Starting EDJ then going INDY?

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Sep 4, 2008 2:51 pm

It seems from all the posts that I have read that EDJ (although there is a lot of defending and bashing) has pretty good training and is a good place to start for someone new to the industry and recently graduated.

Also for all the INDY people out there, you all seem to love it.  You obviously can't start out independant.  So would it be smart to be with jones for 5-10 years then go independant.
It seems like there aren't a whole lot of people that stay with Jones for 10 years or so.  But I realize I'm just making overly simplified assumptions and although it seems like not many people have been with EDJ for up to 10 years, that is just the people on the forum.  Im guessing not many 10 year vets post on here.
So basically just looking for some feedback EDJ seems like a great place to start.  Is it a great place to stay?  Is going INDY really that much better?
Sep 4, 2008 3:14 pm

I think that's a good plan.  I would also like to go Indy someday (10+ years down the road).  I think EDJ would prepare you well because you'd be used to working out of a 1 person shop and you'll be used to at least some of what goes in to running your own branch (P&L, etc.). 

I haven't even started with my training yet so take my advice for what it's worth.  I had this same plan originally.  However, after talking to several firms I really liked everything about one of the wires (BOM, training, atmosphere...) and went that route.  I think you really need to explore every option out there and see where you feel you have the best shot of making it.  Probably 5-10% of the people who start out in this biz in 2008 will still be there in 2018, so your main goal  right now should be making it to 2018. 
Sep 4, 2008 3:46 pm

My BOA is out for two weeks on vacation, and I've been running the office by myself this week. Of course, I'm a whole lot busier than usual doing administrative tasks, but it has made me realize that I can run an office by myself and in turn save $25-$40K in salary each year plus benefits.

Hmmm...80-90% payout, no corny mandatory meetings, no dot to keep above the red line, no secretary to pay...
I could get used to that set up.
Sep 4, 2008 3:54 pm

Borker, that's a great plan when your production is 150K per year and you aren't out prospecting.  But for those that produce 400K+, no assistant is really not an option.

And before you say it, no, I am not there yet.  But I have never seen or head of a "successful" (big) producer at ANY firm that did not have an assistant.
On the flipside, you could easily do a few hundred thousand in gross, and have a very nice take-home.  This is what most "solo" indies do, I would guess.
Sep 4, 2008 3:56 pm

Borker, my suggestion would be to have some admin help the first year or so...after that the admin is pretty simple. I listened to an LPL rep, ex ed jones, at the LPL conference breakout session. His office is located in his home, manages 150mil + with no secretary. Very selective with his clients..meaning minimums and only fee accts. Oh..and he lives in Hawaii...It can be whatever YOU want it to be...thats the real fun.  The payouts are great...but to me its about the freedom to build your own type of practice...1500 accounts or choose.

Sep 4, 2008 3:57 pm

His production is 100k per month

Sep 4, 2008 6:25 pm

As I've stated here before, I have no desire to be a "big producer." None whatsoever.

I realize I'm an anomaly in this "I produce more than you" oriented industry, but I'll be thrilled once I get to where I'm netting $150k--with a 4% COLA each year thereafter, of course.
Sep 4, 2008 7:17 pm

On the topic of annual earnings...

On the EDJ website their earnings calculator states:

50-100% of expected production:
year1 $52k
year2 $43k
year3 $58k
year4 $71k
year5 $83k

100-150% of expected production:
year1 $67k
year2 $69k
year3 $96k
year4 $119k
year5 $139k

200%+ of expected production:
year1 $108k
year2 $149k
year3 $213k
year4 $266k
year5 $315k

and "The average yearly earnings for Edward Jones Financial Advisors with seven or more years' tenure who are meeting expectations is $203,000."

I just wanted to know what all you real advisors out there think about these numbers.
pretty accurate?
a bit high bc they add in things like diversification trips?

Sep 4, 2008 7:21 pm

and is the

50-100% of expected production just scrapin along, and not bound to last
100-150% out there bustin your @$$ like you should
what would you say that the average % of expected production is accomplished
I know these are all it depends questions and im probably setting myself up to get some sarcasm but thats ok, just trying to get answers about the kind of things you wouldnt wanna ask about in an interview for all us newbies, thanks for any serious responses
Sep 4, 2008 8:41 pm


The numbers are technically accurate. Those 50-100% of Expectation numbers are basically people that are just above barely keeping their job. I would say they are slightly below average for new/new's that "make it".

Keep in mind, there is a large variation among these numbers. And once you start in this business, you quickly realize that pinpointing "here's what you will make" is a tough target foir a firm to publish. Problem is, most people would never take the job if you didn't publish the numbers.

I would say somewhere in the 100% of expectations range is about average. So for example, with your numbers above, 70K in yr. 3 is a fairly reasonable number.

Also keep in mind RE:"The average yearly earnings for Edward Jones Financial Advisors with seven or more years' tenure who are meeting expectations is $203,000.".....this includes all those people with 10, 20, 30 years tenure. So this number is fairly meaningless for the newbie to look at. It tells you nothing about someone with 7 years experience.

I am not saying Jones is misleading with these numbers - they are not unreasonable. It just doesn't do anything to speak to the level of difficulty and the chances of making it to attain those numbers. Most people that make it 7+ years, and work another 8, 10, 12 years, are probably going to make 200K at some point, just by sheer growth of their book. Of course, there are exceptions. Just like many indpendants, I have met Jones guys that are happy making 85K, and they work like 20 hours per week. Mind you, this is one of the reasons they raised their minimum thresholds recently. At a wirehouse, you might be challenged to keep your job at 85K net (although even at Jones, at some point, 85K net would be about the minimum you could net to keep your job).

Sep 4, 2008 8:42 pm

As I've stated here before, I have no desire to be a "big producer." None whatsoever.

I realize I'm an anomaly in this "I produce more than you" oriented industry, but I'll be thrilled once I get to where I'm netting $150k--with a 4% COLA each year thereafter, of course.
Don't do it without good staff.  Without staff, in the future you'll have to work every day, but simply not be very efficient since you'll be spending way too much time doing $15/hour work.  With staff, you'll be able to build your income and then once your income is where you'd like, you can just start working less.  Start taking off Fridays.  Then start taking off Mondays.  Take off the month of June. Etc.
Sometimes people think that giving up staff will improve their bottom line.  It will, but for one year only.  If staff costs $50,000, it is easy to think, "hey even if I gross $25,000 less, I come out way ahead."  They forget all about the future income from investments made today, the referrals from these additional clients, and all of the easy future sales to current clients.
Here's something else to add to the equation.  BorkerBoy is very lean and nets $200,000 on a practice that grosses $250,000.  Bspears is staff heavy.  He nets $200,000 on a practice that grosses $1,000,000.   If the mix of business is the same, Bspears can sell his business for 5x as much. 
Sep 4, 2008 8:58 pm


thanks for taking my question seriously i know it next to impossible to pin point with there being so many different variables to the equation just figured id get a rough idea.  for someone like me just outta college i've never made more the $12k in a year, so just wanted an idea.