TD Ameritrade Investment Consultant

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Sep 9, 2008 3:07 pm

Does anyone know anything about the TD Ameritrade Investment Consultant position?  Whether it's a good position, pros & cons, responsibilities, stress level?  It seems to me the job is more sales oriented rather than advisory - in between a call center & an FA & you don't give actual investment advice to clients.  Anyone with info, please advise!

Sep 9, 2008 3:30 pm

here's a review:

 
http://www.e-shadow.com/interview-with-a-td-ameritrade-investment-consultant/
Sep 9, 2008 8:36 pm

This is one of the worse positions you could possibly consider in the industry. If you absolutely insist on being at a discount firm go take your psychiatric evaluation and then apply to Fidelity or Schwab, but not TD. I was there for a very brief period of time. The turnover is just outrageous. The back office is totally incompetent which will ensure that you do nothing but field phone calls from people whose transfer didn't go through or deposit wasn't received. The product offering is limited to only one proprietary etf-based wrap account or referral to money managers in the RIA system. The problem with the former product is that it is almost impossible to open such an account and get it funded in less than two client appointments, which will ensure that every single day you are beating your head against the wall for a back office issue on the one and only product you're actually able to sell! Even if you do have success in hitting your numbers (unlikely with such disorganization), there is a team in place at the company now whose job is only to audit conversions for approval. If you didn't "show enough influence" for a sale or transfer of assets, you'll not receive credit or compensation. Whatever you've been told about the bonus structure in the comp plan is anywhere between a gross exaggeration and outright lie. I'm not sure about your area of the country but in mine there are perpetual monster ads for every single branch in the area. Branch managers are encourages to perpetually interview and "keep a full bench." There's also one thing they won't tell you until you start: The client service specialist position in the branch is being phased out. If you're interviewing at a large branch who has a full time person at the front desk, that will go away. If at a small branch it already has. What this means is that you will have to rotate with the other people doing this position. If there are five reps, you're basically going to be a secretary once a week. This is absolutely miserable work since it's nothing but a constant flow of people coming in to address some customer service issue the branch office has screwed up. Do not even consider applying for this role. The only upside to taking a job at TD is that if you do, you're bound to quit within a few months.

Sep 10, 2008 12:19 pm

Wow, thats sounds like a wounderful place to be 

Sep 10, 2008 2:05 pm

Now...tell us how you really feel.

Sep 10, 2008 6:06 pm

Did the TD thing for a year and a half (!)  Surprised I lasted that long.

 
Good points- None
 
Bad points (where do I even begin)
 
-Back office totally fu-cks things up.  I have had paperwork lost permanently.  They tried rectifying it with a new scanning system but things just tend to disappear into a black hole somewhere in the Midwest.  Plus if you have an estate issue........good luck with that.  You might even be dead by the time its cleared up.
-VERY limited product offerings.  The ETF portfolio (which is so convoluted and honestly, not performing all that great even in a decent market) and Money Managers (some clients I brought over were not happy with the lack of communication) are the only things you can offer.  Client wants FI?  Team someplace else that handles it (and they are competing for the same dollars that you want to put into the portfolio or sock over to the money manager).  So not only are you competing for a client who wants to do everything themselves, but also with your own colleagues
-Management support (or lack thereof).  First off the quotas (and yes, those ads for the job are total BS when they say no product pushing) are very high, even compared to the other boys on the block.  Furthermore, what Free said about the team watching over the assets you bring in is sadly, very true.  I personally had millions disqualified because of those rat bastards.  Oh, and expect to get a beating and an action plan if you dont pull your weight.  They give you a quarter or a month, depending to either get your numbers up or you get the boot.
 
All in all.........put the crack pipe down before you apply.  If you are looking for a discount place, try Fidelity or Schwab.  But honestly, bust your ass in the full service arena, go thru the pain (which is what I am preparing to do) and honestly, work for yourself providing things that people truly can use and need.   The advice and experience on these boards are truly great pointers and inspired me to take this next step (esp. the newbie commandments from Anonymous).  
 
Any other questions/comments/concerns, PM me or leave it to the peanut gallery.
Sep 12, 2008 2:10 am

What is the sales pitch they give during the interview or discussions you've had so far? I'd be curious to hear what they do as well as their take on what they do. It seems like a "consultant" has very little place in a firm that seems directed to the cowboy day trader.

Sep 14, 2008 6:29 pm
Banker the pitch when I went was how wonderful TD is, that you drive the organization, you can help clients and show them investment ideas that help them achieve their goals, etc etc.  You can offer MFs, FI, all the resources of the organization to help you win business. 
 
The biggest part that they devoted time to during the presentation was their comp plan, all the bonuses, etc etc.  
 
What they dont tell you is that you most likely will not get those type of numbers unless you have a superstar quarter/year.  It is very skewed and it has changed thru the years, less and less in the favor of the rep (but then again, where hasnt it).  Not only that, but you cannot make ANY recommendations, save for their 2 (!) offerings.  You can do FI business and when I left they kept pushing more and more for it ("you need to make 3 referrals to the FI dept. today"-Manager) but you dont get paid on it and furthermore, you dont want to because its less money that you can allocate to products you do get paid on and you need to sell to keep your seat.
 
Overall the turnover is disgusting.  Management and back office is disgusting (lot of ex-Schwabbian company men and fine folks who were working at Walmart 6 months ago, respectively), lack of offerings hinder your ability to do business and the clients are DIY-ers, exactly the type of people who dont want to hear you and dont need you.  But it sure is fun watching them hope and pray SIRI is going back up to 5 as their accounts bleed to death. 
 
I say if you are going the discount route, Schwab or Fidelity is def. the way to go, or stay in the banks or in full service.  TD is a place where you will have a short, miserable stint. 
Sep 14, 2008 8:12 pm

tryintomakeit- I love that explanation. Absolutely dead on. I just couldn't believe we could only sell one (!) thing. In my office the managers discouraged referring to a manager over the proprietary etf nonsense they had. It's just a joke.

Sep 15, 2008 4:14 pm

Agreed.  Hence why I left.  I lasted longer than I expected to but it made me realize that working for your own book is def. the way to go in the industry.  You can help clients far more and of course, put more change in your pocket.   




 
More often than not, the manager was the better solution for the client but of course, management aint gonna hear that rap.  You will sell our portfolios and you will like it!!!  Just turned me off to the whole idea of "independence is the spirit that drives America's most successful investors"  If Sammy Boy only knew...........
 
Eh.....could be worse.  You could have either worked for Bear or Lehman and found out what you worked for is worth next to dog shit in Russia now. 
Sep 15, 2008 8:22 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys - I will def not go that route.