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Nov 4, 2008 3:48 pm

Hello everyone,

I am supposed to be starting with Ameriprise in a few days.  However, I ran across some things last night about the company that are not sitting well with me.  I have passed all of my licensing exams (L&H, Series 7 and 66), but I am tempted to walk away from Ameriprise and look elsewhere.  Many of the things that I had read last night confirmed some of the nagging suspicions that have been gnawing at me during my sponsorship period.  Luckily, I haven't started and none of my potential clients have become actual clients. I'll be honest - this is a career change for me, so I am very new to the financial services industry (read: I am not fresh out of college).  I am not motivated by the idea of making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year - I truly want to work with people and help them financially, not sell them a bunch of crap that they don't need and I'm afraid that this is what will be forced upon me with Ameriprise. I am relieved to have found this website today.  I've read through a few of the threads and will continue to read and gain more insight into this industry.  My main question and concern now is, with these licenses under my belt, where else can I turn to get a start in this industry as a financial advisor?  Ultimately, I would like to become a CFP and be strictly fee based for my services, but I know that is several years away (I've already taken the first module of the CFP course well before the Ameriprise offer).  Thanks for your time.
Nov 5, 2008 10:07 am

No sarcasm here, but I see real value in someone who is completely new to this business not jumpin in as an FA. Again I’m not here to be a jerk but this seems like a less than basic set of questions that should not need to be asked. You probably wouldn’t want to become a sales assistant but at least partnering with a veteran who can show you the ropes is invaluable.

  I feel 100% better off than other people entering the FA side of the business based on my experience as a SA, learning the ropes and this business and a feel for how different firms operate.   To answer your question, with you exams passed, you can apply to nearly any firm and expect to at least be considered. As to whether you'll be accepted as a trainee or not is another issue. But a big part of it is taking and passing the registration exams.
Nov 8, 2008 2:12 pm


No offense taken.  You touched upon something that I don't have very much experience with and that is sales.  I've never considered myself a salesperson, however I have excellent people and conversational skills.  I have no problem engaging in conversation with total strangers and I think that is half the battle.  The hard part for me, after building a rapport with someone, is the moment where I offer my services and products.  Sounds weird to say, but I tend to get a rush out of it.  As I said earlier, though, I am not motivated by the almighty dollar. I truly wish to help people make better choices for themselves financially because I have seen many friends and family make mistakes because they don't know what they were doing or didn't have any guidance.  Luckily, a huge part of my training is in sales and marketing. I've decided to start with Ameriprise and not base my decision on the things that I have read.  I think a lot of what I had read was by someone who was pretty bitter because they did not make it through the pre-appointment phase. Thanks for your input.
Nov 10, 2008 5:28 pm
   Your instincts are correct - Leave Amerijoke ASAP.    Consider going to a Wirehouse as they provide the best overall training(sales, product, etc). Becoming a Bank Rep is also an option, but you would be better prepared having gone through a formal training program.   Good luck!