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At a crossroads

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Sep 20, 2005 6:03 pm

This is my first post on here. It has been interesting to see folks opinions on Edward Jones, as I've been there 3 plus years now as an IR. I don't have anything to really slam Jones on, it has provided me a great start right out of college. I do disagree with some of Jones growth philosophies. I am a segment 3 broker and am very happy with how I've done.

Here is the problem I've been wrestling with. I'm very happy with the 65 and 80,000 I've made the last 2 years. I live in a city where the cost of living is very low, and also have a wife where combined we make about $115,000. 

Many of you might think I'm nuts for not wanting to make more money, but I was planning on being a teacher and this is more money than I ever expected to earn.

My question is, should I stay at Jones and continue to try and claw my way to continue to maintain Segment 3 numbers OR should I be looking elsewhere. I WOULD LIKE some advice on banks in particular. I've heard that some banks pay a 35-40,000 salary, plus commissions which would add up to $60-70,000. Wholesaler positions seem somewhat interesting to me. I can't be gone from home 4 days a week though.

I guess my crossroads is, do I want to keep prospecting (doorknocking) for a living starting every month at zero ($600 trails) or have some kind of salary to start off every month with. I'm trying to consolidate my message here, I'd have much more to add about the constant growth push in this area which is one of the main reasons I'm thinking of leaving.

Just looking for some advice. Thanks

Sep 20, 2005 6:33 pm

What are your AUM?

At three years, you really shouldn't be doorknocking any longer.  You should have enough qualified prospects by now.

Some people posting on this forum seem to have an ax to grind with EDJ, so make sure you take it with a grain of salt.  Remember, no one firm is a good fit for everyone.

If you are happy with your production level, and home office is not on you back, I say stay there.  Where else are you going to have the flexibilty of your schedule.  Certainly not at a bank.  If memory serves me correct, if you stay above $14k gross you will never fall into the "red zone".

3 yrs is a normal breaking point for brokers.  They have worked their butts off and don't feel they are seeing the results.  Talk to someone other than your mentor (someone you trust thats been out 6-7 yrs) about how they felt at your stage in their career.  If they are honest, they will probably describe how you are feeling right now.

Don't let mediocre performance derail what could be a great career.  How many of your college friends are making $80k a yr their second yr out of school?  Once you hit $30MM AUM life begins to change for the better if you can stick it out.

Hope this helps. 

Sep 20, 2005 6:54 pm

ExEJIR - Good post.

Sep 20, 2005 7:13 pm

ExEJIR, thanks for the reply.

To answer your question, right now I'm at 20 mill. I was lucky enough that an office came open after I'd been out awhile at 13 mill. I've built it up to  around 20 over the last 1 1/2 years.

I guess I'm not to the point of having enough qualified prospects, and I'm wondering if I ever will. It seems like the 2-3 veterans in the market I'm in have wrapped up the bulk of the low hanging fruit over the years and established relationships with the CPAs, estate atty's. There's another 7-8 of us within a 8 mile radius that have been out less than 3 years. Guess what, all but one of us has taken over an exsisting office. Sorry, I didn't want to go off on a tangent and be a whiner. I think it is very difficult to see how any of us are going to make it long term when the last person who had made it in this area that started new new or took over an existing office was 10+ years ago. I'm trying to find a niche, maybe small businesses. I see how Jones works long term in the one horse towns or if you have a lot of connections in an urban market, but for the others of us???

Don't mean to be negative, and it might have a lot to do with this 3 year point I'm at. I'm not sure if my perceptions are way off base from reading posts on here and hearing others talk about how if you want the easy life making 60-70,000 you should work somewhere else. Sounds might tempting to someone who would have making $30,000 as a teacher.

I do agree the thing that has continued to keep me around is THE FLEXIBILITY, so I'm not sure if there are better options. Tradeoffs wherever you go. Thanks again.

Sep 20, 2005 7:49 pm

At $20MM AUM, it's time to start deepening the relations that you have.  (assuming its not $2MM in 10 accts)  It's time to start talking estate planning, insurance, bringing the family into the picture.  One of the things I tell people... "I want to be your family's advisor."  It's amazing how quickly you can gather assets, when people realize you are adding value not only to them but also their heirs.

Another quick idea... Do you have ties to a smaller town in the area where there is not a EDJ office?  (i.e. town you are from, town where you lived, mom's home town)  It could get you out of your rut and energize your biz.

Good Luck!

Sep 20, 2005 7:50 pm

P.S.   If you stick it out, 5 yrs from now, you will be paying more in taxes than your teacher friends are making.

Sep 21, 2005 1:02 am

Southcampus- I am out the same length of time virtually from scratch, with 17.5M. Give yourself until 5 complete years in the business, if you aren’t happy then do something else…  Good luck to you, if you want to talk PM me.