Edwad Jones on Fee Based circa 2001

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Jul 10, 2008 12:28 am

I found something rather interesting in my "This Will Come Back to Bite EDJ" file.  It is a Dilbert cartoon that was blast-faxed to all EDJ branches while Bachmann was at the helm.  The three-window cartoon goes like this:

 
Frame 1: "For a 1% annual fee I will invest your money......."
Frame 2: "He'll charge 1% per year to put your money in mutual funds that charge 1% per year."
Frame 3:  Dilbert asks, "Will I make any money?"  Answer: "I don't see you doing any of the work!"
 
At the top of the blast fax was was this hand-written message from Bachmann:  "To Our IRs, Even the Comic Strips are Catching On!"  --John"
 
So my question to Mr. Bachmann would be, "What say you now?"  I have long maintained that the further EDJ got away from Bachmann, the more they would realize he was never the genius that they thought he was.   He was nothing more than a narcissistic meglomaniac with really bad chiclits who got caught red-handed banging his secretary.  BTW for all of you Jonesers, that idiot is still on your gravy train to the tune of $3-4 million per year.  What was your take home in 2007? 
Jul 10, 2008 10:05 am

And you'd be talking to the wall, because John Bachmann doesn't run the firm any longer.  Good for you for being more of a genius than Bachmann was.   

 
Why don't you guys just give it a rest.  Jones has ZERO impact on you any longer.  They have done a 180 on fee based, under different leadership.  It is good for the clients, good for the FAs, good for Jones.   
Jul 10, 2008 11:07 am
Soothsayer:

I found something rather interesting in my "This Will Come Back to Bite EDJ" file.  It is a Dilbert cartoon that was blast-faxed to all EDJ branches while Bachmann was at the helm.  The three-window cartoon goes like this:

 
Frame 1: "For a 1% annual fee I will invest your money......."
Frame 2: "He'll charge 1% per year to put your money in mutual funds that charge 1% per year."
Frame 3:  Dilbert asks, "Will I make any money?"  Answer: "I don't see you doing any of the work!"
 
At the top of the blast fax was was this hand-written message from Bachmann:  "To Our IRs, Even the Comic Strips are Catching On!"  --John"
 
So my question to Mr. Bachmann would be, "What say you now?"  I have long maintained that the further EDJ got away from Bachmann, the more they would realize he was never the genius that they thought he was.   He was nothing more than a narcissistic meglomaniac with really bad chiclits who got caught red-handed banging his secretary.  BTW for all of you Jonesers, that idiot is still on your gravy train to the tune of $3-4 million per year.  What was your take home in 2007? 
 
Wow, that is HOT! So he was banging his secretary.. What did she look like? Do you know if they did it on her desk, his desk? Give me the details.. That is more interesting than the fact that he doens't run our firm anymore and the fact that (WOW) people change their minds...
 
Miss J
Jul 10, 2008 12:26 pm

Sooth-





You are so right.  Thank god Bachman hasn't run the firm in like, I don't know, 5 years or something.  Wouldn't it be strange if every company continued to operate the way the past leaders ran the company, instead of changing and adapting? (GE would still just be making lightbulbs, Berkshire Hathaway would still be a textile manufacturer, and Enron would still be in business as a simple natural gas distributor).


Bottom line, yes, past Edward Jones's leaders believed that fees were inappropriate.  Current Edward Jones leaders feel they have created something that is appropriate for clients.  The big difference is that Weddle knows that you must adapt and change to changes in the marketplace.  Prior leadership did not do that.  You guys are taking business decisions and making them personal. 

Jul 10, 2008 9:40 pm
B24:

Sooth-





You are so right.  Thank god Bachman hasn't run the firm in like, I don't know, 5 years or something.  Wouldn't it be strange if every company continued to operate the way the past leaders ran the company, instead of changing and adapting? (GE would still just be making lightbulbs, Berkshire Hathaway would still be a textile manufacturer, and Enron would still be in business as a simple natural gas distributor).


Bottom line, yes, past Edward Jones's leaders believed that fees were inappropriate.  Current Edward Jones leaders feel they have created something that is appropriate for clients.  The big difference is that Weddle knows that you must adapt and change to changes in the marketplace.  Prior leadership did not do that.  You guys are taking business decisions and making them personal. 

