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Nov 30, 2005 10:24 am

I've read a lot of your expert advice on this site, and I've appreciated much of the insight.  I have a basic question though.  My current salary isn't that fantastic and Im jumping into the business with both feet    How hard will it really be to etch out a meager living starting out?  What is good and what is bad?  Is $40-50k very realistic your first year?  Im beginning to form a negative opinion after reading so many of the posts on this site.  I need a realistic viewpoint from someone that has been there.  Can anyone help me?

Nov 30, 2005 10:28 am

EJ... just to clarify. 

Nov 30, 2005 10:51 am

$40-50K gross is feasible however, you walk away with maybe 45-50% of that in the right training program; plus it takes some money to make some money starting out, so you need to be prepared to spend a little too.

Nov 30, 2005 11:00 am

Well, I have about $75k saved up to try to make it through the next 2 years, hopefully that will be enough. 

Nov 30, 2005 11:54 am

75K saved and you are willing to use some/all - and you have a goal initially of 50K or so, you have a strong basis to get started.

Nov 30, 2005 12:23 pm

Well... goal of 50k net is my minimum "expectation".  Thats the part I need a reality check on.  EJ's program with the small base pay and bonuses during the first year should get me half way to a net of 50k, but I don't know what to expect from a commision standpoint.  How many Clients will I really get?  The 'ole "hope for the best plan for the worst"...

Nov 30, 2005 12:29 pm

You have the opportunity to make a VERY good living in this business.  Upwards of $200,000 per year.  If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.  It is not easy.  And you have to have a great firm to support you.


At my firm we have to have $4m AUM first year and $100,000 rev.  Second year $10AUM and $150,000 rev.  We have excellent office, marketing, computer, research - - you name it support.  You decide how to propsect, you decide what products to sell and you decide which customers to take on.


So, after two years you will find out if you made it, if you don't they fire you because at RJ we only want the best people.

Nov 30, 2005 12:46 pm
maybeeeeeeee:

You have the opportunity to make a VERY good living in this business.  Upwards of $200,000 per year.  If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.  It is not easy.  And you have to have a great firm to support you.


At my firm we have to have $4m AUM first year and $100,000 rev.  Second year $10AUM and $150,000 rev.  We have excellent office, marketing, computer, research - - you name it support.  You decide how to propsect, you decide what products to sell and you decide which customers to take on.


So, after two years you will find out if you made it, if you don't they fire you because at RJ we only want the best people.



Gee let's all link arms and do the RJ Cheer. 



Can anyone say "Herula"?

Nov 30, 2005 12:54 pm

b-I think your expectations are just fine...your cash reserves should be more than adequate, given what you have told us about your needs, etc., assuming you have a knack for this business.  Trust me...you'll definitely know long before two years whether or not you are cut out for the biz...


Joe, I think she HAS at least toned down the RJ pitch...it was almost subtle this time...


Maybe you & I should lead a cheer for LPL to kind of balance out the noise?!!


Nov 30, 2005 1:35 pm
Indyone:

b-I think your expectations are just fine...your cash reserves should be more than adequate, given what you have told us about your needs, etc., assuming you have a knack for this business.  Trust me...you'll definitely know long before two years whether or not you are cut out for the biz...


Joe, I think she HAS at least toned down the RJ pitch...it was almost subtle this time...


Maybe you & I should lead a cheer for LPL to kind of balance out the noise?!!





I'm biting my tongue.....

Nov 30, 2005 3:18 pm

How hard will it really be to etch out a meager living starting out?  What is good and what is bad?  Is $40-50k very realistic your first year?  Im beginning to form a negative opinion after reading so many of the posts on this site.  I need a realistic viewpoint from someone that has been there.  Can anyone help me


I'll try and I won't try to recruit you to my B/D either.   Whether 40 to 50K gross (meaning your gross after the haircut the B/D takes) is realistic depends on a lot of things.  Where is your office located.  Is it in an area of good potential investors, high net worth people, working people, businesses who need retirment plans and so on.  Or is it in an area of tough competetion with other established brokers?  How is the economy in the area you will be in.  How much competition are you going to get from other professionals including  other Jones brokers?  What kind of overhead or office expenses are you going to have to overcome?  Are you going to be starting a brand new office (new/new) or taking over an office that has already had a failing broker (or two or three) or are you lucky enought to be taking part of an existing successful office (goodnight plan)?  And really importantly, how hard are you willing to work.  Expect to work at least 60 hours a week for the first year or two.


