Thinking about leaving Edward Jones

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Jun 3, 2010 2:39 am

I have been with Jones for just under 2 yrs and I am really struggling with "if Edward Jones" is right for me.

First, my office is located in a town of 12,000 people (large portion is gated so it can't be doorknocked) and currently has a BIG Seg 5, two consistent Seg 4's and my Seg 2 office. I would guess that about 25% - 33% of the people I meet prospecting are either an EJ client or already talking to one of the EJ FA's. I am fine with all of that but here is where I have a problem(s). It seems as though half of these people do not even know the name of the EJ FA they are using which clearly indicates the depth of the relationship. Regardless, since they have an exsisting contact with EJ I can not attempt to establish a relationship. What really pushed me over the edge is when I found out they are bringing in 2.....I repeat ......2 new FA's. It appears to me that EJ is more concerned about "growth" in terms of FA's rather than if it makes sense to flood a small area with newbies. I could be wrong, but all they see is market share numbers and not households to accounts ratios. At some point this organic growth is going to cause us to be like Subway or Starbucks where we literally have EJ offices across the street from each other. Two thoughts come to mind: 1.Cannibalism 2. LP and GP returns failling like a ponzi scheme.

Why shouldn't I leave and increase my prospect base with all the EJ clients who didn't even know their FA's name?

Second, I really want to be more of a fee based advisor but that is hard to do as a newbie and still be able to pay my bills. My assets per household are in the 2nd decile of the firm but my production and new accounts are in the bottom 10. Why wouldn't I leave and go independent and keep more of what I make? As a new/new I spent my first year working from home without a BOA and I did just fine.

Third, I feel like the culture is changing quickly for the worse. I will just leave it at that.

Finally, from any of those who left EJ, are we all drunk on the kool-aide or is the grass greener on the other side?

P.S. Sorry for any typos and the rambling but it is pretty late.

Jun 3, 2010 9:41 am

Sparky, if you can make it financially, independance (possibly RIA) may be well suited for you.  Just make sure you have a real good marketing/prospecting plan in place.  Keep in mind, Jones (or any captive firm) has a lot of resources that either won't be available to you outside, or you will have to pay for.  Early in your career, some of those resources are simply practice-management stuff.  If you are technically oriented, a good business person, and can adapt well and think on your feet, you would probably do fine going it alone.  Just make sure you have what it takes this early on before you leap.  It might make sense to gather some more assets and experience before you leap, OR it may be better to just say 'fukc it' and make th leap early.