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Jul 26, 2006 7:34 pm


About the only thing I'd change is that I'd be more skeptical of management's intentions.  The bottom line is, the only thing management really cares about besides their compensation package is...the bottom line.

...and although I was careful about this, I saw plenty of people who weren't, get burned.  ALWAYS assume that anything you say/do/email/write at work, can, and probably IS being monitored.


Including what is posted on this forum.

Jul 26, 2006 7:48 pm


Jul 26, 2006 7:58 pm


Would that mean that people at Mother Merrill are aware that Blarmston doesn't understand the bond market?

What a shame.

Jul 26, 2006 8:12 pm

The only thing I would change is that I would never had sold a fixed annuity that didn’t have some rate guarantees.

Jul 26, 2006 9:07 pm

Would that mean that people at Mother Merrill are aware that Blarmston doesn't understand the bond market?

What a shame.

Very original....

Jul 27, 2006 12:57 am

Although I would agree that marketing 401(k)'s is a very long, drawn-out process, I wouldn't toss-out this sales angle. It can be useful as a lead-in to other investment products.

In my experience, marketing 401(k)'s gets me in the door, while trying to sell the owner muni's (for example) doesn't. Why?

I think it's because marketing 401(k)'s is not viewed as a direct sales attempt, as opposed to selling someone a bond (for example). As a result, there's a lower level of sales resistance and it gives the owner the chance to get to know me.

For example, let's assume John Doe owns Company A and their 401(k) doesn't come up for review for 6 months. I walk-in, marketing 401(k)'s. The owner tells me, I'm 6 months too early, for their 401(k). No matter, I ask for the opportunity to bid for their 401(k) plan. I've never had a business owner decline to let me bid.

In order to bid, I must know as much as possible about the company and it's employees; so, I ask for an appointment to get the relevant info. (I walk away from that first appointment with a ton of useful info.) Invariably, I require a second appointment to ask some follow-up questions and get some more information. My third appointment is just to confirm my findings with management and is very casual, as they've gotten to know me by now.

I can assure you that sometime during those three appointments, I'll find out who their personal broker is, the approximate account size, and a general idea of their type of investments. Also, during those three appointments, they'll learn who I am and the way I do business. I've gotten more personal business from owners using this strategy, as opposed to investment product sales.

Oh yeah, once in a while, you'll actually get the company's retirement plan. My first one was $10 million and it took 1.5 years to get it. In the meantime, I opened 4 large personal accounts of company management, before I got the 401(k).

Make a living just marketing 401(k)'s? Very tough.

Make a living off the collateral benefits of marketing 401(k)'s? Yeah, it works for me.

Jul 27, 2006 1:06 am

Good stuff right there…

Jul 27, 2006 3:34 am

[quote=blarmston]Good stuff right there.....[/quote]


could it be that prospecting for 401k's from scratch versus poaching on mature plans within developed, profitable companies makes all the difference?

if you're going to fish for 401k biz, you may as well fish in the deeper water using larkspur data--

Jul 27, 2006 3:58 pm

Speaking of larkspur - has that worked for anyone else?

Jul 27, 2006 4:24 pm

Larkspur Data…now there’s a blast from the past!

Jul 27, 2006 11:36 pm

Used it once – didn’t like it. Thanks for playing.

Jul 27, 2006 11:56 pm

[quote=Devoted SA]Speaking of larkspur - has that worked for anyone else? [/quote]

i'm working a larkspur list right now to drum up some summer activity-- i've reacquainted myself with some old friends whose company plan's have grown into the $750,000 to $2mm class -- some are even unhappy w/ their brokers for their personal accts--

nothing transacted yet, but i'll definitely pull in a couple of these by year's end.