Who's the BEST?

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May 17, 2007 4:12 am

What firm would you choose to work with if you had to do it all over again? From the posts, there are a lot of people who say that Ed Jones, Ameriprise and Merrill are difficult places for a newbie to start out at...


May 17, 2007 8:39 am
lady_trader:

What firm would you choose to work with if you had to do it all over again? From the posts, there are a lot of people who say that Ed Jones, Ameriprise and Merrill are difficult places for a newbie to start out at...







A bank - you get to see the money & then if you want to go indy you can in the bank system & get the same kind of payout as you would at a wirehouse. You have to deal w/ the bank's politics & the banker's mindsets, but you see the money.

May 17, 2007 8:44 am

I certainly wouldn't put Merrill in with those also-ran firms. Merrill is the

class of the field, while Jones and Ameriprise represent firms that are, well,

bottom tier.

May 17, 2007 10:32 am
Philo Kvetch:

I certainly wouldn't put Merrill in with those also-ran firms. Merrill is the class of the field, while Jones and Ameriprise represent firms that are, well, bottom tier.


I think it's funny that to you, a bottom tier firm is a firm with the most CFPs of any firm, period.  I guess that after all those CFPs get their designations, they head for the "lowest tier" firm they can find?


May 17, 2007 10:35 am
Big Taco:
Philo Kvetch:

I certainly wouldn't put Merrill in with those also-ran firms. Merrill is the class of the field, while Jones and Ameriprise represent firms that are, well, bottom tier.


I think it's funny that to you, a bottom tier firm is a firm with the most CFPs of any firm, period.  I guess that after all those CFPs get their designations, they head for the "lowest tier" firm they can find?




In the absence of anything else, that many CFPs would, in itself, make your firm bottom tier.  As you might guess, I don't hold the CFP trademark in very high regard.

May 17, 2007 10:41 am

Do you hold the CFP designation?


please explain the attributes of a firm that you consider "bottom tier", and then what makes a firm "class of the field", in your opinion.

May 17, 2007 10:48 am
Philo Kvetch:
Big Taco:
Philo Kvetch:

I certainly wouldn't put Merrill in with those also-ran firms. Merrill is the class of the field, while Jones and Ameriprise represent firms that are, well, bottom tier.


I think it's funny that to you, a bottom tier firm is a firm with the most CFPs of any firm, period.  I guess that after all those CFPs get their designations, they head for the "lowest tier" firm they can find?




In the absence of anything else, that many CFPs would, in itself, make your firm bottom tier.  As you might guess, I don't hold the CFP trademark in very high regard.



CFP's sell something that most people don't want - asset allocation. It forces people to buy the worst performing asset classes at all times. In short, cfp's don't make people money. Go look at the ADV's of some of those losers on financial-planning dot com. Many have been in business for years with less than $10mm under management. All they do is sit around and whine about all of the dishonest salesmen who make it impossible for them to acquire or keep clients.

May 17, 2007 10:53 am
Big Taco:

Do you hold the CFP designation?


please explain the attributes of a firm that you consider "bottom tier", and then what makes a firm "class of the field", in your opinion.



I did the coursework for the CFP, but I refuse to pay for nothing more than a trademark.  Try the CFA on for size if you think CFP is impressive.  Then you can laugh at CFPs too!   

May 17, 2007 11:21 am
Big Taco:
Philo Kvetch:

I certainly wouldn't put Merrill in
with those also-ran firms. Merrill is the class of the field, while
Jones and Ameriprise represent firms that are, well, bottom
tier.

I think it's funny that to you, a bottom tier firm is a firm with
the most CFPs of any firm, period.  I guess that after all those
CFPs get their designations, they head for the "lowest tier" firm they
can find?


Taco, as long as AMP remains a platform for flogging VUL and annunities, AMP will never be respected by anyone inside the industry or outside the industry.


AMP is leading the fight over allowing CFP's to avoid having a duty to act in the best interests of clients.


BTW,AMP has all the problems of revenue sharing that EDJ has, as well as problem of horrible proprietary RVS funds etc.

May 17, 2007 11:26 am
Philo Kvetch:

I did the coursework for the CFP, but I refuse to
pay for nothing more than a trademark.  Try the CFA on for size if
you think CFP is impressive.  Then you can laugh at CFPs
too!





CFA and CPA/PFS are the only designations that are prestegious. The
main reaons for doing the CFP program is that you gain the knowledge
from doing it.




May 17, 2007 12:39 pm

Sorry...while the CPA exam is more difficult than the CFP, the PFS is just a rubber stamp for CPAs to do financial planning...not difficult or prestigious at all, which is why I didn't bother even though I already had the CPA.  The CFP is also considerably more recognized than the PFS.


...and while the CFA is consiferably more difficult to obtain than the PFS or CFP, recognition among the masses is very low.  It's fine if you're chasing mid-seven figures and up, but my market demographic understands CPAs and is just now figuring out CFPs...other designations are meaningless to them at this point.

May 17, 2007 12:42 pm

...and back on topic, you can look at the Wall St. firms such as Merrill, Morgan S or Smith B, or if that playground is too large, try a regional such as AG Edwards or Raymond James.  No firm is perfect, so your best bet is doing several interviews and seeing what the best fit is.

May 17, 2007 1:34 pm

J.T. Marlin



May 17, 2007 2:04 pm
Vin Diesel:

J.T. Marlin






He's you're father, isn't he?


May 17, 2007 2:05 pm
AllREIT:
Big Taco:
Philo Kvetch:

I certainly wouldn't put Merrill in with those also-ran firms. Merrill is the class of the field, while Jones and Ameriprise represent firms that are, well, bottom tier.

