Where do failed brokers do?

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May 15, 2006 12:41 pm

I've been purusing through this forum.  And with the high attrition rate in this business, what do unsuccessful brokers tend to do?

I'm preparing to make a jump, but I'm also assessing the plan-B in case all else fails.  What are career possibilities thereafter that people tend to pursue?

I'm 25 years old with no children, so I can afford to take the risks now.  Money isn't an issue, as I currently make a good amount.  But the problem is that I'm bored out of my mind with this line of work. 

I have, however, always been interested in sales and investments. In fact, I It's just that I'm looking for something that's a little more competitive, agressive, and entrepeneurial.  I'm okay with taking some risks.

What is typically the "exit" jobs that most brokers/FAs take when they find they don't have what it takes to bring in the business?  What is their "PLAN-B"?  Or if you're a rookie, what is your Plan-B?

May 15, 2006 1:59 pm

i never thought up a plan -B for myself as I don't give myself any other choice but to succeed (not to say you don't either) good question. i think a good chunk hit the banks or go work at foley's.


anyone else chiming in?

May 15, 2006 2:09 pm

I never had a B-plan.  If you give yourself that option, it may be a self-fulfilling prophecy.


May 15, 2006 3:47 pm

Plan B: Sell vacuum cleaners door-to-door.

May 15, 2006 4:07 pm

If you go with a top-tier firm the first time, then it's easier for you to find another position after dropping out.  But I think that anybody can talk their way around a failure if they do so unemotionally and BRIEFLY.  (I can't tell you how many times I've mentored candidates to be brief).  Focus on what you learned, not on why you failed.

Typically, you're looking at a commissioned sales position or a small salary + commission.  There are opportunities at banks and other financial services companies that have better success rates.

However, I have to think that a "burn the ships" approach is best.  If you're unwilling to take a risk without "plan B", then you're probably not a fit for this business.

Just know that everybody fails and it's not the end of the world. 

May 15, 2006 4:25 pm

Plan B? A lot of failed brokers make excellent car salesmen. Apparently, after this, selling cars is easy. personally, I'd go with selling pre-owned high line cars like BMWs or Mercedes. Lots of markup, you'll easily double or triple your failed broker income. And it's honest work.


This business works best for those who work without a net. Fear is a great motivator. Knowing that you have a plan B will work against you in a big way. Fear of having to walk a sun scorched BMW lot on a Saturday afternoon, showing some snot nosed 22 year old 3 series Bimmers that they'll have to finance for 84 months to afford has kept me well motivated for years.


A normal progression in this biz has been to start at a wirehouse, fail, move to a bank. Most rookies fail because they can't/don't prospect. They aren't good at finding the money. At a bank, the money is already found, so the hardest part of the job is already done for you. Bank brokers still have to convert the money and that's another skill set that has to be learned. The biggest hurdle, trust, is usually already in place for bank brokers as the majority of prospects are already bank customers and trust the bank. Still, it's not a lay up.

May 15, 2006 4:26 pm

Failure is not an option, but if it happens..


Join the 40x40 club.. 40 hours for 40 years... Now it may be 40 hours for 50 years, which is 100,000 hours. If one is doing something they hate they might as well just join the military. At least there you can "retire" in 20.

May 15, 2006 5:26 pm

while the attrition is higher, its like any other job that people quit or get fired from.  1) some just go work for a different firm, 2) some get a better job, and 3) some get a worse job.  unlike most people on this thread, id say its more of 1 + 2. As mentioned, banks are common as are non-financial sales positions (which can obviously vary greatly in quality/pay).  Others go to bschool or some sort of analyst route, though thats a small %.  Theres a large % of 'other', for instance i lucked into a job trading for a very small firm.  Though I wasnt fired/forced out so I had a little more leverage  

May 15, 2006 5:32 pm

You could become a compliance officer.


I was always amazed at how many of them offer up the information of 'I used to be with Merrill- or I was in your shoes, etc.


I guess those that can, do


Those that can't supervise in some places.

May 15, 2006 5:41 pm
munytalks:

You could become a compliance officer.


I was always amazed at how many of them offer up the information of 'I used to be with Merrill- or I was in your shoes, etc.


