Reflecting

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Oct 12, 2006 4:18 pm

It's very interesting comparing the topics of discussion recently, compared with that of a year ago as it relates to this forum.  I haven't seen any EDJ-bashing in quite some time.

Oct 12, 2006 6:15 pm

Perhaps all of the malcontents have moved on...

Oct 12, 2006 6:32 pm
BrokerRecruit:

It's very interesting comparing the topics of discussion recently, compared with that of a year ago as it relates to this forum.  I haven't seen any EDJ-bashing in quite some time.



Yeah....I'm feeling kinda reminiscent.

Oct 12, 2006 6:55 pm

I noticed the same thing.  I think it's because the LP offerings are coming out this month. 

Oct 12, 2006 9:36 pm

Can someone explain to me exactly why EDJ gets so much grief from

everyone? I've worked for them for several years, and I am perfectly

happy, have a decent book (all relative to time in business), and

recommend good investments to my clients. No, I don't just use

Amercian Funds (or just mutual funds for that matter), nor is their

technology a hinderance to my business. I have not worked for another

firm, so I have nothing to compare to. I would be interested to hear

exactly why every other firm feels so superior to EDJ. At the end of the

day, we are all in the same business, working for good firms. It all comes

down to how good we are, not the name on our business card....

Oct 13, 2006 12:18 am

EDJ- great sales training- but the rest is disfunctional by design- proof:


You learn to sell-


Maybe get a good night, maybe not-


You build a book selling mutual funds and annuities (and don't say you don't and if you do, you're either one of the few who does not, or you are kidding somebody)


You cannot solve issues such as low cost basis stock concentrated positions, affluent client issues and needs in trust/lending/investments, alternative investments, etc.


You need $500k to even do SMA type biz


Then, when you are working your IR butt off, you are asked (and softly pushed) to be a mentor or growth leader to help others without any incentive


You manage an office and the expenses without being paid for it


and your LP's are greedy-


So, you're practically independent yet are paid and treated like an employee with limited capabilities- and these are all facts.


EDJ- not a bad firm at all- just not the best firm to service many clients and by no means a recognizer of your hard work. How many EDJ offices are within 20 miles of you? 10, 20? They are you competition- like it or not.

Oct 13, 2006 12:47 am
Broker24:

Can someone explain to me exactly why EDJ gets so much grief from

everyone? I've worked for them for several years, and I am perfectly

happy, have a decent book (all relative to time in business), and

recommend good investments to my clients. No, I don't just use

Amercian Funds (or just mutual funds for that matter), nor is their

technology a hinderance to my business. I have not worked for another

firm, so I have nothing to compare to. I would be interested to hear

exactly why every other firm feels so superior to EDJ. At the end of the

day, we are all in the same business, working for good firms. It all comes

down to how good we are, not the name on our business card....



Maybe you're just stupid?

Oct 13, 2006 8:52 am

There are many within EDJ that the poor technology and limited product line have no effect on.  That said, when you compare the resources side-by-side to the competition (wirehouses, independents, etc.), they are on a lower rung.  The system works for most of their IRs and that's great, but the ones that are leaving have seen these issues impact their business in such a way that they are able to work better within their target market at a firm that will offer more resources.


Again - wasn't trying to open a very dead discussion, but it is interesting to see how the topics have migrated to other non-issues.

Oct 13, 2006 9:16 am

WealthAdvisor, sounds like you worked for EDJ?  Care to elaborate on your background...

Oct 13, 2006 10:20 am
Broker24:

It all comes
down to how good we are, not the name on our business card....


This is partially right, B24, especially looking at it from an Average Joe client perspective.  They trust you (hopefully) moreso than the firm you're with.


But your firm is more than just a name on a business card.  It's the infrastructure of your practice!  The products and platforms offered by your firm dictate the opportunities and limitations that you have when servicing clients.  Although technology isn't a make-or-break feature, good tech can vastly increase your effectiveness and efficiency and leave you more time to interact with clients (and prospective clients!).


I think that when you're happy at your firm it's the best time to start looking at others.  Take a look at some of the Wire's.  Call LPL, RJ, Commonwealth and Wachovia and take a look at their material; talk to some of their reps.  Maybe ING Fin'l Advisors has something available to their reps that you've been begging EJ to do for you.


If your practice could look like anything you wanted (and it can), what kind of practice would you like to have 5 years from now?  Can your current firm accomodate that?  Can any others do it better?


Some people love the safety of working for another firm.  Some would rather be their own boss and work as an Independent Contractor (sp?).  EJ might be the perfect firm for you and your practice.  Or not.

Oct 13, 2006 10:41 am
FreedomLvr:
Broker24:

It all comes
down to how good we are, not the name on our business card....

I think that when you're happy at your firm it's the best time to start looking at others.  Take a look at some of the Wire's.  Call LPL, RJ, Commonwealth and Wachovia and take a look at their material; talk to some of their reps.  Maybe ING Fin'l Advisors has something available to their reps that you've been begging EJ to do for you.


