Smith Barney v. UBS

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Dec 31, 2005 12:05 am

I am making a career change - 13 years in sales with consumer products.


I have received offers from both Smith Barney and UBS in Chicago - the packages are very similar.  Does anyone have advice on these two companies?


I need to make my decision next week.

Dec 31, 2005 1:06 am


KUHawks,



I have friends that work at both and are very happy. Niether started there however. Both had large books they transferred and took the up front check. Each has gone through a couple branch managers and this may be one of your challenges. I would interview each branch manager and find out more about them. Call some of the advisors at each branch and bend their ear a little bit. Talk to some of the vets as well as some of the new folks. This may also ne an opportunity to get to know some of the vest and maybe one of them would like to bring you in under his wing and/or as part of a team.



Also both firms will want to see you go after the High Net Worth client. This can be tough todo with only so many HNW out there and every major going after them. Would a HNW go with you a newbie or the vet. Probably the vet if given the choice. I would rather prospect a small pool of wealthy people verses a large pool of less wealthy people though. Just don't turn down all the less wealthy as you never know when you might get a rollover, referral or maybe they inherit money. I opened a lot of $2,000 IRA accounts early on in my career and many of them today are some of my top clients or referred me top clients.



I think either way you go it's a win/win and the bottom line is you couldn't be getting into a better industry at a better time. Good luck!



BPD

Dec 31, 2005 7:33 am

I'm very happy at UBS....just wrapped up the training program and my first month of production.

Dec 31, 2005 8:38 am

Bigpayday,


Are you sure this is the best industry and best time to enter this biz??I see nothing but haircuts on payouts for the industry and heightened compliance issues. I think the SEC should experience a major overhaul.


Dec 31, 2005 10:44 am
ezmoney:

Bigpayday,


Are you sure this is the best industry and best time to enter this
biz??I see nothing but haircuts on payouts for the industry and
heightened compliance issues. I think the SEC should experience a major
overhaul.






SO negative.  Get another job.

Dec 31, 2005 11:12 am

Yes EZ it is the best time.  Look at it as glass half empty or half full.  The boomers are retiring, more assets on the table than ever before.  People that used to rely on defined benefit penisions are now becoming potential clients for advisors with rollover dollars.


The downturn in the market woke people up, they need some help and managing their nestegg in an E-trade account probably wasn't going to cut it.  I still believe now is the best time to be in the business, don't look at haircuts look at how much are you making per hour worked (mine goes up every year, as it should).

Dec 31, 2005 12:35 pm
NOVA:

I'm very happy at UBS....just wrapped up the training program and my first month of production.


Good luck.  But you've hardly had time to see how things really work in this business.

Dec 31, 2005 12:37 pm
rightway:
ezmoney:

Bigpayday,


Are you sure this is the best industry and best time to enter this biz??I see nothing but haircuts on payouts for the industry and heightened compliance issues. I think the SEC should experience a major overhaul.





SO negative.  Get another job.


I sorta agree.


Yes the regulatory stuff has gotten a little out of hand, but I think that is starting to change.


The payout haircuts seem to be mostly happening in the big bank programs, and for mid-level producers at the wirehouses.  There are plenty of other places to practice one's craft in this business.  I haven't heard anything about EdJones cutting payouts for example.  (Although I suppose rising toilet paper costs are creating a defacto small pay cut for IR's.)

Dec 31, 2005 3:48 pm
KUJAYHAWKS:

I am making a career change - 13 years in sales with consumer products.


I have received offers from both Smith Barney and UBS in Chicago - the packages are very similar.  Does anyone have advice on these two companies?


I need to make my decision next week.



KU,


Joined SB and just completed the 3 weeks of live training in Hartford.  My production clock starts on 1-01-06.


For brand new people, there are a total of 18 weeks training,(if you are not licensed) on salary.  Total of 24 months on salary after for production date, with a declining scale over months 19-24.  Licensing & initial training is in-branch and the final three weeks are in Hartford.  Depending on your background and level of experience, the training will range from Very Good to OK. (I was a Series 7 & 66 as well as CFP already, so the Financial Planning training was somewhat boring..but NOT the case for others.)