I guess those that can, do


Those that can't supervise in some places.



while the job would be boring as hell, it seems like compliance officers can get paid well.  might be a step up or lateral for many brokers...  being a successful retail broker is not the ultimate achievement that some make it out to be.  unless youre in the .000001% that do $300mm in production w/out a lot of work or concern for it leaving 

May 15, 2006 8:07 pm

Be a wholesaler, real nice, lots of travel.

May 15, 2006 8:44 pm

Yeah, I was going to suggest being a wholesaler.  They make good money (even the awful ones) and still have lots of fun trips.

May 16, 2006 12:03 am

At EDJ, they'll keep feeding you assets until you stick.  Then, they'll make you a GP.

May 16, 2006 8:09 am

wholesaler's good days are about to end if you ask me. they are nothing more than overpaid snake oil salesman. failed brokers that didn't make it. no respect for them for the most part. I mean some of them are o.k. guys but most of them are fake people putting on the smiley face to try and get some of your business. I try not meet them anymore. waste of time. just because they buy me lunch doesn't mean I'm going to use their funds.

May 16, 2006 8:12 am

[quote=coronet]
I It's just that I'm looking for something that's a little more competitive, agressive, and entrepeneurial.  I'm okay with taking some risks.

So I guess beign a broker isn't competitive enough, aggressive enough or entrepeneurial enough dumba$$!!


You should be selling cars.

May 16, 2006 9:08 am
ezmoney:

[quote=coronet]
I It's just that I'm looking for something that's a little more competitive, agressive, and entrepeneurial.  I'm okay with taking some risks.

So I guess beign a broker isn't competitive enough, aggressive enough or entrepeneurial enough dumba$$!!


You should be selling cars.



easy tiger, hes interested in being a broker bc he wants those things


May 16, 2006 9:36 am
ezmoney:

wholesaler's good days are about to end if you ask me. they are nothing more than overpaid snake oil salesman. failed brokers that didn't make it. no respect for them for the most part. I mean some of them are o.k. guys but most of them are fake people putting on the smiley face to try and get some of your business. I try not meet them anymore. waste of time. just because they buy me lunch doesn't mean I'm going to use their funds.



hear hear.

When is the last time a wholesaler actually did anything to help you grow your business?

May 16, 2006 10:41 am
joedabrkr:
ezmoney:

wholesaler's good days are about to end if you ask me. they are nothing more than overpaid snake oil salesman. failed brokers that didn't make it. no respect for them for the most part. I mean some of them are o.k. guys but most of them are fake people putting on the smiley face to try and get some of your business. I try not meet them anymore. waste of time. just because they buy me lunch doesn't mean I'm going to use their funds.



hear hear.

When is the last time a wholesaler actually did anything to help you grow your business?


Agreed. I don't attend lunch meetings with them any more. I'll give them a couple of minutes in my office just to make sure they don't have something new and special that I could use but don't know about, but that's it. I don't even like using them for hypos.

May 16, 2006 11:01 am

Wholesalers get a two minute pitch on the phone with me, and I make it clear to them that they are going to have to have something that sounds valuable or very interesting to get a face to face meeting.  Frankly, I've had a couple of them thank me recently for not wasting their time.  From a wholesaler's point of view, I would guess that the worst kind of meeting is with an advisor who says yes to be polite, but has no intention of doing any business...I don't play those games anymore...they're just too time-consuming.

May 16, 2006 11:44 am
munytalks:

You could become a compliance officer.


I was always amazed at how many of them offer up the information of 'I used to be with Merrill- or I was in your shoes, etc.


I guess those that can, do


Those that can't supervise in some places.



This is true! In our area there is a woman who worked as a sales assistant. She wanted to be a broker and approached her branch manager who gave her the full battery of tests. Bad news, the tests showed that the firm would be wasting its money to train her, as she didn't have what it takes to succeed. Not to be denied the woman sued her employer for discrimination and ended up in the training program. She promptly flunked out, not lasting six months. She moved to another large firm where she lasted only months. Finally, she moved to a regional as a compliance officer. Brokers at this firm have told many stories of what a ball buster she is. On top of that she's border line incompetent, which comes as no surprise because she was borderline incompetent as a sales assistant.