EDJ Dilema

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Oct 3, 2008 9:20 pm

I would like to hear a veteran’s opinion. I’ve worked at Jones home office in Tempe for four years since college. I know one of the RLs in the Phoenix area and she offered me a 10 mil Goodknight. My dilema is that Phoenix is a “Location Rich Market” for Jones. They plan on having 250 FAs in the greater Phoenix area in the next five years. FAs are scattered all over Phoenix and all of the subburbs. Do you think it is worth it? First year couldn’t be bad with base and servicing 10 mil book at a RLs office… What else could you tell me about what to expect?

Oct 4, 2008 5:03 am

Wow starting with 10mil sounds like an unbelievable gift. I will be starting in St. Louis New New which is a much more saturated market than AZ. I figure if I am going to make it I will make it. Crap thats a no brainer. Unless your not sure you can do it.

Oct 4, 2008 10:10 am

Would you like to live and work in Phoenix?  There is more to this game than just straight up assets.  A lot of people tend to overlook that.  Do you think you as an individual will fit in the culture of the city?  Every city is different in that regard.  Maybe take a trip out and do some doorknocking so you can get a feel for what it’d be like.  Tell the RL that you would like to do a little first hand experience of the market and see what reaction possible clients will give to you.   10 mil is nothing to scoff at, but if you don’t “click” with the community it’ll be a lot tougher going on.

Oct 4, 2008 11:48 am

you better think twice before you start in this market.

Oct 4, 2008 4:33 pm

I work at the home office in Tempe, AZ. Her office is fifteen minutes from my house. EZMONEY, you mean how the market is in general or the Phoenix market? I would work in her office for twelve months and split commission 50/50 on the 10 million Goodknight, then take it to a new office. Anybody Goodknight veterans that can offer their two cents would be appreciated.

Oct 4, 2008 7:06 pm

What do you do in the home office?  If you’re an ATL, you should know that the classroom curriculum doesn’t translate to the real world.  Tell us a little bit about your background and experience and we can give you better advice.

Oct 4, 2008 8:49 pm

As a newbie I was one of the people that backed out of an offer at EDJ. I’m not sure what it was exactly that bothered me. I think the low base didn’t help but the fact that I would be working out of my home really got me in terms of (lack of) camaderie and what to say to prospects if (when) they asked me where my office was.

Say what you will but I ended up at a local ML office and am extremely happy with my decision. I have to say that having a place to go, people to bounce ideas off, and socializing when there is time to do so is very appealing to me. Just my opinion but at least where I am it seems that the level of professionalism is higher. Again, just my opinion.

At the end of the day it’s not as much about the firm (though in these times I would tell you it is most definitely the firm) but about you the (potential) advisor. What can you do to set yourself apart? Perhaps there are a lot of advisors in Phoenix. If you are new one thing you could do to set yourself apart is worked towards a CFP or CHFC.

Oct 7, 2008 10:37 pm

Hi there. I would like to see if I can get a few more answers. Can any Goodknight veterans tell me their two cents? How much of an advantage is a 10mm Goodknight? Why do 90% of Jones FAs fail? What is the big difference between Jones' business model and "wirehouses" like ML? How does this affect the FA's earnings?

Oct 7, 2008 10:43 pm

10mm is a big advantage:

1. gives you some income (though not a lot)

2. gives you some practice

3. gives you some captive prospects (most are clients that have not been contacted in years)

4. gives you a veteran to work with for some length of time

5. gives you an office

I don’t know where your 90% number comes from, but if it is true, it’s 90% of new/new fa’s. And that number is probably higher at wirehouses (primarily because of the hurdles they have). It’s not a reflection on the firm, so much as a reflection on the difficulty of starting in this industry from scratch.

Oct 8, 2008 12:55 pm

I think it is easeir for a new broker to start in a market like this as oppose to a bul market.  Find a clients pain and you find their business

Oct 8, 2008 2:22 pm

First, stop asking people on a forum for advice about your career.  You work for a company that employs hundreds of people that have had to make a decision like yours.  Find some of them and talk to them about it.  I’m sure you’re not the first GKN candidate to start in Phoenix in the last couple of years. 

  Second, you have a market share in Maricopa County of 1.21%.  You have 1.3 million households with a TLIA of $414 Billion.  The average market share across the country is 4%.  You can do the math on what kind of assets Jones would like to see there.  Sounds like you folks have a long way to go to catch up.  So, you can either be one of the first or one of the last ones to get going.  I have 12 EDJ offices within a 1 mile radius of my office.  We're all doing just fine.    Expect it to be tough going.  Expect long hours.  Expect to lose accounts to other advisors in town once in a while.  Expect to get clients from other advisors in town once in a while.  Expect to make more than you'll ever make in HQ (trust me, I came from there).  But, expect to get a different paycheck every month.    I'd take the GKN.  Your RL has a vested interest in seeing her GKN partner succeed.  She didn't get to be RL on accident.  Learn from her.  Watch how she works.  Do what she does.  She's obviously good at it.  She'll also be watching you.  Teaching you.  Making sure you don't screw her clients over.    Call her tomorrow and tell her you can start on Monday. 
Oct 8, 2008 2:26 pm

Spiff on a serious note. EJ Hiring and expectations for new hires over the next 12 - 18 months? Do you think pressure will be greater or the same. Just a question , I expect our Firm will be watching VERY CLOSELY the results against targets.

Oct 8, 2008 2:30 pm

Be grateful and do what they say. It’s generally a bad career move in corps to turn down a fair offer. You could always go somewhere else. You have to admit, EJ management is smart and successful - they want you to succeed, even in a crowded market. What are you waiting for, go have some adventure and get the heck out of Dodge.

Oct 8, 2008 6:36 pm

Spiff on a serious note. EJ Hiring and expectations for new hires over the next 12 - 18 months? Do you think pressure will be greater or the same. Just a question , I expect our Firm will be watching VERY CLOSELY the results against targets.

Their target is 8-11% growth every year. They will grow about 9-10% this year. They have put very strategic plans into place to make sure they hit those targets. They will cap new hires at their 10 or 11% max (I forget the exact numbers), and they have strategic initiatives they can put into place quickly when recruiting slows down. The idea is to grow in good and bad markets, and not grow too much in good markets (not outgrow our capabilities). Those that were with Jones in the late 90's saw the mistakes they made in growing too much too fast, which is what they fully admitted in their strategic growth plan.

I have to admit, Jones has become very aware of their strengths and weaknesses during their most reason 5-year planning process. They didn't mince words in identifying their SWOT's. I am very pleased with their planning process. Although much of what they stand for (hiring primarily newbies, single advisor offices, rather basic product offerings, conservative investment philosophy, etc.) ultimately holds back their growth and profitability, in the long run, we (the employees and partners) will all be thankful for it.
Oct 9, 2008 9:10 am

Thanks , B24. Just wondering.

Oct 13, 2008 12:37 am

Take it.

Oct 14, 2008 9:36 am

I’m in a GK1, your starting a 100meter dash from the 50Meter mark.  Downside is the expectation is certainly raised… A LOT.  As far is the diluted market factor, Jones has 9% of the TLIA in my town and so far it hasn’t been much of an issue. 

Good Luck to you.
Oct 14, 2008 3:04 pm

Take it. You’ll start with 10 million and if you play the game right, you can get some more business from the FAs who will fail.

Oct 14, 2008 4:33 pm

In most cases that's not the way it will work, so don't count on it.  In a well saturated area like you are in there are going to be plenty of people in the pipeline to take over any physical office space regardless of the amount of assetst there are in the office. 

Oct 14, 2008 4:34 pm

And please take Putsy with you.