I CANNOT STRESS THIS NEXT ITEM ENOUGH...Your branch manager controls everything in your life, in the branch, starting out.  that includes everything from paper clips to pencils to desks and chairs and office...or lack thereof.  Make sure your branch manager has a solid success history with new people...whether you chose SB or UBS.


RE: Focus on HNW.  This is true...but the good news is you have all the tools needed to target them.  SB is truly focused on Wealth Management vs. transactions...but they support both.  In my office their are 25 FAs.  Only three are on one team.  There are no other teams.  Biggest producer is semi transactional.  #2. is 100% managed money.  #3, #4 and #5 are a mix of both.  (#4 does more insurance than  half the branch added together.)


My branch manager has all the earmarks of a good manager...but only time can tell.  He is well thought of by the Vets...and that carried alot of weight with me. (I chose SB over ML...even though Merrill's offer was a little highter...because of the manager.) 


My ONLY disappointment at SB was finding out three weeks after I signed on the dotted line that SB does NOT allow FAs to charge fees for writting Financial Plans.  I asked my manager during the interview process if SB permitted "fee based financial planning" and he said yes.  However, we had different definitions of the words "fee based financial planning."  SB does have a fee based platform and it is preceeded by the preparation of a plan...but the plan itself is "free."  I accepted the responsibility for not being clear...but it was a big disappointment.


Good Luck in your choice and your career.


Jan 2, 2006 10:37 am

Thank you for all of the responses.  I will decide this week.  I appreciate all of the info.

Jan 2, 2006 10:56 am
FinclPlngPro:
KUJAYHAWKS:

I am making a career change - 13 years in sales with consumer products.


I have received offers from both Smith Barney and UBS in Chicago - the packages are very similar.  Does anyone have advice on these two companies?


I need to make my decision next week.



KU,


Joined SB and just completed the 3 weeks of live training in Hartford.  My production clock starts on 1-01-06.


For brand new people, there are a total of 18 weeks training,(if you are not licensed) on salary.  Total of 24 months on salary after for production date, with a declining scale over months 19-24.  Licensing & initial training is in-branch and the final three weeks are in Hartford.  Depending on your background and level of experience, the training will range from Very Good to OK. (I was a Series 7 & 66 as well as CFP already, so the Financial Planning training was somewhat boring..but NOT the case for others.)


I CANNOT STRESS THIS NEXT ITEM ENOUGH...Your branch manager controls everything in your life, in the branch, starting out.  that includes everything from paper clips to pencils to desks and chairs and office...or lack thereof.  Make sure your branch manager has a solid success history with new people...whether you chose SB or UBS.


RE: Focus on HNW.  This is true...but the good news is you have all the tools needed to target them.  SB is truly focused on Wealth Management vs. transactions...but they support both.  In my office their are 25 FAs.  Only three are on one team.  There are no other teams.  Biggest producer is semi transactional.  #2. is 100% managed money.  #3, #4 and #5 are a mix of both.  (#4 does more insurance than  half the branch added together.)


My branch manager has all the earmarks of a good manager...but only time can tell.  He is well thought of by the Vets...and that carried alot of weight with me. (I chose SB over ML...even though Merrill's offer was a little highter...because of the manager.) 


My ONLY disappointment at SB was finding out three weeks after I signed on the dotted line that SB does NOT allow FAs to charge fees for writting Financial Plans.  I asked my manager during the interview process if SB permitted "fee based financial planning" and he said yes.  However, we had different definitions of the words "fee based financial planning."  SB does have a fee based platform and it is preceeded by the preparation of a plan...but the plan itself is "free."  I accepted the responsibility for not being clear...but it was a big disappointment.


Good Luck in your choice and your career.




I'm curious...if you're such a financial planning pro, why are you in the rookie training program? Does your first name start with the letter "K"?


Also, the firm doesn't charge for plans because people don't want plans. The firm is discouraging you from wasting everybody's time. People want to make money and you are paid for selling things that make money.

Jan 2, 2006 11:51 am
Dirk Diggler:
FinclPlngPro:
KUJAYHAWKS:

I am making a career change - 13 years in sales with consumer products.


I have received offers from both Smith Barney and UBS in Chicago - the packages are very similar.  Does anyone have advice on these two companies?


I need to make my decision next week.



