Which firm would be good to work?

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Dec 20, 2008 6:16 pm

I'm one of the Merrill POAs that was laid off.  My book isn't big enough to use as leverage.  Would anyone share their thoughts on good or bad places to work?  One place that looks promising for me is Wachovia.  Even with excellent referrals, Morgan seems to be not interested.  Any thoughts or suggestions?

 
 
Dec 20, 2008 6:56 pm
EXMerrillFA:

I'm one of the Merrill POAs that was laid off.  My book isn't big enough to use as leverage.  Would anyone share their thoughts on good or bad places to work?  One place that looks promising for me is Wachovia.  Even with excellent referrals, Morgan seems to be not interested.  Any thoughts or suggestions?

 
 
 
If you really want to stick it out and want to go to MS try another branch, dont think they are not interested.  One guy could be full and another branch desperate for a body at year end. 
 
 But best advice would be probably figure something else out.  One trainee we had at MS in 1997 got canned for missing his numbers, he was devestated for a month or two and then shifted gears and opened up a McDonalds, now he has 9 of them.  I have his account , he makes more money now than my whole branch of 23 brokers combined.  You can make a nice living in this industry but not big money, depends what you want to do.
Dec 20, 2008 7:07 pm
fritz:
If you really want to stick it out and want to go to MS try another branch, dont think they are not interested.  One guy could be full and another branch desperate for a body at year end. 
 
 But best advice would be probably figure something else out.  One trainee we had at MS in 1997 got canned for missing his numbers, he was devestated for a month or two and then shifted gears and opened up a McDonalds, now he has 9 of them.  I have his account , he makes more money now than my whole branch of 23 brokers combined.  You can make a nice living in this industry but not big money, depends what you want to do.
 
Out of curiosity, how much does it cost to own a McDonalds?
Dec 20, 2008 7:21 pm

Re: McDonalds' ownership: if it's anything like it was 15 years ago or so, it's not even a matter of just writing a (low-mid six-figure check at that time), you are expected to work, full time, in the store, literally learning the entire business from the mop to the fryer to the register, etc. Back then, at least, it was not possible to simply buy a franchise and hire hands-on managers to run it.

Dec 20, 2008 7:23 pm
YHWY:

Re: McDonalds' ownership: if it's anything like it was 15 years ago or so, it's not even a matter of just writing a (low-mid six-figure check at that time), you are expected to work, full time, in the store, literally learning the entire business from the mop to the fryer to the register, etc. Back then, at least, it was not possible to simply buy a franchise and hire hands-on managers to run it.

 
I love Chicken McNuggets.
Dec 20, 2008 7:25 pm

Can't stand McDonalds food. Those stores are Gold Mines, though. I really like gold.

Dec 20, 2008 7:42 pm
YHWY:

Can't stand McDonalds food. Those stores are Gold Mines, though. I really like gold.

 
I once had a conversation with an MFS wholesaler about an advisor who solely works with fast food franchise owners.
 
I guess the advisor met one or two of these owners and started going to the industry conventions as friends of the owners.  I will say a lot of these franchisees have a ton of money and would be a great crowd to go after if you could.
 
Anyone successful in this market, besides Fritz and his failed trainee?
Dec 20, 2008 7:47 pm
snaggletooth:
YHWY:

Can't stand McDonalds food. Those stores are Gold Mines, though. I really like gold.

 
I once had a conversation with an MFS wholesaler about an advisor who solely works with fast food franchise owners.
 
I guess the advisor met one or two of these owners and started going to the industry conventions as friends of the owners.  I will say a lot of these franchisees have a ton of money and would be a great crowd to go after if you could.
 
Anyone successful in this market, besides Fritz and his failed trainee?

 would not say successful in this market, just the one guy..to answer the above question about cost, think his were about 350K at the time..but now about 600-700 for a decent one.  They finance most of it to you, but want to see you have about 250K of capital to open one.  He borrowed from about 10 people to show the funds, back then it was less than 100k to show you had some money.

Dec 20, 2008 8:57 pm

Two options: Run to the government, or run a ponzi scheme. 

Dec 20, 2008 8:59 pm
someonewouldntexpect:

Two options: Run to the government, or run a ponzi scheme. 



 Please explain the difference.

Dec 20, 2008 9:28 pm

Getting back to the original question, I would talk to a regional firm. If you go to another wire house, you are going to be back in the same boat in a year or two. Depending where you are in the country, there are several we could suggest. Many regional firms are happy to have a producer that the big firms do not want. Usually the regional firms have lower overhead and can be profitable with an advisor who would be unprofitable in a big firm. What state are you from?







