H&r block

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Nov 27, 2005 11:08 pm

Hi,


Can anyone provide a reason NOT to consider H&R Block?  I recently had an interview with one of their local "Financial Advisors" and have to admit I was surprisingly impressed with the overall operation from the payout right down to the technolgy that they use. To be honest, I couldn't believe what I was seeing or hearing. They also have their leads hand fed to them from their Tax service, what a great way to start your pitch. I have done extensive research on a lot of firms but most did not feel right. I'm basically looking for a reason to move on past HRB, but my gut feeling is telling me to look no further. Thanks in advance for your response. 


Danny    


Nov 27, 2005 11:23 pm

The only negative thing I can offer is that in our area, at least, H&R Block does not work with what I would consider high-end prospects.  Typically, higher-income/more complex clients go to local CPAs and shun H&R Block for tax prep, as our H&R Block offices do not have a good reputation for quality tax advice (no CPAs there).  My guess is that most of your leads would be $4,000 IRA deposits, at best.

Nov 27, 2005 11:54 pm

Good Point Indy Thanks for your feedback. I am licensed and have about 5 years of industry experience. Looking to start somewhere. I talked to EDJ and I have gotten to the point where they have asked me to start the door knocking and look for a market area but I can't overcome the A OR b shares that they push, or any of their 

proprietary products for that matter. I don't think I would sell that crap to my dog or his fleas! At HRB, they have a managed account platform + you are free to recommend any suitable investment. Could use some sound advice from a pro, like yourself. 
 
Thanks again,
Danny
Nov 28, 2005 1:22 am

Well, beyond what I just told you, I know pretty much nothing about the HRB platform or operating structure.  I know a bit more about Jones after taking a look at them a few years back.  I too, didn't see anything appealing about a Jones office...just wasn't a good fit for how I do business at all.  Good to see that Block has a fee-based platform and gives you some freedom in recommending product.


Whether I'm a "pro" is debatable, at least in some minds, but the best advice I can give you is to resist signing any restrictive non-compete contract.  A non-solicit is bad enough, but a non-compete is almost a death sentence in my view.  Assuming you don't have to sign a non-compete, if things end up not being what you imagined, at least you have the opportunity to move on to other (greener?) pastures.


If you're lucky, someone with some H&R Block experience will spy this post and clue you in on the finer points of their business model...good luck...

Nov 28, 2005 8:27 am

Do yourself a favor and stay away form HRB. Demographically it will be a loser for you.

Nov 28, 2005 9:27 am

Do yourself a favor and stay away form HRB. Demographically it will be a loser for you.


EZ,


Not to call you out, this is not my intent(seriously). Can you tell me a little how you have come to this conclusion? Have you interviewed with them? What value can you add that would  able me formulate an opinion?


Thanks,


Danny


Nov 28, 2005 9:35 am

most on here are like ez. ill-informed about HRBFA. he thinks HRB only does business with the eic crowd or people who need their tax refund.  that enough shows how little he knows. what he doesn't know and most advisors don't know is what you have already heard from HRBFA. my advice to you is a. not come here for advice. this place is a mostly a bunch of clowns b. trust your instinct.   Good luck with your decision!!

Nov 28, 2005 10:26 am

HRB took over Olde, a somewhat discount broker, a few years ago.  Now they've been doing some heavy duty recruiting and apparently had some success bringing over some bigger producers.


That being said, I sorta doubt they're going to really help you get to the prospects you want.  I think it'll be like the low-end part of the bank crowd.

Nov 28, 2005 10:27 am

"most on here are like ez. ill-informed about HRBFA. he thinks HRB only does business with the eic crowd or people who need their tax refund.  that enough shows how little he knows. what he doesn't know and most advisors don't know is what you have already heard from HRBFA. my advice to you is a. not come here for advice. this place is a mostly a bunch of clowns b. trust your instinct.   Good luck with your decision!"


What an intelligent response. Care to enlighten the clowns on why H&R is so wonderful????

Nov 28, 2005 11:03 am

I was w/EJ for 3+ years and talked to HRB about 2 years in.  My sense was that you could certainly build a decent income, albeit likely with more of a higher volume business than elsewhere (somewhat true at EJ also).  My feeling is that clients generated on my own were more valuable than those leads handed to me...that system certainly has potential, but I wasn't enough of a risk-taker to be towards the leading edge of exploiting the opportunity.  However, if you're willing to give up some long-term upside, one could argue it's as good a place as any to start out.


