Waddell and Reed Financial Advisory Position

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May 25, 2010 5:41 am

Well, let me start by saying I graduated from University of California riverside in Spring of 2009. After graduation, I tried my hardest to find a job I felt good about, but mainly, the only job I was able to land were marketing jobs (B2B). I only stayed on doing that job for 6 months, as I felt that I had to do something to gain experience, all the jobs I was looking into wanted experience. Then after I thought that I had recieved a little bit of experience, I thought that I would study for the GMAT and attend a decent MBA program. I recieved a 600, but felt that I still needed more work experience if I were to apply to business schools. So, now I plan on working for about another year or 2, to get more work experience. I really wanted to have a job in finance after college, but couldn't even get an interview with any companies. Now, I have an interview with Waddell and Reed and they said they would sponsor me for the series 7 and 66 if I get hired, but I would have to pay about $1500. When I asked why they charge, as other companies don't, the manager said it is because people take the position, then once they recieve their licenses, they quit. I am curious, because, I want to know if one could actually do that. I read a lot of negative posts on this forum about Waddell and Reed, and I am hesitant to take the position. I am a hard worker and know I will do fine in the industry, but I don't have experience. So my question is, do those people who take the Waddell and Reed offer, then pass the series 7 and 66 exams, find and transfer to other more well known firms? I have a friend tat works at Wells Fargo as a financial advisor and a soon to be brother in law (my sisters future husband's brother) who works at MSSB. If I were to get licensed through Waddell and Reed, then talk to these people who are already in the "game," would I have a good chance in getting into a more respected company.  From what I have read, Waddell and Reed looks like poison on your resume. In addition, what are the rules that stipulate a license transfer from one firm to another, even if you have yet to make any clients? Again, let me iterrate that I have my third interview with Waddell and Reed comming up in a few weeks, so I would like honest advice about what my options are and if my plans of moving to another firm after I recieve my licenses or maybe some experience would be a good idea. To end this long story off, I would probably be searching for a job while I am employeed, that way I would'nt have to quit right away from Waddell and Reed.

May 26, 2010 11:11 pm

So, its been a few days since I posted my question, and yet I have no response. I hope to recieve some insightful advice on what I am about to get into. Please people, don't be shy, I just really want to start off my career in as a financial advisor, and I want to know if Waddell and Reed is an okay place to start. Thanks in advance.

May 27, 2010 7:45 am

In the top right hand portion of the screen type "Waddell and Reed" in the search function and see what comes up. You will find lots of information.

May 27, 2010 10:22 am

Waddell is an okay place to start. I had a few colleagues that started with them. You should be able to learn the "basics" when it comes to planning, mutual funds and Nationwide variable annuities. They will try to convince you to prospect your friends and family first. This is not a good idea and it looks like it is not a viable option for you anyway since you already have some family in biz. Plan on cold calling and cold walking.

I would see it as a place to start only. I would do so with the idea of learning as much as you can about the business and knowing that you will be searching for better places to grow your practice in the future. If you can make it a year or two with them, you should be able to take the next step towards a "real" career. Good Luck.

May 27, 2010 2:52 pm

If your planning on going to MSSB or somewhere similar after you get licensed, go somewhere that will sponsor you, not the other way around. There are plenty of small firms that have no problem paying for your 7! DO NOT PAY FOR YOUR TRAINING! You can land a job at a wire with some experience from a small no name firm that sponsors YOU. You are trying to become a professional, be treated like one. I'm surprised you stayed for interview number 2.

May 27, 2010 4:53 pm

You sound confused.  Pick a direction and go with it.  If you want to be a broker; go into every office near your home, ask for the manager and say I want to be a broker!  You mentioned a more respected company.  Good luck with that.  Most of the companies in this industry have lost respect from most of thier clients and thier employees.  It is a very hard profession and we need good honest people who genually want to help thier clients acheive financial freedom.  Good Luck and Hard Work!

