What to Do?

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Jan 10, 2008 5:22 pm

I was supposed to join an Merrill Lynch POA program this month, but my mentor and I had a falling out of sorts, and the offer to work with him is no longer there. I met with the associate director of the office, and he said he was going to try to help me find another person to work with, probably in another office. That was 2 weeks ago and I don't think he has made any progress.



I currently have an intern contract (as I just graduated college last month) with Northwestern Mutual, but want to work as a bonefide financial advisor. Does anyone have any advice as to what I should do next. While I want to hold out for going to another ML office, I am fearful this won't be done.

Jan 10, 2008 5:27 pm
BigRed:

I currently have an intern contract (as I just graduated college last month) with Northwestern Mutual, but want to work as a bonefide financial advisor.

 
Please clarify what you mean and why you can't do it at NML?
Jan 10, 2008 6:40 pm

Well the managing partner I am affiliated with won't even let you call yourself a financial advisor or financial planner, won't let you have a series 7, and will only let you have a series 6 after 6 months. Basically, I want to work at a wirehouse.

Jan 10, 2008 7:03 pm

Sounds like your MP sucks.  It takes a series 65/66 to have the right to call yourself a financial advisor, regardless of a series 6/7.

 
Oh well.  At least you know what you want - to be an investment advisor.
 
As far as what to do next... it seems pretty obvious.  Get out to other offices, and other firms - SB, MS, UBS, etc.
Jan 10, 2008 7:05 pm

Given the fact that I just graduated college, I am having a hard time getting the attention of the larger wirehouses...I got into ML because I knew someone and was able to prove my competence with my interviews and business plans, however, now I can't work with that individual and need to find a way to get in with SB, MS, and UBS.

Jan 10, 2008 7:10 pm

Here's the way you do it:

 
1)  Print your resume
2)  Find the nearest other firm you want to work for.
3)  Walk in and ask for the hiring manager
4)  If available, ask for an interview and hand resume.
5)  If not available, drop off resume with a note saying something like:  I hope to talk to you soon.
6)  Then follow up by phone and ask for the interview.
 
If you canNOT do the above, you shouldn't be in the business.
 
There is business out there for the taking - as long as you ASK!
 
Forget about connections.  They help, but they won't keep you employed when you're not producing enough.
Jan 10, 2008 7:23 pm

Thank you for your help and insight Skippy. I thought that would be a good approach, but figured I would consult the experts in this forum. I know its not about connections, but the guy who I was going to work with told me that many times a new young person needs to be "sponsored" in order to get in with a big wirehouse.



Thanks again.

Jan 11, 2008 6:50 am

Basically, I want to work at a wirehouse.


BigRed, what do you think the difference will be between the wirehouse and Northwestern Mutual?  (Other than the first 6 months, where you'll be nothing more than an insurance salesman.)


but want to work as a bonefide financial advisor.
 
Do you know that you won't be doing this at ML?  In order to have any chance of survival, you'll be nothing more than asset gatherer.  Nothing is wrong with that if that is what you want to do.
 
Here's a few advantages as I see it.
 
Advantages for Merrill Lynch:
probably nicer office space
Salary (this salary causes one to have big hurdles that 23 year olds can almost never overcome)
Prestige of working for Merrill Lynch
 
Advantages for Northwestern Mutual:
Higher payout on investments
Much, Much, Much higher payout on insurance
Hard worker who does lots of joint work should make 75K+ their first year
Virtually everyone with a job is a qualified suspect.   You'll do well with 40 dials a day instead of 300.
 
Personally, I'd interview a whole bunch of places before I accepted with either of these companies.
Jan 11, 2008 10:10 am

The advantages of Merrill Lynch are waht I am looking for. I have a few wealthy prospects, in addition to a few 401(k) plans in mind and therefore think I may attain success there.



Additionally, ML offered me more than $40k in starting salary which is likely because they believe I am capable of being more productive. How much higher is Northwestern's payout on investments than ML?



Thanks for your help.

Jan 11, 2008 10:24 am

BigRed, I'm not with Northwestern Mutual so I don't know.   However, a good guess it that a decent producer (300K GDC) will get a payout of 80-85%.   The grid probably starts at 40% and goes to 85%, but my guess is that it goes back to dollar 1.  ie.  If you hit 70%, all of your previous sales will get a bump.


If starting salary is part of your decision making process, you may not be cut out for this industry.  As I said, accepting a job at either place is a mistake without looking around.

Jan 11, 2008 10:42 am

No the starting salary is not a big deal, but I will admit that it feeds my ego a bit that they gave me more than is standard.

Jan 11, 2008 11:17 am

You are going to have to choose whether to feed your ego or your wallet.  Going with the salary is feeding your ego. 

Jan 11, 2008 12:07 pm

who told you 40K is more than standard? 

Jan 11, 2008 12:31 pm
anonymous:
Here's a few advantages as I see it. 
Advantages for Merrill Lynch:
probably nicer office space
Salary (this salary causes one to have big hurdles that 23 year olds can almost never overcome)
Prestige of working for Merrill Lynch



The advantages of Merrill Lynch are waht I am looking for. I have a few
wealthy prospects, in addition to a few 401(k) plans in mind and
therefore think I may attain success there.


Let's recap for a minute just so I'm sure I understand you.  The main advantages of ML is nicer office, salary and prestige.  These are the advantages you're looking for.  

As you say elsewhere, the salary of $40K isn't so important to you, which leaves nicer office space and prestige as the remaining advantages.  Let me repeat that again for you.

Nicer office space and prestige.  These are  your priorities?! 

Good thing you're not distracted by trivialities!

I think you would do yourself a big favor by reevaluating your priorities before worrying about which firm is best.  If you're not sure where you want to go, any road will get you there.

Only one other question: what caused the falling out with your mentor-to-be before you even began working there?

Jan 16, 2008 5:58 pm

I say swallow ur pride & go back yo ur mentor!

Jan 16, 2008 7:32 pm

You're telling HIM to swallow?!!

Jan 16, 2008 8:30 pm
Indyone:

You're telling HIM to swallow?!!





Dont spit it out..SWALLOW ur pride!