If your practice could look like anything you wanted (and it can), what kind of practice would you like to have 5 years from now?  Can your current firm accomodate that?  Can any others do it better?


Some people love the safety of working for another firm.  Some would rather be their own boss and work as an Independent Contractor (sp?).  EJ might be the perfect firm for you and your practice.  Or not.



Great point.  I think that when someone is truly fed up with their BD, that is a time when their judgement is a little blurred and can, oftentimes, be skewed by how eager they are to get out.  Many times, advisors are very unlikely to look at different perspectives as clearly or as objectively as they may if they were not clouded by frustration.

Oct 13, 2006 12:20 pm

Below are several of the reasons why I left Jones in 2003 and the comments are dated from then, so please keep that in mind.  I did send in signed SUGBOX letters addressing several of these issues during the 5 years I was there in an effort to fix things from inside...none were addressed.



Reasons I left Jones:


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When I started it felt like I was running my own business
HQ attitude toward brokers and branch office staff
Back office support was woeful at best
HQ would keep the commissions if a client’s funds were moved from one Preferred Family of MFD’s to another.  Clients wanted out of Putnam
Cut the payout on B-shares MFD’s across the board even when it was in the clients best interest
Cut payouts on B-share annuities
Cut the payouts on C-shares
PC access to the internet was disallowed even though the broker owned the PC
The technology is substandard
The stock recommendations have been a bust
The “holler than thou” attitude toward other firms and then turn around and do revenue sharing.
Limited information about mutual funds centered around only eight “Preferred Families”
No fee based options
No buy out of the business for the surviving spouse
No bonuses for about a year but the GP’s were literally paid millions.  The GP of Information Systems, Rich Malone, was paid about $4mil and the tech sucks
No E&O insurance
No Fire and Theft insurance
Brokers pay for 100% of their health insurance after the 1st year. 
The broker pays half the phone bill
Brokers pay for 100% of non-seminar advertising including Yellow Pages
Brokers also pay for 100% of the office supplies, pens, paper, TP
There is no copier or fax machine and only one very nosey printer
Constantly expecting brokers to volunteer their time to hire and train new brokers.
Too much empowerment for office assistant (BOA)…they are literally there to keep an eye on you…your own employee…what a joke.  The IR generates all the revenue and the BOA is in charge.
For years discouraged brokers from getting a CFP
When you won a trip, single guys could not take their dates

  Some of these issues may have been address but most of them haven't.  I also have a letter I sent to Bachmann that I might post...let the sparks fly.

Oct 13, 2006 12:38 pm

Great post ewec86.  Might I also add that the IRs have to pay for 1/2 their postage even for mailing things out like confirms.  


Also, no financial planning software to my knowledge.  How insane. 


No outside research to speak of.


I'm sitting on a 76% fee based business now five years after leaving.  Can you imagine being back there and having to worry every single month where your revenue is going to come from?  What a nightmare.   

Oct 13, 2006 5:19 pm

Very well put UWEC86.   Several of the reasons you listed did bother me while at Jones. But I was tired of the long commute to my office and my business was being centered around where I lived, not where I worked. I am a few weeks into the transition and I am loving it. (Moved to RJ)


My reason for stating the above is I am not pissed at Jones. The most noticable gripe is the previously stated view of, "Holy'er than thou.."  Geez it's true.... they preached it and the unwritten rule number 6..........Comon jonsee's what are the 5 steps to being a successful IR?....Well, the 6th rule here it is   #6  Recruit him, Recruit her, and Recruit them.    Leave recruiting to the recruiters or that department I help paid for in St Louis.


My 4 years at Jones were profitable for both just not enought for LP. I said 4 years ago if  your not a LP you really dont have a reason to stay with Jones. I did 240 this last trailing 12 and dont want the extra work to get above that level. At RJ I will be making more than most in my small community and will be home alot more often.

Oct 14, 2006 12:58 am

Bamzor,


Welcome to the light!  I was pissed at EJ for placing more value on HQ than the guys in the field...and putting BOA's ahead of the broker.  HQ thinks they are doing you a favor, they own the book of hard work you built and then make you believe LP is so awesome.  I pay myself my own LP...Indy is the way to go baby.


btw...The ball I got rollin' was the WSJ art. that brought now Hill and cost Jones 202 mil.  GP's just suck the IR's dry...you'll discover more the longer you are away....but I'm not bitter.

Oct 14, 2006 11:03 pm

I left two years ago next month.  My best year at Jones I grossed around $425.  I did that for three years in a row.  This year I expect to gross $600K.  In addition, most of my revenue is reoccuring.  I can offer so much more and have much more freedom.

Oct 15, 2006 8:55 am
indyboy:

I left two years ago next month.  My best year at Jones I grossed around $425.  I did that for three years in a row.  This year I expect to gross $600K.  In addition, most of my revenue is reoccuring.  I can offer so much more and have much more freedom.


You had your best year three years in a row?  Kewl.

Oct 15, 2006 8:58 am
uwec86:


There is no copier or fax machine and only one very nosey printer


Was it Gutenburg?

