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Sep 24, 2011 8:19 pm

what would be your advice about entering the industry now? And more narrowly, what are your thoughts on Edward Jones?

Any insight that you are willing to share is much appreciated.

Sep 26, 2011 2:56 pm


As a former Joneser I can tell you that it is a great place to start your career in this industry.  The training for the 7 and 66 were great.  Whether or not it is a place you stay for the remainder of your career depends on your personality type.  I still have a number of friends there who have built very nice books of business, are comfortable, and don't mind giving up about 60% (initially) of their gross to not have to worry about running the business aspects of a practice (like an independent).  I left as I was coming around to see that the business I was building belonged to EJ..I simply didn't like that.  My book now has value to other advisors..if I decide to retire..I can sell it.  If I go out this afternoon and get hit by a will be purchased by another advisor I partner with and the procees will go to my wife.  That simply doesn't happen at Jones.  Btw, thanks for becoming a resident/and eventually a citizen the legal way (I assume), there are still some of us out here that believe in the rule of law...and good luck on your decision.

Sep 26, 2011 6:40 pm

I've been with Jones for 2 years and 3 months now. Because I went about it the wrong way, I will offer my two bits:

1. Negotiate a deal up front eg Goodknight or existing office. I have seen FA's with absolutely no experience in anything financial and they took over a 15 to 20 million office. I took over a 15 million office after 6 months out.

2. I hope you like door knocking because that is the only way you are going to build this business fast. Unless you have family/friends/connections who have already stated their intent to do business with you. And when I say that, I don't mean the occasional 529 or 20k rollover. I'm talking whales. Otherwise, get ready to hoof it.

3. Look at other firms as well. If you are going to bust your ass knocking on doors, you may as well get the best payout. Jones provides great training, but they tie your hands for 3 years. They provide no leads, but if you can get an office with 10 to 20 mil., that may very well be worth the trade off.

4. Make sure you can live off your savings for at least 3 years. My biggest mistake and now after 2 years I am wondering if I shouldn't have waited another year.

5. Jones is a great company, but do drink the shit out of that kool-aid. They don't encourage independent thinking. However, they will cover your ass in a highly regulated field because their compliance is like your Aunt that checks behind your ears to make sure you scrubbed them.

6. I have been in sales for over 24 years. I am a damned good closer. In fact, one of the best. Still, that means shit in this business unless you have people to close. No matter who you go with, make sure you have upwards of a 1000 quality names you can call on. Filli your pipeline fast and keep it full. My biggest mistake was taking over an office and thinking I had arrived. You haven't arrived in this business until you are making a good living.

Good luck to you in whatever you do. This is not the greatest time to be entering this business, but that means less competition. BTW, if you hang around this forum (I have for 3 years, but I never post), you will find many Jones haters. They have their reasons for why they left. Some may have made the choice, others may have been asked to leave. In either event, don't listen to the haters. Listen to what makes sense for you and your family. Be honest with yourself and I would suggest doing some gutcheck. This is a hard business and I have seen many fail at Jones. If you can't make it at Jones, well, I doubt you will make it anywhere. Be good.

Sep 28, 2011 12:28 am

Thank  you very much guys for your input. Everybody seems to agree that EJ is a great place to start. I visited a local FA today and he reenforced my belief that EJ is a viable option for me. It might look like a terrible time to enter this business, but I really think  I could be successful.

I will keep you updated on my progress and probably have a thousand questions for you...

The information on this forum is priceless, thank you!

Sep 28, 2011 2:00 am


It might look like a terrible time to enter this business, but I really think  I could be successful.


It's just like my dad told me about marriage... If you wait for the "perfect" or "best" time, you will never do it. EJ I think is a good place to start. Limited options help you keep from over analyzing things. I used to bang on EJ for being crappy in what type of business you can do. But now I realize it's smart to limit what you can do, so you can spend your time gathering $$$ instead of analyzing all the different possibilities.
Sep 29, 2011 12:12 am

