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Aug 18, 2005 4:28 pm

I hesitate to post this topic as it sounds similar to others that usually attract some scorn on other forums, but want to ask anyway.

I'm attemtping to guage how a person with my background would be viewed by a hiring manager with one of the wirehouses.  I went to work in the investment industry about 3 years ago, shortly after finishing law school.  I currently work for an independent RIA (fee only).  I am in a research position and also work in the back office.  I have completed level II of the CFA exam and will begin preparing for level III in the near future.  I have no sales experience.  I'm 32 years old and live in a middle market.

I enjoy what I do, but would like to get in front of clients and out from the shadows of my current position.  I'm in a smaller firm and don't see much opportunity for that here, but realize how difficult it would be to set out as a RIA without an established book of my own.

Has anyone on this board made a transition into brokerage from a similar background.  Does anyone have a sense of how someone of my background would be perceived by a hiring manager at one of the wirehouses, etc.  What kind of salary can one expect in your first year if you made the switch (currently at $65,000.) 

 Thanks for any input or advice, or even the likely jabs.  It all makes the day go by!

Aug 18, 2005 8:55 pm


The retail side of the business is a sales position...period.  While the education you have earned through your JD and CFA will be valuable to your clients...unless you have the ability to market yourself to put yourself in front of will never have the opportunity to use it.

Assuming you can convince a hiring  branch manager to take a chance on you, you would reasonably expect between $40-$60K as a training salary.

Good Luck!

Aug 18, 2005 10:51 pm

I have a CFP and a CFA and both are extremely useful and can only help
you.  My guess, Jas, is that you will have no problem getting a
position.  You will, however, find it difficult when you find
yourself in front of a prospect that has $1,000,000 in 1 stock and
unwilling to listen to you about makeing a change, despite all of the
piles of facts you provide him on such nonsense.  He will walk
away and you will have failed in that sale.  In our business, a
lost sale is a lost sale, whether it is a moron like this or a
sophisticated investor who chose another advisor.  It is part
knowledge and part something that a good cell phone salesman has…just
plain sales ability.   

Aug 19, 2005 8:37 am

Great posts, I agree… salary would probably be 40-60. I know sales managers who are nervouse about CFA’s. It can not hurt you, but indicates you may be more analytical, and not a hunter. Impressive though. that is a very hard designation to get. Rightway, nice job. I’m beginning the CFP process (Not fun), I know of a bunch of guys who have taken the test recently - very CHALLENGING from what I hear.