Fallen From Grace

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Jan 16, 2007 4:04 pm

What happened to the mighty Jones?  According to the recent poll in Fortune they are now just the 29th best place to work (down from 16th last year).  Once a 2 year in a row winner of #1 then kicked out for a year because of the questionable revenue sharing issues, to be number 29 is a big fall.  The statistic of average salaried pay is $75616 (this is where the IR fits in).  So with over 9000 IRs there must be quiet a few that make far below that to hold the average salary that low.  Maybe it's time to stop blowing their own horn about how great they are.

Jan 16, 2007 5:54 pm

You've really got to be stretching to call this one a negative.  Let's flip the coin.  There were 446 companies that were invited to participate in this survey.  Jones ranked 29th.  We were one of four  brokerage firms to make the top 100.  Goldman at #26, Amex at #74  and AGE made it in at #99.  There were a small group  of other non broker financial companies and banks.  Rarely in this survey does a company stay in the top 10 consistently.  If my memory serves correctly, we were the only company to hit #1 twice in a row.  There are only a handful that have  been able to stayin the top 100 since they started the survey.  So, if you are a survey believer, and obviously you are, not only are we one of the best companies in general to work for, but we are also the best brokerage firm to work for (see RR broker report cards year after year for confirmation.)  You know who I don't see on the list?  ML, Morgan, LPL, RJ, UBS, SB, BAC, WB, et al. 


As to the average salary, I'm going to venture a guess to say that IR  pay is not in the mix.  I say that because the most common job listed is Senior Programmer Analyst.  I can't imagine that there are more computer geeks than IRs.  So, what you see as a negative, maybe trying to further harbor some resentments, those of us at Jones see as a positive.       

Jan 16, 2007 10:44 pm

I'd give LPL high marks, but...I'm  not an EMPLOYEE...

Jan 17, 2007 12:24 am
Indyone:

I'd give LPL high marks, but...I'm  not an EMPLOYEE...



And if Jones is on the top 100 companies to work FOR, how does that make you your own boss?

Jan 17, 2007 8:43 am

Spiffy,


You've drank so much koolaid that your eyes are pink!


Why is it if someone has something negative to say about Jones that we are harboring resentment.  There's no resentment here just throwing in the BS flag.   Jones IS NOT the best place to work, especially on the IR side.  Maybe they do a great job taking care of the home office staff or the janitors, but the IR is the second class citizen there.  Touted as the only profit center, but they are definitely not the most important "employee". If the salary of the IR isn't included, then maybe the votes of any IRs shouldn't be included either.  It's really just another survey that really doesn't mean a thing when you really look at it and how the rankings bounce around.

Jan 17, 2007 10:37 am
FreeFromJones:

Spiffy,


You've drank so much koolaid that your eyes are pink!


Why is it if someone has something negative to say about Jones that we are harboring resentment. - In your particular case, and you're not unique on this forum, it's the FreeFromJones nametag you put on yourself.  I don't see a lot of FormerIndy or Used2BMerrill here.  Then there's the Jones bashing you guys like to do.  You guys are the ones who keep bringing up things that happen at Jones.  Psych 101 tells me that you have some resentment issues to work out, otherwise you really wouldn't care what happens at Jones.  There's no resentment here just throwing in the BS flag.   Jones IS NOT the best place to work, especially on the IR side.  - That's your opinion, not factual information.  I think, for me, it is the best place to work.  Maybe they do a great job taking care of the home office staff or the janitors, but the IR is the second class citizen there. - I wouldn't call myself a second class citizen.  There's no question that the goal for a lot of Jones people is to be GP, but that doesn't make IR's second class citizens.  Touted as the only profit center, but they are definitely not the most important "employee". - Maybe you didn't feel that way when you were here, but there's no doubt that there are no more important employees at Jones than IRs.  While GPs make a lot of money, they don't bring any in.   If the salary of the IR isn't included, then maybe the votes of any IRs shouldn't be included either.  It's really just another survey that really doesn't mean a thing when you really look at it and how the rankings bounce around.



It's a great place to work.  Not the highest paying, not the most prestigous, not even the best location for a home office.  But still a great place to work.  BTW, the kool aid is green, not pink.

