Career Changer - A Few Questions

or Register to post new content in the forum



  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Jul 27, 2014 4:27 pm

Hi all, as the name suggests, I am looking into making a shift into this industry. Just a bit of a background: I am still young, but have a few years of experience in a high turnover, high stress sales environment and have been fairly successful, especially in bringing in new business for my team. I have been doing tons of research and reading on the industry, and understand the risks associated with wanting a career in this industry.

I have spoken with branch managers at mostly every big place in town and am interviewing with the 3 places that are hiring. I just had a few questions regarding them that I can’t seem to nail down.

Merrill Lynch:

They keep boasting ~50% success rate on the PMD these days, which sounds ridiculous. From what I see in forums and articles, it still seems to float around the 90% fail rate. Would you say it is still 90% fail rate, or have they really found a way to keep more people around? What happens to the X% that fail, but still want to be in the industry? Do other firms look at them and give them a chance if it really was a case of trying as hard as you can, but just didn’t hit a hurdle? Obviously you need to have the attitude failure isn’t an option, but I also need to be realistic about my future.


It seems everything I read about them is terrible press from the mid-late 2000’s. I can’t really find objective opinions on them from the past few years. Has their image turned around? Lately they’ve been taking lots from wirehouses and from the outside they seem successful. Any thoughts? Anyone have any experience/advice on their TCC (Targeted Career Changer) program?

Edward Jones

I love the culture, but the business model seems too transactional for me. Everyone I talk to there does tons of transactions to make a living and no real fee-based work. It seems even their CFPs I talk to do mostly transactional work. How does their platform compare? Can I really take a holistic wealth management approach with EJ? Can you make it there fee-based / is their Advisory Solutions any good?

I don’t expect one person to know all these answers; just any help at all is appreciated. Thanks!

Aug 3, 2014 7:10 pm

The fail rate is what it is, it is not important to people who rarely fail. Stop wasting time on it.

Ameriprise is a nightmare.

Edward Jones is no place to start out. ML is as good as anywhere for a rookie. Get in, take care of the client, everything else, automatically, magically, falls into place. Be open minded, fees are not a panacea, many of my wealthiest clients prefer commissions, and I do not discount.