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Apr 6, 2008 2:45 pm

I’ve been looking at this site on an off for about a year, and finally figured I’d register.

About 9 Months ago I started applying at MS, ML, SB, Wachovia, AGE, etc.  Of the few that talked to me I was told while I have good sales experience, my interest in the field alone wasn’t enough to get hired, and the Branch Manager of one firm was good enough to break it down further, and tell me flat out ‘work at a bank, make contacts, I’ll hire you’. 

I then talked to a few friends, and one had family at one of the larger banks.  We discussed what I wanted to do, my great interest in being an FA, and how to get there.  I’m now working at the bank, and in my first quarter I was top 10% of those in my platform position in overall sales, I’ve sent more money to the banks brokerage than anyone else, and so far for this quarter I’m sitting at number 1. 

The beaurocracy is keeping me from moving to the position I want (basically get the licenses) even though they had me do the SIFMA test and I throughly rocked it.

Due to a change in my branch I’m at the point I rue going to work, even though I’ve only been at the bank for about 8 months, 4 away from where they will allow me to get my 7 & 66.

Given my position, showing that I am a performer (and thus have a good bit to offer), have a bachelors (in an unrelated field) and sales experience beyond just the bank (in tech), coupled with the current state of the union, would I be wise to start applying again?  Or must I bide my time for another few months and go in with my licenses ready to rock?

Apr 6, 2008 3:03 pm

I’d get the licenses at the bank, get your licenses. It will give you a better leg up against people who don’t have them.

Not a significant leg, but if the firm can consider you a less risky investment (because you’ve already past your licenses) you can start right out of the gate selling. While as now, you would have to complete the studying/training and such, then pass your tests, and then start producing.

Plus, if you pass the licenses at the bank and start doing what you want to do (be an FA) who knows, maybe you might like it there.

Apr 6, 2008 3:58 pm

Definitely get the licenses. The transition to another firm will be easier.

Apr 6, 2008 4:24 pm

Stick it out. You already know the customers there. That’s worth a 4 month wait. Congratz on being a performer. In my experience, performing in one set of circumstances may be different in performing in a different set of circumstances.

After a good 3 - 4 month run I always look back and tally up what business came from luck vs. what came from sweat. I’m always surprised(often mortified), by what happened by my just being available. Unless you can’t stand it and there is no willingness from the bank to be on the same page w/ you, stick it out. You don’t know what you’re giving up.

Apr 6, 2008 7:29 pm

I’m currently a checking account/ loan/ cd jockey. Part demographic, part my opinions on the importance of investing, part being significantly more knowledgeable than my cohorts on investing is all paying off, and despite having virtually all established client base in a very very low transaction branch I’ve still done quite well.  I’ve had a dozen customers tell me they’d move their investments to me because I was honest with them, and told them why I couldn’t tell them what I wanted to (licensing) and why they need to do something other than a CD or at least talk to someone about other options.

So part is luck, no two ways about it, part is being straight with people and building a relationship (which doesn’t go under sweat to me), and part is getting on our cold call lists, or going to local business (certainly sweat).

The new management has made me hate going to work, and I’m getting some sort of bait and switch on getting my licenses.  They are counting time against me in two ways as well.  It’s obnoxious… but then there is the old rule on staying at a position for a year. 
At the bank my understanding is FA’s, while not having to work nearly as hard as those in a wire house, don’t make nearly what the folks I know at Morgan Stanley make.

Apr 6, 2008 8:16 pm

Stay til u get those licenses.

Apr 25, 2008 10:48 pm

They have one of their classes starting next month, and looks like there is no way I’ll be in it.  The games seem to be escalating, I may be hypersensitive but it seems that being both male and educated is making me persona-non-grata.  I also heard something similar from someone at another bank, that those with degrees are skipped over because they are perceived to be less loyal, and threatening to many of the higher ups. 

I need to go get my Life ins and annuities lisc, which I can get asap… I figure that should help me get into a firm (right?).

I’m grateful for the advice, sadly the games are making it difficult to follow.

May 4, 2008 11:39 pm

There has been a new development.  While I’m staying in the top 5-10% one of my contemporaries who started a week after me, who is not performing nearly as well as I am (around 50th percentile to my 90th percentile), though because his location doesn’t need him as much, he is now enrolled in the licensing program.  This sort of slap in the face for performing has both infuriated me, and been a solid kick in the pants to put my efforts into high gear.

I’ve been advised through this forum not to work at fido, especially if I want to go into a wirehouse.  Is the 9 months in my position rather than 1 year mark going to hurt me?  Aside from applying online and delivering cover letters and resumes to the hiring managers at the wirehouses is there any other quality steps I can take?

I need out, and I’ve been busting my ass to succeed in what I was doing only to get done dirty, I figure transferring those efforts to getting in is the best option.  So the more quality advice I can get on getting noticed (in a good way) by the wire houses, the better.

Thank you!

May 6, 2008 10:10 am

I was thinking about what you had to say, and Tonight I’ll be shipping out some resumes and cover letters. 
As far as dealing with pushback with them, I’m guessing it’ll be a litany of things like “we don’t have an open office now” which I’m not sure of a good response to.  As far as my resume and experience I’m pretty confident of that since it’s about 6-7 of my 8-9 years in the workforce are sales, and 4 of which were pure commission.  “Why were you at the bank for only 8/9 months?” is going to be a little tricky… but something lke my goal was to develop experience in the financial industry, and make a few hundred good HNW contacts, then get into ______, and here I am.

I appreciate you input, the more the better.