Jun 10, 2010 5:19 pm

Thank you guys for all the helpful advice. In response to TheNextLevel, sorry if I came off as confused, but I aspire to work for a few years, then attend a decent MBA program. I mentioned that I had already taken the GMAT and scored a 600, and that score is good for 5 years. My asperations to become a financial advisor since graduation are finally bearing fruits, and I plan on working with Waddell and Reed to recieve the training necessary to continue my pursuit of this career. Also, I understand that many other companies pay for the training/ sponsoring of their candidates, but I have applied to many of these companies and had only recieved a reply from Edward Jones. After reading through many horror stories from former and current Edward Jones employees, I was turned off of the opportunity to work for them.

Furthermore, to N.D., before I registered an account with this site, I had research these forums and read many things about Waddell and Reed, but most of the negative comments had been years old. I had read a post about a member who worked their for a few months, then afer getting licensed, he packed up his things and moved onto a more respectable firm. That is where I got the notion to maybe do the same thing, if it was possible.

Again, thank you all for replying to my question, and sorry if I came off a little bit confused as to what my future career goals are. I hope everyone is enjoying their memorial day weekend and good luck.

Jun 1, 2010 5:57 am

I dont want to come off as an a** but you seem like the total MBA type. No street smarts. Really, pay for your own sponsorship? I thought I covered this in my last post, but you are making a BIG mistake. Once you actually start dialing some numbers we'll see if this job is MBA material. I feel like slapping you, but good luck.. I mean, you applied to other companies and havn't heard back so this must be the only choice, right? I'll assume you applied to the forementioned firms and just hoped for the best. Regardless, I hope you find what your looking for and become very successful in this biz.

Jun 4, 2010 2:14 pm

I started at Waddell & Reed and stayed there while studdying and completing my Series 7 and Series 66 exams.  But during those four months I realized that the firm was probably not the best fit for me and compensation package had lots of fine print.   So I jumped ship.  You can search on my screen name for more detailed reports.

Jun 9, 2010 11:23 pm

Privateequity, you are assuming that I have never dealt with cold calling or going up to random people to try and sell them on products. I used to work for SmartCircle and Chase Colby, both companies were pretty much hard sales, which allowed me to gain a lot of experience in the field of sales. SmartCircle was B2B in which I had to encounter hundreds of people every day at their work and try to sell them on some "crappy" coupon book. Chase Colby was just home loan modification company that turned out to be a scam so I quit after a few weeks. But, while at Chase Colby I did face the harsh realities of cold calling people about loan modifications, and although I found that job to be difficult, I quit for the moral reason of the actual job being a scam. As for Waddell and Reed, I look at it as an opportunity to further my experience necessary to continue a career towards finance and investmenting. I hope I don't come off with some sort of "MBA mentality" and start a flame war (as I wish to not start), but it seems that your beliefs for paying for experience is rather justifiable, but as I mentioned, I already tried to get my foot in the door of other major companies, but only heard from Edward Jones and Waddell and Reed. As for Rhett Captain, I have read your past posts with your experience with Waddell and Reed and I hope to follow your path, but if I do seem to be doing well with them, then I might just stick around a while longer. In addition, did you quit after you passed your series exams or a little while later, because I am curious as to how difficult it is to make the $2000 salary plus commissions at Waddell and Reed. What pay scale did you opt for if you don't mind me asking?

Jun 10, 2010 8:54 am

Where the hell are you going to go to school with a 600?  You need to take the GMAT again buddy. 

Also, Edward Jones is a better place to start than Raddell and Weed.

Also, your tone is foreign.  Are you perhaps from the subcontinent?  It matters, trust me.

Jun 10, 2010 10:19 am

Yeah, be careful, I would rethink your career plans.

Been there and done that, found this website a year too late.

http://www.armydiller.com/financial-scam/index.htm

Good luck with FA sales career!

Jun 10, 2010 11:56 am

"...As for Rhett Captain, I have read your past posts with your experience with Waddell and Reed and I hope to follow your path, but if I do seem to be doing well with them, then I might just stick around a while longer. In addition, did you quit after you passed your series exams or a little while later, because I am curious as to how difficult it is to make the $2000 salary plus commissions at Waddell and Reed. What pay scale did you opt for if you don't mind me asking?..."