B24- Almost every quote i heard from the home office concerning fee based was something along this line. " We are going to do fee based the right way, the Edward jones way" If that doesn't smack of the way the company has acted in the past, remember the WSJ article.......
Jul 11, 2008 10:07 am

Miss J, they did on her desk and his desk--at least according to Tom Bartow.  B24 misses the point.  Things do change at some companies, but have they really changed all that much at Jones when Bachmann is still flying on private jets making speacial appearances at regional meetings, divo trips, and other company functions?  He's still on the payroll, as is Doug Hill.  The polices and practices of these two guy cost your firm hundreds of millions of dollars.  And, I'll bet that each of these two guys outcheck Spiff, Miss J, and B24 combined by five-fold. 

 
I'm glad for you guys that in some ways that Brill Cream seems to be moving EDJ forward.  But, for all of us who left under the Bachmann/Hill regime, it's always somewhat vindicating to see just how wrong they were all of those years.  And, many very good brokers and good people were ostracized and marginalized within the company for many years for having a more forward thinking view of our industry.  "You want to fee based business, then this is the wrong firm to be working for.  We don't care if you leave, because we'll (watch my lips) never, ever, ever be in that business.  It would run counter to the core principles and culture that this company was built on."  That is pretty much an exact quote from a GP with Bachmann sitting at the same table.  You see, it's the hypocrisy, stupid!
Jul 11, 2008 10:11 am

Nog - And your point is, what, exactly? 

 
Would you have felt better if Weddle had said, yep, we're going to do fee based.  We'll slap something together for you guys here in the next couple of weeks.  We don't know if it's good, bad, or otherwise so we'll make adjustments as we go.  Shoot, if we could just get it as good as those guys over at LPL, we'd be happy.  We don't expect you folks to really use it anyway, so it's not that big of a deal.
 
I know I'm wasting my breath, but you guys really do need to start thinking about something else and let it go.  If the name on your business isn't Edward Jones it has ABSOLUTELY ZERO impact on you.  That is unless you're worried that the other EDJ guys in town now have a fee based platform to promote and the possibility of losing some of your current clients has you shaking in your boots.   
 
Sooth - The MAP program was launched in 1994.  That's right, Jones has had a fee based program for 14 years.  So, why hasn't anyone mentioned how awful Jones is for launching that one?  Oh yeah, the Trust Company is also a fee based program.  But, again, nobody mentions that one either.  If my memory is correct, both of those were originated under that hypocritical John Bachmann's watch.  He was such a loser.  How dare he allow such things to exist. 
 
I'll bet a bunch of you as much of a hypocrite as you say Bachmann is.  I'll bet at some point in the past you said, man, if Jones just had a fee based platform, I'd really consider staying here longer.  Now, you're spending time bashing the newly launched platform.  You want to have your cake and eat it too.    
Jul 11, 2008 10:26 am
Soothsayer:

Miss J, they did on her desk and his desk--at least according to Tom Bartow.  B24 misses the point.  Things do change at some companies, but have they really changed all that much at Jones when Bachmann is still flying on private jets making speacial appearances at regional meetings, divo trips, and other company functions?  He's still on the payroll, as is Doug Hill.  The polices and practices of these two guy cost your firm hundreds of millions of dollars.  And, I'll bet that each of these two guys outcheck Spiff, Miss J, and B24 combined by five-fold. 

 
I'm glad for you guys that in some ways that Brill Cream seems to be moving EDJ forward.  But, for all of us who left under the Bachmann/Hill regime, it's always somewhat vindicating to see just how wrong they were all of those years.  And, many very good brokers and good people were ostracized and marginalized within the company for many years for having a more forward thinking view of our industry.  "You want to fee based business, then this is the wrong firm to be working for.  We don't care if you leave, because we'll (watch my lips) never, ever, ever be in that business.  It would run counter to the core principles and culture that this company was built on."  That is pretty much an exact quote from a GP with Bachmann sitting at the same table.  You see, it's the hypocrisy, stupid!
 

I get your points.. Valid as they are Sooth.
 
I am not making 2-3 Million a year though I REALLY wish I was!! But in all fairness, I don't care if the firm pays them each 10 Million a year. Let's not be confused I know why I am at EDJ it's to get my 40% commission, my LP, my profit sharing, my P&L bonus & Div trips.. All the while still running my shop with NO ONE asking me how or why. Yes, I get a FSPEND here and there (actually got one today.. But didn't bother me one bit) I am happy with my job, my firm and my way of life so since I knew what I was getting into when I joined I am Happy!!
 
