Where to go if you leave the firm

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Jan 4, 2009 7:47 am

With all the changes in the industry I am thinking of leaving the business after 8 years as a broker and ten years in finance. I am trying to figure out what to pursue, maybe something with no pressure for now unless i came across something very lucrative. Any way what is that ex brokers successfully transition into? I can't figure it out but i do know this industry and the market is played.....

Jan 4, 2009 12:23 pm

This should be fun to watch.
The last comment, about the industry and market being played, must be a good sign that we have bottomed.

Jan 4, 2009 12:59 pm

If your under 35(most cases)  you can get in with a law enforcement agency. State police, Secret Svc, FBI or a little more sophisticated look into CIA or NSA. You dont necessarily have to be a beat cop. A lot of different jobs within these orgs. I have friends in the FBI and state police. They are making over 100k yr. I have a friend that is a local cop and his salary is 90k per yr not counting OT. (he is a supv.) Just my opinion. I'm just over 40 now so this isnt an option for me. But this is the direction I would go if I was elig (and ready to leave the biz). Decent and consistent pay, job security, pensions and med benefits.

Also another friend of mine at ML resumed his career as an Army officer after leaving the biz. Probably a Lt Col or full bird at this point.

I guess there is always Blackwater for us over 40 merc types. You can easily make 100k with them as well.

Jan 4, 2009 2:10 pm

I hope it is the bottom of the market, clients cannot handle another year of losses. But a lot of people are leaving the industry. I had a great run, but am intersted in other things at this point. I am thinking real estate.  Think of the inventory that has built in south florida ( where I am located). Many have washed out of their business, tons of invesntory. The economy is key. I think were are in for a Japan like enviornment so that may not be the best idea.  Careers are tough to start right now so i am looking for multiple alternative sources of income and cut the book loose.

 
Any suggestions in the golf industry, i am +4 handicap and know a lot about the business just not many desireable jobs that i know of?
 
I would not make a good BlackWater, military, or civil service rep. Its not the money, I think every one makes less money this year, and i am prepared for that. I have gone over other jobs/industries countless times. I just want to see if i missed anything.....
 
Thanks..... 
Jan 4, 2009 2:24 pm

Apparently we have had guys in my region walking away from the biz. Not due to lack of production, but they just couldnt deal with the losses clients were taking. Just psychological  overload with probably a lot of things combined and they just cracked. Very understandable. In this environment we will see quality producers along with guys failing just bag it and quit. Sound crazy but already happening. If things dont turn around soon this will increase.

Jan 4, 2009 3:58 pm

We haven't even begun to see the multitude of people walking away from this business. There is going to be a huge exodus of brokers doing under 400 walking from the wirehouses. And soon enough those doing 400-500 will realize that they will be under 400 this year, which will drive them out too, with the new grids.

Jan 4, 2009 4:50 pm

Its a classic WHO MOVED MY CHEESE for the next 3-5 years. I need to find something else to grow and make more money even though the growth will be tough in the FA market, you will certainly make less money year after year with growth. Not a winning business model in my opinion. 

 
Any suggestions whats hot right now, especially in the south florida market?
 
 
Jan 4, 2009 4:53 pm
kappa1997:
Any suggestions whats hot right now, especially in the south florida market?
   



You sound like the perfect person to go into the reverse mortgage business.....

Jan 4, 2009 5:18 pm

No one leaves The Firm...alive anyway. Unless, of course, you can prove an intricate case of mail fraud.....

Jan 4, 2009 5:36 pm
Sportsfreakbob:

We haven't even begun to see the multitude of people walking away from this business. There is going to be a huge exodus of brokers doing under 400 walking from the wirehouses. And soon enough those doing 400-500 will realize that they will be under 400 this year, which will drive them out too, with the new grids.

 
Well put..in the next 3-4 months think many will see that their previous very respectable 400K+ will be less than 300K and see the effect of the grid cuts.  I probably would not have believed it unless seeing it, but many will say forget it.  For guys at Smith Barney 350K and under 20% are getting two 50% paycuts (the market and grid).  And see the other shops following the lead in 2010.
Jan 4, 2009 6:12 pm
kappa1997:

Its a classic WHO MOVED MY CHEESE for the next 3-5 years. I need to find something else to grow and make more money even though the growth will be tough in the FA market, you will certainly make less money year after year with growth. Not a winning business model in my opinion. 

 
Any suggestions whats hot right now, especially in the south florida market?
 
 


No but I hope you work in my branch!

Jan 4, 2009 8:39 pm

I hope we see a large amount of attrition.  This is the time to be picking up market share.

