What's a rookie to do?

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Sep 15, 2005 4:17 pm

I have been with my firm for almost 9 months now, have about 2m AUM. I am debating if it is time to move on and pursue a bigger more branded firm. I work for a small mutual fund company. I look out the window and see Merrill down the road and ask myself can I get in there or elsewhere. I feel my production is ok for being a rookie. The problem I have here is the mananger shows no appreciation, does not invest a dime in our branch, and our retaining rate sucks. I know it basically comes down to us and how we strive to succeed, but I know I can make it elsewhere. The problem I have is no college degree, I am young 21 when I started now 22. I thought they were nuts for taking me on, but luckily I adapted well and the other advisors seem to like me well enough to help me out alot. The Q is do I have enough talent to get into a big wirehouse. Working hard, long hours don't bother me. I am just afraid of no degree always keeping me on the outski of some firms.

Sep 15, 2005 4:57 pm


You have no degree, but in your limited experience you have something more valuable to firms- the ability to bring in assets. Sure, you MAY get a cold reception from some firms if you dont have a degree, but if I were you I would discreetly start oputting out feelers. Contact some firms and meet their recruiting manager for breakfast. Get an idea of what they are looking for, and it will also informt you of where you feel your skills would be best suited. I would not let these activites detract from the focus on your business. When you have found the right firm, feel you have sufficient assets that you can move over, then make your move.... PM if youd like, because I did all of the above.. ( except for the no college degree- I have mine but all that is is experience in managing time, interacting with people, and blacking out on the weekends from jack and coke intake.)

Sep 15, 2005 7:40 pm

If you have charisma, some experience, and a solid work ethic, most major wirehouses would be happy to entertain you.

Sep 16, 2005 1:13 pm

But 9 months and $2million is modest.  Here at RJ it is $4m first year and $10m second year.  So, look at your business plan.  If you think you can make that - - go for it.

I think it would really benefit your and your customers to be able to offer more than one fund family.

Sep 16, 2005 9:40 pm

Bigger name, better software, HNW clients all the good stuff you picture at Merrill or another big name broker. As mentioned, how about millions in new assets every year to keep your job. I also think your age could be held against you, maybe not by the b/d, but the higher net worth clients who would view you less experienced.

A bank. Now that is the place were you can play on the name and pick the low hanging fruit. Believe me a little work ethic goes a long way in a bank. You have built in clients that can't hide behind the no call list and aum can be amassed quickly. Of course banks have their issues: no one in "retail land" understands what you do or how you get paid, much less want to refer to you sometimes, not to mention the multiple hats that you have to wear sometimes, ie support the new deposit campaign or refer some loans to the managers. All things being equal, the base, although not large, is nice. Having a bank paid expense account for client entertainment is great also.

Just me two cents. I am not saying dont move, just consider where you are considering.