Jan 17, 2007 10:39 am
Indyone:

I'd give LPL high marks, but...I'm  not an EMPLOYEE...



You're right, I shouldn't have lumped LPL and RJ in with the rest.  My apologies to the indies out there. 

Jan 17, 2007 10:56 am

Spiff,


You're right! It is my opinion, and I like everyone have one. If you want to disagree with me, you have the right to be incorrect in your assessment.


Jan 17, 2007 11:19 am

Resentment or no resentment, here is my question.  Why do you all think that so many people have a bad taste in their mouth from Jones, and not other firms nearly as much?  Both sides feel free to chime in.  By the way I'm not really hoping for specific problems like 1% advertising. (since we've heard most of them numerous times)  I'm interested in more of a theory or overall philosophy as to why so many people bash them. 


Personally, I think the major issues are an unwillingness to change with the times and not listening to the needs and wants of the IRs.  I feel as the IR sticks around he/she gets more and more angry at all the problems and just builds up a dislike that stays with them after they are gone.  (I know that is happening with me right now.)  I also think that in the next 5-10 yrs they will make up a lot of ground based on what I've seen with Weddle.  (Although I don't think I can wait 5-10yrs to see if my theory is correct.)        

Jan 17, 2007 12:16 pm
Spaceman Spiff:
Indyone:

I'd give LPL high marks, but...I'm  not an EMPLOYEE...

You're right, I shouldn't have lumped LPL and RJ in with the rest.  My apologies to the indies out there.


Awww, Spiff, you don't owe me any apology...I'm just pointing out why it's doubtful you'll ever see LPL show up in that survey...while there are employees in the home office, LPL is a relatively small employer, but a good size...for lack of a better term, franchiser.


At any rate, I think your responses are pretty reasonable and I don't harbor any ill will Jonesies such as yourself and Broker24.  It's the ones like Butkus and DCedjones that irritate me and others.


As far as why some are happy and some are not, I think it comes down to a couple of fundamental issues...(1)fit between the rep and the firm, and (2) what was represented when the rep signed on.  From what I've read, some reps were presented an honest picture, and some received the snowball treatment...that probably depends on the honesty of the recruiter in each case.  I certainly wouldn't take what a corporate website said about a firm as the gospel truth.  In fact, when I was deciding between LPL and RJ, I asked each firm for names of people who had left one firm for the other and spoke directly to those references.  In the end, it didn't help the decision process much, as virtually everyone I spoke to told me that both firms were fine operations, but at least I had independent confirmation of that.


Anyone considering any firm should probably make a real effort to speak to both current and former employees to get an honest picture of what the firm is like.  Odds are, the real firm lies somewhere between the Kool-Aid and the bile...

Jan 17, 2007 2:06 pm
FreeFromJones:

Spiff,


You're right! It is my opinion, and I like everyone have one. If you want to disagree with me, you have the right to be incorrect in your assessment.




Interesting thing, opinions.  They quickly turn to "facts" with no basis in the truth. 


I've asked the question a couple of times on this forum and I have yet to get an answer.  So, I'll ask it again.  Why do those of you who left Jones care so much about what happens or doesn't happen at Jones?  If you left, why not stop talking about them.  If I get divorced the last thing I want to do is keep talking about my ex wife.  I want to pick up my stuff and move on. 

Jan 17, 2007 2:38 pm

I have the dead horse do you need to borrow a stick to beat or did you bring your own? 

Jan 17, 2007 3:08 pm

I forget who said it (sorry, don't feel like hitting BACK button), but there is some truth to the statement about what was represented by Jones and what is reality.  The unfortunate part is that it is really up to the candidate to do their own due diligence.  Many new IR's are so damn green in busines AND life that they don't understand that every firm always puts their best foot forward (this industry or any industry).  I have been snowballed in previous jobs before I knew enough to ask the tough questions.  I am fortunate in that I have the life and career experience to have done about 9 months of research before I settled on Jones.  I knew (though I couldn't pinpoint how) at the time that the salary projections were probably somehow inflated.  Now, they are very achievable if you build your business fast and well.  But I also think those numbers lump in Goodknight IR's and new IR's that take over an office (thus not a true picture of a "new/new" income trajectory).  Is it deceptive?  Sort of, but not really.  These days, MORE new hires become Goodknights or take over offices than start new/new.  Jones' long-term goal is that no new hires start new/new.  I think that's a respectable goal.  It's a win/win for everyone.  It's similar to many of the recommendations I have seen about joing teams or starting as a Jr.  When I went through my training at the beginning, I was one of only 2 new/new's out of 15 in my class.  3 are gone, and me and the other new/new were offered Goodknight plans after about 9 months of selling (by vet's that wanted to do one and were waiting to see how we did).  So, officially EVERYONE in my class had a Goodknight or existing office to take over.  All are doing well (OK, everyone is surviving so far).


