Is this Good Bad or just plain Ugly

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Sep 18, 2008 10:54 pm

Am I absolutely crazy to be starting a career NOW? I start training this fall and I’ll be prospecting starting Jan.

could walk away from this opportunity in fear of the worst possible
scenario for all of us, but interest has been stirred so deep that
there may be no turning back.

After the events of the last
couple of weeks, there is no telling what will be happening by the time
I’m prospecting. Could be a terrible situation or with the election and
possible economic turn around in sight, it could be a Great time to be

Should any weight be given to the current economic situation or should I just go blindly into a career with EJ.

Sep 18, 2008 11:05 pm

Depends on what firm you are with. 

I argue that this is the best time in history to be in wealth management. All the amateurs who thought they knew what they were doing are obviously feeling a lot of pain. Everyone is open to talk about the market and see if you are competent to help them.  99% of the time, they are disappointed with their current situation, expect more, demand more, or want to diversify their accounts....etc  I tell people that I help people who are not absolutely thrilled with who they are dealing with.  They should be so loyal and happy to be with you.  Try it out, it works.  Dont give up like the rest of the so called brokers. I asked a family friend how he his business (700mil) 2 years ago-  Cold calling-no,  I called everyone I knew.  Hope this helps.  
Sep 19, 2008 8:45 am

tmoney47 - the firm you work for is irrelevant.

  prometheus.grp - if this buying opportunity shakes you, you may as well take that job at the coffee shop.  When prospects / clients see your fear - they will run.   Go read, 'the frightened little owl'.  It's about a little owl who is afraid to fly - so he leaves the safety of the nest to go out looking for his mommy.  I won't spoil the ending.  
Sep 21, 2008 2:38 pm

Any thoughts on how the current economy would have an impact on Jones’ way of doing business. Cold knocking and calling…

Sep 22, 2008 8:45 am

Since the current economic conditions are not anything out of the ordinary - I can’t imagine that Edward Jones would implement anything new from their time tested tradition of knocking on doors.  This industry is a contact sport - regardless of which way the ball is being kicked (or batted, or thrown, or dribbled, or punted, or bunted).

Sep 22, 2008 3:39 pm

Here’s my take on it - I admit, I’m not talking from experience.  I start with Jones next week.  The way I look at it, this is a great time to get in!  When a newbie (like me) is looking for clients, he will be trying to attract mainly two types. 

1. People that figured they could just do it all themselves and don’t need an adviser.
2. People that already have an adviser, but aren’t totally satisfied with him/her.

The last 10 days have been phenomenally volatile and flooded the news outlets with coverage relating to Lehman, AIG, etc… As far as I’m concerned, that HELPS me a lot.  First, it makes people INTERESTED in talking to me.  That is always the first and biggest hurdle.  For people that figured they didn’t need an adviser, it gives me a chance to explain what has happened, and why I could insure that their longterm financial goals will better served by me.  For those people that have another adviser now, there is a good chance that these clients have just watched one of the wildest weeks of financial news they have ever seen and many of them will not have heard a thing from their adviser.  GREAT!  That, once again, gives me just what I need.  A chance to explain to them what has happened, learn a bit about their situation, and of course tell them how I would be a better communicator. 

Clients might need a rising market to make money, but volitile times, as far as I see it, can be a great opportunity for any advisor, and a new one in particular.

Sep 22, 2008 4:01 pm

I accepted an offer from Jones this week. I agree that the need for competent advice has never been greater. My concerns are different.

I’m curious what the long-term fallout from the demise of the investment banks will be. I anticipate that competition in the FA space will intensify, negatively impacting commissions industry-wide. I fear that compensation will be adversely affected. And given how reactionary the feds and pols in Washington have been, who knows what crazy ideas they’ll float next. They’re already talking about placing a ceiling on CEO pay. You can bet they’ll ultimately respond to the credit crisis by over-regulating and legislating, swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction.

It’s unchartered territory for everyone, I just wonder if it’s wise to jump into the field now.

Sep 22, 2008 4:17 pm

AND …the real problems have yet to be addressed. There are some fundemental corrections that are happening in Western Economies. Stay conservative ( in my opinion ) with Investment choices in the next XXX period of time.

Why is GM drawing on it's Credit Line now....their concern over being able to access monies at a reasonable rates. Look for this to be happening in many sectors.
Sep 22, 2008 4:21 pm

There’s never a “good” time to jump into this biz if you are looking at the markets.  Maybe 95-99, but not in this decade.  Make the decision based on what timing is good for you.  Will there be some changes to the landscape?  Yep.  But here’s what won’t change.  Clients will need your advice.  They’ll need your ideas for income and for growth.  They’ll need you to help them put their kids through college.  They’ll need you to tell them what to do with their 401ks.  They’ll need you to tell them how to pass money on to their kids and grandkids.  Those things won’t change.  Life will go on and they need your advice on how to handle it. 