I was an unpaid trainee during my Series 7 and 66 studies.  I accepted their gracious offer to study and work in the office at that time.

Despite what the promotional recruiting information says, the $2000 is not a given.  Once you get activated - which means all SEC and W&R in-house career development training is completed - you are on the grid.  In order to get your paycheck, you must meet monthly production numbers.  Month 1 is something like $400 - a single financial plan.  The production numbers increase each month.  Slowly and then steeply.  Miss one of the monthly production numbers and whamo, your $2000 stops never to resume.  From there it is straight commission.  And let's say you have a terrific month, none of that carries over to the next month.

There is a second plan too.  That one reduces your salary to something like $1000 but gives you the opportunity to work on a multiple month basis.  So in theory that would even out good and bad months.

I left after I earned the Series 66 license - recruited away by New England Financial.  But that is another story...

Jun 10, 2010 5:18 pm

To Magician, please don't make fun of my GMAT score. It is welcomed as I had worked for months to raise my first 380 to that 600. In addition, as I mentioned before hand, I plan on getting the work experience necessary to get into a Top 100 MBA Program. So far I am interested in Pepperdine University (Graziado) and Claremont University (Drucker). Both are ranked #81 and #71 respectively. I have also heard from Norte Dame, and they seemed to have shown interest in me as a "preffered candidate" but I had not applied their and I only suspect that they sent me that letter to possibly make money on the application fee or some sort. In addition, Norte Dame seems to have an average GMAT Acceptance score of 670. But alas, I am not here to discuss my future MBA endevours, also, I am not here discuss my ethnic background as I don't see how it pertains to the subject of a Financial Advisory position. But, if you are curious, I was born in Anaheim, California, and have been raised in California for my whole 23 years on this earth.

To Fa  Mybum, thank you for your useful input, as I have overlooked that site, but I will probably continue in this path. It seems to me every Financial Advisory company is listed, from ML, Wells Fargo, W&R, Edward Jones, and etc. I my seem hard headed, but I feel that if I am wrong, and I fail misserably, at least I learned something along the way that I may use to teach others.

To Rhett Captain, I understand that this career path has a high turnover rate for Financial Advisors. Thank you for your valid input and I am more understanding as to what I am getting myself into. I would rather know and following as wolf, then be lead by a shepard as a sheep. But again, thank you all for your wonderful advice and I hope you all do great in your respective fields. In addition, Rhett Captain, I am curious as to know how things are turning out/ have turned out with New England Financial. How was your experience there?

Jun 10, 2010 8:38 pm

Hi nightevils...I have went through the same thing looking at financial companies...there is so much difference in prospecting, products, respect, and compensation, that it is odd that the interviewing and testing is so much the same...waddell and reed is an ok company but not the best products or range and a limited possibility to make much the first few years...edward jones is a good company but its probably going to take you alot longer to get hired and will take much more of a commitment...good luck. I'd go with EJ.

Jun 12, 2010 12:34 pm

"...Rhett Captain, I am curious as to know how things are turning out/ have
turned out with New England Financial. How was your experience there?..."

Well, to be perfectly honest, it is merely okay.  NEF is part of MetLife, the insurance company, and all of management here are long time life insurance agents who happen to hold a Series 6 only to be able to sell variable annuities.  There is little encouragement to to bring assets under management.  They would rather you land a large Whole Life policy or convince the client to purchase a variable annuity.  As such most of the in-house "training" is centered on closing insurance sales.

That being said, the independent streak in me is driving me to prospect primarily for investment clientele.  I have landed several accounts and have a few others percolating until the prospective client finally makes up his/her mind.

What is interesting is that the firm has probably hundreds of orphan accounts.  People with various amounts of money in mostly mutual funds.  While servicing these orphans is part of their recruiting pitch, to date, management has refused to parcel them out.  My associates in the "boiler room" think it is because that as long as the clients remain unassigned, management collects any trails.  Free money for doing nothing.

In the near future I'll provide a more detailed update on my experiences.

