Best Place to Start!

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Jan 10, 2011 6:54 pm

What is the best place for an advisor to start their business???

Thoughts on WFA/ML/UBS/MSSB?

I know that in the end it is what I put into my practice, but I do think it is important to have the firm behind you and supporting you. What I am looking for is experiences from people on the forum on each firm and what were the pros an cons of each firm.

Thoughts on starting salary? Hurdles? Prospecing plans (jones door knocking vs cold calling)?

The goal isn't for people to bash a firm that they never worked at, but for real life experiences for newbies to consider when trying to decide where to build a practice.

Thanks in advance!!!

Jan 10, 2011 7:10 pm

I hear it's Edward Jones.

Jan 10, 2011 11:46 pm

At a bank.  You'll meet a ton of people, make external contacts, get to know the basic products... who knows, you might like the support and stay there for your entire career.

Jan 11, 2011 11:34 am

Before you look at where to start, make sure you are really cut out for this business. Most failures, will cite reasons later, that should have stopped them from entering the business in the first place. You'd better be a natural and born salesman, and you'd better be able to live off peanuts for at least 3 yrs. If history is any guide, getting into this biz now, is going to be one of the toughest times in the last 100 yrs. A tough biz to begin with, during tough times, isn't going to allow for too many new folks to survive the next several years. Don't mean to talk you, or anyone else out of pursuing this career, but man, you'd better be realistic.

Jan 11, 2011 4:42 pm

So how is this going to be one of the toughest periods? :).

Jan 11, 2011 5:44 pm

[quote=BigFirepower]

Before you look at where to start, make sure you are really cut out for this business. Most failures, will cite reasons later, that should have stopped them from entering the business in the first place. You'd better be a natural and born salesman, and you'd better be able to live off peanuts for at least 3 yrs. If history is any guide, getting into this biz now, is going to be one of the toughest times in the last 100 yrs. A tough biz to begin with, during tough times, isn't going to allow for too many new folks to survive the next several years. Don't mean to talk you, or anyone else out of pursuing this career, but man, you'd better be realistic.

[/quote]

The "old" guys always say this.. regardless of the year..

Today is a great day to join the business...

1. Distrust of Wirehouse/Banks

2. Advisors doing a terrible job still

3. Population getting older

4. Clients not being serviced.

Jan 11, 2011 6:07 pm

How bad is the clients not being serviced and how are advisors doing a bad job (not talking to clients enough)?

Jan 11, 2011 6:30 pm

Why? Because 9 ate 7 for starters...

Jan 11, 2011 7:30 pm

That's what I was afraid of ... that bad, huh. Oh wait a minute, 9 eight seven is going backwards on the golf course, might get smacked silly.

Jan 11, 2011 10:45 pm

Greatest time in the history of our business to get started.  I can tell you that last year was the best year I've had for new assets and new clients in the past 15 years, (which were pretty good years in themselves).  Most advisors are not hustling now, they are still licking their wounds, complaining about how hard life is.

79 years ago two shoe salesman went to the Australian outback.  One week later, two telegrams were received.

Salesman 1: Coming home, natives do not wear shoes.

Salesman 2: Best opportunity in the world, natives do not wear shoes.

Jan 12, 2011 1:08 pm

Ok 7Figs, you're right. Mr. Newby shows up, gets a license, and pounces on a bunch of A and B book types from Mr. Advisor who's been at it for 15+ years...

Oh, and Mr. Million Bux, he just happens to be an easy phone call away, not on the DNC list.

The market today, is much like the mid to late 70s. I know folks that got into the business back then, and it was brutal. Short rates were high enough to detract folks from not just stocks, but bonds as well. It took sheer determination, enormous patience, some luck, and a ton of hard work to just stay on the payroll, let alone make a decent living. Indeed, it is harder now than it was for me in the 90s, and even at the banks my former colleagues say that it isn't what it used to be.

Let's be realistic, and quit shining folks shoes, making them "feel good".

I don't mean to be a downer for anyone recently licensed, but I sure would scare anyone that could be, out of this as a potential career to go into right now. If you're licensed now, either get out, or decide that you will do this for life, come hell or high water, for better or for worse. There is no other way...