  Welcome to the firm.  Stop worrying about the market and start worrying about marketing.   
Sep 22, 2008 4:45 pm

Just a thanks to Spiff for his calming words of wisdom.  Another huge thanks to Spiff and all the others that contribute to this board from all of us who read when we get the time, but don’t often post.  Your insight is always appreciated. 

I have to agree, whether it is ever a good time or a bad time to enter just about any field is always a personal choice, and should be decided mainly by our own options and situation.  Undoubtedly, we are in a time of uncertainty in the world economy, generally, and with regards to US government policy and involvement in particular.  I’ve got my house paid, got a year’s salary in the bank, so for me, I believe now is the time.  Others will see it differently.

Good luck to all.

Sep 22, 2008 5:08 pm

Here’s my take on it - I admit, I’m not talking from experience.  I start with Jones next week.  The way I look at it, this is a great time to get in!  When a newbie (like me) is looking for clients, he will be trying to attract mainly two types. 

1. People that figured they could just do it all themselves and don’t need an adviser.
2. People that already have an adviser, but aren’t totally satisfied with him/her.

  1. Don't bother.  These people will never fully trust you.   2. Maybe.  But only if you have something of value to offer them (and you appear more experienced and knowledgable than their advisor).  They may not trust brokers anymore.   You need to target people with qualified money.  They have a lot, but have never had, or needed, an advisor.  The guy that has 250K+in his 401K (OK, less if you are new) and is retiring or switching jobs.  He just wants to know what to do with it.  He hasn't been screwed by a "broker" yet, and he does not feel he has the knowledge or desire to manage it himself. This is the easiest way for new people to open accounts, as there is the least amount of resistance.
Sep 22, 2008 8:58 pm

JonesUK, you are very fortunate to be starting at a time where you are financially strong.

My situation is different, I believe it will help push me harder… I am financially sound and my work ethic is something to be modestly proud of. But to be in a position where failing is not an option can’t hurt my chances at 5 year survival.

For the Jonesers already in the field, what would be your thoughts if you were starting your career now or in the following months?

Sep 22, 2008 8:58 pm

B24 - Thanks for the advice, can’t argue with it.  No doubt, this business is about targeting people with money.  We will all agree that the retiree/new job with a pile of cash and without a current broker are great catches…the obvious question we ALL will ask of course, ‘How do we find them’?

Sep 23, 2008 9:16 am


You need to identify who they are in your area.  In my area, there is one particular employer with a an aging population of long-time employees (think phone companies, utility co's, other large employers).  They employ about 8,000, and msot of them are over 50.  I target them.  I look for them, I target my seminars towards them, I try to get referrals to them, I tell CPA's I specialize in helping with their pensions and 401k's (the options and rules).  Basically, find a niche area, and present yourself as "The Guy" in that area.  Yes, early on you will take anything.  But you need to migrate towards a niche so when people think of retirees at XYZ co., they think of you.  It may be different - it may be owners of landscaping businesses, or female attorneys, or Subway owners - doesn't matter.  They just have to have money and a need, and be in enough abundance to be meaningful.
Sep 23, 2008 6:27 pm

I agree with Spiff, there really is no “good” time to enter the business.

  Entering the business now (I entered in 2005) gives you a chance to jump into the fire immediately, and if you know your stuff and youre confident and work hard, you will have a good chance to make it.  Clients are very shook and honestly, so are their advisors, insurance ppl, etc.  But ask yourself a few questions first.   -What is your niche? (centers of influence, former colleagues/clients) -What services will you be offering? (Money Management, Trading the acct, etc) -Where is your geographic area (some places are either over/under saturated) -Where do you see yourself in 10 years?    These are all cliche, but you must ask yourself these questions as every successful FA has asked him/herself these questions and then some.    Best I can say is be prepared to work like you never worked before.  You are going to be doing things that not everyone can do.  There are tons of great marketing ideas (B24's post is a great marketing idea, and look up anything from Anonymous, TheJudge, all the vets).  But in the end, its you and you alone who is going to sit in front of that client and show them why youre the one to manage the assets they busted their ass to gain. 
Sep 23, 2008 7:28 pm

B24 - Many thanks for the honest and constructive, advice.  Much appreciated.