 
This profession that we are in can provide an individual with a substantial income.  The problem with leaving - what are you going to find that can come close to comparing?
Jan 4, 2009 9:06 pm
maddog:

I hope we see a large amount of attrition.  This is the time to be picking up market share.

 
This profession that we are in can provide an individual with a substantial income.  The problem with leaving - what are you going to find that can come close to comparing?
 
 
Comparing in what respect? Income, job satisfaction, stability? There's a whole lot more to life than how big your paycheck is every month.
 
I think a lot of brokers, whether by choice or necessity, will move on after spending many years in the hamster wheel and realize how stressed they've been and how happy they can be in another career...even if it isn't as financially lucrative for them.
 
I think that's the primary factor that keeps unhappy brokers in this industry, the question of 'how am I going to make as much doing something else?'
 
They're obsessed with the almighty dollar, and that controls every decision they make.
Jan 4, 2009 9:34 pm

BB,

 
You are correct.  There are alot of variables to being happy and satisfied in life besides financial.  And I fully respect that it is different for each. 
 
I was only looking at it from a financial aspect.  As I am not stressed, unhappy or feel like I am in a hampster wheel - I never gave thought to any other reasons.  I fully enjoy what I am doing and hope that I can continue for many, many years.
 
 
 
Jan 4, 2009 9:36 pm
Borker Boy:
 They're obsessed with the almighty dollar, and that controls every decision they make.


 To steal a paraphrase from Boiler Room: Whomever uses the phrase "almighty dollar(s)" in a negative way doesn't fucking have any.

Jan 5, 2009 9:01 am
Sportsfreakbob:

We haven't even begun to see the multitude of people walking away from this business. There is going to be a huge exodus of brokers doing under 400 walking from the wirehouses. And soon enough those doing 400-500 will realize that they will be under 400 this year, which will drive them out too, with the new grids.

 
Despite the "quality fo life" issue that was raised, I just don't see what most would do if they left this field (and were doing 350-500K gross).  Most likely, they have been in the biz 5-10 years (or more), and got used to the money, the flexibility of hours, etc.  Are there really a lot of FA's out there making north of 100K net that are THAT unhappy?
 
I can see the guys that can't crack 300 gross wanting out, but over 300K and life can be pretty simple, if you want.  I guess if you are a heavy transaction broker, and you spend your life on the phone trying to place trades, it could be tiring, but if a good portion of your book is annuitized, what's the problem?
Jan 5, 2009 9:33 am

I agree, my book is 85% in fees so the money, flexability, workload has been minimal. Problem, fees just went down 30% for the quarter and who knows what 2009 brings. Not one ACAT but I can see the writing on the wall as far as working for a bank brings. Higher production with lesser payout.  Not really attractive. If I am going to build something it should continue to grow and grow and make less.

Jan 5, 2009 9:57 am

And if you thought that those fees would always grow and that we'd never have a down year like this, then perhaps it would be better to find a different career.  Because if you didn't plan for it, surely your client's portfolios didn't either.  Why don't you just quit your whining session and pick up the phone, talk to your clients, and ask them about their friends who's brokers just packed it in.  Money is moving, you can either be on the giving side or the taking side.  Pick one, suck it up, and do something.  

Jan 5, 2009 10:36 am

Hey guys and gals--listen...your clients hired YOU to take care of their investments and to manage their portfolios--in some cases you have all their accounts--their kids accounts and their grandkids accounts...they put their trust in you---now because it gets ruff you want to run and hide.  Take it from retired military guy...those who protect you day to day can't just run and hide because someone tries to take them out with an IED or a couple of pot shots.

 
This to will pass--it always does...maybe we all will learn from this--the clients and those who manage their portfolios.  I have no intention of leaving my clients high and dry.  One thing I have found is that FA's and RIA's both wire-house and indy are usually good about managing their client's portfolio--but they don't listen to their own advice.  When things turn good again, and they will, save in liquid assets 6 to 12 months of living and business expenses--because behind every bull market is another bear market.
 
Just stop crying and do your job.  Make your family proud--show your children you don't cut and run when things get tuff!  Go take a good look in the mirror -- take charge and call your clients and lead them.  If you can't do this--then maybe your right--you just can't hack it--do your clients a favor and give them someone who can do the job.
 
 
Jan 5, 2009 10:53 am

Everything I've read lately, along with anecdotal evidience, suggests to me that the financial services share of the economy is going to shrink.  It also looks clear that we're in for a long recession, in which things are not going to bounce back soon. Things never bounce back soon after a severe economic shock. Whichever of us can figure out what to do in this climate will do well.