Jan 12, 2011 1:11 pm

[quote=business_horn]

What is the best place for an advisor to start their business???

Thoughts on WFA/ML/UBS/MSSB?

I know that in the end it is what I put into my practice, but I do think it is important to have the firm behind you and supporting you. What I am looking for is experiences from people on the forum on each firm and what were the pros an cons of each firm.

Thoughts on starting salary? Hurdles? Prospecing plans (jones door knocking vs cold calling)?

The goal isn't for people to bash a firm that they never worked at, but for real life experiences for newbies to consider when trying to decide where to build a practice.

Thanks in advance!!!

[/quote]

dont get in this biz.    go to med school

Jan 12, 2011 1:33 pm

Geez, I thought my question was pretty simple. But as usual, this turned into a pissing match about whether or not this is a good biz to be in. I am not asking about that though, but thanks for letting me know your thoughts.

What I am trying to find out is what firm is the beat place to build your biz? I am already in the biz and will be the rest of my life, so I won't be talked out of my profession.

The point of my post was to get some first hand accounts (pun intended) of their experience at xyz firm and the pros and cons of said firm. Nothing more nothing less.

Example: I started at WFA and my hurdles were x and my salary was y. The firm helped with....an was bad about...

I

Jan 12, 2011 1:41 pm

More fun to complain.

How can I count the ways?

There's a ton more competition (channels).

Less respect for advisors.

Aggregation of wealth to the rich.

Probable lower real returns.

Higher fixed costs.

More regulations.

More stress.

People are buying less insurance (no $).

Commoditization of knowledge.

A retiring advisor with 30 m AUM calls me up and asks if I want to move my book over to their b/d and buy them out. You gotta be kidding, I would rather take the money and start brokering containers of  lumber output from the mills to the Chinese.  

Jan 12, 2011 3:17 pm

Business - answering that question is like trying to figure out which car brand is the best.  Well, I'm a Ford guy.  I like my F-250, my Mustang, and my Taurus.  In that order.  Used to like my Thunderbird before I got married and had kids.  For me, Ford is the best place to buy a car. 

Maybe you like Hyundai or KIA because they make decent cars and sell them cheap.  Hey, if that works for you, then knock yourself out. 

So, the question isn't, or shouldn't be, which is the best place to start, but rather which is the best place for me to start.  We don't know you or what your want your practice to look like in 5 yrs.  It's going to be difficult to tell you what firm is the best place for you to start. 

Tell us more about you, your business, your goals, how you gather assets now, etc and maybe we can give you some decent advice. 

Jan 12, 2011 4:09 pm

Gee Biz, thanks for straightening us out. All that free advice not being worth the paid price of admission and all. Bottom line, you're asking the wrong question. But, hey, we'll let you figure that out after you smell the salmon and berries as Mr. 7 so elequently suggests...

Ok, can't help myself. I'll help you. "Opportunity is where it hides, waiting for some clever soul to unlock its greatness"

Man, I wish I'd figured that out sooner! 

Jan 12, 2011 4:22 pm

Even those two cowboys managed to glean something from their limited  sheepherding engagement on Brokeback Mountain. ( You better be really fishing up there, wherever you go.)

Jan 12, 2011 9:56 pm

I have to echo Squash and 7 Figs. There is no time like the present.

Jan 17, 2011 10:48 pm

Don't get me wrong, I do not intend to sound like this business is easy.  I believe it is one of the hardest businesses out there to get up and going, (from a time, stress, and beating stand point).  But the facts are the facts.  It is the largest, single transfer of wealth occuring in the next 20 years, ever.  The average age of a Series 7 licensee is in the 50's.  Simple supply and demand.  The opportunity is in front of you, but the hustle is hard.

Jan 25, 2011 1:04 am

I believe there are only two ways to make it.

1) Second career with a lot of wealthy contacts

2) Younger FA with huge motivation joining an established team and wiling to do the grunt work i.e. cold calling

Those are from what I'VE SEEN most of the successful starting out advisors make it.  It doesn't matter what firm you start out at from the wirehouses as long you are either in category 1 or 2.