KU,


Joined SB and just completed the 3 weeks of live training in Hartford.  My production clock starts on 1-01-06.


For brand new people, there are a total of 18 weeks training,(if you are not licensed) on salary.  Total of 24 months on salary after for production date, with a declining scale over months 19-24.  Licensing & initial training is in-branch and the final three weeks are in Hartford.  Depending on your background and level of experience, the training will range from Very Good to OK. (I was a Series 7 & 66 as well as CFP already, so the Financial Planning training was somewhat boring..but NOT the case for others.)


I CANNOT STRESS THIS NEXT ITEM ENOUGH...Your branch manager controls everything in your life, in the branch, starting out.  that includes everything from paper clips to pencils to desks and chairs and office...or lack thereof.  Make sure your branch manager has a solid success history with new people...whether you chose SB or UBS.


RE: Focus on HNW.  This is true...but the good news is you have all the tools needed to target them.  SB is truly focused on Wealth Management vs. transactions...but they support both.  In my office their are 25 FAs.  Only three are on one team.  There are no other teams.  Biggest producer is semi transactional.  #2. is 100% managed money.  #3, #4 and #5 are a mix of both.  (#4 does more insurance than  half the branch added together.)


My branch manager has all the earmarks of a good manager...but only time can tell.  He is well thought of by the Vets...and that carried alot of weight with me. (I chose SB over ML...even though Merrill's offer was a little highter...because of the manager.) 


My ONLY disappointment at SB was finding out three weeks after I signed on the dotted line that SB does NOT allow FAs to charge fees for writting Financial Plans.  I asked my manager during the interview process if SB permitted "fee based financial planning" and he said yes.  However, we had different definitions of the words "fee based financial planning."  SB does have a fee based platform and it is preceeded by the preparation of a plan...but the plan itself is "free."  I accepted the responsibility for not being clear...but it was a big disappointment.


Good Luck in your choice and your career.




I'm curious...if you're such a financial planning pro, why are you in the rookie training program? Does your first name start with the letter "K"?


Also, the firm doesn't charge for plans because people don't want plans. The firm is discouraging you from wasting everybody's time. People want to make money and you are paid for selling things that make money.



Dirk,


While I somewhat agree with you, your just plain wrong and feel the need to educate you.  Smith Barney is a broker/dealer dabbling in the investment advisory business by offer fee based advice.  Currently, they are exempt from fiduciary responsibility which is required of investment advisors (RIA's) by a contraversial rule known as the "Merril rule".  With this come the obligation to let consumers know that "our interests may not be the same as yours"


The FPA sued the SEC earlier this year claiming anyone offering investment advice for a fee should be held to a fiduciary standard (which means doing what is in the best interests of your client rather than the best interests of your paycheck).  All the big boys fought this hard, because they do not want to be in that business.  In fact, if you look at Mr. Bush's top campaign donors for the past election they were Morgan Stanley #1 and down the list with other B/d's I am sure this is not the only reason for their large donations private SS is huge also....


Now, if you do what is best for your client do you see any problem with being held to a fiduciary standard?  I don't, but your employer does...... That is why many advisors have chosen to drop their Series 7 license and their affiliation with NASD and chose to work on a fee-only basis and be regulated by the SEC, these advisors are known not as Registered Reps, but as RIA's regulated by either their State or the SEC depending on asset levels


I still think handing the client a 50 page plan is stupid and charging them for it is even dumber.  I do however use 2 page projections, but rarely print them out....


Just a little history lesson....

Jan 2, 2006 12:16 pm

So you somewhat agree with things that are just "plain wrong?"


You are a thinker and I am a doer.


You've overestimated my level of interest in your education. If people wanted FP's and were willing to pay for them, I'd be selling them.


I think you need to learn the difference between "fee based" and "asset based fees." That way, you won't look so silly when you post about this stuff.

Jan 2, 2006 1:06 pm

Dirk,


I somewhat agree with you in saying people don't need or want plans.  They want a partner.


Fee based and asset based fees are one in the same, fee based brokerage is often passed off as paying for advice, but as Raymond James learned the hard way in 2005, the SEC/NASD is not going to have any of that. 


I doubt I look silly by stating the truth.