When I started selling insurance back in 1988, my sales manager gave me one policy and said "here go sell a 100 of these. When you reach that goal, I'll show you another product." Of course, it didn't take 100 policies to start diversifying into other products, but his point was well taken. When you're new in a very complicated, heavily regulated business it is in your best interest to make sure you truly understand what you are doing before you attempt to become too sophisticated. It amazes me when I hear guys out of eval/grad saying they're pitching variable life policies to new contacts. I always ask "do you know how variable life works?" They always say "no, but my wholesaler does.' My reply then is " but it isn't the relationship with your wholesaler that you should be worried about." This usually shuts them up and pretty much don't hear them talking about vul anymore. My suggestion? Become a pro at prospecting. Learn one product really, really good eg mutual funds, muni bonds, etc. Keep it simple and convert prospects quickly. You get in over your head with VA and VUL products and for all you know the prospect might not even want or need that product. KYC, baby! That's an SEC regulation, not a Jones class for newbies. One more thought on wholesalers: realize you are their customer. They often know less about the product than seasoned FA's do as we sell those products and it is in our best interest to know how they work in real time, not on some spreadsheet. Another phrase to memorize no matter what you're selling: : "Mr. Smith, the only certainties in life are death and taxes and I can't do a thing about that. However, I can help you mitiagate losses in down markets, hedge against the IRS, and reach the goals you've set out for yourself." Remember: we are advisors. This means they want our opinion. When you're new, it's hard to give advice because you don't know anything yet. So, what I did when I was new is I told my prospects "Mr. Smith, our firm dedicates an incredible amount of time and energy ensuring that I give you proper advice. If I don't have an answer, I will get it." Afterall, nobody knows everything, but everybody knows something. Our job is to know more than our clients know. Accomplish this and you will find great success. But don't forget: it all begins with a phone call or a door knock. What Jones teaches transcends the industry, so don't worry that you will be ill-equipped to compete with other firms. There's a reason why LPL, Raymond James, and every other firm pays out the nose to get successful FA's from Jones. The training is unparalleled. Is Jones the most sophisticated? No. Will you have more freedom with Jones? Define freedom. Will you make more money with Jones? Unless you go indie, most paygrids are eseentially the same. What Jones offers that other firms don't is an opportunity to build a book of business in your hometown without a BSM up your ass every day wanting to know how many calls you made. Ok, I'm off my soapbox. Good luck and don't use golfballs when you knock, They f'ing hurt!

Sep 29, 2011 2:55 am

Good advice MaddMatt.

To add, don't ever knock. Always RING the doorbell. Who knows why they called it doorknocking, now it is called something else to be politically correct.

Sep 29, 2011 1:50 pm

Yeah, they call if Face to Face. In the beginning I was told "friends knock, strangers ring". Looking back I realize how goofy that sounds. Whoever made that up must be living in their own little world.

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Dec 27, 2011 12:53 pm

Have enough savings to live on for a min. of three years.

Work your butt off.  Call anyone and everyone you can and ask for their business.  Good luck.  Its one of the hardest jobs on the planet but certainly one of the most rewarding.

Dec 29, 2011 10:03 pm


Have enough savings to live on for a min. of three years.[/quote]

Three years? After a b/d (Indy, regional, wire, whoever) slips you sponsorship to test you can dial immediately after passing and bring in dough.

You don't need a dime of savings.

Of course, if someone is trying to sell their services/abilities to gain aum it'll be a long haul to establish trust and relationships etc and in that case it may take three years, but that's obviously not the only or even desired method to get started.

Dec 29, 2011 10:24 pm

I wouldn't do it now, EJ is a great place to get started but  they'll sue if you're a good performer & you try to leave.  They think the clients are theirs, not yours.....Go thru a bank & get paid a salary then go from there.  Otherwise look for a sunset program/retiring FA where you'll take over a 50MM book, otherwise forget it, over 95% of fa's that start at jones, after 3 years they're gone--just don't make it.  the market is very different then 5 years ago, trust me & take good care. they'"ll rah rah you but the reality is people are simply terrified right now, why would someone give you $200k of their money with no experience after they knoocked on your door 3-4 times...i mean really

Dec 31, 2011 2:10 am

[quote=Levelheaded]I wouldn't do it now, EJ is a great place to get started but  they'll sue if you're a good performer & you try to leave.  They think the clients are theirs, not yours.....[/quote]

lol are you serious?? WOW I'll assume you're being truthful since I don't know why you wouldn't be.

Why on earth would people go this route when you can just as easily go independent from day 1, keep twice as much, and um, apparently not get sued to keep what you worked for. lmao

Dec 31, 2011 6:06 pm

If I had it to do all over again I would have joined Wells Fargo or Ameriprise.  They have hybrid-indy models which can you transition to at somepoint.  I worked for a bank that didn't have that.  I've heard Ed Jones can get testy when you leave.

As for three years of savings?  WHAT!  Are you not going to sell a thing for three years?  Just have 9 months of savings.  Lower your living expenses ... and make it happen!

Jan 1, 2012 2:46 pm

Having three years in the bank allowed me to:

1) Focus on building a fee-based practise

2) Put 100% of what I earned back into my marketing.  More seminars.  More leads. 

Never had to make the choice between more marketing or the rent.


Jan 2, 2012 8:08 am


Having three years in the bank allowed me to:

1) Focus on building a fee-based practise

2) Put 100% of what I earned back into my marketing.  More seminars.  More leads. 

Never had to make the choice between more marketing or the rent.



Sounds like that was a great plan. The more years of savings the better.

Although, it still doesn't qualify as anything close to a requirement. Plenty of people have successfully built fee based practices without a dime of savings.