Dec 20, 2008 9:28 pm
YHWY:
someonewouldntexpect:

Two options: Run to the government, or run a ponzi scheme. 



 Please explain the difference.



That. my friend, is the point.

Dec 21, 2008 12:48 am
EXMerrillFA:

I'm one of the Merrill POAs that was laid off.  My book isn't big enough to use as leverage.  Would anyone share their thoughts on good or bad places to work?  One place that looks promising for me is Wachovia.  Even with excellent referrals, Morgan seems to be not interested.  Any thoughts or suggestions?

 
 
 
Sorry to hear.  May end up being a blessing in disguise.  Definitely consider Wachovia Securities.  Great platform along with the FA centric culture (you actually get paid on households below $100k ) could give you a stable home for the long term.  However, you should make sure the culture of your local office is a good fit for you.
Dec 21, 2008 9:24 am

McDonald’s continually seeks qualified individuals to become franchisees. Since the total cost varies from restaurant to restaurant, the minimum amount for a down payment will vary. Generally, we require a minimum of $300,000 of non-borrowed personal resources to consider you for a franchise.



Pulled that from the McDs website..



On the actual topic, how big is your book, what you could think is a small book $20mil, would be more than enough to get started in the indy channel if you have enough capital for start up...

Dec 21, 2008 9:48 am
YHWY:

Re: McDonalds' ownership: if it's anything like it was 15 years ago or so, it's not even a matter of just writing a (low-mid six-figure check at that time), you are expected to work, full time, in the store, literally learning the entire business from the mop to the fryer to the register, etc. Back then, at least, it was not possible to simply buy a franchise and hire hands-on managers to run it.





Its MUCH more than that. You are referring to the franchise fee but there are upfront that go well beyond that. McDonalds approves the site for the restaurant. Then you have the cost of either buying or leasing the land, building the store.... you have to have millions

Dec 21, 2008 12:21 pm

If you are thinking of regional firm, IMO go indy.I can't see any reason to be a franchisee of anything. All that means is you can't or won't hunt. Rarely is there an easy road.

My best friend just sold 9 Burger Kings this year. He referred to the Jones model as one that was certain to contract at some point in the future due to saturation. Before all the Jones supporters take this one on, just look at any industry that believes in one on every corner mentality. Starbucks, BK, MCD, etc. all have decreasing profits (at least at the franchisee level).
 
Just like EDJ owners, it's great to be on top at the fast food franchises. That is who is profiting on the corner business model.
 
I started my indy office with 18M two years ago and in 08 I have had my best year ever(gross and net) .One issue that most reps don't think about is the quality of the assets. Take only the assets that produce  or could produce (earning 1% or more) and forget the rest. Have a business plan in writing and a marketing plan to implement. Your first year, the average rep duplicates their net production and the second year and beyond the results are astounding.
 
Stay away form any firm that boxes you in. If you are meant for an independent model you will thrive in the Wild Wild West. If you need a firm to tell you what to do, you and your clients will pay dearly.
 
Dec 21, 2008 1:05 pm

Become a school teacher. Pension, great hours, early retirement, job security, medical for life. You'll be set. 

Dec 21, 2008 1:12 pm

Seriously everyone.  I don't even eat at  McDonalds and I definately don't want to be a teacher.  Even teachers are getting laid off.  I truly love what I'm doing.  Any firms to stay away from?  Where would you go if you were in my shoes?

Dec 21, 2008 1:15 pm
EXMerrillFA:

Seriously everyone.  I don't even eat at  McDonalds and I definately don't want to be a teacher.  Even teachers are getting laid off.  I truly love what I'm doing.  Any firms to stay away from?  Where would you go if you were in my shoes?

 
How much in assets do you have?  How long have you been in production?  How much of the assets do you think you can move?
Dec 21, 2008 1:18 pm
EXMerrillFA:

Seriously everyone.  I don't even eat at  McDonalds and I definately don't want to be a teacher.  Even teachers are getting laid off.  I truly love what I'm doing.  Any firms to stay away from?  Where would you go if you were in my shoes?



Stay away from wirehouses and banks. Look at smaller local firms. You may try to get hired by an experienced broker to do some cold calling. It's not necessarily a deal breaker, but you have been branded as someone who doesn't produce very well. If you have what it takes, do some soul searching and follow your intuition, without reservation.