Ultra noob - please help

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May 14, 2007 12:15 pm

hey I am from NYC. Going for an interview tomorrow to be a trainee stockbroker at E1 Asset Management, formerly "Everest 1 asset mgmt." I am two years out of college and I've been working in the film industry so far. But, while it's fun being creative being poor sucks ass. so I thought I'd give this a shot. I have a lot of questions I want to know before the interview tomorrow at 2:

1. has anyone heard of E1? what is their rep like? can't find anything about them online other than their own site

2. they pay for training. If I eventually decide trading is not for me what are the chances I'd have to pay for training on leaving? I don't want to be locked into a job

3. what are typical stockbroker's day to day hours? preferably for a first year trainee

4. what should I expect in terms of first year salary? I am making 40k a year right now. go ahead, it's ok to laugh.

5. what are some good interview strategies / advice? I know next to nothing about stocks other than the basics, but I do have a portfolio that's gone up 30% since september. good investments in tech and canadian oil sands. maybe I'll tell you if you help me

6. what else should I prepare myself for? I'll be honest, I'm really smart but I'm concerned, coming from such a (relatively) relaxed industry... is there a high burnout / failure rate among trainees?

7. any general advice apart from STFU GTFO would be appreciated. thanks

May 14, 2007 12:31 pm

ok, everyone else is passing you by.  sorry.  here is some of the answers.


1.  Never heard of E1.  Stay away from those small shops.  Go to a large firm with a great reputation.


2.  They best firms will pay for your training, but you have to agree to stay for some time.


3.  55 hours per week.


4. salary and comission in your first year around 40 to 50k


5. WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE IN THIS BUSINESS?  HOW WILL YOU BRING IN CLIENTS?  HAVE YOU HAD SALES JOBS BEFORE?


GOOD LUCK.

May 14, 2007 12:33 pm

Please forgive us all for letting this guy hang in the wind for a whole 16 minutes.

May 14, 2007 12:48 pm

that's ok BH, don't let it happen again.

why do I want to be in this business?

frankly, I'm kind of just trying to figure out what I want to do in life, this is one option. oh, and I like money. also, like I said, I had good luck with the stock market, which sort of gave me an idea. I hope it's more than just good luck, actually.

how will I bring in clients?

honestly? I have no idea. I am very down-to-earth, I feel like I come off as trustworthy and personable, my mom says I have a great personality . I am also pretty smart. not sure if it's the kind of smarts I'll need however (mostly book learnins. I have a f**king useless english degree and I didn't want to be a teacher. kids are stupid)

never had a sales job but I'm pretty charismatic, and I feel like I'd be good at it. I know that's another world from actually being good at it though...

SO - would I have any shot at a bigger place with literally zero experience? I mean, I do well in interviews, I got good grades in college (wesleyan universisty 3.5) perfect SATs blah blah blah.

also, what's so bad about smaller places, and does that 40-50k 1y salary usually include benefits?

May 14, 2007 1:09 pm

I would definitely check out the firm's reputation.  Never heard of them, but that doesn't make them bad.  However, some smaller firms can have a bad rep and if you start there it will follow you in the rest of your career.


How do you get clients?   Depends on the type of firm you are working at and the location.  Some will have you cold calling from a list. This means you will be on the phone for hours and face a lot of rejection and hang ups.  Other firms, like EDJ will have you out walking/doorknocking to meet people.  This probably isn't a very good idea in NYC  but it works well in Small Town America.  You will probably be working on your own contacts, people you know, businesses you have relationships with. 


Have you thought about applying for a sales assistant position in one of the larger companies to get a feel for the job and what it entails.


The reality is that most FAs fail in the first 2 to 3 years.  If you can hang in there and have built a book of business you have a shot at it.

May 14, 2007 1:22 pm

unfortunately, like I said, it would be an entire change of industry for me so I come to it with no contacts and almost no business/finance experience. is anyone else here able to balance this job and being creative? would I have any time between training and working to do my own video projects or is it pretty much work, train, sleep, eat repeat? I'm willing to put that off for a while if the job is worth it, but I'd be pissed if I ended up hating it and I have to pay for the training

May 14, 2007 1:49 pm

Seom good commentary for you thus far...I'll add a few things for your consideration...


1.  Don't ever do this for the money.  While the money can be excellent once you are established, the law of averages says that there's a good chance you'll never see it.  Do this job because you love it.  That will help you hang on in year two when the salary falls off and your grossing $2,000-$2,500 per month and wondering if you can hang on to your vehicle.  If you are interested in investments and have a passion for helping people, your odds of making it go way up.  Intelligence helps also, but as you've alluded to, it's just a good start on what you'll need to know to do this job well.


