Team or Stand Alone?

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Jan 3, 2012 2:37 pm

I'm currently going through training at a wire and would like to hear some thoughts on the pros and cons of joining a team as a junior broker or apprentice vs going it alone. I may have the opportunity to join a team so any suggestions of questions I should ask or things I should look out for would be great.

Thanks in advance.

DS

Jan 3, 2012 4:08 pm

DS

You are in a rock and a hard place I am afraid.  Joining a team means you are little more than a sale assistant at best.  At worst your team mates will look simply for you to bring in assets for them to keep after your demise.  In 15 yrs however i saw almost no one succceed attemting to go it alone, the need to accumulate eye popping assets in a year or two is difficult to say the least even in boom times, which I fear we are not in.   If there is a plus side to joining a team, it is that many eventually break away with a chunk of the teams assets and join a rival firm, happpens all the time.  Best of luck in your new endeavour.

Jan 3, 2012 8:56 pm

Im bamboozled by the above posts.  Lots of people bring in big assets early.  in 15 years?  what?

Jan 3, 2012 10:28 pm

[quote=exwirehouse]In 15 yrs however i saw almost no one succceed attemting to go it alone[/quote]

Either you have an agenda or you're blind.

Jan 4, 2012 9:12 am

I've seen plenty of people succeed going at it alone.  It's easier with assets but 100% possible without them.  Did you have your head up your rear for 15y ears?

Jan 4, 2012 10:15 am

I haven't spent much time on this website and I'm still in my first year in the business so take this from my perspective. Also know that I'm a Financial Advisor, but essentially the problem is the same.

I've seen many people on here bad mouth a vertical team and how many established brokers will go to new hires, get them in a team and when they fail, absorb their assets.

What has worked for a guy in our office was going to a senior FA and offering to help him manage his existing clients. The new guy's book is still his own and he shares none of his new assets with the senior FA. In turn, this relationship has brought him about 2 million in assets, he still prospects and builds his book, but he has the senior broker to throw assets his way.

Hopefully, that makes sense. I personally would be hesitant to enter into a pool where I was simply the "bird dog" and split new accounts with a senior FA. Make friends with someone established in your office, ask them if they will sit in on appointments with you (if you need the help closing), and in turn take them out to lunch every week. I've had my branch manager himself willing to go on a 3 hour road trip with me to land a 7 figure account without him asking for anything in return.

Jan 4, 2012 12:54 pm

Fair Enough.  I worked at one of the largest branches of one of the largest firms on the street for over 11 years. I started in a training class of 145, in the midst of the most epic bull run in several generations.  Within 30 months there may have been 12 of us left, solo, team or otherwise.  

ROA as best I recall for our branch and the firm in general was .35 to .45% roughly, certainly less than .5%  Depending on what type of package you negotiated for your training salary length etc you have a very short time to get to 50 to million

to 100 million in assets, probably under 3 years before you are on straight commission.  At most firms below $300,000 in gross now puts you in the "penalty box" with a pay out of 25% or less.  Put together a simple business plan for raising 75 million in assets in 30 months roughly. if you think it is feasible by all means go it alone, it is far preferable to being the guy answering phones on the day after Thanksgiving, as part of a "team" If you do not feel confident in your abilities raising this level of assets, look to joining a partnership.  Best of luck.

Jan 4, 2012 3:05 pm

Ok, exwirehouse. If I'm understanding you correctly, joining a team may not be an ideal situation so it is a better plan to put everything on my shoulders. I certainly can appreciate what you are saying. Let me ask you this, what did you do to become one of the few who made it? What is the cliff notes version of your 'simple business plan to raise 75 million in 30 or so months'.?

Thanks for all the input, I do appreciate it.

DS