Unique situation with EJ 3 year non compete

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Dec 7, 2010 9:51 am

I need some advice on the best way to find out if I am still under EJ 3 year time frame for training repayment and here's why. I started with EJ in September '05 and left in November '07 for just over 7 months to work in a non-financial industry. I signed up for a second tour of duty with Jones in June of '08 but when I came back they made redo all of the training again like it was my first time. I am not happy with EJ and need something that is a better fit financially and emotionally. I have been offered an FA position and I would like to take it since I am struggling to pay my bills, exhuasted all of my savings and maxed out my credit cards trying to make this work for the second time.

How do I find out if my 3 years started over since they made me going through training again or if I'm free and clear of their non-compete since my collective time is over 4.5 years?

Thanks for your help!

Dec 7, 2010 10:11 am

This is just a guess, but I'd say that if they started you over with training and everything, you started over with your non-compete clause too. 

Just curious, but what is it about another firm that is emotionally better than EDJ?  You've been with Jones twice, neither time worked, or is working, out for you.  Why did you come back?  Did you expect it would be better the second time around? 

Dec 7, 2010 11:10 am

[quote=Spaceman Spiff]

This is just a guess, but I'd say that if they started you over with training and everything, you started over with your non-compete clause too. 

Just curious, but what is it about another firm that is emotionally better than EDJ?  You've been with Jones twice, neither time worked, or is working, out for you.  Why did you come back?  Did you expect it would be better the second time around? 



Wait for EDJ to fire you as you fall below standards then the 3 year doesn't apply..

Dec 7, 2010 1:18 pm

Well, the first time I was with EJ I made Seg 3 in 13 months and qualified for 2 div trips in the first 18 months. Then, the largest employer in the area changed who they allowed to be providers for their retirement plan.....and thereby ended EJ FA's ability to service these people. In my case alone, about 15 million dollars was going to transfer out!!!! I had a plan B so I took it before my ship. Since I left, over half of the FA's in that area quit.....all Seg 3's and 4's.

I came back because I love being a financial advisor. It took me leaving this career for plan B to figure that out, but at least now I know.....the hard way. My expectations for coming back were based on my experience the first time, since that is all I had to go upon.  What I did not expect was the market and economy to take a huge downturn right when I get back into the business. Suddenly, "I am a crook" , "scam artist" or "pretty desperate" when I go door knocking and I would being lying if I said it didn't effect how I felt myself and my career choice. People were scared so they wanted someone they could trust and had tons of experience.......not a new/new working out of his apartment. Times got tough and I lost my confidence in myself, EJ and the system. It was really driven home by my Regional Leader who constantly criticize  ALL the new FA's for not opening 10 accounts every month like the 20 year vets were doing. 

Long-story short: I feel isolated in my office all by myself (why I like getting out to do F2F); 6 EJ FA's in a town of 12,000 that recently passed a No door to door solicitation law; I want to move in the direction of financial planning and not stay a stock broker; and I just don't like the direction EJ is heading culturally.

Dec 7, 2010 1:22 pm

So without the "give me" of a company retirement plan, you are terrible at prospecting like the rest of us. Firms change locations change, but the job remains the same...

By the way "financial planning" is another word for "I suck at prospecting"

Dec 7, 2010 1:31 pm

Trouble is, you're kind of like asking "how to avoid a car crash", after your car has crashed.

You have enough experience, where a decent bank program might take you in. Access to money, is much easier, and there might be a decent book there already. So, you might start scanning the want ads, and checking every single bank program in your area. Trouble is, sounds like you still are under that contract. Ok then, so they fire you.

Make for DANG sure, your credit doesn't get screwed up. Because that would be a 100% deal killer for you.

Dec 7, 2010 3:12 pm

Spark - Based on your accomplishments and the indication that you hate prospecting, its obvious you took over those $15mm that flew out the window as well as the majority of the rest of the assets the first time around. BFP hit the nail on the head for you.  Go to a bank.  Just need to get fired so you can get  around that little training cost clause.

Dec 7, 2010 3:35 pm

Maybe you've just been too busy trying to figure out where to go next, but EDJ is already well on the way to going where you want to go - financial planning.  Have you not noticed all the new emphasis on the 5 step process, FAST, Advisory, etc?  BTW, if you take the bank route like BFP suggests, my understanding is you kiss the financial planning goodbye.  I've not heard of any major financial planners that come from the bank channel.  ML advisors who are now BAC FAs don't count. 

As to your original question - the only way to find out what Jones is going to do if you leave and go to another company is to ask them.  None of us are going to be able to tell you for sure.  Not even your RL will be able to answer that question.  So, you're either going to have to suck it up and stick it out at Jones or you're going to have to suck it up and call HR and ask them.  Even if they started your clock over, don't  you only have about 7 months left until you've hit your 3 year mark? 

Dec 7, 2010 4:05 pm

Space is right, many banks only want reps that do investment planning, one size fits all, onto the next victim... Not my style at all. But, WFC is pretty good, and there are probably several smaller regional banks around you that have bigger upside than you could possibly imagine. That is where I got my big break, things turned around for me. If you really, really think you want to do this, don't let anyone talk you out of this career. I was very close to giving up about 15 yrs ago, glad I didn't.

Dec 7, 2010 9:44 pm

Sparky05, check your PM's, I sent you a message.

Dec 8, 2010 10:25 am

I used to be a relationship manager for a major bank for years, and as a person who worked very closely with the FA, I can tell you that Bank FA's are not planners. 