Jun 14, 2010 6:57 pm

Nightevils,

I understand your position. However, you came to this site, im assuming, to get the intelligence required to make an informed decision. You have been given advice by a few on this topic, and the theme seems to repeat. Frankly, this thread should be your briefing and all you need concerning your original question. Good luck.

Jun 15, 2010 11:53 pm

[quote=nightevils]

Privateequity, you are assuming that I have never dealt with cold calling or going up to random people to try and sell them on products. I used to work for SmartCircle and Chase Colby, both companies were pretty much hard sales, which allowed me to gain a lot of experience in the field of sales. SmartCircle was B2B in which I had to encounter hundreds of people every day at their work and try to sell them on some "crappy" coupon book. Chase Colby was just home loan modification company that turned out to be a scam so I quit after a few weeks. But, while at Chase Colby I did face the harsh realities of cold calling people about loan modifications, and although I found that job to be difficult, I quit for the moral reason of the actual job being a scam. As for Waddell and Reed, I look at it as an opportunity to further my experience necessary to continue a career towards finance and investmenting. I hope I don't come off with some sort of "MBA mentality" and start a flame war (as I wish to not start), but it seems that your beliefs for paying for experience is rather justifiable, but as I mentioned, I already tried to get my foot in the door of other major companies, but only heard from Edward Jones and Waddell and Reed. As for Rhett Captain, I have read your past posts with your experience with Waddell and Reed and I hope to follow your path, but if I do seem to be doing well with them, then I might just stick around a while longer. In addition, did you quit after you passed your series exams or a little while later, because I am curious as to how difficult it is to make the $2000 salary plus commissions at Waddell and Reed. What pay scale did you opt for if you don't mind me asking?

[/quote]

Don't ever use "investmenting" in a sentence ever again.  Otherwise, if you really want to do this, EDJ, then W&R would be your choice in order.

Jun 18, 2010 2:53 am

Lol, sorry about that. I didn't proof read what I had written because I wrote it on my iPhone. But thanks for the advice.

Jul 1, 2010 2:06 pm

Must add my 2 cents here.

 First I have been in the securities industry (operations/sales support) for about 20 years.  Had my 7, 9&10 & 66.  Lost them due to an unplanned relo with my husband and couldn't find a job in that God forsaken hell hole.  So I when I came back to civilization, I interviewed with W&R and after 3 interviews, I was told I was "hired" contingent on my sitting for the 7, 66 and LAS and Variable Products licenses.  Oh, but wait, they needed a check for $950 from me to pay for my fees etc.,   Ok, so I understood, that a lot of people probably used them to get their licenses and quit so they were trying to make sure they didn't get caught holding the bag.  I was told that once I passed my exams I would be "reimbursed" for everything as long as I kept my receipts.  I also was told "a rock" could make $50,000 the first year and more than likely I would make in the 6 figure area.  I was also told I would be paid a base of $2,000 per month to start after I passed my exams.  So, much to my surprise I had to pay an additional fee for the Insurance classes (both LAS and VA) AND I had to pay for those exams at $90 a pop.  Seems the $950 I paid them didn't include that!  I then paid for the Series 7 and 66 books and a Series 7 cram course thru Kaplan. (about another $475)  Meanwhile, I am to get 600 leads in anticipation of my starting with them.  Very hard to study and pound the phone.  I don't even KNOW 600 people!!! And I refuse to badger my friends and relatives.  Then to add insult to injury, I find out that I will NOT be reimbursed until I qualify for the "Silver Circle" AND I will not start receiving my $2,000 monthly stipend until I sell 5 Financial Plans, which I DO NOT get paid for.  

 I feel completely duped.  I do not mind working hard but this company was not upfront with me at all.  I do not know what my next step is, but I have lost faith in W&R so I can not imagine working there.  I have to respect my employer and feel that our values are in tune with one another.  They talk a good game, but it's all just words and no honor behind it.   I wish I had investigated this company  a great deal more.  I'm not a kid just starting out, but they "GOT" me.  Shame on them and shame on me for being sucked in.