Oct 15, 2006 5:23 pm

Soon2B Gone...good one but the printer was more like what you see on the Flintstones.

Oct 16, 2006 2:19 pm

For those of you who have left Jones and are happy other places - congrats.  There's not a firm out there that can be everything to everyone. 


u86's reasons for leaving Jones I'd say are well thought out, but very dated, and imho incorrect.  Let me expound:


Reasons I left Jones:


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When I started it felt like I was running my own business -  Was this good or bad?  If good, when did you stop running it like it was your business?  If bad, what did you expect when you joined. 
HQ attitude toward brokers and branch office staff - Did they like  you or not.  Almost every HQ person I met was very supportive of what we do.
Back office support was woeful at best - Again, I've had nothing but great support. 
HQ would keep the commissions if a client’s funds were moved from one Preferred Family of MFD’s to another.  Clients wanted out of Putnam - I'll move clients from family to family from time to time.  I'll have to get a switch letter, but they don't keep my commissions. 
Cut the payout on B-shares MFD’s across the board even when it was in the clients best interest - Yep, he's right on target.  They did.  but then there were brokers selling nothing but B shares, no matter what.  If you were landing a bunch of clients who were appropriate for B shares, then maybe you were fishing in the wrong pond.  
Cut payouts on B-share annuities - See answer to 5.
Cut the payouts on C-shares - See answer to 5.
PC access to the internet was disallowed even though the broker owned the PC - Having a PC in the office in addition to your Jones computer is an issue still.  Compliance has an issue with it.  However, we do have internet access.
The technology is substandard - I used to believe we were one of the best.  20 years ago maybe.  Now, maybe not.  We've had some updates since 2003, so you're old idea of the technology is incorrect. 
The stock recommendations have been a bust - Yeah, I hate that we recommend companies like BAC, C, HD, PEP, PG.  Nobody ever makes money with them.   
The “holler than thou” attitude toward other firms and then turn around and do revenue sharing. - Yep, we should have disclosed it better. 
Limited information about mutual funds centered around only eight “Preferred Families” - You couldn't have done any reasearch on your own?  I'll bet there aren't more than 8-10 fund families at a time that any firm does a lot of biz with.  I think everyone has their favorites and keeps within their comfort zones.    
No fee based options - Not yet, probably soon.
No buy out of the business for the surviving spouse - If you work for ML, MS, or LPL does your wife get a buyout on your book?  I really don't know.  Isn't that what life insurance is for?
No bonuses for about a year but the GP’s were literally paid millions.  The GP of Information Systems, Rich Malone, was paid about $4mil and the tech sucks - The GP's have been with Jones a lot longer than a year.  They do make a lot of money, but they've also got skin in the game. 
No E&O insurance - He's still right on this one.
No Fire and Theft insurance - What did  you keep in your office that was really worth insuring?  Other than the pics of my kids I don't keep things here of any real value.  Maybe the fridge or a conference table.  I'll bet your landlord had insurance.
Brokers pay for 100% of their health insurance after the 1st year. - If  you are indy you still pay 100% of your health insurance. 
The broker pays half the phone bill - If you're indy you pay all of the phone bill.
Brokers pay for 100% of non-seminar advertising including Yellow Pages - If you are indy you pay all of these too.  And I'll bet if you do a seminar you aren't reimbursed 50% or more.
Brokers also pay for 100% of the office supplies, pens, paper, TP - How much does RJ pony up of TP?  I thought you said you liked running your own office. BTW, I haven't bought office supplies in years.  Yell at your wholesalers for pens, Jones buys the paper.  I do buy my own TP.  The unsolicited trade magazines were starting to make me chafe.  
There is no copier or fax machine and only one very nosey printer - I have both a printer, copier, and fax machine.  Does a fine job for what I need.  If I need a bigger better one, I'll buy one.  My laser printer is noisy, but it keeps its nose out of my business.   
Constantly expecting brokers to volunteer their time to hire and train new brokers. - Not mandatory.  We have vets who don't do anything other than run their biz.
Too much empowerment for office assistant (BOA)…they are literally there to keep an eye on you…your own employee…what a joke.  The IR generates all the revenue and the BOA is in charge. -
Why was your BOA in charge of you.  Did you hire your wife?  My BOA is there to support me.  Nothing else.  The only reason the BOA might have run the office is if you let her.  
For years discouraged brokers from getting a CFP - Maybe didn't encourage is the right phrasing.  Now depending on what you want your biz to be, CFP is a big plus at Jones. 
When you won a trip, single guys could not take their dates - Why are you worried about payout for your wife and being able to take your girlfriend on the trips? 

We do pay for half of the postage.  How much do you pay for if  you are indy?  We have financial planning software.  Admittedly I've not seen a lot of software from other firms, but I'd put ours up against anyone else's.   



I also have access to S&P & Morningstar for stock research.  I can get to others if I want to pay for them.  I just don't. 



There are two sides to every good debate.  Like I said, if  you left Jones and are happy, congrats.