ML vs Valic - Which One?

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Aug 21, 2013 4:24 pm

I have been offered a position by both Merrill Lynch and Valic, but cannot decide which one I should pursue. I am leaning toward Valic because they provide a book, and seem to have excellent benefits. It seems as though someone that does not have a lot of contacts, and is just getting started would be better off with Valic than ML, which basically describes me.

-Provide a book (focuses on 403b plans, K-12), but I have read a few things on here saying the book is not exactly what they tell you.
-Great benefits, 401k match and a pension plan
-I don’t know what type of salary they will start me at while I obtain the licenses
-Because most of your clients are lower income (versus ML), it’s almost impossible to take them with you if you leave

Merrill Lynch
-I have a rough estimate on what they will start me at, but it’s not set in stone (~60k)
-The bigger name will help you sell more
-No book is provided, and I don’t have a lot of contacts, so I will be relying almost exclusively on cold calling or other methods
-I don’t know much about their benefits, but I’m assuming they aren’t as good as Valic’s
-They have the repayment plan for your courses (not that I plan on leaving, but…it’s there) if you leave the company

I’m sure I left a lot out, hopefully you can help me with that. Based on what I posted above, and what you may know, which one would you recommend?

Thanks for your input!

Sep 4, 2013 1:54 pm

Merrill’s PMD program is excellent training. The benefits are great and it’s a great atmosphere (depending on your office). The bigger name means squat. YOUR name is what it’s about and what you’re selling. And believe me, it’s ALL about selling. Don’t fool yourself with thinking you’re “helping someone prepare for their future” and “planning estates” and other such crap that they all trowel out. If you ain’t selling, there’s someone else in line who thinks they can.

Feb 1, 2014 7:50 pm

Joeman, are you with ML? If so, how long?