It is possible to net 50K (after taxes and expenses) in the first year, but not easy and I hate to say, it not really likely.  Here is a small  example:  Say you gross 15K a month, which would put you into segement 3 (it has been a while so I may be wrong) which is normally achieved by year two, or the end of year one by quick starters (new/new).   12 x 15,000 = 180,000.   At a 35% payout to you really = 63,000.  Now you would have to have taxes withheld so assume 25% rate = $47,250.  Then you do have expenses that are not covered by Jones. (Advertising costs, toner, paper, part of the postage and so on  Oh Yeah!!  Health Insurance, you get to pay full boat.)  What those costs are depend on how you want to run your office but lets just say $5000.  ......Anyway, I guess you can see it may be tough in the first years.  My figures may be off because it has been a while since I was there.


Don't let me discourage you.  You may fall into a perfect opportunity and get a fast start out of the gate. As others have said, Jones can be a good place to start. You will learn how to prospect, get a taste of the business and build relationships with clients.  There are many Jones people who love it and wouldn't move and there are many who started there and moved on. 

Nov 30, 2005 5:00 pm

The potential EJ guy is asking if 50k is doable INCLUDING the 24k+ that Jones GIVES him...brings the bogey waaaay down (by more than 50%) from the #s shown above.  Plus I doubt he has any concept of what "15 gross" equates to; for his benefit, that's roughly bringing in 5 $100k accounts in a month (just one of many examples of how to get there).


If you only need to make (net OR gross) 26k after the salary, that's more like a 7k gross nut...very achievable of the course of the whole first year.  It maybe back-end heavy--ie, maybe you only get to 2k in month 1 but more like 10-15k by month 12 as your cumulative efforts are paying off.

Nov 30, 2005 6:16 pm

Wow.. when I started at Jones you got 2 grand a month....before taxes and expenses. No more than that...just 2,000.   Anything you earned over 2 grand in commissions went into a bonus pool.  If you made enough in commissions you got a nice bonus after the first year in a lump sum, which was taxed to death leaving about 50% left of the bonus pool.   


Sounds like they have changed their system.  I practially starved to death the first year and surely used up a lot of my savings. The bonus was nice but I would rather have had the commissions as I was earning them.

Nov 30, 2005 7:26 pm
maybeeeeeeee:

You have the opportunity to make a VERY good living in this business.  Upwards of $200,000 per year.  If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.  It is not easy.  And you have to have a great firm to support you.


At my firm we have to have $4m AUM first year and $100,000 rev.  Second year $10AUM and $150,000 rev.  We have excellent office, marketing, computer, research - - you name it support.  You decide how to propsect, you decide what products to sell and you decide which customers to take on.


So, after two years you will find out if you made it, if you don't they fire you because at RJ we only want the best people.



Does RJ offer newbie training programs and if so, do you have a weblink that you could share?  Thanks!


Nov 30, 2005 7:41 pm

I see lots of talk about numbers, but what determines your income will be your activity. When I passed my seven I thought I had a license to print money. Boy was I wrong. Reading, dreaming, watching CNBC won't put a dime into your checking account. If I were you, I would pick a product, preferably a mutual fund or variable annuity, and set up a 4 hour time block every day just to make outbound calls to new prospects. Call business owners and executives at work (no do not call laws), for they are easy to get ahold of and will have money and multiple needs. Don't torture yourself calling people at home.Set 10 appointments per week, meet with 8, qualify for at least $25,000. If you open 5 new accounts per month, selling va's @ 7% will gross you $8750 per month. Your payout will probably be 40-50%, netting you the $3500-$4275 per month MINIMUM you're looking for. Pitching individual stocks will get you the lowest payout available. Read Nick Murray's "The excellent Investment Adviser" and Bill Goods "Prospecting Your Way To Sales Success".As you mature in the business, transition over to fees. If you start out of the gate just doing fees, you'll starve. When you see your $75,000 become $50,000, then $25,000 and lower, it will affect your outlook and attitude, till you finally have to leave the business. But if you can remain FOCUSED, you'll do fine- Lots of noise in this business.


Stok- 16 years in the biz, independent for 12.

Nov 30, 2005 7:50 pm

What is everyone's take on the successrate of door-knocking?  Does it actually work or is this an EJ dinosaur ?

Nov 30, 2005 7:57 pm

Depends on where you are.  In small towns and places without anti-solicitation laws, it can be very effective.  In big cities, I imagine it is not too easy or successful.  I actually enjoyed the door knocking part of the Jones experience.  It is very effective with business owners as quite often that is the only way you are going to be able to see them.....at their own place of business.  

