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Top insurance agency vs. Top wirehouse

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Jul 16, 2006 11:41 am

Why would someone choose to work at Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, etc. instead of working with a top insurance agency?

Reasons for working at wirehouse:
It sounds more prestigious
Don't want to sell insurance
Wants to primarily be an asset gatherer
Wants to be a stock picker
Insurance agencies have reputations for hiring everybody

Reasons for working at a top insurance agency:
Realistic opportunity to make 6 figures in your second year
Insurance sales don't go through grid
Opportunity to do complete financial advising (sorry wirehouse guys, but as long as you don't sell DI, you are failing at financial advising)
Pays much higher % of GDC.  Typically 40% for small producers and 80% for larger producers.

It seems to me that the wirehouse guys have more prestige, but the insurance guys make more money and do a better job for their clients.  Am I missing something?