Starting out as an Advisor in NYC

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Sep 1, 2008 4:34 pm

Hello everyone!

I'm new to this business and wanted the insight of picking a firm to work with. I've interviewed with companies here in NYC like E1 Asset Management and Allen Partners. I've received information and was going to be interviewed by Jones, AXA, and Ameriprise.

I am worried about being scammed by these companies as I don't really understand the structure and pay. I want to work 5-6 days a week 12+ hours a day. I want to make a ton of commission and closing and I think a larger firm would probably most beneficial and more trustworthy. Yes? I was thinking of interviewing with a larger firm like Merrill Lynch. I like the idea that they have high hurdles and higher attrition rates. Keeps me among the best of the best. If I make it, I make it. Hopefully well off yes?

What do you guys think of the different firms and what things I should be looking out for with what you know about me? I have never done telemarketing phone sales but I have worked at a company where I was 100% commission based for 1.5 years.

Sep 1, 2008 5:15 pm

One thing I will say about E1.....THOSE DUDES MAKE MONEY and THEY WILL TEACH YOU TO SELL.

Horrible stock pickers is their downfall. The managers usually pick a stock (NKTR, EVERGREEN, LDK solar) with a great story which makes opening an account easier to be honest. At the same time, I love coming across investor who say they have an account with E1. Red lights go off and I usually go into AKat mode.  Most of their business is done in the UK so you will work early mornings.  
Sep 1, 2008 8:45 pm

Avoid Ameriprise entirely regardless of your location. AXA depends on the channel. You're either an indie rep (which will still be ordered around regardless of the fact that there's no base) or in the 403b market. Either way you go, be sure to get everything in writing beforehand if you go with them. AXA has a history of bringing people on and then conveniently notifying them after the fact of a massive number of fees you'll have to pay. Also, you'll be sharing commissions with a manager early on. Bad deal in general. Don't know E1. If you go with ML, get licensed and then flame out, any of those firms would take you afterward anyway so there's really no downside to getting started there.

Sep 2, 2008 3:57 am

icecold, just curious why NY Life and Mass Mutual are in the "look" category but AIG isn't? I don't really know any of the three first hand but think of them similarly. Also, this is the second time someone has slammed WDR recrently (perhaps you in another thread?) by comparing them to AMP and Primerica. Bad? Probably, but not sure if I'd say they're in THAT league. What've you seen?

Sep 2, 2008 6:09 pm

 look into jt marlin

Sep 2, 2008 7:50 pm

icecold, can you clarify what the "berlin wall" approach to retention means? Those doing the asset gathering do not have their metrics effected by retention as it's handled by another group in home office? I haven't heard that phrase before.

Sep 2, 2008 9:25 pm

Xbanker,

It's possible Ice is referring to this post I made a while ago regarding AMP:

Morphius:

This is what I tell clients is the AMP "Berlin Wall strategy."  If you
know what you have sucks and everyone is dying to escape, you either
have to make people want to stay or you make leaving very difficult. 
Guess which strategy AMP has used?   As a client of theirs, sooner or
later you have to just hold your breath and jump the wall, or accept
being a hostage forever. 

Sep 2, 2008 10:36 pm

Ok, that makes sense. I've always associated a "berlin wall" as far as PRODUCTS go with the banks. The entire point of selling only B shares, proprietary products or annuities with huge surrender periods is to make leaving costly, difficult, or impossible.



From the administrative transfer side I've encountered this numerous times from several firms, especially the insurance related ones. I will say the administratively easy transfers come from Morgan Stanley and Charles Schwab.

Sep 3, 2008 1:52 am

IceCo1d and Others That Can Help:

I have sales experience in marketing for night clubs, venues, etc. It's a bit different though. I can take rejections as I don't take it to heart. Very egoless. I want a place that'll offer me support and give me tools necessary to allow me to succeed.

I've looked at Merrill Lynch and I really like their structure. I haven't interviewed with MS, SB, UBS, or Wachovia. I think name recognition and training provided will help greatly. Their training reminds me a lot like an online university instead of what I was expecting where we'd go into seminars and basically just have a mentor. I really appreciate the coach, mentor, support they have. I'm certain the other large Wirehouse firms are similar.

The con I don't like is they close in the seminar room. They don't close over the phone. A lot of these smaller firms are dealing with customers in the UK and all over the country so I would expect they close directly over the phone.

So, with these larger firms they can only really call and work with people in and around the city. Doesn't that limit their options? If I did select someone from Ohio how do they go about closing them? Do I fly out there and meet them?

BTW thanks so much for the help so far.


Sep 3, 2008 6:37 am

BoilerRoom, all of the wires will let you work whatever geographic territory you wish. If it's outside your immediate region or state, you'd just let your compliance department or branch manager know to register your licenses in the applicable state but there's no issue beyond that.



I recommend not adhering to anyone's sales mantra and to be very skeptical of any firm that advocates a single strategy. If something closes, it closes. This is one of many reasons AMP shouldn't even be a consideration; the almost exclusive focus on the planning process. Great concept but nothing is ok for everyone. If I have a transactional guy who only wants that, I want to be able to do that business without listening to harassment from a manager.



There are many ways to do this of which cold calling, seminar meetings and natural market utilization are all included. Keep in mind anyone "training" you in sales is likely a a flame out who obviously couldn't utilize whatever they were saying. Just do whatever it is you're going to do MORE OFTEN and it will succeed more often.

