Over 1 Year Later- MY STORY
Over one year from leaving Jones and I couldn't be happier. I was a segment 3 almost 4 producer. I don't have any hard feelings towards Jones, but am really glad that I left for the sake of my clients and for my practice. Starting as a new, new I built the book from nothing and feel like I'm better off as a result. I would have made more money Goodknighting with a more experienced broker, but I would have missed on learning much about the business model. Being younger and having this knowledge will allow me to grow my practice more rapidly and to have more solid business as time continues.
I have to admit, initially leaving Jones, was a very scary undertaking. I was worried about them coming after me. I did honor my non-solicitation agreement and still ended up moving at least 75% of my book. In retrospect, if I had to go through the process again, I would print up a slew of blank transfer forms and just go get signatures for all of the accounts. Jones only sent me a couple of letters warning me not to solicit clients (which I was not doing) and that was it as far as a fight goes.
Some ideas for consideration for someone leaving Jones (disclosure: I am not offering advice this is just some things a person might consider if leaving Jones):
1) Consider changing all account statements to detailed with cost basis over time before transferring, 2) Move on a Fridary morning to have time to get license changed, 3) over the weekend get signed transfers from the best clients down (DO NOT SLEEP), 4) Hire an experienced assistant temporarily from your new BD that knows how to process transfers (Pay her twice what she normally makes),
Finally, if one wanted to be extremely aggressive (I've known some to do this) one could get signatures on blank forms prior to transferring.
Regarding my clients, they are happy to pay fees. It is interesting, as my former Jones friends have called me recently, that Jones is pressing the MAP program....hmmm, a day late and a dollar short. This was the "ONLY" competitive edge Jones retained, in my opinion-sticking to their guns on commission vs. fee-based business. They are now trying to be like everyone else, after everyone else is already there. Apparently, the top marketing folks at Jones did not attend Marketing 101. Always be first and find a way of differentiating yourself. They have completely lost this edge and consequently are losing marketshare.
In conclusion, it's nice when you sit down with a current Jones client who calls you up for an appointment to discuss "all the problems at Edward Jones." Last week, I sat down with a 2.5 mlln customer who signed paperwork to move from Jones because of all of the indiscretions of the company. I didn't talk bad about Jones, but it sure was a good feeling to leave a situation where I was completely shackled.
This is the first time I have posted on this message board. Honestly, this is the first time I've looked at the board for over a year. Before I left Jones, I wandered here often. But, since leaving, I don't really have time to pay much attention to Edward Jones. It's a good company that has lost a lot of its foundation and I'm glad I'm indy. PEACE.
Now they are pushing the MAP program!!! I love it...
Could that firm be any more hypocritical???
Thanks for sharing your experience. I am guessing you did not take your Boa. Was it your choice or hers? If your BOA stayed behind it does not look like it held you back.
I like your idea of using one of "their" people to get it done right the 1st time.
Now that it has been 1 yr, what has been the hardest adjustment for you with your B/D?
Transfer/de-network all your mutual fund only IRA accounts back to the Fund Family. Do the same for all of your other mutual fund only accounts. It is much easier to do the transfer and if you are going Indy will cut down on your future ticket costs.
Print out the positions of your best, most involved, clients so when you contact them after transitioning yourself, you will still have an indication of what their positons are.
Keep a mailing list of your clients and good prospects to be able to send them notification of your new status and literature from your new B/D. P-all You are not supposed to have materials from the office, but it is very helpful to have other information about the clients (their ssn, date of birth etc.) to be able to prefill the ACAT forms.
I never talked bad about Jones either. Just stressed how the change would benefit the clients and enhance my ability to provide more and better investment options for them.
I think you are asking for big time trouble and a lawsuit to have signatures on blank transfer forms while you are still employed at Jones. They may not have gone after you, or me, but I was very careful not to break the rules and consulted an attorney to be clear on what I should and shouldn't do.
Babbs, make up your mind.. Are you going to break the law like you did in paragraphs 2,3. Or uphold it like you said in paragraph 5 ! Nice!
All very good advice, I concur! The avail of products is what moved most of my clients.