Jan 2, 2006 4:25 pm

Simply selling products, outside the context of an overall financial plan, will come back to bite you when that particular investment product value heads south (and they will always head south). However, showing the client that a particular investment product is part of an overall plan will cause you and the client fewer headaches down the road.

Jan 2, 2006 4:40 pm
doberman:

Simply selling products, outside the context of an overall financial plan, will come back to bite you when that particular investment product value heads south (and they will always head south). However, showing the client that a particular investment product is part of an overall plan will cause you and the client fewer headaches down the road.


That's about the most retarded thing I've heard in a long time.

Jan 2, 2006 5:42 pm

That's about the most retarded thing I've heard in a long time


Why do you think so?


Jan 2, 2006 6:01 pm
babbling looney:

That's about the most retarded thing I've heard in a long time


Why do you think so?




One product. If sold outside of a plan, it "always" heads south. If it is sold as part of a plan, it causes fewer headaches. Can a plan make something that always heads south, not head south? How do you explain the products that I've sold, with no plan, that haven't gone south?


Doberman is retarded for saying it and you're retarded for not seeing that Doberman is retarded.

Jan 2, 2006 6:46 pm

I have to agree with Dirk on this one.  Mr. & Mrs. Jones see on page 42 of your financial plan it says the market goes down sometimes, don't leave...


Of course I set goals with my clients, establish priorities etc.  I just don't think they need that in a 100 page document that they pay 1000 dollars for.  One of the biggest advisors I know used to do a plan for every person, he scrapped the idea about two years ago and now uses the goal/priority philosophy many advisors use.  That does not mean I don't use software, run projections etc.  It just means I am not going to analyze every need they don't have...

Jan 2, 2006 6:54 pm
Dirk Diggler:
FinclPlngPro:
KUJAYHAWKS:

I am making a career change - 13 years in sales with consumer products.


I have received offers from both Smith Barney and UBS in Chicago - the packages are very similar.  Does anyone have advice on these two companies?


I need to make my decision next week.



KU,


Joined SB and just completed the 3 weeks of live training in Hartford.  My production clock starts on 1-01-06.


For brand new people, there are a total of 18 weeks training,(if you are not licensed) on salary.  Total of 24 months on salary after for production date, with a declining scale over months 19-24.  Licensing & initial training is in-branch and the final three weeks are in Hartford.  Depending on your background and level of experience, the training will range from Very Good to OK. (I was a Series 7 & 66 as well as CFP already, so the Financial Planning training was somewhat boring..but NOT the case for others.)


I CANNOT STRESS THIS NEXT ITEM ENOUGH...Your branch manager controls everything in your life, in the branch, starting out.  that includes everything from paper clips to pencils to desks and chairs and office...or lack thereof.  Make sure your branch manager has a solid success history with new people...whether you chose SB or UBS.


RE: Focus on HNW.  This is true...but the good news is you have all the tools needed to target them.  SB is truly focused on Wealth Management vs. transactions...but they support both.  In my office their are 25 FAs.  Only three are on one team.  There are no other teams.  Biggest producer is semi transactional.  #2. is 100% managed money.  #3, #4 and #5 are a mix of both.  (#4 does more insurance than  half the branch added together.)


My branch manager has all the earmarks of a good manager...but only time can tell.  He is well thought of by the Vets...and that carried alot of weight with me. (I chose SB over ML...even though Merrill's offer was a little highter...because of the manager.) 


My ONLY disappointment at SB was finding out three weeks after I signed on the dotted line that SB does NOT allow FAs to charge fees for writting Financial Plans.  I asked my manager during the interview process if SB permitted "fee based financial planning" and he said yes.  However, we had different definitions of the words "fee based financial planning."  SB does have a fee based platform and it is preceeded by the preparation of a plan...but the plan itself is "free."  I accepted the responsibility for not being clear...but it was a big disappointment.


Good Luck in your choice and your career.




I'm curious...if you're such a financial planning pro, why are you in the rookie training program? Does your first name start with the letter "K"?


Also, the firm doesn't charge for plans because people don't want plans. The firm is discouraging you from wasting everybody's time. People want to make money and you are paid for selling things that make money.



After four months of training he ALREADY knows that SB gives him all the tools he needs to target high net worth investors?