But here's the interesting part...almost everyone going Indy has experience in this business (generally a prereq), so they know EXACTLY what they are getting into when they jump.  A much better position to be in.  It's sort of the 20/20 hindsight thing.  Most people do not stay with the same firm their whole careers, so in reality, it's the same pretty much everywhere (as far as not being what you expected, or not making it, etc.).


I will admit, I feel bad for some new/new's that I meet that I know are all gushing and enthusiastic.  They don't really know what lies ahead for them.  But it wouldn't have worked out much differently anywhere else.  And I think they have a better chance of making it here (though they eventually may not net as much income as elsewhere).


Anyway, I think many people on this forum stretch the "truth" a bit as far as how "awful" it is at Jones.  Or maybe they haven't been at Jones in many years (and seen some of the positive change), or possibly were in one of those difficult regions (again, I am fortunate - I like my region, and we don't have many required "kool-aid" parties).  But, I guess we are all forwarding our own agendas a bit.  Who knows, one day I may be bitchin' about paying for my toilet paper....

Jan 17, 2007 3:32 pm

b24-


When the guy who gets the 100M office shows up and is the instant go-to person for advise on how to build a practice, then you will start to question. Oh and by the way, he/she is either related to a GP or has some inside track not available to the masses.


Or when the firm admits no wrongdoing and pays 200 Million for the right to continue its pay GP's for IR shelf space game.


Or when you realize the 1.5% haircut that Jones takes before you split 60-40 on annuities.


Or the supervision quagmire. Some get it, and others skate by somehow.


The pompous GP's.


Or the realization as an employee only you or the customer are liable for mistakes. Never the firm you represent.


When you try to fade off into the sunset into retirement and the firm tells you to work four more years, and splits your office into small offices all under the smokescreen that the client is better served.


Did I forget to mention the credit or assets that you had to use in order to get the practice rolling, as an employee.


Paying 1% for those ads we see on cable every night.


I am sure I am forgetting a whole lot of issues, but suffice to say that when you are new it is a fine place. Once you have been there for a few years plan your exit. The firm would prefer it and it will be far better for you and your clients.


Jan 17, 2007 5:04 pm
footsoldier:

b24-


When the guy who gets the 100M office shows up and is the instant go-to person for advise on how to build a practice, then you will start to question. Oh and by the way, he/she is either related to a GP or has some inside track not available to the masses.


Good point.  Never seen it happen, but I'm sure it does on occassion (let's be real - not too many $100M offices are being handed out).  I'll hate the guy, but more power to him.  If I inherited 100mil, I'd take it.  He can give all the advice he wants.  I'll just file it.


Or when the firm admits no wrongdoing and pays 200 Million for the right to continue its pay GP's for IR shelf space game.


Not the only firm that does this, and not the only firm that's done something wrong.  Again, I guess I just have thick skin.


Or when you realize the 1.5% haircut that Jones takes before you split 60-40 on annuities.


True.  I don't really do much annuity business, so I don't care.


Or the supervision quagmire. Some get it, and others skate by somehow.


Not sure what this means.  I have no problems, but I guess some do.


The pompous GP's.


Again, don't care.


Or the realization as an employee only you or the customer are liable for mistakes. Never the firm you represent.


I'll be real careful.


When you try to fade off into the sunset into retirement and the firm tells you to work four more years, and splits your office into small offices all under the smokescreen that the client is better served.


Thank god I have a long time to think about this one.  I'll probably go Indy before then, anyway.  I'm tired of paying for toilet paper.


Did I forget to mention the credit or assets that you had to use in order to get the practice rolling, as an employee.


