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Mar 26, 2008 8:22 pm

I have been working for a mutual fund company for five and a half years. I have been an internal wholesaler for three. I have worked mostly with independent reps and financial institutions. I don’t want to be an external wholesaler because that is not the path I would like to take. I have been thinking about becoming an F/A for a year now. I have heard various things about Bank of America BAI and the CSG group along with the sentiment that not too many reps are happy there. I have also heard about the positions at Wells, Citi, Axa, LPL, IFMG, Ameriprise, Ed Jones, etc. you get my point. There are a lot of firms and it seems as if each has it’s pro’s and cons. I have my series 6 and 63 so I would need a firm to sponsor my 7.

  So here is my question....which firm do you think would be good to start at? I love the idea of being independent but at the same time, I don't know if LPL would sponsor me because I don't have any clients to bring over. I hear they have a pretty good inventory, great support, great payout and pretty liberal as far as compliance goes. Any words of wisdom someone can give me?    P.S. Please be nice as not all internals and externals are bad.
Mar 26, 2008 8:41 pm

I recco you start at a wire or big regional like RJ or RBC. Three reasons: Training, support, salary. You gonna need all three. Best training is at ML, however, I’d still favor SB. After you’re trained and on your way, you still need to be able to live with your employer. Apologies to ML people, but SB offers almost as good training and a much more entrepreneural platform to build from. Stay away from UBS on the wire side and Janny on the regional side. Also stay away from Ameriprise and other firms that make you front all the upfront costs.

Mar 26, 2008 9:55 pm

UBS i my area doesn’t make you front the costs.

At least, they have never said a word to me about it.

Mar 26, 2008 10:45 pm

UBS i my area doesn’t make you front the costs.

At least, they have never said a word to me about it.

  Read a little slower.  BondGuy never said that UBS would make you pay upfront costs.  He just said stay away from them on the wirehouse side.  Ameriprise was what he referenced to staying away from for paying upront costs.
Mar 26, 2008 10:49 pm

Good call, I have to stop reading so much of this forum on my BlackBerry.

Mar 27, 2008 1:17 am

You can’t start independent without clients or training (any firm that tells you differently is lying).  Now, you could look into being hired and trained by and independent shop.  The training would likely be less structured.  That’s not necesssarily a bad thing – sometimes hands-on training beats sitting in a class.

Mar 27, 2008 10:13 pm

Thank you for the feedback.

Mar 27, 2008 10:32 pm

Wow! I have never heard about firms charging a person to take an exam.

  I am confident that I can build my book as I have shared in helping a lot of my advisor's build their business. I like investing and find myself actually enjoying the idea of helping clients meet their goals. However, I am worried about the exam.   My understanding is that the 7 is like the 6 on steroids.
Mar 27, 2008 11:14 pm

The 7 is just the 6 plus options. Which coincidentally is the hardest part.

Mar 28, 2008 12:22 am

If you can are sure you can sell solidly for 5 years go to a major recognizable wirehouse.  Merrill if possible. 

Note cold calling is 100 times harder to do than you think while you are sitting there reading this post.    If you have any reservations about being a SOLICITOR for the next 5 years I would recommend starting at a bank.  Preferably a smaller bank or cu that won't jerk you around as much.  This will take a lot of research to find a good situation.  From the things I've read on this board it sounds like the variations are vast.
Mar 28, 2008 11:24 am

Surely the 6 doesn’t cover any material on individual bonds, the underwriting process, calculating YTM, YTC, etc., either.