failure cannot be an option.

Feb 28, 2006 12:13 pm

"failure cannot be an option"


well said....

Feb 28, 2006 12:46 pm
blarmston:

"failure cannot be an option"


well said....



Failure has never been an option thus far in life . . . whether it be sports or classwork. When it is your livelihood I suppose it is even tougher though.

Feb 28, 2006 1:32 pm

Ahh the good ol days of chasing women in college.  What a contrast from that to starting out as a broker and my current life.  I now go to sleep at about the same time I used to leave to go out.  Sorry, not useful post, I was just lamenting...Regarding the internship I think it depends.  If you can intern with a good producer who is doing lets say $750,000 gross or more I would take that.  Trust depts are also good places to learn but in my opinion the knowledge you would get from working with a good producer would be invaluable.  If you want to be aggressive, call a wire house and get a little friendly with the person who answers.  Maybe even just walk in dressed sharp.  Ask the receptionist who the top three producers are and then call them cold.  You will stand out.   


And by-the-way, athletics I think is a good prep for this business.  I was an athlete with sponsers and the whole deal in a nonteam sport and the intenseness required for that plays well in getting your business off the ground.   It really is a lot the same.    Good luck.         & nbsp;