Life after Jones?

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Jul 15, 2009 7:47 pm

I've heard it said many times that Jones is a 'great place to start.'
What does it lead to? How about some success stories from those who have moved on?



Jul 15, 2009 7:55 pm

Jones is not only a great place to start, but the best place to finish.....1st

Jul 15, 2009 8:10 pm

Why stay with edj???????

 
FORTUNE "Best Places to Work"
#1 in 2002 and 2003 (first time by any company to ever get #1 two years in a row)
 
#4 in 2004 and 2008
 
and #2 in 2009.......
 
need I say more.......
Jul 15, 2009 8:35 pm

Oh brother. Here we go.....

Jul 15, 2009 8:43 pm

Just out of curiosity, if it's the best place to work why is there such high turnover at edj and why are there so many edj whiners on this web site?



Just asking...

Jul 15, 2009 8:47 pm

Sorry, was hoping this could be a positive thread.


Jul 15, 2009 10:34 pm

At least Edward Jones is still here, profitable and growing.  Many other firms don't exist any longer.  Perhaps we should all be greatful for our jobs!

Jul 15, 2009 10:55 pm
Bear:

At least Edward Jones is still here, profitable and growing. Many other firms don't exist any longer. Perhaps we should all be greatful for our jobs!





You should calm down the statements, since last i heard there is no bonus again(there is your lack of profitability).



I think one of the reasons for best places to work, is all the back office people who have it made(isn't there some guy in IT, who has tons of GP) much easier to get a partnership working in the home office, then in the field.



Left quite some time ago to focus on fee and different product lines that jones doesn't offer. Couldn't be happier.

Jul 15, 2009 11:00 pm
Squash1:
Bear:

At least Edward Jones is still here, profitable and growing.  Many other firms don't exist any longer.  Perhaps we should all be greatful for our jobs!





You should calm down the statements, since last i heard there is no bonus again(there is your lack of profitability).



I think one of the reasons for best places to work, is all the back office people who have it made(isn't there some guy in IT, who has tons of GP) much easier to get a partnership working in the home office, then in the field.



Left quite some time ago to focus on fee and different product lines that jones doesn't offer. Couldn't be happier.



I do think we are now in bonus bracket.

100% agree with your back office comments.  That whole "best place to work" is a joke.

Jul 15, 2009 11:05 pm
buyandhold:

I've heard it said many times that Jones is a 'great place to start.'What does it lead to? How about some success stories from those who have moved on?





Many go indy. I left 3-5 years ago for a wire to build fee-based business...was back to my EJ revenue in about 18 months and 3 years later was almost 40% higher. Very thorough sales training at Jones, good support for newbies, fair compensation. At some point you just have decide if you are "on board" and want to stick around...hard not to be "all in" there. Have seen many leave that overestimated their book's potential outside EJ, but also several that have made a smooth transition and build very nice businesses elsewhere.

Jul 16, 2009 1:17 am

In my time on this board, I've spoken to several Jones reps who had decided to move on (usually to independence) and wanted advice.  Although I came from a bank program, I've gleaned a lot of information from those leaving Jones about why they left.  Here are a few of the reasons I've heard...

 
1.  Felt betrayed by management that professed innocence about revenue sharing (even to the point of taking out a huge ad in the WSJ crowing about how Jones wasn't like all those other firms) only to later watch their company settle the same class action suit the other "bad" firms had settled.
2.  Felt shackled by the lack of product availability, particularly fee-based business.  Jones has since remedied that short-coming to a degree, although the feedback from my Jones friends is that there are still many limitations in the Jones version.
3.  Wanted more freedom to run their business.  Although Jones advertises freedom, that freedom is limited by several firm parameters.
4.  Lack of growth opportunities - I had a couple of Jones vets express dissatisfaction that the platform didn't expand as they gained experience.  Jones keeps things simple so that new reps can't get into as much mischief and sometimes that is frustrating to more experienced reps that want to offer clients more sophisticated products and solutions.
5.  Frustration with the profitability formula - some felt that many of the charges listed were bogus or at least inflated well beyond their market value in an effort to reduce bonuses.
6.  Inequitable treatment and recognition - Apparently Jones has on more than one occasion, held up a rep as a shining example of success, when in reality, the rep had a large book handed to them.
7.  A few are motivated by money and resentful of perceived attempts to paint a negative picture about independent life.  Despite what is sometimes put out by various firms in an attempt to discourage defections to independence, indies make a considerably higher payout percentage unless they are extremely small producers or just poor business managers.  I personally take home close to 70% of my gross and I know folks who run almost 80%.  That is significantly higher than what many firms (not just Jones) would have you believe.  Of course, as an owner, you can choose to invest more money in advertising, etc., but at least it is the independent advisor's choice.
 