My partner at HSBC was doing 600k gross and it was his FIRST YEAR at 32% pay out.  He was making a decent living and he NEVER prospected, but he lucked out with covering 6 branches and having good relationship managers who would feed him $$.

But, he did not know ANYTHING about investments, the markets, tax, estate planning of any sort.  All he knew was fixed annuity, variable annuity, franklin tax-free muni fund, and liberty life insurance.  There was even an incident where he placed a client into a single whole life premium and did not know there were penalties for withdrawing fulll $ pre-maturely.

I'm sure there are bank advisors who are competent, but they are RARE.  What I'm trying to get at is, if you really want to learn and own your practice one day, bank program might not be the best route, but it's safer and easier.

I'm a newbie to the FA world and have not gone into production yet, so my opinion may not hold much water.  So take my 2 cent at your will.

Dec 8, 2010 10:48 am

Newregrep, your right your opinion does not hold much water.  I get a kick out of reading FA assistance post on these forums ripping the FA saying how they were the ones who knew everything and not the FA and that they are the ones who should be getting paid more.  You were a banker, how would you even know if your FA had investment knowledge since you did not.  If he did 600K he must have known enough to convince quite a few people with money to invest.  With all your experience please tell me what firms higher "great planners" who know the business inside and out day one?  Last I checked every firm hires guys off the street from all kinds of different careers, that is how our business is run.  Is it whats best for clients?  No, but it is what it is, you prove you can produce and you learn the business from there.  If you have a problem with that, complain to the big wires instead of ripping your former FA for having success you can only hope to achieve.

Dec 8, 2010 11:13 am

LA broker, much heat is coming from you.  Never in my post I said I have a problem with FAs, nor did I say in my post that FA assistants should be paid more than the FA.  Being a FA is probably one of the toughest careers and I have much respect for alot of the guys on this board, and hence I joined ML PMD to become one. I believe you are mixing your words with mine.

I'm neither a FA assistant nor a banker, and I was a relationship manager (which is totally different from a banker), and I spent about 7/8 hours of my day with my FA.

I was merely explaining my own experience with my FA (who was my essential partner, he needed me and I needed him).  I was not ripping into him, I was merely stating the truth.  Did I hurt your feelings?

What you don't realize is at my previous program, the RM was the expert profiler, and MAINTAINING that relationship with clients.  My job was to prospect, gather information, evaluate that information, create a plan, implement a plan, and monitor the plan.  My partner came in when we needed to implement a plan and a specific product was needed, and if not he was never brought in and just simply introduced. 

I apologize if I offended you some how but I was merely giving my point of view.  I hope you feel better.

Dec 8, 2010 11:29 am

I worked banks from 1997 until 2009. I didn't see much diff in the type of client, or broker, compared to my wire days from 92-97. From indy, wire, to bank, there are extremely qualified people, and very unqualified people. What I would say to anyone, is that only 1/3 of the folks in our biz actually care about; the markets, clients, long term career. Now, I would agree that some bank programs are better/worse than others. For sure...

Dec 8, 2010 10:37 pm


You seem to be contridicting yourself.  First you say "I'm sure there are bank advisors who are competent, but they are RARE" and then claim you have nothing against FA's and yours in particular.  As with anyone who is proud of what they do and have pride in there work I will gladly stick up for my fellow FA's when a glorified bank secretary is posting online how is last FA is incompetent as are most bank FA's.  That simple is not true.  Like bigfire stated there are good and bad with every company, like almost every industry including doctors.  For you to state that before you have proven yourself in this business is premature.  Put in a couple years of having success and then I would respect your opinion then.  The problem with that is after you put in a couple years you will probably have a new found respect for your former FA and what her accomplished and probably understand his flaws after you make similar mistakes.  I hope you do well as an FA, I would never wish someone to fail, but it is a tough gig making it at Merrill or any other firm.  After you put in almost 8 years in this business as I have you will learn the answer to your last question if you hurt my feelings.  This business toughens you up enough where it takes more than a forum post to hurt your feelings.

Dec 9, 2010 12:46 pm


I just don't see how my statement is going after FAs.  Perhaps, I should have spelled out "in my experience and in my humble point of view, there are not enough competent FA's in NYC region at a bank program".  It's simply my experience, and that is all I'm expressing.  Afterall, isn't that what this forum is for?

My previous FA knows he's lucky, and he really does not know much outside of 1 fund, Fixed Annuity, VA, and 1 managed account.  Why? I have worked with him for a long time and we are good friends.  He's actually a bright person, extremely book smart and street smart, just not very knowledgable with his field.  But he's smart enough to play the game to get a great cluster of branches with a niche market. 

You seem to say you grew a thick skin, but you are upset about my statements.  I never had malicious intent in my statement towards FAs.  But you took it personally, you remind me of a girl I used to date.  There was one time I said, " Even with today's standards, I think it's still tough for a woman to make it high in the corporate world".  She reacted by lashing out on me saying, " WOMEN ARE EQUAL AS MEN!!!, DON'T PUT WOMEN DOWN".  Never in my sentence did I put anyone down, it was an objective opinion, but she took it to heart. Why? becase she's sensitive and insecure.

To call a relationship manager a glorified banking assistant goes to show your ignorance, and your inability to absorb information even after I told you about the functionality of a RM.

As I stated, I have a great deal of respect for FAs or for anyone who has their own practice of any kind of business.  LA, I do thank you for your kind words towards the end of your post, hopefully I can succeed as a FA.