I guess I've done well enough (and I live well below my means) to not have to dip into my assets (and I don't use credit other than for the CC points and my mortgage).


Paying 1% for those ads we see on cable every night.


I think we addressed this one.


I am sure I am forgetting a whole lot of issues, but suffice to say that when you are new it is a fine place. Once you have been there for a few years plan your exit. The firm would prefer it and it will be far better for you and your clients.


OK.  Not sure how it will be better for the firm and my clients, but I'll take your word on it.

Jan 17, 2007 5:40 pm
Broker24:

I forget who said it (sorry, don't feel like hitting BACK button), but there is some truth to the statement about what was represented by Jones and what is reality.  The unfortunate part is that it is really up to the candidate to do their own due diligence.  Many new IR's are so damn green in busines AND life that they don't understand that every firm always puts their best foot forward (this industry or any industry).  I have been snowballed in previous jobs before I knew enough to ask the tough questions.  I am fortunate in that I have the life and career experience to have done about 9 months of research before I settled on Jones.  I knew (though I couldn't pinpoint how) at the time that the salary projections were probably somehow inflated.  Now, they are very achievable if you build your business fast and well.  But I also think those numbers lump in Goodknight IR's and new IR's that take over an office (thus not a true picture of a "new/new" income trajectory).  Is it deceptive?  Sort of, but not really.  These days, MORE new hires become Goodknights or take over offices than start new/new.  Jones' long-term goal is that no new hires start new/new.  I think that's a respectable goal.  It's a win/win for everyone.  It's similar to many of the recommendations I have seen about joing teams or starting as a Jr.  When I went through my training at the beginning, I was one of only 2 new/new's out of 15 in my class.  3 are gone, and me and the other new/new were offered Goodknight plans after about 9 months of selling (by vet's that wanted to do one and were waiting to see how we did).  So, officially EVERYONE in my class had a Goodknight or existing office to take over.  All are doing well (OK, everyone is surviving so far).


But here's the interesting part...almost everyone going Indy has experience in this business (generally a prereq), so they know EXACTLY what they are getting into when they jump.  A much better position to be in.  It's sort of the 20/20 hindsight thing.  Most people do not stay with the same firm their whole careers, so in reality, it's the same pretty much everywhere (as far as not being what you expected, or not making it, etc.).


I will admit, I feel bad for some new/new's that I meet that I know are all gushing and enthusiastic.  They don't really know what lies ahead for them.  But it wouldn't have worked out much differently anywhere else.  And I think they have a better chance of making it here (though they eventually may not net as much income as elsewhere).


Anyway, I think many people on this forum stretch the "truth" a bit as far as how "awful" it is at Jones.  Or maybe they haven't been at Jones in many years (and seen some of the positive change), or possibly were in one of those difficult regions (again, I am fortunate - I like my region, and we don't have many required "kool-aid" parties).  But, I guess we are all forwarding our own agendas a bit.  Who knows, one day I may be bitchin' about paying for my toilet paper....



You make some good and level headed points.

I think some of your comrades who post are pretty self righteous, and that is what-in part-generates some of the flak.  That, and it seems that your company seems to engender some pretty strong feelings in its indy former IR's.

It's nice to be able to buy toilet paper and deduct it pretax against your 1099.

Jan 18, 2007 9:03 am

Spiffy,


     It's not so much that we care about what goes on at Jones, but that those who are considering Jones as a place of employment, that they understand the facts.  They will be an employee.  They won't have all the freedom that is touted on the webpage and they probably won't reach the income levels illustrated in the amount of time stated on the webpage.  They will have to put up with a lot of BS and will be asked to drink a lot of koolaid to be a member of the one big happy family. Spiff, you can't keep asking everyone to buy into the hype at first to just see them walk out the door when they figure it out.  Oh, I forgot, that's the way Jones adds offices to its totals and eventually builds that office to a succcess...on top of the shouldersa of several new IRs who buy into the BS and then leave when they figure it out.  Really, besides my friends that I still have at Jones here in town, I could care less if Jones stays or goes.  Maybe Weddle it setting you up for a buy out.  Yes, you should keep that in mind since the current leadership doesn't have the same devotion to the firm as Ted and Bachman did.