I can tell that you EJ would give you good prospecting training, which I don't hear much of anywhere else....I moved to a wirehouse w/a nice transition package, so it worked out well for me (HRB also had/has an incentive of sorts to move).  The beauty of being able to prospect is that if all my clients left me tomorrow, I could get more--that's a nice, secure feeling (although I don't plan to lose all my clients!).  Although I agree you should listen to your instincts, I also think you're wise to try and do some homework before you sign on somewhere.


The main challenge when you're new--wherever you are--is to get enough people to trust you w/their hard earned (or luckily inherited, etc) money so you can survive long enough to be viable...it's a tough road.  Can be done, but requires intestinal fortitude, patience, ideally a second household income (even if modest) for a few years, etc etc.  I believe anyone that tells you otherwise is playing the victim (those that don't make it) or IS a victim of tunnel vision (ex: "I made it at ML, so this MUST be the ONLY place to be!").  Substitue any firm for ML and you get the picture.


There's my ten cents...keep the change!

Nov 28, 2005 11:12 am

HRB aint a big player at the moment (and may never be), but I contend that doesn't mean much for a newbie....plenty of lazy ex "big name" firm brokers out there who prove it's easy to fail no matter how good the name is.  I think the commoditization of products makes that less of an issue though.  And if you know what you're doing, you can build relationships despite a "lower end" name....yeah, all your $5mil prospects might prefer ML or SB to HRB or a bank branch, but oh well if that's the problem you're facing.  When you actually HAVE some clients, it's a helluva lot easier to explain to them why ML has begged you to come on board (and leave HRB) than it is to develop the relationship in the first place.  To borrow an old phrase, "the first $10m AUM is the hardest"...and by a couple orders of magnitude.

Nov 28, 2005 10:20 pm

I made a move to HRBFA this past year and can't be happier.

Here, I feel like a member of the growing team and not some

wirehouse schlep. I've been growing my business through

referrals from my tax partners. When I call their clients, they

know why I am calling. Yes, you will find a bunch of smaller

accounts but there are big ones too! So far this year, I've done

two 500k+ rollovers, 2 100k annuities, several life insurance

policies and I'm in the mix on a huuuggggee 1031 real estate

exchange.

Nov 28, 2005 11:23 pm

In a whole year all you have to brag about is 2 500K rollovers and 2 100K VA??? Wow you must be knocking the cover off the ball...... I sure am glad I don't compete with you.

Nov 29, 2005 10:27 am

I also advise you to take what these people say here with a grain of salt. So far there has not been one solid reason given to you as to why HRBFA is a solid place to be. For one, they have a great range of products to offer, non preferred, and highly competitive with the likes of wachovia and morgan stanley.


Second, you get paid on every dollar of your business. None of this " you won't see a dime if the account is lower than 30k". I see people make A LOT of money and HRBFA and in the two eyars I've known them, I've only seen the top producers in wachovia leave to go there as well as MS.


Back office is awesome. Have a problem, there's a direct line there for you. Need to talk to someone on the higher chain of command to share your thoughts ideas etc? Done. You are not another number.


What truly boggles my brain is this generalization that people with money do not have money. Suggestion: read "the millionaire next door" Not everyone in this country flashes their money around and is looking for instant gratification of spending their money when they do not have to. HRBFA FA's have access to w2 forms to know how much money a prospect has. It is important for you to have the manager interviewing you to show you some examples of some of the leads they've worked in their area.


Look, in the end, I can guarantee you there are million dollar teams at HRBFA. I know a lot of them. Call these folks and ask them what it is they're doing. Truly, no matter where you go, it's ultimately up to you how successful your business is. IT is the people that make the company, not vice versa. In my opinion, I don't remember seeing an abundance of negative press the likes of which ML recieve nor have I heard of HRBFA cutting their payouts to their workers (see smith barney).


Any other questions?

Nov 29, 2005 10:29 am

sorry, meant to say: What truly boggles my brain is this generalization that people who ahve their taxes done at hrb offices do not have money.