I see what you mean.. You don't like Doug Hill, John Bachman and for that matter Tom Bartow.. They are two faced.. Well, haven't we all been at one time in our lives.. Yes! They were trying to reinforce something to the 'troops' and it has come back to bite them. Oh well.. We (the current FA's at Jones) have moved on and realized people make mistakes. This is one mistake we are glad they made. So what?? They aren't in charge anymore- Jim Weddle is.
 
I still get your point, all we ask is that you get ours. Period!
 
Miss J
Jul 11, 2008 10:48 am

Miss Jones, that was the most articulate, lovely, beautiful, thoughtful and humble post I've read here.  I bet you're hot as hell and I wish I was your client.  I can see it now...coming into your office for a late night meeting.......hell, it beats thinking about the market!!

Jul 11, 2008 11:44 am
bspears:

Miss Jones, that was the most articulate, lovely, beautiful, thoughtful and humble post I've read here.  I bet you're hot as hell and I wish I was your client.  I can see it now...coming into your office for a late night meeting.......hell, it beats thinking about the market!!

 
Spears!! You act at though you don't know me and also act as though you don't know what I look like!! What's the deal? Are we playing a game?! This could be fun.
 
Miss J
Jul 11, 2008 11:57 am

Miss Jones....leaving me already? Ferris had me attempting to date you yesterday I asked my wife .....apparently I am not available , but will of course check with her in the future. Of course the granddaughters will also have to approve

Jul 11, 2008 12:07 pm
norway401:

Miss Jones....leaving me already? Ferris had me attempting to date you yesterday I asked my wife .....apparently I am not available , but will of course check with her in the future. Of course the granddaughters will also have to approve

 
Now, Now.. I know you mistook Ferris and his comments. There are a few things you need to learn about Ferris.. He doesn't like sharing his toys! That and he doesn't play well with others..
 
Love you Ferris! Miss J
Jul 11, 2008 12:14 pm

Sort of like my two granddaughters when it comes to sharing. More than enough for both of them, but they always want what the other has...if only life was that simple!!

Jul 11, 2008 1:29 pm

Miss J,

I like games.....role playing games.  Okay...so....You're my advisor and I'm your client. I have a very LARGE account but it seems to be a little down right now. You call me in for face to face  to examine this LARGE account. How would this appt go...down...please explain.
Jul 11, 2008 10:20 pm
Spaceman Spiff:

Nog - And your point is, what, exactly?  My point is that when other firms were getting fined, Edward Jones ran an ad in WSJ that indicated that everyone was bad, Edward Jones was good. That thought or mindset permeates the culture at Edward Jones.....so much so that old friends in my region are afraid to call me because they have been told that doing so is being disloyal to Jones...... I do have a good deal of respect for you even though you may not think that is the case. About 2 months prior to my departure , I did a prelim interview for a potential recruit. He was 22 yrs old, just out of college, no sales experience. He was white however he spoke like a gangster rapper, i could barely understand him. I let Jones know that they should not hire him. They not only hired him they gave me credit for his hire...... He just got an abandoned office of about 5 M near me, he drives a car with spinners, silvered windows and gullwing doors. That was the last straw for me...... The guy who is competing for those assets carries around a picture of that car and shows it to clients he wants to move over, priceless! Have you noticed that LPL has more brokers than Jones, the reason is simple 35-40% of the brokers are former Jones brokers who have tired of the doubletalk and want to actually own their business and actually operate in their client's best interest not the GP's.

 
Would you have felt better if Weddle had said, yep, we're going to do fee based.  We'll slap something together for you guys here in the next couple of weeks.  We don't know if it's good, bad, or otherwise so we'll make adjustments as we go.  Shoot, if we could just get it as good as those guys over at LPL, we'd be happy.  We don't expect you folks to really use it anyway, so it's not that big of a deal.
 
I know I'm wasting my breath, but you guys really do need to start thinking about something else and let it go.  If the name on your business isn't Edward Jones it has ABSOLUTELY ZERO impact on you.  That is unless you're worried that the other EDJ guys in town now have a fee based platform to promote and the possibility of losing some of your current clients has you shaking in your boots.   
 