I'm sure I'm forgetting and/or leaving out many things that have been used as reasons to leave, but for those who prefer the employee role, Jones is probably the closest thing to independence without the responsibility of running your own business.  To an extent, Jones will even let you run your own business...as long as you don't stray outside company guidelines.  In the end, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to do things your way, it is likely that your will eventually chafe at the limitations in the Jones system.  If, on the other hand, you are willing to follow instructions like a good soldier and are happy as an employee, you could certainly have a long and profitable career at Edward Jones.
 
Personally, I had the Jones opportunity pitched to me more than once by vets who were obviously happy with their career choice, but I knew early on that it just wasn't for me.
Jul 16, 2009 5:29 am

Let me tell you my thoughts.  Edward D. Jones is nothing more than a stepping stone.  It is my belief after working their 3 years and am now independent that the company did change my life and let me in the door of an industry at 22 that I otherwise never would have had the chance.  Other than that Edward Jones is a Wire House Pushing you for production and keeping your eyes closed at any rate possible.  It is my deepest belief to the bottom of my heart that I was brain washed if Weddle (Managing Partner to Edward Jones) told me to drink the cyanide lased punch I would have not questioned it for a second and probably would have had seconds.  In my belief there are 3 types of Brokers at Edward Jones.  Those who are given a disgusting book of business when they walk in the door probably just pot luck although somewhat rare it happens.  The Second are Reps that get in and finally get out usually later than sooner whom go independent because somehow they realize how they were getting bent over.  Last is the :STRUGGELING TOOLBAG; who is beaten and pushed for years barely holding on and barely making expectations whom finally quit or get fired. These folk are what makes Edward Jones possible.  Because  they come and build a little bit bigger of a book than the last 10 guys only to leave and Jones absorbs your book.  Then they try to use “CULT SCARE TACTICS” threats of injunctions if your try to take your book.  MY ADVICE IS GO INDY IT IS WHAT YOU ALREADY ARE IF YOU WORK AT JONES.  DON’T BE  A CULT MEMBER, BREAK AWAY AND ENJOY A STRESS FREE 85% PAY OUT AND HELP ME GIVE EDWARD JONES A BIG F#&* You.

Jul 16, 2009 8:54 am

6.  Inequitable treatment and recognition - Apparently Jones has on more than one occasion, held up a rep as a shining example of success, when in reality, the rep had a large book handed to them.




 
To me this is the largest frustration with Jones.
Jul 16, 2009 9:01 am
newbee:

Just out of curiosity, if it's the best place to work why is there such high turnover at edj and why are there so many edj whiners on this web site?

Just asking...

 
Wow, are you serious?  Why such a high turnover rate at Jones?
 
When your head and your hind quarters part for the afternoon, maybe crack a book, or google page, or common sense and figure out that the INDUSTRY WIDE washout rate is like 80+%
Jul 16, 2009 9:03 am

I will second that. They always glorify the wrong people, because the right people can't be glorified because it's not as pretty.

Jul 16, 2009 9:13 am
newbee:

Just out of curiosity, if it's the best place to work why is there such high turnover at edj and why are there so many edj whiners on this web site?

Just asking...

 
There's "a lot of crime in New York City". Unfortunately, the numbers don't really bear that out; proportionately, the crime rate in NYC is lower than most urban areas and even moderately suburban areas.
 
Edward Jones hires a lot, because it's intent is to grow a lot. The shake out is the shake out on a percentage basis, but if you want to wind up with a net of X,000 more FAs in X years, you're going to have to hire an awful lot of guppies that don't make it to big fish.
 
That said: this job isn't for everyone, and EDJ's tendencies make that even worse. Nearly every person that comes here comes from a diametrically different environment: multiple employees, an on-site manager prodding you, somebody to yak with at the cooler. Want to join EDJ? It's great, but only for a select few. In the meantime, enjoy the training and get to work. 
Jul 16, 2009 10:05 am

Yes there is a life. And a pretty darned good one after Jones.

 
Will be out three years from Jones next month. 2008 was best year ever. 2009 we are tracking the same number (about 350K gross). Currently I am running a 70% net shop prior to taxes. 
 
