Edward Jones

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Jun 29, 2007 2:37 am

Well, this is my first time posting on here.  I've read a lot of things about Edward Jones, mostly bad obviously.  A lot of the people who post on here make broad generalizations over the firm because of their individual experiences. 
 
Here are a few broad generalizations to keep in mind about Edward Jones :
    1. EJ FAs recently ranked #1 in overall satisfaction by JD power and
        Associates.  Those that make it was EJ are apparently very
        satisfied (most of them). 

    2. Highest ranking brokerage in BusinessWeek, "Customer Service
        Champs".

    3. #1 2005' and 2006' for investor satisfaction with full service
        brokerage firms by JD Power and Associates.

    4. #1 brokerage by Forrester Research in being advocates for
       our clients. 

    5. #1 full service brokerage in 2005 and #3 in 2006 by smartmoney
        magazine.

For the most part Edward Jones does what is right for the clients.  We are not the sexiest firm out there. We don't get extraordinary returns in great markets but we definitely keep pace capturing a good percentage of the upswings.  When the market is down, we generally perform better and don't take as big a hit as the market. 

So again, can someone tell me why EJ is so bad? Our advisers are happy and our clients are happy.  What more can anyone ask for?

Jun 29, 2007 7:13 am

go away.

Jun 29, 2007 8:30 am

Mr. Haidesu,


Compared to some of the other firms Jones was a great place to start.  I loved going on the trips.  I've been all over the world.  The BAD things about EDJ have been talked about extensively on these forums so I will not repeat. 


The only thing I can tell you is don't drink the KOOLAID it's spiked! 


 And make sure that when you make the statements above, please remember we veterans on this forum HATE the "Holier than thou,  we do what's best for our clients, we protect people in the down markets, etc" propaganda that the RL's and GP's feed to you and then you regurgitate.


Finally, EDJ is a good firm to start with but when you really start producing I don't think it's a great place to stay.  And based on the defection that has happened there are about 6000 people that agree with me over the past 5 years. 

Jun 29, 2007 9:34 am

Mr. Haidesu,


You are obviously new to EJ, I strongly suggest that you stay off this forum until your 3 yr obligation is complete and you've actually build a business.  If you stay here, you'll post about things you don't understand and don't need to until later.  Run laddy run.

Jun 29, 2007 11:14 am

I am not trying to come off like a saint here, sorry if I am.  The point is that I read a lot about how horrible conditions are for the FAs and how our clients are getting ripped off. 


Sure it's hard being a new FA, but it's the same at any firm.  Door knocking lasts 6-7 months and then you get to tone it down a lot depending on how smart and proactive someone is. 


And about the trips and regional meetings, I am not into those things at all.  I think they are dumb and they should just let us get on with our business....so I'm not some brainwashed dope. 


Again, to reiterate...people usually comments that our FAs are in sweatshop conditions and that our clients are getting shafted.  Third party research from reputable companies shows otherwise.  Where is this discrepancy coming from?

Jun 29, 2007 11:19 am

Let me guess...you are 23 years old, just out of college, and this is your first job?

Jun 29, 2007 11:35 am

I agree with others you should hold off making any brash statements until you have some time in the industry.


You know what it is eery?


I hear myself in your words several years ago.....Hang in there, learn but always sell yourself first. And listen to Spiked. A great place to learn, but at some point you will want out. Some do stay, and they are good soldiers like Spiff. But it is the exception. Most FA's leave. How else can you explain no growth over the last five years and training 200 reps per month. 


Your firm is full of conflicts. Now they disclose, before they didn't. If that makes you comfortable, have at it.

Jun 29, 2007 11:37 am

Let me ask you this...If I told my wife "we only need to by the beef at Penelopes Meat Shop, because it is the best for us and our family".  One day, my wife stops in at Penelope's and catches me in the back just goin to town with Penelope...Do you think she would be mad and want to leave me?  Hint..Revenue sharing...I didn't want her to go anywhere else because I was benefitting from using her meat..and mine. Now, I want you to understand, I was just awarded father of the year, Volunteer of the year, Championship Flight champ, little league coach of the year.  Pull the curtain back...see whats underneath, not just the propoganda they spew.  To be fair and balanced...they're okay to start your career with.