2.  At some point in the interview process before you are hired, you'll have the opportunity to review the employment contract, which will tell you just how "locked up" you might be.  You'd be wise to have an attorney review it for you before making any committment to the firm.


3.  While 55 hours may be typical for a first year rookie, it's pretty much universally understood that the more time you spend building your business, the better your chances of success.  That being said, don't burn yourself out.  If you find yourself spending long, unproductive hours, take a break and recharge.  You know yourself better than anyone, but I think you could find balance doing 60-65 hours a week (or 70 hours if you're a workaholic) without burnout.  Early and late are better for reaching people by phone anyway, unless you're reaching them at work.


4.  This is a great site for due diligence, just realize that not everyone here knows what the hell they are talking about and some have axes to grind and are thus not objective in their answers.


Good luck.

May 14, 2007 5:59 pm

thanks indyone... that is some sage-ass advice. so your salary falls off in the second year? is that because you switch over to comission but don't have the client base or something? pretty funny you mention that $2500 a month because that is pretty much what I'm making now anyways. but I don't work 55-65 hours a week either (more like 50). or have a car. or kids. or live in the city (I live in brooklyn). 65 hours a week is a little scary...

what is he probably going to ask / be looking for in the interview? (and yes I have a suit and will be suitably well-groomed)

May 14, 2007 6:31 pm

"I live in brooklyn."


So does that make you a Mets or Yanks fan? A little help- the former is the best team in baseball, the latter is a glorified AAA ballclub....


Answer wisely and I may bless the forum with my insight....

May 14, 2007 6:35 pm

got my mets lighter right here. how could anybody like gay-rod...

May 14, 2007 7:29 pm
Mr.Trainee:

thanks indyone... that is some sage-ass advice. so your salary falls off in the second year? is that because you switch over to comission but don't have the client base or something? pretty funny you mention that $2500 a month because that is pretty much what I'm making now anyways. but I don't work 55-65 hours a week either (more like 50). or have a car. or kids. or live in the city (I live in brooklyn). 65 hours a week is a little scary...

what is he probably going to ask / be looking for in the interview? (and yes I have a suit and will be suitably well-groomed)


It's typical that firms will start weaning you off the salary after a year on the bottle.  Often, your commission base is still pretty thin when you come off salary, so yes, you may have to scramble to generate business to replace the lost wages.


You may find that 55 hours is sufficient to get everything done that you need to...my point is simply to not look at the minimum expected, but to be prepared to do what it takes to be successful.  Blarmston appears to have a good handle on that, so I would take his hours (and what he has to say) to heart...I suspect that he did more than 55 hours/week in year one, but then again, he may just be a fast talker (I think he is with the girls...)


...and yes, the suit is the minimum, assuming it's not some pimp/Miami vice getup.  Your interviewer will look for appearance, intelligence and personality.  Beyond that, there are probably a few firm hot buttons, but I don't know enough about your prospective firm to tell you.  As far as takeaways, aside from the obvious compensation questions, you'll want a good idea about what the firm expects from you, what the training program looks like, what a typical firm client looks like, and what products the firm typically offers it's clients.  If you're going to make it in this business, now, before wife, kids, mortgage, etc., is the perfect time.  Good luck.

May 14, 2007 7:56 pm

Go to the interview with E1, for practice. Then interview with Smith Barney or Merrill Lynch, where you will get REAL training, not just training to pass the licensing exam you need to do business.


Remember that if you are hired, the job is to sell. Thats where it begins, and almost where it ends. Almost because after you sell someone on trusting you with their life savings, you have to manage the money well to keep it. Also remember that you have to come off in the interview like you can get people to trust you with money. So look the part. Dark suit, white shirt and conservative tie.


Dont use words like "sage-ass" in the interview. Sorry, I know your probably smarter than that, but in your posts, you come off like a real Hollywood guy.


One more thing. You may or may not need to work 65 hours a week. But if you really think its scary, as you said in your post, then don't even bother, because the attitude is everything.


No offense meant, just telling it like it is. Good luck.

May 14, 2007 8:26 pm
pratoman:

Go to the interview with E1, for practice. Then interview with Smith Barney or Merrill Lynch, where you will get REAL training, not just training to pass the licensing exam you need to do business.