Dont print off all the client stuff at one time. They can see what you are printing at the home office if you print directly off the system. Do it gradually if possible and if not, do it all the night before you leave.
Babbs, make up your mind.. Are you going to break the law like you did in paragraphs 2,3. Or uphold it like you said in paragraph 5 !
Both. It was self preservation at it's finest with a dash of scrupules. At least I don't/didn't bad mouth EDJ to the clients which is more than I can say they did for me. People were calling from St Louis and implying that I was 1.) fired, when I acutally quit 2.) had done something BAD 3.) was derelict in my duties and a poor advisor by putting them in bad investments which they needed to change immediately. I know this is so because they called not only my clients who told me, but my BOA who also had an account. Not knowing that she was the BOA, the guy calling gave her the song and dance until she informed him of who she was. Talk about know your customer!
Ethics and respect is a two way street.
I wouldnt take anything from your old firm. That could lead to big troubles for you. Build your own customer database(Names Address phone). If they can prove you printed off the stuff it wouldnt be hard to make a panel or judge think you took it with you. Just FYI
Schedule apts with your top clients during the weekend you leave. Tell them you have some important things you have to discuss with them and schedule before you leave. Schedule apts from 8am to 8pm Sat and Sun and starting Friday evening. Leave just enough time between to get to the next one. Bring transfer paperwork with you. Nail down your top clients by Sunday night.
Be prepared for them to be called and lied to regarding why you left almost immediatly. I had no problems printing all client documents the night befor I left but maybe I just got lucky.
Reminds me of a scene from Gerry Mcguire....when Bob Sugar calls all his clients.....
I left one of the larger wirehouses early this century and after the fact (the way I got most of my information then) I was told I could have had copies of my account cards. The dialogue here reads differently. Was my info bad back then or have the rules changed? Also the knuckleheads at the firm I went to (and am still with) took two weeks to get the license moved over. This meant legally I could do nothing but wait while the vultures feasted on the assets. Anyone thinking of making the move needs to be able to leave and have the capabillity to flip the switch after the licensing call is made.
So my question is for you experienced gurus...just what the hey information can we legally posess (photographic memory not included)?
Schedule apts with your top clients during the
weekend you leave. Tell them you have some important things
you have to discuss with them and schedule before you leave.
Schedule apts from 8am to 8pm Sat and Sun and starting Friday
evening. Leave just enough time between to get to the next
one. Bring transfer paperwork with you. Nail down your
top clients by Sunday night.
Be prepared for them to be called and lied to regarding why you left
almost immediatly. I had no problems printing all client documents the
night befor I left but maybe I just got lucky.
This can be dangerous if your prior frim chooses to go after you.
You are creating action with clients, at this point- THEIR clients,
under the pretense of you being employed by another. Telling them
they may be lied to is defimation, your prior firm will drag in your
clients and former clients to articulate what you told them and
These things crush your case. My opinion is that contacting them
within 36 hours is not so important. Clients take their money
seriously (except for many bank customers) and will not make a decision
based on first contact.
Where Malcom does make alot of sense is that you want to get transfers
going befor a court order to stop contacting them comes through.
For what it is worth, I moved several years ago and still get calls from former clients.
I have recently (this year) made the jump to Indy. The legal process has been fun to say the least. I can tell you without a doubt that if your old firm can prove you took information (acct number, ssn, client list etc) you will have serious problems. What you can do is build your own database. You could start a list of clients and have there name address and phone #. I would steer clear of taking anything else. If you are thinking about leaving your curren wirehouse for the indy route your new b/d will help you with this. LPL (who i chose) walked me right through the process. If they hadn't led me through the transition process i would have made some serious mistakes. Also if you have any type of employment agreement have an Atty look at it before you do anything.
Also looking at LPL...need to set up database and planned to buy notebook and get ACT software....want to make sure everything is compatible when up & running....what did you do re: software and is it the same thing you are now using?
Act is working well! Look on ebay you can find it rather cheap. I bought a notebook (lpl will give you the specs) and printer, fax etc. You need all that setup before you leave. Also make sure you have a bus phone and fax number. Your transition person will help you with these things.