Nov 29, 2005 12:12 pm
anabuhabkuss:

 Suggestion: read "the millionaire next door" Not everyone in this country flashes their money around and is looking for instant gratification of spending their money when they do not have to.


Actually the book you reference says that people who have money are usually willing to pay for good advice vs people who go to the cheapest place in town to have their taxes done. It goes into detail about how many educated high income households invest online or with a discount broker, and do their own taxes or pay a chop shop to do them cheaply.


  Second, a W-2 tells you how much money people make, not how much they have. Big difference there.  If anything, the Millionaire Next Door makes a stronger case for staying away from HRB than moving to it.

Nov 29, 2005 12:23 pm
anabuhabkuss:

.


What truly boggles my brain is this generalization that people with money do not have money. Suggestion: read "the millionaire next door" Not everyone in this country flashes their money around and is looking for instant gratification of spending their money when they do not have to. HRBFA FA's have access to w2 forms to know how much money a prospect has. It is important for you to have the manager interviewing you to show you some examples of some of the leads they've worked in their area.


Any other questions?



Sorry I just had to continue.  I never considered going to my CPA to be flashing my money around.  I just consider it a small price to pay to keep as much of my money as I can.


Millionaire, also says that the largest percentage of millionaires are business owners.  How many business owners have HRB do their taxes?

Nov 29, 2005 1:13 pm
anabuhabkuss:

sorry, meant to say: What truly boggles my brain is this generalization that people who ahve their taxes done at hrb offices do not have money.


Having lived here all my life and being a CPA myself, and knowing pretty much all the successful ones in town, I can say without any hesitation that the local H&R block offices don't do much (if any) in the way of what I would consider high-end returns.  I have yet to com across an A client or prospect that has H&R block for a tax preparer.  It could certainly be different in your community, but that is one thing I would want to know more about before I made a move...

Nov 29, 2005 3:46 pm

exdrone, no offense or anything, but stiop analyzing a small point of a bigger topic. The guy was asking about HRBFA, and while you might have brought some of the points made in that book in thto the open, it does not help with the topic on hand.


but to comment:


Your quote: "I never considered going to my CPA to be flashing my money around.  I just consider it a small price to pay to keep as much of my money as I can. "


that's fine. That's you. how does that stay on topic and help this poor guy out?


I know people with so much money that it boggles my mind when they start taking in coupons to eat at McDonald's. What's your point? Not everyone spends money the way You DO. That was mine. And granted, while that is a nice way to look at it, go and tell that to brokers at Morgan Stanley and Wachovia who get hit with penalty fees. Reputation can only go so far, and in this day in age, when people don't trust other people with their hard earned cash, i find it hard to believe (and prove) that ML can do a better job than a HRBFA can.


Here's an idea, how about stop chasing all these old cronies who are about to die (since every fa on the street is chasing them)with huge accounts and start working on their beneficiaries. We can scream "DIVERSIFICATION" to our customers all day until their faces turn blue, yet everyone is chasing these huge accounts. I believe reputation plays an integral role at some point. I also believe in a fine balance in volume and quantity. That's just me. and because of my standpoint, i would say that hrbfa is a decent place to be.


oh well, either way, best of luck to you all.


Nov 29, 2005 5:02 pm

Generalization - H&R Block clients are small fries.  Reality -
to some extent this is true.  I know H&R Block tax preparers
who do some higher end stuff.  H&R Block DOES have some
knowledgeable employees.  Are they all?  HECK NO!  It
would be important to see what sort of operation H&R Block runs in
your area.  It may be they are the joke of tax prep, in some areas
they aren't considered all that bad.  Do your own research. 
There is a major difference between franchises and company owned
locations.



My problem with H&R Block Financial is that they aren't very
profitable as an organization.  Review the company itself and see
if you think they will continue in this area or sell it off.  I
read last year that they were considering closing it down.  This
may have been 100% rumor and false so don't count on it.



I took an H&R Block tax course a few years ago and was asked twice
to interview for an open branch management position.  I took the
EA exam 10 months later and was asked by 2 H&R Block people to
interview for the opening as they were still desperate.  Rather
scary to me that they would be desperate to fill a position for almost
an entire year.



Whatever you chose and wherever you chose to hang up your shingle,
success is your responsibility and not that of your firms.  It's
what you make of it and H&R Block may very well be the perfect fit
for you.