Remember that if you are hired, the job is to sell. Thats where it begins, and almost where it ends. Almost because after you sell someone on trusting you with their life savings, you have to manage the money well to keep it. Also remember that you have to come off in the interview like you can get people to trust you with money. So look the part. Dark suit, white shirt and conservative tie.


Dont use words like "sage-ass" in the interview. Sorry, I know your probably smarter than that, but in your posts, you come off like a real Hollywood guy.


One more thing. You may or may not need to work 65 hours a week. But if you really think its scary, as you said in your post, then don't even bother, because the attitude is everything.


No offense meant, just telling it like it is. Good luck.



no offense taken. obviously I was just being "cute" and that is not how I'd approach an interview. I think you are absolutely right about the interview, this is a good test really to feel out whether or not this is for me. If I do decide I am serious about it why not try for the best place I could go. I wouldn't want to sell myself short. a little financial humor there...

how much more difficult would it be to get those top-tier interviews from my situation, having no financial education background? wouldn't I be turned away at the door?

and you are right about the hours, although once I'm in the door at a place I know I would work hard, the issue for me is really having no time to work on other things.

May 14, 2007 8:33 pm
Mr.Trainee:
pratoman:

Go to the interview with E1, for practice. Then interview with Smith Barney or Merrill Lynch, where you will get REAL training, not just training to pass the licensing exam you need to do business.


Remember that if you are hired, the job is to sell. Thats where it begins, and almost where it ends. Almost because after you sell someone on trusting you with their life savings, you have to manage the money well to keep it. Also remember that you have to come off in the interview like you can get people to trust you with money. So look the part. Dark suit, white shirt and conservative tie.


Dont use words like "sage-ass" in the interview. Sorry, I know your probably smarter than that, but in your posts, you come off like a real Hollywood guy.


One more thing. You may or may not need to work 65 hours a week. But if you really think its scary, as you said in your post, then don't even bother, because the attitude is everything.


No offense meant, just telling it like it is. Good luck.




no offense taken. obviously I was just being "cute" and that is not how I'd approach an interview. I think you are absolutely right about the interview, this is a good test really to feel out whether or not this is for me. If I do decide I am serious about it why not try for the best place I could go. I wouldn't want to sell myself short. a little financial humor there...

how much more difficult would it be to get those top-tier interviews from my situation, having no financial education background? wouldn't I be turned away at the door?

and you are right about the hours, although once I'm in the door at a place I know I would work hard, the issue for me is really having no time to work on other things.


You shouldn't have "other things" to work on. Burn all of your bridges behind you and you'll make it. If you're just looking for a cool job, this ain't it.

May 14, 2007 9:22 pm

You have to be willing to be overworked and underpaid.  This is the only way that you'll ever get to the point of being underworked and overpaid. 


If you don't want to be overpaid, get a new career.  There are simply too many easier ways to go if average pay is sufficient. 

May 14, 2007 9:25 pm

...more sage-ass advice from Pratoman and BH...

May 14, 2007 9:30 pm
Bobby Hull:

If you're just looking for a cool job, this ain't it.



you mean everything I see in movies is a lie?

so it's ok to ask about salary on the first interview? The sad fact is I am overpaid for the entertainment industry. and that is just pathetic. Unless you do commercials. If I am going to sell my soul it won't be for ass cream


May 14, 2007 9:33 pm

no edit button? anyway, not to imply anyone here has sold their souls. gotten some great advice so far

May 14, 2007 9:50 pm
Mr.Trainee:
Bobby Hull:

If you're just looking for a cool job, this ain't it.

so it's ok to ask about salary on the first interview?





I wouldn't. Manager's don't want someone reliant on a salary. They want

someone hungry that doesn't have the option to fail. A better question

would be, "So if I work my ass off, can I be making 200K in 2 years?"



Good luck.

May 15, 2007 9:42 am

Nobody so far has addressed the REAL issue of concern here....and that is that you are interviewing with E1 Asset Management.

In cases like this, google can definitely be your friend.  E1, formerly known as Everest1, has been suspected by at least TWO European securities agencies of having prospected their citizens as an unlicensed "foreign" securities firm.  This practice is a VERY common way that former 'boiler room' types avoid the tighter regulations that are in effect here in the US.  It's a fairly unethical and shady practice.

Now, I'm not saying that these fellas at E1 are shady or unethical.  I am just saying look at the evidence and draw your own conclusions: warning from securities regulators(posted on the web), recent name change, small firm with only 2 branches around the corner from each other, etc.

You really should consider trying to affiliate with a more reputable organization, IMHO.