Jun 29, 2007 12:10 pm

All firms have skeletons in their closets and have conflicts to deal with.  I know we are not as clean and tidy as we would like to think.  Little growth in FAs yes, again this is a tough industry to get into and most people don't make it.  EJ hires 200 new people every month, so I know that obviously it's a very high percentage that don't make it. 


Bspears, that analogy doesn't make sense.  We are not making up any propaganda as you put it, these are rankings from other firms.  Revenue sharing...ok, what firm doesn't do something similar to this. 


My answers have yet to be answered.  Is all you anti-EJ simply based on the relatively low 40% payout?  It can't be due to our FA or client satisfaction... 

Jun 29, 2007 12:16 pm

Spears,


It's the sam old crap.  EDJ is one thing on the outside and completely different on the inside.  It's their way or the highway.  Just talked to friend who was doing tremendous business in his home town, not the town his office is in and he was told by the area leader to cease and desist and to refer those accounts to a local office.  What a load of S##T.  They don't truly want anyone to be really successful because that person might leave. 


The propoganda is just that...propoganda!!! Buyer beware.  But fair and balanced...Great place to start, great place to leave.

Jun 29, 2007 12:22 pm

Whats the latest on Eddie'e fee-based offering?
My main knock against Jones is the limited product offering.


Jun 29, 2007 12:33 pm

haidesu


I'll be happy to answer your question, but first a question for you.  What is your work experience? What did you do, if anything before going to EDJ?


It's not all about payout, as some seem to think.  It is about real life.  In my case, maybe enough due dilligence wasn't done.  I was hired by Merrill to work in a city where I didn't want to live (this is after 25 years ijn the military living many places I didn't want to be) so I opted out and went with EDJ, based purely on the propoganda and the koolaid spewing by the RL, besides they'd let me open an office in the town where I wanted to live.  That was great.


They didn't let me know "Mr 25 year retired military officer, we're going to treat you like a child and look at everything you're doing as if it's wrong until you can prove to us you are right."  They did say, "you can build your business your way." They didn't let me know, "as long as you repeat after them, 'if you've got 25K you should buy some today."  They didn't let me know a lot of things that occur on the inside that we don't want outsiders to know about.  They didn't tell me, we'll be sending wholesalers to talk to you to convince you to sel their products because their revenue sharing payment was higher.  I asked "what's revenue sharing." and was told, "don't worry about that, you're not getting a bonus right now.  just sell this so the GP's anf LPs bonuses can be higher."  I was told that Jones doesn't do things like charge clients a fee if they want to move their accounts...it's their money and they can have it managed whereever they want.  We're better than those other firms that do charge fees."  Then, oh by the way, now we've decided to charge people when they want to move their assets because it'll discourage them from leaving."  So much for letting the client do what the client feels is the best for them.


So no, it's not just about the lousy 38% (it sure ain't 40%) payout, it's about keeping info from the general emplolyee population unless we get caught mentality.  It's the let's brag about always doing wha't righ for the customer yet charge them as many fees as we can get by with.  It's the I could care less if you suceed or not because guys like you come and go and there will always be someone else waiting to fill your office attitude of the RLs and home office troops.


You guys who are still falling on your sword for the green and white are really so shallow, but I predict that someday you'll walk into your office with the multi-colored carpet and the one green wall and say what the h##l am I doing here and how soon can I leave.


SO, sit back, drink another cup of koolaid, and sell some CAIBX.

Jun 29, 2007 1:30 pm
FreeFromJones:

They didn't let me know "Mr 25 year retired military officer, we're going to treat you like a child and look at everything you're doing as if it's wrong until you can prove to us you are right."  They did say, "you can build your business your way." They didn't let me know, "as long as you repeat after them, 'if you've got 25K you should buy some today."  They didn't let me know a lot of things that occur on the inside that we don't want outsiders to know about.  They didn't tell me, we'll be sending wholesalers to talk to you to convince you to sel their products because their revenue sharing payment was higher.  I asked "what's revenue sharing." and was told, "don't worry about that, you're not getting a bonus right now.  just sell this so the GP's anf LPs bonuses can be higher."  I was told that Jones doesn't do things like charge clients a fee if they want to move their accounts...it's their money and they can have it managed whereever they want.  We're better than those other firms that do charge fees."  Then, oh by the way, now we've decided to charge people when they want to move their assets because it'll discourage them from leaving."  So much for letting the client do what the client feels is the best for them.



