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America's Top Financial Advisors Article

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Dec 24, 2008 3:41 am

As one who is narrowing down the number of firms to hopefully join, what should I make of the article (advertisement?) “America’s Top Financial Advisors” created by Fortune/Money and posted on the RR Mag home page ?

  It shows to me that an overwhelming number of the top wirehouse reps come from Smith Barney (21 of 50) followed by a distant Merrill Lynch (12 of 50).  The independents (though I'm fairly sure a new guy doesn't need to worry about the independents yet) are dominated by LPL (12 of 50) and Raymond James (11 of 50).   If both Smith Barney and Raymond James Associates are available choices, which would be better - chasing the money at SB or preparing for an independent option and joining Raymond James Associates?
Dec 24, 2008 3:30 pm

I’d say if you’re new to the game, go with a wirehouse or a regional brokerage.  Gain the experience you AND your clients need, and once you’ve built your book large enough, you can go indy.  For wirehouses,  find a branch office manager that you like, can trust, and is willing to help you out.  

  Best of Luck to you!
Dec 24, 2008 5:28 pm

Thanks!  Yes I am new to the game (not even in it yet, you could say I’m in the rookie draft).  I’m a career changer.

  If I understand the classifications correctly, SB would be classified a wirehouse and Raymond James a regional.  Based on my original question, which of these two would you pick (assuming equal branch manager qualifications)?  Again, all of this is in reference to the article describing where all the big producers work.