Waddell and Reed

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May 23, 2005 11:33 am

One quick question:  Do you believe Waddell and Reed to be a resume killer?

May 23, 2005 11:53 am
barryapartment:

One quick question:  Do you believe Waddell and Reed to be a resume killer?





What is odd about W&R is how many people are unaware of them--both prospects and hiring managers at other firms.



It's as if they don't exist, yet they have a pretty far flung branch network.



If you're a kid it would be better to start there than at a penny firm,
but if you're thinking of W&R you owe it to yourself to contact
AEFA for an interview as well.



AEFA will give you better training.



W&R will not kill your resume-it will be a neutral, you might find
yourself having to explain that they're as big as they are.

May 23, 2005 12:24 pm

I agree with Put-


It sounds like you are looking for something to get you either in the industry, or to that next level to get you foot in the door at a Merrill, Smith Barney, something along those lines.  If I'm wrong, I apologize for my assumptions.


The point I'm taking the long way around the barn to make is to go to the firm that will get you to that next level more quickly and equip you to take that upward step.  If you're breaking into the industry, go somewhere with a great training program.  Avoid proprietary investments as much as you can if you think you'll move at sometime.


Waddell & Reed flies under the radar.  It doesn't have a negotive connotation generally, but it also isn't in the same sentence with Merrill, Smith Barney as far as name recognition goes.  They will teach you about a fee-based, financial planning focused business. 


There are my 2 cents.

May 23, 2005 12:41 pm
BrokerRecruit:

I agree with Put-


It sounds like you are looking for something to get you either in
the industry, or to that next level to get you foot in the door at a
Merrill, Smith Barney, something along those lines.  If I'm wrong,
I apologize for my assumptions.


The point I'm taking the long way around the barn to make is to go
to the firm that will get you to that next level more quickly and equip
you to take that upward step.  If you're breaking into the
industry, go somewhere with a great training program.  Avoid
proprietary investments as much as you can if you think you'll
move at sometime.


Waddell & Reed flies under the radar.  It doesn't have a
negotive connotation generally, but it also isn't in the same sentence
with Merrill, Smith Barney as far as name recognition goes.  They
will teach you about a fee-based, financial planning focused
business. 


There are my 2 cents.





I'm not sure that they'll steer you to fee based at all--from my
experience with them they're commission driven just like any other
place that requires you to get a Series 6 or Series 7.



Perhaps BrokerRecruit meant that their approach is to sell a plan like
AEFA does.  That is not all bad when you're dealing with vast
majority of our fellow travellers.



Only about 5% of us need the advice of a full service broker--for my money the odds are better if you approach the other 95%.



On the other hand, if you're mature and well educated you might--just
might--have what it takes to make it for an entire career at a place
like Merrill or Smith Barney.



Something you young people should realize is this.  The fact that
you already have a Series 7 license is way, way, down on the list of
things that a manager at Merrill is going to be looking at.  There
should be no frenzied effort to get the license because it will make
you marketable.



It doesn't add much if anything.  The reality is that guys like me
would not hire somebody like you unless we thought that you were able
to pass Series 7.  What we're looking for is success in some other
endevour--selling insurance is a good one, selling mutual funds at a
place line AEFA is another one.  Hell being a successful cash
register salesman is success.



This is big league selling, it is not some exotic form of Monopoly.



You'll keep reading that young people can make it if they try hard
enough--and yes, one out of every 1,000 or so without something going
for them (family wealth, personal fame, that sort of thing) does.



For my money it's better to go to work selling something that is
easier, build a record, build confidence, mature and then when you're
older than thirty arrange to be introduced to a manager at (say) Smith
Barney and tell them how you have always wanted to be a stock broker
and that you think you're finally mature enough to do it.



He or she will appreciate that you were not some kid right out of
college thnking that you were ready to play with the big boys and girls.

May 25, 2005 9:22 pm

W&R contacted me right out of college, a lot. To the point that they seemed desperate. From what I've seen they seem a lot like Primerica.


