I've read some bad things about Waddell & Reed on this forum but I haven't found anything wrong with them except for they don't do a lot of stocks and don't have a wide selection of variable annuities. Their payout is great and they have some opportunities to take over some of the older books. Does anyone have some information about them?
I think they are a good company to get started with if you are new in the business. Their minimums are fairly low and they have some good rookie comp programs that can keep you alive while you build your practice. There are some “orphan” accounts they keep on-hand for newer advisors. However, the decision on how to handle these “orphan” accounts in left up to the local MP. He/She can decide who gets them and why.
This site is very hard on Waddell. I think it boils down to a few peoples opinion………not necessarily the opinion of the rest of us. I started with W&R and would consider them a good company. They have some decent management and seem to be getting closer to a “full-service” platform. When you are new to the business, it is okay to start out with a more simplistic platform, as long as the products are still “quality”. I think they have done this.
I would consider them a stepping stone to bigger and better things down the road. A good place to learn what you can about the business and see if you’re truly cut-out for it. It is very hard to compete in today’s market. You must spate yourself from all the others.
That's my 2 cents
I have a good friend who is an advisor at Waddell and manages a book about half the size of mine and only spends a quarter of the time I do prospecting and managing his book. He makes more money than me and has more free time. He has full time planner that does his financial planning and answers his phones and makes trades when he is not available. I believe they have just opened an independent platform that is supposed to compete with anybodies. Waddell also owns Ivy funds.
On the plus side for me, Merrill Lynch had been a more prestigious firm and I have a better view from my office than he does from his office.
Honestly I think Waddell is a good firm and a great place for the right person. I am happy at Merrill and would never think of going to Waddell and my friend is happy at Waddell and would never think of coming to Merrill.