What did you want from Jones?  Did you want them to throw you out there with a phone book, no cold call script, no direction, nobody to answer to? Have fun!  Call us if you need anything!  How pissed would you have been then?


I have a hard time believing that anyone from Training or the Seg 1 folks made you feel like you were doing it wrong until you prove it to them.  In fact I'll bet that the trainers weren't really on your case until you weren't keeping up your end of the bargain. 


I also have a hard time believing that any wholesaler actually told you to sell anything based on revenue sharing.  Especially since you were so new you weren't getting a bonus.  I'd be suprised if any of the wholesalers did anything other than give you their sales material and tell you they'll do seminars and dinners for you.  And I've never personally heard anyone tell a new FA to sell something specifically because it generates revenue sharing for the firm.  If they were telling people that we wouldn't sell so much American funds.


I've never personally heard anyone in the know say that the reason we started charging transfer out fees on non IRA accounts was to discourage people from moving.  If people want to move, $50 isn't going to stand in their way.  BTW, $50 is lower than all of the major firms except LPL, who also charges $50.  With new leadership and new costs comes new fees.  Our fees are still on the low end of the industry.  It's probably just some bean counter seeing a small source of revenue and figuring it's adding to the bottom line.


Say what you will about Jones, the GPs, LPs and the flavor of the Kool-aid, but for the right people it's a great place to be.  The only legit knock against us right now is the lack of a fee based platform for the masses.  But you guys will probably complain about that when it rolls out too. 


Jun 29, 2007 1:30 pm

I've been in the industry roughly 5 years now, straight from college with a finance degree from one of the best b-schools in the nation.  Not to brag, but to let you know I am fairly analytical and know how to value companies and all the ins and outs of risk/return. 


Now, let me ask you, "What is so wrong with CAIBX?"  Are you saying it's not a good fund and that our clients are going to get burned by it? 


Anyways, like I said people here have obviously had bad experiences with EJ...but for those who make it it's great.  


You may ask yourself why they keep such a close eye on you all the time and make you feel at times like a child, but think about it.  You are in an office with no direct supervisor there monitoring you.  They have to monitor you somehow, I don't need to tell anyone here that this industry is highly regulated and rightly so.  We are dealing with individuals livelyhoods here.  EJ does have to watch it's own butt.


About charging a fee to move assets from EJ, we actually have the lowest fees amongst the top brokerage firms.  It's only $50, so I hardly think that's enough to desuade anyone who is truly unsatisfied with their broker. 


Too bad about your friend, that is a crap situation.  It's something that strikes me as odd because most FAs that I know have accounts all over, sure 60-70% are around their area but the rest is from neighboring towns or even out of state.  Some RLs can be idiots like that, but for the most part they don't care because they know you worked hard for those accounts.   


We do have a limited product offering compared to some of our competitors.  We only follow about 300 stocks and we have 8 preferred fund families.  But honestly, how many stocks and mutual funds do you need to keep track of.  Those that are in our preferred list are damn good.  I focus on AF, GS and FT.  They give me all that I need to properly allocate funds.  They have everything from aggressive to conservative to income. 


Before I get blasted on my narrow mindedness of only using those preferred funds, let me say that I did extensive research into outside mutual fund families.  Yes, there are some out there that are great that we can't hold, but by and large most others are just crap or they only have 1-2 funds that are good. 


Yes we do get wholesalers to come talk to us...but what firm doesn't have wholesalers talk to them?  That's not a good point to make.  Of course their goal and how they get paid is for the broker to sell their products, but it's the brokers choice and if it fits with the client needs.  For me, meeting with wholesalers is part of the business and it's fairly good to see what they have to offer...then I decide if it's appropriate.


No, I don't drink any koolaid, and to be honest I've never actually had any.  I just can't seem to get an answer that satisfies my questions.  I don't have a particular answer in mind, so it's not like I only want to see what I want, but when I see a response that really makes sense to me I'll know it. 


Please let me know exactly how it is that I'm being shallow.


Again, to my shame...I've been a lurker here for at least 2 years.  I have read every single thing people have to say about EJ.  But still no response has really made sense as to the overwhelming disdain.  Is it mainly because some FAs act like we are saints who have never stumbled along the way?

Jun 29, 2007 1:49 pm

Spiff,


I'm happy that you've never heard a wholesaler pitch his product based on revenue sharing or bps trails but I've heard it on many occassions, not so much after all the revenue sharing crap came out but I have, plenty of times before.


