VALIC vs. JP Morgan Chase

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Oct 24, 2010 11:05 pm

Previously, I worked for a wirehouse being brand new to the business in a new area for about 1.5 years.   I am now looking at an FA opportunity at both VALIC and Chase.  Clearly, they're two different types of FA roles, both of which are different than my role as an FA at the wirehouse. 

I'm looking for some honest opinions / feedback from the community.  I'll briefly outline below what I like / dislike about each opportunity:

VALIC


Likes: Flexibility (work from home), Full Benefits (as a W-2), Income Potential ($18K base year 1 + $50K residuals + commission on new sales), Captive Client Audience (mostly Teachers), Boss (seems very reasonable).
Dislikes: Company Name (is it STILL a big deal?), not being able to receive $ amount of inherited book of business in writing (told 750-1,000 clients and $50K in residuals, guaranteed, but I doubt they'll put it in writing).

CHASE


Likes: Company Name, Work Environment (out of bank branch vs. wirehouse w no prospects), People/Team Environment.
Dislikes: Working every other Saturday, seemingly high-pressure environment, people typically want to go in/out of bank and probably aren't as receptive to talking to an FA.

Benefits for both firms seem comparable.  Not sure if there are things I'm not considering or any other major do's/don'ts to be aware of before accepting an offer.  VALIC seems to have rec'd a bad rep on here, but I'm wondering if things have changed at all recently. 

Any honest feedback would be sincerely appreciated.  Thanks.
 

Oct 25, 2010 11:57 am

With VALIC its all about 403b and variable annuity's, maybe not the best option for the clients. Clients will be better off working with a fund family that is approved in the district and avoid the M & E's. I think this  is something you cant do working for VALIC.

My guess is you would be better of at the bank. You would have more options available for your clients. 

Oct 25, 2010 12:10 pm

There are several banks out there, many of them hiring. I'd really try to check out a few more, and do not overlook the smaller banks, regionals. You will find a much friendlier, lower pressure situation, and less of what you've rightly described as concerns.Better to be a big fish in a small pond, especially early in your career.

Oct 25, 2010 1:40 pm

Offers have been extended and I need to make a decision - quickly. 

I haven't had the best luck with other banks.  This one seems like one of the best banks to work for if I go that route, in my opinion. 

I've never been big on VAs, but that doesn't mean they don't make sense in certain situations. 

I feel like there will be much more pressure at Chase than VALIC.  VALIC offers flexibility, which I like greatly, but I'm not so sure if it looks as good on the resume.  Ya know?

Oct 25, 2010 2:34 pm

Rick, I sent you a PM. 

Oct 25, 2010 8:45 pm

If an FA inherits a book of business (VALIC), is it truly impossible/not common practice for them to put in writing either the amount (range) of assets you would receive or the amount or residual income you will earn on the book?  I'm being told $50K in residuals.  I'm having a hard time believing this.

Oct 25, 2010 11:20 pm

I am a Client Service Associate (male) with J.P. Morgan Private Wealth Management in Chicago.  I would much rather be a Financial Advisor in the Chase Tower branch than doing what I do now, the problem is they won't hire me cause I am in support.  I would love the opportunity to work for CISC (especially because that branch isn't open on the weekend) but thats just me.

Oct 26, 2010 7:55 pm

Posted under the rookies section.  Same name on there: RickRoss.  Thanks in advance for your insight and help.

Oct 27, 2010 5:14 pm

Chase over Valic.. Don't even think twice.. Sure JPM is a bank platform, but Valic is sitting inside teacher lounges all day and hoping they don't shrink you territory..

Oct 27, 2010 7:16 pm

Is Chase a salary, or draw with commission. In my own circumstance of looking at banks it seemed that a draw/salry of about 25K plus commissions was the standard in Virginia/MD region....but I could be off base. These were for branch based roles as an FA as opposed to Private Banking.

Anyone out there offered a straight salary, or is it mostly commission based from the get go in banks?

Oct 27, 2010 7:35 pm

Normally 3-6 month ramp up with small base then al commission.. Not difficult job, banker referr to you. Just have to coach tellers and personal bankers on what you are looking for... Payout is low but no active prospecting involved...so that is the trade off..