My girlfriend worked in the same building as their local branch and their people all look like 21 year old thugs and rednecks. But, this could be a local situation.

Apr 5, 2006 8:00 am
ctf2:

W&R contacted me right out of college, a lot. To the point that they seemed desperate. From what I've seen they seem a lot like Primerica.


My girlfriend worked in the same building as their local branch and their people all look like 21 year old thugs and rednecks. But, this could be a local situation.



who do you work for? All State, or Geico??? Waddell and Reed is a wall st firm. Look in barrons they were ranked 2nd!

Apr 5, 2006 9:06 am
BUDDYROSE:
ctf2:

W&R contacted me right out of college, a lot. To the point that they seemed desperate. From what I've seen they seem a lot like Primerica.


My girlfriend worked in the same building as their local branch and their people all look like 21 year old thugs and rednecks. But, this could be a local situation.


who do you work for? All State, or Geico??? Waddell and Reed is a wall st firm. Look in barrons they were ranked 2nd!



Waddell and Reed is a Wall Street firm?  Ranked second in Barrons?  In what survey?  "The top 10 list of Piker also-ran firms with compliance issues?" 

Dude I want some of whatever you've been smokin'!

Apr 5, 2006 9:39 am

The reality is that Waddell and Reed is almost identical to First Investors, and neither is very similar to a wirehouse.


They compete for the lunch box set--the family who should be saving $100 a week but is not.  AMP does too, but they're a bit more upscale in their approach.


I think a good analogy is this.  AMP is trying to connect with a guy who puts mufflers on cars on an assembly line somewhere.  He's making a decent living and has some disposable income.


W&R and First Investors are trying to connect with a guy who puts mufflers on cars at a local Midas shop.  He's bright enough to understand that he's getting older and should be saving something but just can't quite do it.


So they put him into a check-o-matic investment arrangement with a huge penalty for getting out in the first year or two and eventually the guy becomes accustomed to logging that $25 per week out of his checking account and he's become a saver.


In a way they're doing him a huge favor that most financial professionals won't bother with because nobody gets excited about a $25 per week account.


The hiring standards for the various firms are directly linked to who the firms sees as its target market.


Silk stocking places like Goldman Sachs hire silk stocking brokers to go after silk stocking customers.


The traditional retail wirehouses are trying to woo the upscale, but not silk stocking, types.  They traditionally hire college graduates because college graduate clients are going to want a peer as their financial advisor.


Places like AMP and most of the insurance broker/dealers are willing to accept well spoken, well groomed, individuals without a degree because their target markets are also well spoken, well groomed, without a degree.  Insurance types who are reading this, don't get all pissy I'm talking generalities.


Places like First Investors and Waddell and Reed are going after the lunch box types and they are known for hiriing lunch box types as their salespeople.  Most of them take two or three attempts to get by Series 6 so they're not going to be able to sell anything except funds and annuities.


But it doesn't matter because that's all their clients need anyway.


Primerica and WMA are a separate breed, just don't spend too much time contemplating what you're doing to your friends.


Finally what about the boiler rooms?  Well, what can you say about an employer who administers an IQ test, not so that they'll know how smart you are, but if you're dumb enough to be led like a sheep.

Apr 5, 2006 1:36 pm

If your goal is to get to a Merrill or a SB is AMP a resume killer??

Apr 5, 2006 2:15 pm

They've hired reps from AMP, but their producers are at lower production levels than SB, ML, etc. look for.  If you want to start there and evenutally move in 3 years, for example, shoot for $20M AUM and $200k in production for them to take a look at you (and avoid prop. accounts).

Apr 5, 2006 6:25 pm

WR was second in Barrons for fund performance, they just don't go run around and advertise the heck out of it. They have good funds, you can't argue that, they are a real firm, they just go after the client none of you ego maniacs would appreciate. It won't kill a resume, you can go anywhere if you got the drive and past history.

