Is $400K TTP the New $1MM Producer?
In post meltdown world have annual production numbers been revised by recruiters or by industry standards. Is $1MM gross still the holy grail? Or have many former $1MM producers turned into $400k producers? And have the $400k producers dropped to $300k or less and are getting let go by the wirehouses?
I think the old 1 mm produce and the current 100k TTP are the new 1MM producer. Why? The 100TTP don't have the honking ego blow, they are hungry enough to hit it every day and just produce market be damned. The guys (like me) a few years in, producing under 150, but better than 100 - we're just dumb enough to think we can make it even against this market place and we're stupid enough to keep trying it.
These are the people who were out prospecting TODAY, who know that by being consistent they will end up with results. Not all at once, but bit by bit, they can build the thing. They are sowing the seeds and taking the knocks they'll need to get to 1mm. They know the market will recover and they know that the best gains are made by staying in. They know the firm they are with today might not be the firm they are with when they hit 1mm, but they know if will be them who does it. These are the kind of people who would blame themselves if they can't get to 1mm and who inspired themselves every day to make something happen.
The middle of the road guys - who stopped prospecting at 30 mill and grew to 50 mil thinking 500k TTP was enough, they aren't going to start hitting it again, they didn't keep hitting it & they will probably roll over or roll firms. They're going to be pissed they are only on 20% payout and pissed they can't get referrals from clients who are leaving them.
They will blame everyone and everything but themselves.
On the guys who were 1 MM, I think when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
So - even though a former 1 MM producer might only be able to eke out 400k this year, do you think that's really going to stop them? Heck no. These are the same people who have built a book and have produced 1mm. They ALREADY KNOW HOW TO DO IT. They just have to repeat the process. They learned when they were at the level today's 100TTP is doing. They did it against the S&L and they stayed in against .com bust and 9/11, too.
The best of them probably started in 1984 in a boiler room understand that sometimes the world got knocked out from under you and it did get knocked out from under them in 2008 and they are already dusting themselves off to come back in and build it again. These are also the kind of guys who would blame themselves if they can't find success again, once they know the path.
Kicking Ass and Taking Names
Actually, I think there are a lot of former $1mm producers that are in for a tough road. Most of those guys that I know in the area (outside of Jones) are in their 50's and 60's, and have built to $1mm over decades. Many of them started in the 80's, and more than half their book is just market appreciation over the past 25-30 years. Betwen clients dying, leaving, and assets being down, it's tough to go at it again when you've been cruising for 5-10 years (or more) on autopilot.
The guys that are going to continue to excel are those that either got to $1mm very quickly (and rather recently), or have a clear path and gameplan to keep going despite the market (the exceptional ones). Many of these guys have actually increased production this past year. I actually talked to a guy a few days ago from SF (moved from Merrill) who does primarily 401K's. His business was up 15% in 2008, mostly due to new assets from new 401K plans and assets that continue to roll in from the existing plans.