I also agree that it's a great place for some and some will never leave. I believe you will be one of those.  I hope you do very well and live a nice life.


Some of us have been faced with BS before and know what it is and know what it smells like.  Maybe my region was just full of BS, I don't know but it sounds like your region actually has some decent folks in it.  To me, it just stunk and it was time to leave.


haidesu


I hope you do well in life and everyone has to start somewhere.  Coming from a top b-school doesn't give you a leg-up though, you have to earn it by working hard. You are showing shallowness by refusing to think that anyone could have a legitimate beef against Jones and that if we say bad things about EDJ, we're just disgruntled failures who moved on to another firm because we couldn't hack it at Jones. Just because "you've never heard anyone say that or seen anyone do that" doesn't mean it ain't so.


Sorry to use CAIBX as an example.  Great fund but not "the fund" for everyone.  I still have quite a bit on the books.


Life is good away from Jones and I'm sure you're happy at Jones.  So be it.  We must simply agree to disagree.

Jun 29, 2007 1:51 pm

It must be Friday and we're all sitting around twiddling our thumbs posting too much on this board.  Get to work!!

Jun 29, 2007 1:54 pm

"I've been in the industry roughly 5 years now, straight from college with a finance degree from one of the best b-schools in the nation.  Not to brag, but to let you know I am fairly analytical and know how to value companies and all the ins and outs of risk/return."


Very impressive.  Sounds to me like you are ready to sit for the CFA.


In case you haven't figured it out yet, this industry doesn't care where you went to school.  

Jun 29, 2007 2:06 pm
Gone Indy:

"I've been in the industry roughly 5 years now, straight from college with a finance degree from one of the best b-schools in the nation.  Not to brag, but to let you know I am fairly analytical and know how to value companies and all the ins and outs of risk/return."


Very impressive.  Sounds to me like you are ready to sit for the CFA.


In case you haven't figured it out yet, this industry doesn't care where you went to school.  



Not true...where you went to school can open doors.

Jun 29, 2007 2:07 pm

To be fair I never said anything about those who leave or quit being failures.  I said they didn't have great experiences, or at least something to that effect.  I know this is hard work and I know great people who don't make it, and by no means would I call them failures.  So somehow you must've gotten my remarks mixed up. 


Ok, yes it makes sense that some pople have bad experiences and that they reflect that into what they write.  My question is that this forum has a deep set disdain for EJ and it's not just ex-Jones people.  What exactly makes us the laughing stock or a "third-tier" brokerage. 


Again, I understand some people were crapped on at EJ...I highly doubt this isn't true at every firm.  I'm sure they have a legitimate beef with EJ, there is no mistaking that, But why are these individual instances used to make a broad generalization about EJ FAs being unsatisfied and our clients being shafted?


Maybe I'm just not being clear enough.


The reference about being from a top b-school was just to say that I'm not ignorant about the ins and outs of investments and that im actually very informed about it.


I know this has absolutely no bearing in how successful I become becuase mostly this is information that never reaches the clients. 


I have to say I am surprised I haven't really been blasted on here.  Thanks for the actual communication and not just saying, "whatever queer", or something to that effect.

Jun 29, 2007 2:21 pm

But still no response has really made sense as to the overwhelming disdain


Well, here's my response. I disdain liars and doubletalkers.  EDJ lied to me and misrepresented what the business model would be like once I was actually in the office.  Everyone from the recruiter, to the regional leader lied. Later I found out that they used their insider status to hold off and give plum offices and goodnight programs to their own relatives who had never been in the industry instead of offering them to transfer brokers like myself.   They lied and hid the information that those offices were even available.  The profit and loss statement (ha...there's a joke) is made to be purposely obscure and difficult to figure out, another deception.  The push to recruit other patsies  ....I mean brokers... for a few points to get some stupid trip was distasteful.  


Running your own business, they say.  Well of course, that doesn't mean freewheeling and doing anything you want without compliance oversight.  But to me running my own business didn't mean being forced to go to regional and mini regional meetings, forced to do call sessions when I was well into the green revenue wise and all the other feel good do nothing meetings that wasted my time. 


Thankfully I wasn't pestered by wholesalers in the office, just on the phone, because my office was more rural.  But I also heard the revenue sharing pitch. which didn't make any difference to me in what products I offered.