Apr 5, 2006 8:59 pm

Since when does one year performance of a fund family have meaning?

Apr 5, 2006 9:09 pm
anonymous:

Since when does one year performance of a fund family have meaning?



Would you rather be trying to convince a client to buy into a low performing family of funds?


Being in the top five of anything, even for one year, is an advantage that anybody who ever tried to sell anything would realize.

Apr 6, 2006 1:33 am

I don't know that there is another firm quite like Waddell.  On the one hand, their funds are actually pretty decent compared to most other families.  


On the other hand, their brokers impress me as not too sharp.  I actually, had a new client tell me that about fifteen minutes into our first meeting a few weeks ago.  Not a huge account (about $250K) but it was not difficult to get the ACAT signed on that one.


At least it's better than Amex, which has the dubious distinction of extraordinarily bad funds combined with a willingness to hire the feeble-minded.


The only good thing about some of these firms is that I've picked up a lot of referrals of their clients.  My favorite was a nice-sized Amex account I picked up a few years ago.   The client came into money from a relative and took his accountant with him for the first meeting.  The Amex guy did not realize that one of the folks he's meeting with is a tax accountant and he starts giving lots of laughably incorrect tax advice. 


I got a phone call that afternoon and the client signed papers the next morning.



Apr 6, 2006 8:15 am
Proton:

The client came into money from a relative and took his accountant with him for the first meeting.  The Amex guy did not realize that one of the folks he's meeting with is a tax accountant and he starts giving lots of laughably incorrect tax advice. 


I got a phone call that afternoon and the client signed papers the next morning.



Does that have a ring of truth to you?  Can you imagine anybody, even a dull eyed broker who barely squeaked by his Series 7, not being aware of a second individual sitting at the table?


Why would somebody bring a tax professional with them to a brokerage office?  If you've got tax questions why not ask them on the phone, or in the tax professional's office?


My experience is that tax types are too busy to go with clients on routine account opening visits to brokerage firms.


Why would the tax professional not instantly correct any misstatements by the broker, after all isn't that why they are there?


In order for this little story to be true the two visitors would have to be on some sort of set up--"Let's go to the American Express office and see if we can get them to give us bad tax advice......"


Why would they do that?

Apr 6, 2006 8:47 am

BEF, why can't you take anything at face value?  It certainly sounds very plausible to me.


Person comes into money, but is very clueless.  Sets appointment with investment advisor.  Wants CPA to come with him to make sure that he's talking to a decent advisor.  CPA charges hourly fee.  CPAs job is not to correct advisor, but rather to give second opinion on whether the advisor is worth working with.  Advisor gives bad advice.  CPA tells client to find different advisor.

Apr 6, 2006 9:01 am
anonymous:

BEF, why can't you take anything at face value?  It certainly sounds very plausible to me.


Person comes into money, but is very clueless.  Sets appointment with investment advisor.  Wants CPA to come with him to make sure that he's talking to a decent advisor.  CPA charges hourly fee.  CPAs job is not to correct advisor, but rather to give second opinion on whether the advisor is worth working with.  Advisor gives bad advice.  CPA tells client to find different advisor.



Why don't I take it at face value?  Because I am not a simpleton.

Apr 6, 2006 9:02 am

"Would you rather be trying to convince a client to buy into a low performing family of funds?"


No, but that doesn't mean that I am going to try to sell something based upon 1 year performance.

Apr 6, 2006 9:36 am
anonymous:

"Would you rather be trying to convince a client to buy into a low performing family of funds?"


No, but that doesn't mean that I am going to try to sell something based upon 1 year performance.



Why not?  You could be getting in on the next great fund family early.


Tell me, does past performance indicate future results?

Apr 6, 2006 9:58 am

I'm going to leave the pushing of fund families to you.   It could be the next great fund family or a one year flash in the pan.  Either way, I would not be staking my reputation on trying to push someone into this fund family (or any particular fund family).