Starting Salaries and Comp

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Sep 22, 2009 6:40 am

Greatings,


I'm new here although I'm been in the FInancial Services business for many years. I decided to take the leap in to a full-fledged sales career and I'm looking at a few different firms. The one that looks the most promising, as well as appealing, is Merrill.
 
From the reading I've done, it would seem that starting base could range anywhere between about 40-80 depending on experience and that one would not see their commissions/earnings until they exceed the base.
 
My question is this: is that base about right? And, how are you guys generally compensated for AUM once you bring in the accounts? I know it's based on how the account is set up. Just looking for general info here.
 
Sorry for the amaturely questions but I'm just trying to prepare for the inevitable salary/earnings discussion that I expect will occur soon.
 
The other firms were NYL and EDJ. I'm sure they are both good firms but based on where I owuld like to fucus my business, at least initially, I don't think they would work. ALso, no disrespect to fellow professionals who are legit Financial people,  I'm getting the sense that they will hire anyone with a pulse. I will not mention which firm of the two but I know one of them just hired a guy that was a Sheetrocker recently with zero FS experience. That just seems kind of fishy.
 
Sorry for the long post. Any comments are welcome.
 
Thank you,
 
 
Sep 22, 2009 6:42 am

..oh yeah, I already have S-7/63.

Sep 22, 2009 8:50 am

If you want a guaranteed salary go teach third grade public school.

Sep 22, 2009 9:40 am
BerkshireBull:

If you want a guaranteed salary go teach third grade public school.

Sep 22, 2009 10:05 am

Hey Cape - Don't mind these pricks!  I don't see anywhere that you have expectations of an ongoing "guaranteed salary" WTF??  I assume that you're asking about the initial salary that is offered while you build your book...I have heard 36k-60k, depending on your geographic area.  I just joined and haven't found the ignore button yet...

Sep 22, 2009 10:12 am

Most likely it will be between 40-55k. Unless you can't live on that, but at most places, the higher your salary the higher your goals. That salary is based on wirehouse. EDJ salary is less probably 30-40k.

Sep 22, 2009 10:26 am

ML has 3 tiers.

 
<50k
 
50k>75k
 
75k>125k.
 
If i were you id go for 74k as a starting salary. The top tier has pretty high expectations.
 
 
Sep 22, 2009 10:27 am

BTW average starting salary is 60k

Sep 22, 2009 11:07 am

Thanks to those of you who provided a thoughtfull response.

 
To those who did not, maybe I should teach 3rd grade English and you can be my first students. We'll start with 2nd grade reading comprehension just for you  I think I was just looking for comparisons and trying to better understand the comp packages. Sorry if I offended your Delicate F'ing sensabilities....
 
Sep 22, 2009 11:09 am

Some of us get grumpy because the search key will find most of this info on this site. A lot of this stuff has been re-asked 5-10Xs. Others well you know.

Sep 22, 2009 11:15 am

CHief, just trying to clarify what I read....using the search function and looking at threads that seemed dated. Sorry if I missed one along the way. ALso, clearly, the person responding certainly has the option of not responding if it is really going to upset them to do so...

Sep 22, 2009 11:29 am

You did read it correctly... As far as dated this same topic has been discussed over the last 6 months(salarys are similar).

Sep 22, 2009 11:43 am
Cape1:

CHief, just trying to clarify what I read....using the search function and looking at threads that seemed dated. Sorry if I missed one along the way. ALso, clearly, the person responding certainly has the option of not responding if it is really going to upset them to do so...

 
Are your feelings hurt?  Bud if you are getting into this job you better get a thicker skin.
Sep 22, 2009 12:02 pm

If you are truly that concerned about starting salaries, this business probably isn't for you.  Not trying to be a d1ck, but you really need to ask yourself if you are willing to be underpaid and overworked for 5 years before you can become overpaid and underworked for the rest of your life.

