Stockerbroker vs. FA

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Nov 12, 2007 7:58 am

I’ve been looking at job postings on for “Stockbroker Trainees”.  Are these openings for retail brokers who do the traditional cold calling? Or, are the positions geared more toward full service financial advising?  Thanks.

Nov 12, 2007 9:32 am

You are probably correct, but it is difficult to tell just by the title on the job posting.  Ultimately it all depends upon what the guy who is signing the paycheck wants you to do to earn it…

Nov 12, 2007 9:37 am

That’s a big can of worms to address in a brief response, but at the risk of oversimplifying if you are hired as a “stockbroker trainee” you will have little chance to do “full service financial advising.” 

That’s probably OK, because at first you’ll need to be so focused on prospecting and bringing in new business that pays you something NOW that you wouldn’t have either the time - or frankly at first, the expertise - to offer “full service financial planning.” 

This does not NECESSARILY mean cold calling, but it absolutely means your first, second and third priorities are to find and close business, so you can survive another month to keep trying to find more business.  If you have a way to do that without cold calling, no problem.  Most rookies don’t have another way.  That’s why you hear so much about cold calling - not because anyone likes it, but because it can work and may be the only alternative.

So here’s a question: how specifically would you obtain clients quickly and consistently if you didn’t want to cold call?

Nov 12, 2007 12:11 pm

I have no qualms about cold calling.  The question is do these firms supply their new recruits with leads so that the rookie can make those 200 - 300 call a day?  Or are you on your own to find and close new business?

Nov 12, 2007 12:35 pm

[quote=lambda]I have no qualms about cold calling.  The question is do these firms supply their new recruits with leads so that the rookie can make those 200 - 300 call a day?  Or are you on your own to find and close new business?[/quote]

There is no universal answer to the question…it varies from firm to firm.  In general, though, most firms will not provide you with leads.  You have to generate them yourself.

Nov 12, 2007 11:04 pm

The question is do these firms supply their new recruits with leads so that the rookie can make those 200 - 300 call a day? 

  ALL companies provide rookies with's white and yellow and sometimes over 1000 pages thick.   There are plenty of cheap and free leads out there but you'll have to decide whether it's more efficent to spend your time and/or money on these lists or just let your fingers do the walkin.        
Nov 13, 2007 7:58 am

As the others said, you may well be provided lists, but the reality is it all comes down to you.  All you are given is an opportunity.  It’s up to you what you do with that opportunity.

Easier said than done.  That’s why something like 85-90% of rookies do not last 5 years.  The odds are stacked against you, but it obviously can be done.

Nov 13, 2007 3:09 pm

Are you telling me that if I do at least 200 cold calls a day (and follow everything senior brokers teach me), that there is a 85% chance I won’t be around in 5 years? 

Nov 13, 2007 4:45 pm

I doubt that.  It’s more likely that many rooks don’t follow those instructions to the letter…most are probably too lazy and/or have limited phone skills.

  If you really bust your can, I'd think your chances of success have to be better than 10-15%.
Nov 14, 2007 10:21 am

Whatever their goal- be it transaction oriented or generating financial planning clients,the objective(and how you'll get paid) is to gather assets. Many fall out of this business due to working hard (200 calls per day to anyone) vs. working smart (daily dialing 100  business owners with minimum revenue of 2 mil, in business at least 3 years, within a 30 mile radius so you can go see them, also money in motion- people retiring - scan the paper everyday- people selling businesses, etc)


Nov 27, 2007 10:07 am

A living  and breathing business plan will increase your chances of success.  Cold calling is one tactic. It can work well if you consistently stay at it.  Most people do not.  Partnering with a team or senior advisor can hep as well.  Think about it from this point of view, if you were 50 plus years of age with more than $1M in liquid assets, would you turn it over to a kid that is 6 months into the business??  Probably not.  Get a senior partner to help you close the larger clients.  Half of something is better than all of nothing.

Nov 30, 2007 10:18 am

you need to be prepared for cold calling. Not be prepared to cold call. That is a huge difference. We have several “rookies” (I mean the deer in the headlights we just graduated from college type.) who were all prepared to cold call. No problem they all said. However none of them were prepared for cold calling.

If that is your only venue in which to secure clientèle, than you need to prepare yourself. There is a plethora of resources on the Internet in helping anyone in this situation in becoming a star cold caller.  This includes identifying where on the scale of hard sell-soft sell you are. It includes practicing dialogue so that it becomes second nature. It includes slowing the dialogue down enough so that it sound natural and not coached. It includes doing Due Diligence on those you call enough to than tailor your dialogue to their needs.

This is a challenge that most fail in because they lack the fortitude to plan, develop and execute.

If you have other channels to secure clients than by all means use them. Having a few early successes under your belt can help boost your confidence. It also helps you go through the entire process from initial contact to closing to follow up (referrals which are gold.) Seriously, getting referrals and having your client actually send them a card hand shake is honestly the best way to expand your business.

The catch 22 that many rookies find themselves in, deals with:

Not having an extensive network of individuals possessing the kind of wealth needed to become a client. Having to spend an excessive amount of time on the phone due to the need to exceed minimum standards. Having to spend a couple hours a day getting your licenses towards your first and second designations. Lacking the knowledge necessary to smoothly transition from graduate to adviser. If you are in this position, than the need to prepared for cold calling is paramount, otherwise you will wash out with most of the rest.