I think it's funny that to you, a bottom tier firm is a firm with the most CFPs of any firm, period.  I guess that after all those CFPs get their designations, they head for the "lowest tier" firm they can find?


Taco, as long as AMP remains a platform for flogging VUL and annunities, AMP will never be respected by anyone inside the industry or outside the industry.


AMP is leading the fight over allowing CFP's to avoid having a duty to act in the best interests of clients.


BTW,AMP has all the problems of revenue sharing that EDJ has, as well as problem of horrible proprietary RVS funds etc.



You're painting with a broad brush here. 


Is amp the only firm with prop funds?  and prop funds don't fit into my practice, my investment recommendations come from filtering and analysis; objectivity.  We don't do just 1 fund family in my office.


Do I "flog" VUL?  No.  I've sold it before, but only in estate planning for wealthier clients.  VAs?  yes, I sell them if appropriate.  Flog them I do not.


Revenue sharing?  again, revenue sharing has no effect on my office, as we objectively filter and analyze funds, across all available families on our platform.  I don't even have time to meet with wholesalers, or see their presentations on their company's next big idea.  the proof is in the pudding, and that's what we search for.


Leading the CFP what?  AMP is an RIA and the franchisees are IARs under the Investment Advisory Act of 1940.  besides, just because you're a CFP, or a CFA, or a CPA, it doesn't change a persons ethics.  Some people will be scumbags no matter what letters are after their name, or which firm they work for.  A fiduciary standard is in effect in my office, whether it's mandated by a corporate office or not.


May 17, 2007 2:13 pm

Allreit's painting with a broad brush?  You're the one that maintains that AMP is somehow great because they have a lot of CFPs.


Look, Taco, like it or not, your firm is one of the laughingstocks of the industry, Jones being the other.  There's a reason for that.  So you're the one AMP guys who's ethical and does the right thing at all times.  Reminds me of how 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

May 17, 2007 2:32 pm
Philo Kvetch:
Big Taco:

Do you hold the CFP designation?


please explain the attributes of a firm that you consider "bottom tier", and then what makes a firm "class of the field", in your opinion.



I did the coursework for the CFP, but I refuse to pay for nothing more than a trademark.  Try the CFA on for size if you think CFP is impressive.  Then you can laugh at CFPs too!   



I agree that it would be very impressive and a real accomplishment to have CFA on my card, but only to those who know what it is.  I focus most on planning and ensuring that my clients are invested according to an asset allocation model, and then find the best investments available to plug into that.  I don't think I'll get to the point where I 'laugh' at CFPs any time soon.  I like the idea that someone took the time to learn more holistically about financial planning


So you didn't answer my question on what attributes you qualify in the top and bottom tier firms? 


Also, Philo, I think that many people in this industry associate amp with the P1 platform.  that's the trainee platform.  I don't like it, I feel that's where any rep tarnishing has come from, and I think the company is switching the country over to an 'apprentice' style training program, which makes so much more sense to me.  most of the other franchisees I know aren't "company" men.  They're financial advisors, individuals, and use amp just like an indy uses their B/D.  On my card it says "my firms' name", a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise.

May 17, 2007 3:10 pm
Philo Kvetch:

Allreit's painting with a broad brush?  You're the one that maintains that AMP is somehow great because they have a lot of CFPs.


Look, Taco, like it or not, your firm is one of the laughingstocks of the industry, Jones being the other.  There's a reason for that.  So you're the one AMP guys who's ethical and does the right thing at all times.  Reminds me of how 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.



to me, it seems that you maintain that the CFP is about as worthless as yesterdays newspaper.  Yet you say you took all the courses, and learned, and yet you don't want to just take thoses test and get the credential?  Sounds suspect to me, but that's just my opinion.


I'm not saying (as you say) that I'm the one ethical person in a company.  That's my whole point.  I know quite a few other investment professionals/competitors in my area.  some are good, some aren't.  It's not a firm specific issue. 

I rank my office compared to the other competitors in my area.  All the new accounts that have come over through the years from indys, insurance companies, wirehouses, and banks.... I know this happens for all of us, but you know how you look at the statements from other firms and think: those guys are idiots, or worse, crooks.  I've had accounts leave, too.  Happens to the best of us.  and then, of course, we all have clients that still have accounts elsewhere, and haven't consolidated with us yet.  What I'm getting at is: we all get an idea of how other firms are operating in our communities.  It's partly how we find our niche:  I believe I do fee based asset management better than anyone else in my county.  and as I've gotten familiar with the M.O.'s of the local branded and indy firms, I know that at least in my neck of the woods, Ameriprise is not even close to being the laughingstock you claim it is.

May 17, 2007 3:22 pm

"Taco, as long as AMP remains a platform for flogging VUL and annunities, AMP will never be respected by anyone inside the industry or outside the industry."


Partly accurate... The majority of people in the industry consider Ameriprise a third- tier firm... Those in the general public may have a better perception of the firm- if only due to its past affiliation with American Express and its recent catchy advertising campaign...

May 17, 2007 3:23 pm

Who is doing the laughing?


It always comes down to the individual client and advisor.


Advisor, affiliate where you are comfortable and excel. Client, work with a trusted advisor ( I would recommend a CFP).


AMP chooses to manufacture products and offer a broad choice. LPL only brokers others products.


The problem with the above arguement, for most here, is you need to take it to a logical conclusion, which would likely be, fee only financial planner.


Anything else is really debate about shades and smells of different ka ka.


Unless you come back full circle, look the client in the eye, and with full understanding and full disclosure, work off of just about any platform that is legal.


Hence, even Bobbies ka ka is equal, with full disclosure.


Anyway, it is the same old arguement over and over again. It is basically lame and hypocrytical.


And is usually degenerates into nonsense, like people saying the CFP is unimportant, and so on.


That's just loser talk.