What is the best place for my situation

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Jul 18, 2008 10:52 pm

First, I know this question has been asked a million times but I haven't seen anyone ask for what I was looking for.

 
I am looking to become a FA possibly.  I am 26, with a computer programming degree, and have been in sales for 8 years.  The last 5 of which I have spent at a dealership.  I have a large customer base that know me, like me, and trust me.  I also have a large group of friends that would definitetly invest through me and give me referrals.  I live in a city with a population of roughly 14,000 people, so it's not a very large place.  I know I could get tons of accounts but most of them would be smaller.  I don't know a lot of "big fish" that could hand me huge sums of money.  My idea was more to work with A LOT of people investing smaller amounts.  I am going to talk to the local FAs but I am sure they will all tell me thier place is the best. 
 
I am hard working, fairly intelligent, and people like me, so I know I could "make it" just about anywhere.  What place would be the best for my situtation though.  Thanks in advance for the advice.
 
Jul 18, 2008 10:55 pm

Perfect for Jones. Apply online.

Jul 18, 2008 10:58 pm

I took an evaluation on EJs site.  They have contacted me several times.  Sounds good so far.  I just want to make sure I make the right decision.  I would hate to "learn the business" and then say, "Man I wish I would have started at xxxx"  I wish thier salary during training was higher though.  I hate taking the pay cut for 4 months.

Jul 18, 2008 11:20 pm

Seriously, you sound like a good Jones candidate...small town USA...new to the business.  As with any employer, you may discover things you don't like later, but it's hard to argue with their success with start-up reps in smaller towns.

 
As far as the small salary goes, if you don't have any cash reserves, you may want to wait until you do.  This business is notorious for paying less that you spend in the early years.  Once you get over the hump, it's hard to beat, but if you're looking for a nice guaranteed salary, you are looking at the wrong business.
Jul 18, 2008 11:29 pm

No, I am not looking for a salary job at all.  I know what you are saying though.  Once I can start some accounts and earn my money I know I will be fine.  I can afford the few months of lower pay, it will just suck compared to what I am used to.  I keep telling myself it will be well worth it in the long haul though, which is the only reason I want to make this move.


Thanks for the advice so far!  Looks like my initial pick might be the winner.



Jul 19, 2008 8:25 am

first two years if you're good and work hard at jones you can make 80-100k per year. Great training--not a perfect firm of course. alot of negative stuff on here, but that's ok cuz if you do it right there's no way in hell you will have time for online forums anyway.

Jul 19, 2008 9:45 am

Seeing as you will be working with a pool of potential clients with not a lot of money to invest, have you considered an insurance B/D?  That way, the smaller accounts will be more profitable because you'll have the training to offer life/disability/long term care/health insurance.  If your town has a Northwestern Mutual, Mass Mutual, NY Life, or Guardian agency, I would recommend contacting them for an interview.

Jul 19, 2008 3:36 pm

80 - 100k at jones in year one and two? be real. maybe one out of 1000 starting from scratch makes that kind of money. you would have to gross over 350k and odds are that isnt happening for a green horn

Jul 19, 2008 5:05 pm
jamesbond:

80 - 100k at jones in year one and two? be real. maybe one out of 1000 starting from scratch makes that kind of money. you would have to gross over 350k and odds are that isnt happening for a green horn


Huh?  How do you figure that?

Earning $80K on $350K production would be less than a 23% payout; $100K would be less than a 29% payout.  I know EJ's grid isn't the best but I assume it is better than that, especially when you throw in first year training salary and fairly achievable bonuses.


Jul 19, 2008 8:21 pm

Based on what you have shared, I would say EJ.  One thing to ask is how many friends and customers have already told you they will invest with you.  I know a former sales manager of a large dealership who landed at ML.  He brought his list of nearly 1,000 clients from his career as a car salesman.  He landed one as a client at ML. Not trying to burst your bubble, just be realistic of how many will work with you.

Jul 19, 2008 9:44 pm

No I haven't looked into insurance, not sure if that's what I want to do.

 
Still looks like EJ is the place.  As far as the sales manager that got only 1 out of 1000, I don't know what to say.  I figure I could cold call 1000 people and land more than 1???  Anyways I contact my customers every 90 days and have a good relationship with all of them.  Maybe after going into management he didn't keep in touch with them. 
 
Then again maybe none of mine will do anything either, but I like to think otherwise.
 
Again, thanks for the advice!
 
Anything else I should know about this business or any other advice is also appreciated.
Jul 20, 2008 7:52 am
jamesbond:

80 - 100k at jones in year one and two? be real. maybe one out of 1000 starting from scratch makes that kind of money. you would have to gross over 350k and odds are that isnt happening for a green horn





With salary and bonuses, and a 40% payout, you would only need about 150-180K gross to hit 80-100K net in your first few years. Even after the bonuses go away after year 3, you would need about 200-270K gross to do it.



But you're right, even 150K gross in year one is tough for anyone (starting from scratch).

Jul 20, 2008 10:38 am
bondo:

Based on what you have shared, I would say EJ.  One thing to ask is how many friends and customers have already told you they will invest with you.  I know a former sales manager of a large dealership who landed at ML.  He brought his list of nearly 1,000 clients from his career as a car salesman.  He landed one as a client at ML. Not trying to burst your bubble, just be realistic of how many will work with you.

 
This is almost my situation. I have about 1100 clients right now in the car business. I would say about half our subprime, knocking me down to about 550 potential clients. (Defining potential clients as at least being able to pay the bills each month.) I'm thinking I maybe convert 1% of that into clients. So probably 5-6 clients come off of it. I'm going to mail every one of my clients though and let them now of my career change, thank them again for their business, and put my contact information on there. I will probably doorknock a couple of neighboorhoods where I have several customers living. I will keep you posted on how I do with it.
Jul 20, 2008 12:29 pm

A little piece of advice for you that I experienced a few years ago.  Don't expect that even half of these people you already deal with are going to follow you into your new career.  You are changing professions and when it comes to money, people do not want a rookie managing their money, no matter how much or little it is.  I made this transition from one sales job to being an FA a few years ago and was mortified how few people I already dealt with were willing to let me handle their money.  In their eyes, I was an expert at something else, not at managing their portfolio.  After a few years, more eventually would ask my opinion on something and then sign the acat.  They could see that I had become more rooted into the business and no longer viewed me as a rookie.  Keep this in mind so it won't sting as much....

Jul 20, 2008 9:52 pm

Find a senior Broker with a team concept you can join. Get a salary  and get a split number with the senior advisor. Agree when you are big enough you can go on your own and you will develop the next " you " for him.

 
Firms...RJ, RBC, Indy's. If AGE was still around they would be the first choice. The team and the senior advisor are more important than the Firm. Move if you have too.
Jul 20, 2008 10:13 pm

80k, year 1, starting at zero--I am not the only one to do it! Every few months you get a 7k bonus, win a trip or two with bonus points, salary, new account bonuses (best month was 1700), commissions. It's just working hard. Get real yourself.