Sep 3, 2008 11:16 am

Don't bother with Wachovia. There's a very high chance Chase is going to eat them up very soon. From there it will be a question of culture and we know if Chase has their way it won't be pretty.

Sep 4, 2008 2:08 am
xbanker:

BoilerRoom, all of the wires will let you work whatever geographic territory you wish. If it's outside your immediate region or state, you'd just let your compliance department or branch manager know to register your licenses in the applicable state but there's no issue beyond that.



I recommend not adhering to anyone's sales mantra and to be very skeptical of any firm that advocates a single strategy. If something closes, it closes. This is one of many reasons AMP shouldn't even be a consideration; the almost exclusive focus on the planning process. Great concept but nothing is ok for everyone. If I have a transactional guy who only wants that, I want to be able to do that business without listening to harassment from a manager.



There are many ways to do this of which cold calling, seminar meetings and natural market utilization are all included. Keep in mind anyone "training" you in sales is likely a a flame out who obviously couldn't utilize whatever they were saying. Just do whatever it is you're going to do MORE OFTEN and it will succeed more often.



But everyone I spoke to closes in the conference room (so they stick to NJ, CT, basically the tristate). How do I get some client from California to close the deal? Do I fly over there? Close over the phone?

Sep 4, 2008 6:41 am

The con I don't like is they close in the seminar room. They don't close over the phone. A lot of these smaller firms are dealing with customers in the UK and all over the country so I would expect they close directly over the phone.

BoilerRoom- why are you opposed to sitting accross the table from a prospect and closing him face to face/ This is a relationship business. You would be wise to consider that, and consider building lasting relationships  which you dont do over the phone. If you want to get into the slam bam thank you maam business, you are right, ML and other firms you mention are not the place to do it. If you want to build a business that will last you and give you a great life, then they are . No disrespect meant.
Sep 4, 2008 2:13 pm
anabuhabkuss:

Don't bother with Wachovia. There's a very high chance Chase is going to eat them up very soon. From there it will be a question of culture and we know if Chase has their way it won't be pretty.

 
This could be interesting if it happens!  
 
Sep 4, 2008 5:08 pm

SFB,

You see I'm not really opposed to meeting clients in person. I am opposed to the challenge of contacting many customers. I want to be able to contact customers in several cities. And be able to stay late and contact customers in cities on the west coast (cause of the time differential). I have no idea how they would build a relationship with someone not located in the tri-state area.

Sportsfreakbob:

The con I don't like is they close in the seminar room. They don't close over the phone. A lot of these smaller firms are dealing with customers in the UK and all over the country so I would expect they close directly over the phone.

BoilerRoom- why are you opposed to sitting accross the table from a prospect and closing him face to face/ This is a relationship business. You would be wise to consider that, and consider building lasting relationships  which you dont do over the phone. If you want to get into the slam bam thank you maam business, you are right, ML and other firms you mention are not the place to do it. If you want to build a business that will last you and give you a great life, then they are . No disrespect meant.
Nov 7, 2008 11:50 pm

Ice,

 
You seem to have considerable insight on different firms.  I interviewed today with Prudential for an advisor position and am meeting Monday with Northwestern.  Any opinions on these firms?  If anyone else wants to sound off on them (good or bad), I would truly appreciate it.  Thanks in advance.
Nov 8, 2008 2:45 pm

I'm in a similar situation so I'm finding this thread interesting.  I have plenty of sales experience, having been in the mortgage industry for 6 years, and have done phone cold calling.  I also have a good deal of knowledge about marketing, direct mail, etc.  I can talk, I can close and I'm sure I will be a good FA to my clients.

 
But the one thing my years in the mortgage industry taught me was to carefully pick who I worked for.  I started out being a phone monkey giving away everything I made to my "managers" and ended my run with my own mortgage brokers licenses, running my own netbranch operation out of my home and keeping 100% of my fees (minus a small per file fee to my corporate office).
 
I seek an outfit that can provide me with Series 7 training, product training, a minimal salary to keep my wife off my back and a little hand holding in the beginning.  In return, I expect the company will take some split of what I earn.
 
But the day may come when I have repaid my debt, the company has profited and I will want the ability to take my client base with me to a better offer.  Not for certain, of course, but one must keep their options open.
 
Can anyone point me to a primer on getting started in the FA business?  What terms to expect, red flags to watch for when checking out an offer, etc?  Can anyone suggest a good outfit to start with (other than what has already been offered)?
 
I am located on the PA/NJ border and expect I will focus on NJ with its higher per household income.
 
I am confident I will be an excellent FA.  In fact, that was my one weakness in the mortgage industry: I had integrity, would not lie and worked tirelessly for my clients, only to have them throw me under a bus when some bait-and-switch shark (95% of the industry) came along and stole them from me.
 
Thanks for your assistance.
Nov 8, 2008 8:26 pm
iceco1d:
Well, since you used to be a mortgage broker, look at the bright side....you CAN'T POSSIBLY F*CK UP anymore than you have already.   










 
There's nothing wrong with being a mortgage broker.  People needed loans and I got them for 'em.  I realize, in hindsight, that my personal style is much better suited for the FA industry.  The mortgage industry is (was) rife with individuals who would lie through their teeth to their clients all day long.  It was difficult to compete with, since most people wanna believe they can get something for nothing.