Two Roads Diverge

or Register to post new content in the forum

12 RepliesJump to last post



  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Feb 20, 2007 4:37 pm

    If given the opportunity to take either a position with W&R with $3million in annuitized orphan accounts.  Or, a position with Merrill Lynch with no accounts but $40,000 in training salary, which would you choose? 

And, please if you are just going to answer with W&R sucks stay away don't even bother posting.  I realize they suck but there is also money and potential there.  Where with Merrill it's $15million in 24months or bye.  I am leaning towards Merrill, because I know if I can hit the mark that I am set for my career.  Constructive thoughts only please. 

Feb 20, 2007 4:47 pm

"Where with Merrill it's $15million in 24months or bye.  I am leaning towards Merrill, because I know if I can hit the mark that I am set for my career."

Sorry to break it to you, but you are not set for your career if you get to $15MM. That is simply the mark they set so you still have an office and phone to work out of. Officially, it is $15MM, but unofficially management wants you to be at $25-30MM, with at least 50% of that AUM in annuitized business.

Feb 20, 2007 5:02 pm

Honestly how many people who can achieve that high a mark in 24 months will not make it???  Is that not why they set the bar so high in comparison to everyone else??  I do understand what you are saying though that is just the beginning, but I think you would have an excellent start if you could get there. 

Feb 20, 2007 5:16 pm

How about that 3m in orphans, and what fits your personality?

Service the heck out of those orphans, lots of face and phone "touch", and grow your business ( or half the growth) from referrals, that much less cold calling.

Question: what is the success or failure rate these days for rookies at Merrill? Not important to determine whether you will win or lose, rather, understand how their business model works.

Feb 20, 2007 5:20 pm


Sorry to break it to you, but $15MM in 24 months is just to graduate.  Merrill will can you as early as 6 months in if you are not rapidly approaching $2.5MM and somewhere between $750k-1.25MM annuitized.

Merrill is a great place to get trained and a great place to be 15-20 years in the business if you don't want to go independent.  I would rather start at W&R to get the orphaned accounts, try to build some sort of relationship with them, maybe get some referrals if you're lucky, try to pull in another $3-5MM and leave with somewhere around $8MM.  If you find a guy at Merrill when you are ready to leave, I'm sure he might put in a good word for you to get the bonus of hiring someone, and you're in the POA program with the $40k salary and some time to build your book.  But you don't have to worry about goals for the first year if you can bring over those assets.

Starting out, you may find it takes a couple of months to start getting your intial clients.  Wouldn't you rather have a head start and be able to talk to clients and meet their friends from day one?

Feb 20, 2007 6:41 pm

blarm, they want you to have $25-30MM in 2 years or is that the number  just to keep your job? <!–
var SymRealOnLoad;
var SymReal;

{ = SymWinOpen;
if(SymReal != null)

if(SymRealOnLoad != null)
SymRealOnLoad(); = SymRealWinOpen;
SymReal = window.;
window. = Sym;

SymRealOnLoad = window.onload;
window.onload = SymOnLoad;


Feb 20, 2007 7:10 pm

no idea,

They require $15MM in assets and, i can't remember, either $7.5MM or $10MM of that to be annuitized.

Here is why blarm says $25-30MM:

If you have a $40,000 salary and in 2 years have $10MM annuitized (which is very hard) as say C shares at 1% or managed accounts at say 1.5% you are barely making your salary.  Here is best case scenario for example:

$10,000,000 at 1.5% = $150k gross.

$150,000 at 40% (your cut) = $60,000 take home!?

The other $5,000,000 of assets is in A shares, bonds, CD's and anything else that doesn't pay you much, so you might make an extra $5,000/year off of that.

Sounds great doesn't it?  Well let's talk realistically...

 Most "average" brokers have a velocity on their book at say 60%.  So here is how it might really look when you graduate:

$10,000,000 at 1.5% = $150,000 x 60% = $90,000 gross

Now, $90,000 gross times your cut of 40% = $36,000 TAKE HOME!!!!

Add in the additional $5MM in assets that gives you $5,000 and you've got $41,000 to live off of...better churn your book now and cross sell your clients.  (Just joking on churning it)

But that's the truth in it.  When I was there, guys actually graduated and made LESS than their salary.

So blarm is right, you should have more like $25MM-30MM to live a little better than what POA pays you.

Feb 20, 2007 7:11 pm

$15MM is the official number thats on the POA goals sheet, but I have always heard that that number needs ot be higher so that when you come off salary you dont starve....

Lets say $25MM after 2 years, of which $15MM is annuitized at say 1%. That is kicking off about 150K PC's, at a payout of 50%, leaving you with $75K gross. After benefits and taxes- that leaves you at about $51,000 net. MOst guys salaries are around 50K-70K. So that leaves little buffer zone to pay the bills,etc....

Feb 20, 2007 7:57 pm

Please note that I'm not with Merrill and that the comments below are based on what others have posted on these boards. So, take it for what it's worth:

One important point to mention is that there are ML mileposts along the way that, if you don't reach them, you're gone. So, rather than thinking that you've got 2 years to make the numbers, you actually need to be producing all along the way. For example, if you're 12 months into the 2-year program and you've only managed to gather 25% of your goal in assets, you could be gone.

Feb 20, 2007 9:49 pm


For example, if you’re 12 months into the 2-year
program and you’ve only managed to gather 25% of your goal in assets,
you could be gone.


ML is a horribly absurd system. It works for MER the company and the
old timers who get to divide the carcass’s of the rookies between
themselves. Every else ends up slipping on the killfloor and getting
ground up in the machinery.

The odds are better than 90% that you won’t make it past three years. At that point you have nothing to show for it.

Since I’d want the best odds of sucess, ML is damn near the last place to think about. I’d rather be at EDJ or AMP than ML.
Mar 8, 2007 4:17 pm

 I ended up choosing Merrill Lynch, which I believe is the best choice for a career in this industry.

Mar 8, 2007 6:35 pm


 I ended up choosing Merrill Lynch, which I believe is the best choice for a career in this industry.


If your success is as big as your cajones, then yo da' man!

Good luck!