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RJ vs Commonwealth

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Apr 12, 2009 4:11 pm

Can anyone give me any color on going indie with Raymond James, vs Commonwealth? Has anyone looked at both? If you did, what made your decision to go with whomever you go with.
The one drawback i see with Commonwealth is a name that is completely unrecognizable by the general public. But it seems to me that since they clear through NFS, you could use the Fidelity name to sell it to your clients.
The one drawback i see with RJ, is they seem to have a wirehouse feel. Coming from a wire, maybe thats not a bad thing. Their ticket charges and haircuts seem to be on the high side as well.
Appreciate any thoughts.

Apr 12, 2009 7:54 pm

Don’t get caught up in the brand name thing.  It was a MAJOR concern of ours as well, but we decided on LPL in the end.  Now we realize that we should not have worried at all - the clients come because of you, not the firm you’re with.

Apr 12, 2009 8:37 pm

I’m having the exact same dilemna. I am looking at working at a new RJ office. The office, after the Ray Jay payout will take about 20% off the top line. My bottom line is about 64%. Commonwealth would be north of 80%. Of course that assumes no other expenses.  I would like to work out of my home. Thinking about converting part of my home to an office which would have a separate entrance for clients.

Apr 13, 2009 2:34 am

 I echo the brand thing…its the kool-aid the employer you work for has in the IV running from your head set to your brain.

  I can only speak for Commonwealth and the expenses are what they are.  The payouts are as advertised.  Just like most INDY companies, that is to say, a b/d that does not make any product of any type for you to sell, including research.    Tech expenses are 75/mo You do not pay Schedule A (payout) on fixed lines like fixed life/annuity, term, LTC, DI. web site 30/mo.   Tickets on most fund buys are free, some are $15 and all NL/NTF are free. All systematics are free Sells can be $15 on funds plus $4 confirm fee You can choose to have client pay any and all fees if you want. This is on wrap accounts,  SMA is different animal of course.   Just call the 800 number and talk to them.  Get a PW for their web site and research it yourself.  They can issue a temp PW.   E/O insurance is currently $1,950. Your licensing is the same anywhere. along with fidelity bond etc. Brokerage costs are the same basically, just 16 bucks plus I think .01/share over 1000.  Client IRA fees can be absorbed, AI fees can be absorbed or passed on, your choice.   Really you should do your own research.  I did not go RJ in 2003 as they didn't fit my practice.  CFN did fit me well, but I am a techie and their service to me has been fantastic.  While at my former b/d, computer applications were down weekly.  I am about complete 3 years, and I have not experienced an unplanned outage with ANY of the computer applications offered.  I feel that a smaller, family feeling is great.  I do not depend on a bunch of blowhards breathing down my neck, and I'll be damned if I will ever share one red cent with anyone providing a service that is sanctioned theft.  I am sure there are folks that have their ax to grind pro/con.  One size doesn't fit all of course.  Make a call and talk to one of the transition folks.  CFN is a firm that will not grow at any cost, they prefer to choose quality folks who meet not only the factual minimums, but the charachter to join a family.  Call and see if there is a fit for you.          
Apr 16, 2009 12:52 am

Several firms exist which are quality outside of RJ and Commonwealth.  I’m assuming you’ve narrowed your search down to these two particular firms then?  If you need help exploring potential additional options, please PM me.  All the best to you and your search.

Apr 17, 2009 4:00 am

I have experience with RJFS.  I can say they are a great firm and a stand up company to operate with!