Morgan Stanley?

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Feb 16, 2012 6:39 pm

MSSB got in touch with me today for an app I submitted about two weeks ago. Had me do a SIFMA test and a Financial Advisor Inventory, both of which were quite straight-forward. For those who currently are an MSSB employee:

What is the pay structure? 

I have read that the minimum investment from each prospect/client should be $100k. Is that accurate?

Did you call on friends/family or start from scratch?

How do you like working for the firm?

I am not sure if this is for a full-fledged FA position or for the trainee position. I am fairly certain I applied to the trainee position, but did not see any mention of it. Is every new advisor put through the training program? This position is based in Miami. I am coming from an insurance-based FA position with a Mass Mutual agency, which is not really my cup of tea so far. 

Feb 18, 2012 9:40 am

Don't do insurance. You're not an FA if you just do insurance.

Feb 18, 2012 12:39 pm

Indeed. I was sent a business plan which I completed and sent back to them for review the same day. Let's see what happens...

Now, supposing they like what they see, what's the likelihood that they would fly me out for an interview? Or would this be on my own expense?

Feb 19, 2012 5:20 pm

Morgan Stanley is hiring big time right now. It is for a FAA (Financial Advisor Associate) position. If this is the industry you want to get into then MSSB is a good choice.

Feb 20, 2012 11:23 am

ok. I have read that they expect you to bring in $10MM your first year, and others say $10MM in your first three years. Which is it? I put that conceivably I could bring in $24MM in my first three years if all goes well on my business plan. ($2MM first, $6MM second, $16MM third).

Feb 20, 2012 12:18 pm

At Merrill they expect 10 mm your first year or 100,000 in production. 

Feb 20, 2012 7:49 pm

100K in production at merrill in your first year would put you in the top quintile (the middle of the top quintile).  They EXPECT 30K in production the first year.  

If you put 10 mil on trail your first year you would be rolling.  AUM matters but it also doesn't.  10 mil of non producing assets is worthless to you.  10 mill straight annuitized a year and you will be rocking after 3-4 years.  My goal is a 20-25K/month trail by the end of year 3.  

Feb 23, 2012 6:04 pm

thanks for the input. haven't heard anything back yet. I left my job at MM as it was dogshit so I'm banking quite a bit on this opportunity. would anyone care to review my business plan?

Feb 25, 2012 1:02 pm

still nothing... sent a followup email yesterday in the evening... maybe my goals were too low?

Mar 6, 2012 7:33 am

100k in your first year at merrill just gives you the top tier bonus.. Where are you getting your info Ulairi ? It's 30-40k production is your minimum hurdle for your first year and it is dependent on whether or not your salary is greater than 50k. 

Mar 9, 2012 1:42 pm


I'm in the MSSB FAA Program, in my 2nd year of production.  To answer your questions, pay structure is as follows: Salary for 18 months, which then gradually drops down to Minimum Wage by month 24.  You start getting paid out on commission once your revenue meets your salary.  After you are out of the 3 year program, you will not get paid out on households less than $100k, but in order to make the hurdles, you will have to open small accounts as the closing time is much quicker.  Anyone I know who has instilled a "100k minimum" for a client to open an account has been fired.  Small households won't pay the bills, but they'll give you leverage and buy you time to tackle the big ones.  If you have a wealthy personal network, no one is stopping you from bringing them on, but at some point you will have to cold call.  I have seen two scenarios with FAA's who have wealthy friends/family - 1. Brought them on early, making themselves look like rock stars, and then eventually failed out since they tapped out all their resources and didn't prospect, and 2. Brought in friends/family accounts early to get a huge head start, then hit the phones and are now killing it.  Bottom line, you have to prospect (and most likely cold call) to make it in this business.  Finally, as we enter conversion with Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney trading systems coming together,  we have an excellent platform to start your career.  Not knocking ML or UBS, as they are both also great wirehouses and it's really just about the relationship with the advisor, but MSSB is definitely an excellent place to build a business.  As for the training program, I'm in a large complex that hires probably 20 FAA's every year- about 5 made it through year 1, and then about 2 have dropped off in year 2, leaving 3 of us left.  The problem being there are firmwide requirements for hiring minimums (to try to increase headcount), so sometimes the Branch Managers have to lower their standards to fill these spots, which can be frustrating if you're serious about doing business and the guy next to you has a lousy work ethic. Bare Minimum production is 30k for first year, but the hurdles are best 2 of 3 with new money and fee based, so you can bring in a bunch of assets and wrap them and you will still move forward in the program even if you don't do a lot of revenue -- but it will bite you in the backside when month 18 rolls around though and you're not getting paid.

Mar 2, 2017 3:44 pm

Hi everyone,

I've been invited to attend the Morgan Stanley FAA program.

How is the experience whose worked and attended after 5 years ?

Mar 2, 2017 3:45 pm

Appreciate all the inputs.

Apr 19, 2017 7:27 pm

Hey, i had a chat with an MS branch manager, after the chat. He told me to do the MS online fa assessment and GRT Test. I am new to this industry, ready to learn and succeed. Please where can i find resources to study for the tests and can help me with some advice?

Jun 15, 2017 8:29 pm

The FAA program need a imediately review. You can succeed by yourself. Unless you're in a team you won't reach the goals (at least $400,000.00 monthly of new assets)

Feb 20, 2018 5:31 pm

is there a drug test for the FAA position at morgan stanley?