Nov 30, 2005 8:03 pm

Did you ever feel like a "sleezy salesman" by going door-to-door?  I'll do anything, but that's probably my biggest fear.  I'm not afraid to sell... don't get me wrong, I just don't want to feel like a dirty door-to-door salesman for the next 10 years of my life.  Keep in mind this is coming from someone who hasn't been through the training let alone received the legitimacy of being registered, etc.   Thanks for eveyone's candidness and time!

Nov 30, 2005 10:25 pm

babbling-  Good advice as always.

Nov 30, 2005 11:38 pm
babbling looney:

How hard will it really be to etch out a meager living starting out? What is good and what is bad? Is $40-50k very realistic your first year? Im beginning to form a negative opinion after reading so many of the posts on this site. I need a realistic viewpoint from someone that has been there. Can anyone help me



I'll try and I won't try to recruit you to my B/D either. Whether 40 to 50K gross (meaning your gross after the haircut the B/D takes) is realistic depends on a lot of things. Where is your office located. Is it in an area of good potential investors, high net worth people, working people, businesses who need retirment plans and so on. Or is it in an area of tough competetion with other established brokers? How is the economy in the area you will be in. How much competition are you going to get from other professionals including other Jones brokers? What kind of overhead or office expenses are you going to have to overcome? Are you going to be starting a brand new office (new/new) or taking over an office that has already had a failing broker (or two or three) or are you lucky enought to be taking part of an existing successful office (goodnight plan)? And really importantly, how hard are you willing to work. Expect to work at least 60 hours a week for the first year or two.



It is possible to net 50K (after taxes and expenses) in the first year, but not easy and I hate to say, it not really likely. Here is a small example: Say you gross 15K a month, which would put you into segement 3 (it has been a while so I may be wrong) which is normally achieved by year two, or the end of year one by quick starters (new/new). 12 x 15,000 = 180,000. At a 35% payout to you really = 63,000. Now you would have to have taxes withheld so assume 25% rate = $47,250. Then you do have expenses that are not covered by Jones. (Advertising costs, toner, paper, part of the postage and so on Oh Yeah!! Health Insurance, you get to pay full boat.) What those costs are depend on how you want to run your office but lets just say $5000. ......Anyway, I guess you can see it may be tough in the first years. My figures may be off because it has been a while since I was there.



Don't let me discourage you. You may fall into a perfect opportunity and get a fast start out of the gate. As others have said, Jones can be a good place to start. You will learn how to prospect, get a taste of the business and build relationships with clients. There are many Jones people who love it and wouldn't move and there are many who started there and moved on.




B,



BigPayDay's rules for success:



1. Do not come to this board for advice. Most advice here is very jaded.

2. Remember that sales, and that is what this job is for the first two years, is a CONTACT sport. You need to make 25 contacts a day, period.

3. Follow the Jones recipe. It works. Most of the people on this board who have left Jones will agree that the training they got from Jones was very good.

4. Have a good work ethic. When it's 9pm and your falling asleep and you can't seem to get those hand written thank you notes done, DO IT NOW.

5. Have faith that your hard work will pay off.

6. Make sure you set goals for yourself. Not just commission goals, but goals for you and your family. Where do YOU want to be in 5, 10, 15, 20 years? Write it down and keep it in front of you at all times.



As far as BL's comments above go, let me clarify a few things:



1. Health Insurance is subsidized for new IRs by Jones.

2. Your net payout should be in the 38% - 40% range, not the 35% mentioned above.

3. Here's an idea of what your income might look like in your first year: Base Salary:        $21,840

                      Net Commissions:     18,000

                      New Account Bonuses:$ 6,000

                      Milestone Bonuses: $ 9,000

                                            -------

                                            $54,840



4. The base salary depends on where you are starting. It will be higher in CA and lower in MO for example.

5. The new account bonus of $100 per account is a big deal. It lasts through the first two years. This can be a big addition to comp in the first two years.

6. The milestone bonuses are very attainable. You will need to be at 100% of standard. Right now about 65% of new IRs are at standard.

7. Your tax bracket will not be as high as 25% early on.

8. For actual w2 averages for IRs at EJ go to:

http://www.jonesopportunity.com/ir/enUS/nonbroker/income.ht ml



The $75k in the bank is a nice amount to start with. Spend it wisely.



Remember the six rules for success, especially #1.



Good luck and good selling,

BPD









http://www.jonesopportunity.com/ir/enUS/nonbroker/income.ht ml