Oct 27, 2010 9:03 pm

Chase is $3K / month forgiveable draw for months 1-7.  $2K / month forgiveable draw for months 8-18.  So, $31K 1st yr.

I think I'm going to go with VALIC.  I know there's a lot of negativity out there, but the people seem great, the offerings relatively comprehensive, and if you're good at what you do, I would think sitting in a teacher's lounge is, in a sense, a gold mine.   No?

Chase = 10+ hour days.  Saturdays.  Pressure.  Micro-management.  Oh, and get this, no vacation time.  There's no PTO.  Just paid LOA after you actually produce.  B.S.!

Oct 28, 2010 12:34 am

[quote=RickRoss]

Chase is $3K / month forgiveable draw for months 1-7.  $2K / month forgiveable draw for months 8-18.  So, $31K 1st yr.

I think I'm going to go with VALIC.  I know there's a lot of negativity out there, but the people seem great, the offerings relatively comprehensive, and if you're good at what you do, I would think sitting in a teacher's lounge is, in a sense, a gold mine.   No?

Chase = 10+ hour days.  Saturdays.  Pressure.  Micro-management.  Oh, and get this, no vacation time.  There's no PTO.  Just paid LOA after you actually produce.  B.S.!

[/quote]

VALIC sounds like a pretty good deal RickRoss - how did you find them or did they find you?

Oct 28, 2010 9:53 am

Both, actually. 

Tell me what you like about VALIC over Chase.  I agree with you, but I'd like to hear your side.

Oct 28, 2010 5:09 pm

[quote=RickRoss]

Both, actually. 

Tell me what you like about VALIC over Chase.  I agree with you, but I'd like to hear your side.

[/quote]

Well -  I agree with some that  a bank gig could be good, but I REALLY agree with why you think VALIC = lifestyle.  It's important to me.  

I also disagree that teachers is a crap market.  I used to be one for one...  Second, they all have spouses...  I know tons of teachers (Females) that have husbands that make six figures+ and they have 401k's, rollovers, parents, in laws, etc...  I see the teacher as just an "in", a prospecting step in other words.  Just because they do $100 a month in their  403(b) doesn't mean they suck.  Ask about their husband/wife, parents, etc...  

My 2 cents...

Oct 28, 2010 9:19 pm

Couldn't agree more.  Thanks for the insight.

Oct 30, 2010 2:49 am

Wife: "Hey honey i met this guy in the lunch room today at my school who says he can work with us and YOUR 401K"

Primary Bread Winner: "Yeah... ok.... why is he sitting in a teacher's lounge all day?"

Wife: "I am not sure, but he is with this company AIG VALIC... heard of them ?"

PBW: " Yeah i think they got $85 billion in bailout money because of how the handled their investments"

Wife "WHAT?"

PBW: "I will stick with my wirehouse/bank that only got $25 billion... or the RIA who didn't get any or the indy"

Nov 19, 2010 12:17 am
Nov 18, 2010 1:44 pm

RickRoss-

Wondering if your still pleased with your decision?

I am currently a 1 year indy whose been struggling and approached by both VALIC and Chase.  Expenses and personal obligations are why I am considering a change.  My book has been growing slowly, but I don't know that I can hold on and continue to have my family suffer...due to my chasing the Indy dream.  Prior to becoming indy I was successful in bank and credit unions, but as was mentioned the entire book does not move with you, some will follow while others are dedicated to the institution....my dilemma is should I stay or should I go and if I do choose to go which is the better of the the two evils.

 Looking for some honest advice.

Nov 18, 2010 3:35 pm

SeneyTwo, I'm in a similar situation. Left old firm to go Indy, took some clients but not enough to live on. My feelings were stay with company be more rooted and never leave, or make the move and go Indy. Went Indy with not much planning and preperation since management became aware of my intentions. My opinion is Indy is better in the long run. Chase is lesser of the two evils, and with VALIC your only investment options for clients will be Annuity's. If you leave VALIC probly wont take any clients with you and with CHASE more investment options and a better chanc of taking clients with you if you go Indy again. Stick it out or go with Chase. Just my thoughts.