Rookie starting at an Independent?

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Jun 6, 2006 7:32 pm


Any ideas on realistic it is to approach Indies versus wirehouses?  Also, any opinion on how to position myself for a position at a firm.  I have an idea that my background would be attractive enough to get a shot, but I'll like to best position myself....

Some background on me:  34 yo, small business owner (entrepreneur), Strong Sales Background, recent S7 & 63 licensed to transition to a FA career.

(I'm looking to get out of sales into products that I am not very interested in and into something I am passionate about.  Fin. Markets.) 

I can sell/close and I have good contact base to prospect from.

My initial thoughts are skeptical of traditional wirehouses due to payout and "corporate BS?"...I've survived on in small business ups/downs and consider myself independent type.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.   Thanks in Advance.


Jun 7, 2006 9:04 am

Rugs - you appear to be a great fit for a Regional firm.  Not too big - not too small, not too cold - not too hot - but something nice in between.  They’re typically very entrepreneurial in feel, and provide corporate backing.

Remember - it's not the firm that makes the FA.

Jun 7, 2006 3:13 pm

Thanks for the advice..Wasn't thinking about regional at first... Will look into it. 

Any suggestions for Northeast (NYC Metro) area? 

Jun 7, 2006 3:52 pm

Unfortunately - I don’t think a lot of the big ones are hiring rookies.

Wacovia only hires rookies going into teams, UBS is digesting the

Piper purchase (but an option). RBC Dain Rauscher hires about 100 new

people per year. I read the following article in research magazine about RBC

- they’re small, but certainly making a move to re-position. Check it out.

Jun 7, 2006 4:25 pm

Thanks Apprentice.

I'll check out RBC.  Others I found on these boards after you posted include Advest, Janney, and A.G. Edwards (not sure if they would be considered a regional).

Jun 7, 2006 4:32 pm

If you want to work for one of the larger indy firms you should be able to find a local branch office that's interested in expanding.  Talk to them about training, etc.  When you've got a couple of years of experience under your belt you could open your own branch office with the same firm an not have to worry about the issues that crop up when changing b/d's...

Jun 7, 2006 8:16 pm

That was one of the main reasons I was thinking of going Indy ioff the bat....  It seems that once you begin career in Wirehouse it would be difficult to transition to Independent.

With that in mind, is there anyone on these forums that has started  their career at an Indy or small regional that could share a few plus or minuses of this type of firm versus a traditional wirehouses?

Thanks for all the responses.


Jun 13, 2006 4:18 pm


You referenced a link to RBC article and it appears it was deleted in this thread.  Can you re-post or PM to me?

Thanks, Rugby



Jun 13, 2006 4:32 pm

Sorry - I think the link I posted was for a 'membership' website.  I recommend surfing the net for RBC Dain Rauscher articles - otherwise, below is the website.

Jun 13, 2006 6:48 pm

You want to own your own business.  Own the clients you bring in and be able to build your book the way you want.  But, you need training and a home office with support.

AG Edwards or Raymond James.  If you could get hired at either firm it would be a win.

But, do you understand that you will be expected to bring in about $4m in assets and do $50,000 in revenue your first year?

The rewards in this business is big, but of course the road is steep.  If you can live on $40k for a couple of years, go for it.

Good luck.

Jun 13, 2006 7:35 pm

Thanks Maybeeeeeeee, I'm aware of the hurdles and sacrifice to build a book.  I'm setting up meetings to talk to a a few Indys and wirehouses. 

Im beginning to think that you really need to get to 25mm+ aum pretty quickly in a wirehouse to be attractive to them and make a decent living.  Thats why I'm exploring smaller firms with better payouts.  Also, what happens to retail divisions of these larger firms in a bear market?  MER, C, SB, MS etc...Alot to consider...

One other thing I was wondering...Outside of banks..Do any wirehouses, regionals or Indys have any leads available to speak of?  I know that you'd be building your own book, was just wondering if that was a consideration when selecting a firm.  Perhaps that question may be better answered by a a firm's training attributes?  I'd have my own plan to prospect, but would love to supplement with some leads if possible..

Thanks Again,