2012 U.S. Financial Advisor Satisfaction Survey
Wow, it took a couple of years, but it has become official. I went from working at a firm that ranked number 1 in the Financial Advisor Satisfaction Survey to a firm ranked DEAD LAST in this survey.
I won't give the survey company's exact name but lets say it sounds like a combination of an attorney degree designation coupled with the missing word in this sentence "A magician has magic ******!". The survey firm's firm's press release was done at the end of March, 2012, and not a single mention or sign of it has been seen by any of my co-workers. This is a survey firm that has national if not worldwide respect and one that my firm when rated Number 1 would put on every advertisement, counter displays and trophies distributed out to all branches.
It is interesting that the survey company says that the study examines nine key drivers of emplyee advisor satisfaction: firm performance (I am told we had a record year in profits!!!), compensation (I have had my compensation cut I believe at least 4 times from my previous firms levels and 3 since receivng original retention package. Oh by the way, the simple compensation plan gets real complex if you ever give a discount on a trade or a minimum commission level isn't met or if you deviate from a firm average charge. I can go on.), job duties (You can run your business your way, but you might not get a normal payout to no payout at all!), work environment (You can run your business your way, but let's talk about what we want you to do. You had better do what the firm wants because your manager, complex manager, and regional managers' bonuses are all predicated on you doing business their way. Also, the bank could be selling your clients on the the PMA with 200 free trades!!!), products and offerings (Please do the structured products, closed end funds and variabe rate CDs!!! Oh by the way, how many loans have you done? Lending, Lending, Lending), technology (Just a note that it appears the internet provides for FREE better quotes, charts and news than your work station. Discount brokers already provide ability for clients to trade an access accounts with ipads and smartphones, and one day so will my firm.), services and support for financial advisors (My office has just enough support staff that we have one person to answer the phone if the other has to use the bathroom or go to lunch. Of course, if one is out sick or on vacation, FAs get to do it. Our office went from 6 to 2)., and as far as services (We want to micromanage you and your practice. We may develop a computer program that gives you a daily to do list and your manager can track your daily activity. No, we don't have trust representatives, or insurance representatives.).
So given the above information, the head of my firm says we are the best firm for we have the best name, best FA productivity and since we are a combination of many small regional firms that we have the best "Culture". So how could that survey firm get it so wrong? Life is definitely complicated, but with a retention package running out. I guess this kid that finds himself "In the Cellar" is looking to get back on top. Other wire houses need not apply.