What do you love about being a FA?

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Aug 13, 2008 12:48 pm

As someone who is going to be joining the industry before the end of the year, I am very aware of how difficult it is to make it in this industry.  Well, I say I am aware, but I am sure that the real truth is that there is no way to prepare yourself for how hard it is.

  So given that it is so extremeley difficult to survive, what is it that you love about what you do?  It just seems kind of slow around the boards so I thought I would open up a positive discussion.     
Aug 13, 2008 1:11 pm

I love the obscene amount of  money that can be made with relatively little effort. 

Aug 13, 2008 4:31 pm
VA Salesman:

I love the obscene amount of  money that can be made with relatively little effort. 

    By no means am I making obscene amounts of money, but I'll second VA pusher's sentiment.   I can't imagine there being another occupation that provides the opportunity to make so much money while doing so very little. An FA's toughest job is getting people to give them money to invest. Once that happens, you just hand it over to a mutual fund company or insurance company and they do the rest of the work...all the while the FA makes fat commissions for being the middleman.   I have a buddy who's a big city lawyer, graduated from West Point, was editor of his law school's Law Review, and after 10 years is still working 80 hour weeks and making roughly $300k.   In comparison, I have a buddy at Jones who has been in the industry the same amount of time, has no education beyond high school (he's a segment leader and his articles in the monthly regional update read like something written by a sixth grader) and made $400k last year while averaging about 20 hours a week.   One caveat: CPAs have finally wised up to what's going on and are joing our industry by the droves. They, like attorneys, have a much deeper level of credibility than a regular ol' FA, and over the next few years will be a huge force to be reckoned with.   I just hope the attorneys continue working so many hours that they don't have time to figure out how much more they could be making by passing a couple little exams.
Aug 13, 2008 7:08 pm

400K on 20 hours…that is amazing

If one makes it, I can see why it is the best career
Aug 13, 2008 7:35 pm


I don't think that you should get the impression that most reps make $400,000 after 10 years. Most of the reps that I know with Jones that make that amount of money either started in the early 80's when you could make 5% on a corporate and 8% on mutual funds, or they had a niche market. I think most that make that kind of money after 10 years were given a sizable office. Obviously I don't have a way to know about every region, but I know the region that I was in was made up of very few making that income and if they did, it was due to one of the situations that I described.
Aug 14, 2008 12:15 am

Yes, he took over about $50 million. But, regardless, he’s been with Jones ten years and is pulling down $400k.

Aug 14, 2008 2:47 am

I don’t know if it’s the “best” aspect but I enjoy the meritocracy and fact that you don’t need a particular background of any kind to achieve success in this industry. MBA or GED, everyone is on the same level once a couple exams are out of the way. I came from a background in a totally different field, attending college and graduate school in an academic area that was rendered impractical from a career standpoint due to a geographic move. Faced with options such as law school or a dead end day job, I’m very pleased to have found a profession that more or less anyone can enter and thrive in who is willing to do the work.

Aug 14, 2008 10:20 am

You can help a family for life.  How cool is that.