Sooth - The MAP program was launched in 1994.  That's right, Jones has had a fee based program for 14 years.  So, why hasn't anyone mentioned how awful Jones is for launching that one?  Oh yeah, the Trust Company is also a fee based program.  But, again, nobody mentions that one either.  If my memory is correct, both of those were originated under that hypocritical John Bachmann's watch.  He was such a loser.  How dare he allow such things to exist. 
 
I'll bet a bunch of you as much of a hypocrite as you say Bachmann is.  I'll bet at some point in the past you said, man, if Jones just had a fee based platform, I'd really consider staying here longer.  Now, you're spending time bashing the newly launched platform.  You want to have your cake and eat it too.    
Jul 11, 2008 11:59 pm

Noggin--

 
I think you and I must be from the same era, or at least had a very, very similar experience within our region......
Jul 16, 2008 3:47 pm

LETS PUT THIS TO REST:

 
I just had dinner with Bachman at our regional 3 weeks ago.
I was originally from another firm and we were discussing why experienced FAs were not coming to Jones. Never one to mince words, I looked at John Bachman and said "because they could not sell their book."
Silence.
Then, John allowed as to how "we want people who want to be with us to stay, and we want the people who dont want to be with us to leave." I appreciated his honesty, but bit back my following question: "then why do you make us sign non compete agreements?"
There is no real greay area at Jones...you follow the program, or leave. Unlike Ben Edwards, at AG, Jones wants to keep your clients when you leave, even though that change may be what they want.
My prior regional leader did a good job at masking the politics, but that was because I was in the inner circle. Take the good with the bad, accept the BS that goes on, or move on down the highway. It's not that different from anywhere else: the firm wants its's cake, and wants to eat it too. 
If you outgrow the company, (or, in my case, the company outgrows you)...you take the lumps, make the creative change, and
leave.
Jul 16, 2008 4:10 pm

I have not posted in quite some time. I have to chime in on the Jones fee based platform.

 
Let me say I am happy for my friends who are there that now have access to this way of doing business. That said it was the pure smugness displayed toward other firms and other advisors who did business this way by the GP's/ RL's down to the majority of the "inner circle" people.
 
An example of this attitude is a GP gets up front of everyone and said "we don't do fee based because we don't screw our clients!" I will not say his name but it rhymes with     Play Daily.
 
That is why many of us may hold resentment toward EJ on this matter among other things it is the word I continue to use SMUGNESS. As a Seinfeld episode so eloquently points out "smugness is not a good quality."
Jul 16, 2008 4:19 pm

You are correct.  That attitude was incredibly prevalent while Bachmann and Hill were running the company.  However, I believe that attitude has changed somewhat since Weddle took the helm.  Don't get me wrong, we still, as a group, believe we are the best thing that has ever happened to the brokerage business.  But, I'll bet you'd say the same thing about your own practice or company.  I wouldn't expect anything different. 


Bachmann and Hill made some big time errors because of their arrogance.  Bachmann is still an incredibly arrogant man.  I have no doubt in my mind that if John were still running the firm that we wouldnt' be having this discussion about fee based biz.  However, he's not, and we are.  Things have changed a bit at Jones.  IMHO much for the better.  
Jul 16, 2008 4:57 pm
Spaceman Spiff:

You are correct.  That attitude was incredibly prevalent while Bachmann and Hill were running the company.  However, I believe that attitude has changed somewhat since Weddle took the helm.  Don't get me wrong, we still, as a group, believe we are the best thing that has ever happened to the brokerage business.  But, I'll bet you'd say the same thing about your own practice or company.  I wouldn't expect anything different. 


Bachmann and Hill made some big time errors because of their arrogance.  Bachmann is still an incredibly arrogant man.  I have no doubt in my mind that if John were still running the firm that we wouldnt' be having this discussion about fee based biz.  However, he's not, and we are.  Things have changed a bit at Jones.  IMHO much for the better.  
 
Appreciate your candor Spiff.
My disagreement is that, no, I do not have that attitude nor do I belive it makes any sense to view anything that way. Know what you are great at and then do it over and over but don't be so arrogant to think that yours is the only way or you are the only one who can do it the right way.
I have not encountered that level of smugness anywhere else. However, EJ is still in business since I left so my assumption is they are doing OK.