There are so many ways indy is better but I couldn't have done it without my 9 years at Jones. Now I could make the case I should have left earlier, as many have before, but I must admit what Jones did for me over that time was solidify in my mind that I wasn't a candidate for a lifetime career at Jones or any other firm.
 
I needed to be independent from every perspective to be satisified. I needed to be in control of my bottom line. I needed to be in control of my clients assets and choose what is suitable for them, not a firm. I needed to be able to offere comprehensive financial planning and utilize not correlated assets in my mix.
 
To Jones credit, the best thing they ever did was allow Weddle to start to change the focus of the firm. Now they have some of  the tools, still lacking in some areas such as alternative investments. universal inventories, but they are getting better.
 
I thank them for getting me to the point of leaving. I thank them for teaching me how to prospect. I thank them for giving me the opportunity to leave and thrive on my own. I wish my comrades at Jones the best. I hope some will realize that there is a great life after Jones. Not without hard work, but for all the reasons I cited above, it is by far the best decision I could have made for me and my family.
Jul 16, 2009 12:00 pm
voltmoie:
Squash1:
Bear:

At least Edward Jones is still here, profitable and growing.  Many other firms don't exist any longer.  Perhaps we should all be greatful for our jobs!



You should calm down the statements, since last i heard there is no bonus again(there is your lack of profitability).

I think one of the reasons for best places to work, is all the back office people who have it made(isn't there some guy in IT, who has tons of GP) much easier to get a partnership working in the home office, then in the field.

Left quite some time ago to focus on fee and different product lines that jones doesn't offer. Couldn't be happier.



I do think we are now in bonus bracket.

100% agree with your back office comments.  That whole "best place to work" is a joke.

 
Is it a joke for the other companies that make the list, or is it just Jones? 
 
You people who think the "back office" people have it made are smoking crack.  For every GP who does have it made, there are 50 people who ultimately report to that GP.  Those people probably average less than $75K a year.  Actually, a $75K a year job at HQ with Jones is pretty good.  I'd guess a good many of the IT people at Jones make that kind of money, but the people who actually do the real work of Jones, besides the FA and BOAs, don't make anywhere near that kind of money.  When I started at Jones many years ago, my first salary was $15,500.  40 hours a week, sitting at a desk pushing papers and crunching numbers.  I worked with a woman who had been with Jones for 30+ years and she made mid $20's.  That's not "having it made." 
 
What you left out of the scenario with all the people that "have it made" is that the majority of the GPs have been in our desks, were very successful, and gave it up to go to HQ.  Some of them took pay cuts initially to do so.  Sure, some of them have tons of GP, but they've all put their own money on the line to get it. 
 
volt- you've never worked in HQ.  I have.  There's a reason we get rated in the top 10 places to work year after year.  So, before you start downgrading those folks who make sure you have a bond inventory, that make sure your trades go through the right way, who make sure your butt doesn't end up in arbitration, you might want to consider that you have a VERY limited scope of the very big picture of EDJ. 
Jul 16, 2009 1:20 pm

Not to rock your boat spiff, but I would say 50% of the GPs did well in the field for 3-7 years and then packed it in(just in time for a market to switch directions). And no whining about GPs, rumor has it that they get $1mil GP for going to the office, plus a salary of $125K(in MO, that is living like a king).

Jul 16, 2009 6:04 pm

I'm not whining about the GPs.  Some of them, especially in the Operations or IT divisions were hired into Jones as a GP.  My first GP was one of those.  I don't think he ever really understood Jones.  He left to go back to CPA work. 

 
I just looked at the GPs that I worked for while in the home office, except the one I mentioned before.  All of them had careers of 10+ years in the field, most of them attending the managing partner's conference multiple times.  The ones I know that have moved from this area into HQ are all out 10+ years also.  Now, I know there are some that got there quicker, but not too many.  I think your average tenure is a little low.   
 
As for your $1 mil figure, I think that's too high.  It's probably more like $500K.  That's not chump change, but for a lot of them it's less than they were making in their offices.  The $125K is right on. 
 
I feel no real sympathy for the GPs.  Most of them are good guys.  They make stupid money when times are good at Jones and very good money when things are rough.   They get to go on the trips, travel to Summer regional meetings, and take the corporate credit card.   Not a bad life.  I don't think it's in the cards for me, so I'll settle for just a bit more LP each offering.