Sep 22, 2009 12:52 pm

Actually, "bud", no my feeling are not hurt at all. To the contrary, I'm sort of getting a laugh at some of these repsonses.

Sep 22, 2009 12:53 pm

never understood the negative responses to this question.

 
It's true that eventually we all eat what we we kill, but why wouldn't you want to negotiate the highest salary before that day comes?
Sep 22, 2009 1:03 pm

I really don't understand the negativity either. I'm just trying to weigh the pro's/con's of the different opportunities that have presented themselves. Kind of hard to do that without asking questions. I thought I asked a reasonable question.

 
In fact, I may actually take a job for a firm that has no base salary because I like what I'm hearing. Maybe these other guys are just used to people coming on here with the wrong attitude about the business.
 
Sep 22, 2009 3:10 pm

Depends on what you want to do in the business.  I am also a newbie to the forums but in my second year in the financial services business.  Firms like Merrill and MSSB are wirehouses (now govt owned) which basically means that you will be an asset gatherer (hence the higher starting salary while building your book).  Success rate at such places are low so if you don't have a slew of rich friends you'll be in for a tough ride.


On the other end of the spectrum you have the NYL, NMFN, Mass Mutual, Guardian and MetLife's of the world.  All of these are basically life insurance companies masquerading as financial planning outfits.  Starting salaries are zero in most cases.  In some cases you will get a draw or an allowance for a period of time which is basically cut off after six months or so.  However, if you like selling insurance products, go to one of these places.
 
Then you have places like Ed Jones.  I'm not to familiar with them other than they pay you a modest salary while studying for the 7/66, then as you migrate into production that salary decreases and about 18 months into the game you are on straight commission.  Ed Jones has the rep for being "middle America's" financial advisor. 
 
Actually I may be looking at them for making a career transition.  Hope this helps.
Sep 22, 2009 3:22 pm

It's all a matter of personal opinion and personal situations:

 
I looked for a place with a decent starting salary (MSSB is where I ended up).  Some would sit here on this board and tell me I might not want to try this business if I am worried about salary.  However, that is where my situation comes in:
 
I just closed on my first house with the woman I will marry next year.  No way could I afford to start on straight commissions with that mortgage every month, simply would not have been a smart life decision.  However, this does NOT mean I won't be comfortable on straight commissions if I can make it through the next year and a half with reasonable success.
 
So that is just my $0.02, but I agree with the other posts:  There should not be such negativity around this subject.  I hope to be successful and actually look forward to being on straight commissions, just not RIGHT NOW.  I bet there are a lot of other people out there that are not scared of commissions, but realize it isn't the best thing for their immediate future.
 
Happy prospecting!
Sep 22, 2009 3:29 pm
workinhard:

It's all a matter of personal opinion and personal situations:

 
I looked for a place with a decent starting salary (MSSB is where I ended up).  Some would sit here on this board and tell me I might not want to try this business if I am worried about salary.  However, that is where my situation comes in:
 
I just closed on my first house with the woman I will marry next year.  No way could I afford to start on straight commissions with that mortgage every month, simply would not have been a smart life decision.  However, this does NOT mean I won't be comfortable on straight commissions if I can make it through the next year and a half with reasonable success.
 
So that is just my $0.02, but I agree with the other posts:  There should not be such negativity around this subject.  I hope to be successful and actually look forward to being on straight commissions, just not RIGHT NOW.  I bet there are a lot of other people out there that are not scared of commissions, but realize it isn't the best thing for their immediate future.
 
Happy prospecting!
 
My situation is a bit more complicated than yours (all due respect).  I have all of the above, wife, kids, mortgage, etc.  I've been in the business approx 18 months.  Looking back on it one of my big mistakes was taking a position (commission only) at a life insurance company.  Being new in the industry, I didn't fully realize that's what I'd be doing with the firm I chose, it was sort of a bait and switch type of thing. 
 
As for the commission only part, the experience has been invaluable and fairly successful compared to most.  However, my major problem is that I am becoming something that I did not set out to become.