In the middle of interviewing with EJ but want to keep a backup plan if it fails

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Mar 16, 2015 9:43 pm

Hello WM Forums!

I come to you from insuranceforums and always seem to find myself back in this financial planning/advisor sphere considering it's something I've always dreamed about doing. And I always seem to find myself getting licensed as an insurance producer; however, I have never taken my series exams.

I'm super analytical and tend to spend way too much time overthinking which I'm learning may hurt me in this industry, but I press on, trying to achieve my goal.

I have been contacted by Waddell & Reed after moving to a new city (Memphis, TN) and went in for the first interview today. Apparently they are growing (sounds like American Income and I hear W&R was a Torchmark company back in the day...)

Anyway, after W&R contacted me, I gave my colleague, whom I interned with at Northwestern Mutual back in college, a call. He spoke very highly of Edward Jones, as it was his second choice behind LPL Financial which he works with now. So I applied online and have my first EJ phone screen tomorrow (wish me luck!) and I hear as long as you are presentable (I am) and of course finish interviewing I have a good shot at getting hired. I'm warming up to door knocking, even though a cold door knock seems intimidating, I know that I can do it for 3 years, especially on some form of base pay. 

Of everything I've read in these boards Edward Jones has top notch training right behind Merril Lynch (I couldnt do that kind of competition!! I already had trouble sticking with NMFN) Which leads me to think I'm more geared for Investments as opposed to insurance, though I know my future clients will need insurance!

So my question today, is if I don't make it with EJ, who else should I be applying to?

I have applied to MetLife and heard nothing back.

I can't find a Fidelity in Memphis.

I applied to First National today, hope to hear back soon.

Federal Financial wants to hire me, but I'm not too sure about them, yet.

Country Financial looks nice, they want to interview, but again I can't find one here in Memphis. 

Liberty National is a maybe, but probably a no. 

I'm at an information overload here. I know most people here bash W&R but I haven't read any updates on them from searches since 2013, the most detailed information I find is way back in 2010.

All help is kindly appreciated and you have my thanks in advance. I will be checking back regularly to help answer any questions!

Mar 17, 2015 4:55 am

Congrats. First of all, don’t go for those “insurance” companies to start out with. EDJ is good, and you’re friend at LPL is good too. I’d look to bigger broker-dealers and wirehouses since they have top training programs and a compensation plan that deals with a base salary plus commissions for you to atleast survive on for your first couple years.

Have you tried looking at Wells Fargo Advisors, Raymond James, Charles Schwab, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Ameriprise, and RBC Wealth?

Those would fit you better initially, and you can always move onto becoming an independent after you’ve reached a certain amount of clients.

You may want to check out for better info on new financial advisors.

Mar 17, 2015 11:41 am

Ive applied to Raymond James and haven’t heard anything back. I’d really love working there. I found some disheartening things about EDJ on MotleyFool and a blog of the EDJ Saga, but no matter.

Also, what are some good wirehouses? If I want to be an investment advisor where would I head to?

What all have you all heard of Wunderlich? I am going to try there also.

Mar 17, 2015 12:48 pm

Yeah there’s always going to be some negative sides to all firms. Regardless, EDJ is a respected broker-dealer – advisors may “cook the books” just for that luxurious vacation at EDJ, but every firm has those types of people.

For wirehouses, the best to start in my opinion is Wells Fargo. Then, UBS. Wells Fargo is a respected name, high rise office, and pretty darn good products for a public company. UBS is more prestigious than Wells, but in the US… more people know who WF is. If you were outside the USA, then UBS would be the best choice.

Wunderlich isn’t even in my top 20. I would steer clear. If you don’t get into a top 10 firm, then it’ll be really hard for you to start off with to bring in the assets.

Mar 17, 2015 2:25 pm

I just got off the phone for my first phone screen. Everything went better than expected!

I’m still concerned with this blog I found on kronstantinople

Is it really true? I mean with EDJ wanting to hire up to 20,000 agents by 2020, their rigorous training, I’m very confused where they fall on the scale. Will I be able to sell insurance alongside their 7 preferred funds?

Apr 30, 2015 12:54 pm

Hey, I just got an offer and i’m probably gonna accept it at EJ, I was interested in seeing how it went for you? Also I got an offer from Merrill Lynch, biggest difference was Merrill offered 50k for 31 months straight, Merrill offered 45k for 4 months straight and from there you have to meet their “sales standard”. My issue was Merrill’s PMD program sounds terrible on every forum I’ve read and everyone who thinks they’re the exception ends up failing. (97% fail rate) part of this I think has to do with the 250k minimum investment amount with them. Wherea’s Edward jones doesn’t have that 250k minimum which I think is key for a brand new advisor. But im not in the business and these are my opinions.