Would You Choose an FA Career Again?

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Jul 7, 2006 3:15 pm

Would enter this profession if you had to do it all over again?

I'm looking for FA veteran input on career choices.  Obviously the beginning is very tough and no one would likely desire to do that twice.  But as a veteran in this industry, are you here because you are stuck here, or because you made the right decision?  Should this be a top ranked career choice?

Also please indicate if success has caused detriment to family relationships.

Jul 7, 2006 3:20 pm

Yes for me.  It is a great opportunity for someone who is a hard worker to get paid for the fruits of their labor.

Jul 7, 2006 3:25 pm

Thanks maybeeeeeee.  Any comment on the family question?

By the way, I would appreciate it if the peanut gallery does not get hung up on the word "veteran."  For a newbie like me, two years or more in the FA business qualifies.

Jul 7, 2006 3:31 pm

[quote=maybeeeeeeee]Yes for me.  It is a great opportunity for someone who is a hard worker to get paid for the fruits of their labor.[/quote]

Yes, Maybeeeee, has your remarkable success--spread over more than 1000 hours--caused difficulties in your family?

Are you siblings envious of your six figure income and 20 hour workweek?

Opie was asking veterans if they'd do it again, it's nice to know that you'd do it again.

Have you opened an account yet?

Jul 7, 2006 3:36 pm

hey newbie, at least tell us ur side of it. instead of bashing maybeeee

Jul 7, 2006 4:19 pm

Actually brothaK, Newbie doesn’t do anything but bash people.  It’s actually funny sometimes…

Jul 7, 2006 5:36 pm

[quote=brothaK]hey newbie, at least tell us ur side of it. instead of bashing maybeeee[/quote]

You bet I'd replay my own career--getting an opportunity to be well paid in the greatest city on earth is an experience that almost nobody gets to have.

Opening branches of a Wall Street firm in California, Arizona, Tennessee and Georgia--what fun, what an interesting way to spend some time.  Managing an office for a year trying to decide if it would be a job of a lifetime--dealing with family, "I don't want to move there" issues is part of growing up and becoming an adult.

Being the guy who flies to town to go with you on an important call, then have lunch in the best place in town--what could be better than that?  Walking into a Holiday Inn ball room to talk to several hundred people sitting there with their brokers--eager to hear about the world of puts and calls.  What a rush--especially when the applause starts at the end.

Then there was the years, long ago, as a retail broker.  I can remember staring at that phone thinking it was the most intimidating thing on earth.  I can remember having to tell myself that there has to be a pony in here somewhere, I can remember running across the office to get my manager to sign off on my first new account and calling my wife for a date to go out and celebrate.

I can remember when the guy who hired me called at home one night to invite my wife and I over to his house for dinner.  He had accepted a job at another firm and wanted me to go with him.

I can remember sitting down with the few clients I had at that point and explaining that the swtich was going to be a good deal for me, but also for them because our new firm had a better research department and we were going to get a Black Scholes teletype to give us trading ideas every morning.  Every account went with me, as I say there were not a lot of them since the move occured two years in.

I can remember the day a CPA buddy called to ask if I'd like to work on an oil and gas deal with him.  Does the Pope wear a funny hat?

That resulted in a single rancher in Dumas, TX putting $500,000 into four different drilling and developmental programs.  To be clear, it was a total of $2 million.  I was trying to figure out how I could buy my CPA friend a gift he would appreciate for $100.

The highlight of my six years in retail was being selected to leave it.  This time the regional VP came to town to take my wife and me to dinner.  Was it OK with her if I spent close to a year in Chicago learning the ins and outs of options and how they were traded.

The firm would fly me home, or her there, every other weekend.  On those weekends I would be off on Friday and Monday so I could leave on Thursday evening and come back on Monday afternoon--it made it very acceptable.  Six guys, on an expense account, living in a three bedroom apartment on the Gold Coast.  Not all bad, even though we had roommates.  Chicago is a toddling town

This is the greatest business on earth--but there is more to it than being a retail broker.  If you get a chance to experience how it works away from the daily grind of looking for business I urge you to accept it.

Jul 7, 2006 5:52 pm

Wow.  NASD Newbie actually said something interesting without insulting or offending anybody!  I’m in shock!

You’re okay, Newbie.  Thanks for keeping us on our toes.

Jul 7, 2006 5:59 pm

yes, thanks newbie for the great post

but keep it coming guys, I want to hear all your stories and insights about this career.

Jul 7, 2006 6:10 pm

wow newbie.... you've been all over the place... looks like you have trouble keeping a job, huh? 

  Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Jul 7, 2006 6:28 pm

Great post Newbie

Jul 8, 2006 9:08 am

I think newbie is a bit high on himself, and probably wasn't a very good broker to leave a book after six years in the biz.

Holiday Inn, that's the big time huh??? Sounds like a two bit wholesaler who failed in retail.

Jul 8, 2006 9:32 am


I think newbie is a bit high on himself, and probably wasn't a very good broker to leave a book after six years in the biz.

Holiday Inn, that's the big time huh??? Sounds like a two bit wholesaler who failed in retail.


Envy is such an interesting emotion--it always results in a loser sneering at a winner.

Jul 8, 2006 9:35 am

By the way, Holiday Inns are a great place to have a branch seminar for several hundred clients.

They generally charge less for their ball room than the fancier hotels, and nobody--but NOBODY--gives a second thought to being asked to attend a meeting in the ballroom of a Holiday Inn.

How unfamiliar with the idea of doing seminars does somebody have to be to not know that?

Jul 8, 2006 2:10 pm

Holiday Inn, that’s the big time huh???

Jul 9, 2006 11:46 am

On the family issue.  I was able to enter this career after a 15 year career in another industry, but still in the financial field.  So people had always known me as a financial person, I just had to make the leap to "now I can help you meet your financial goals".  Translation, you can trust me with YOUR money.  Hey, that is tough, but I have been successful.  Also, I have an BA and MBA.  Education never hurts.  So, at this time in my life, my husband and I had sufficient assets, our kids were in school, and I was able to devote time and energy to my career.  Actually, I thank my husband every day because he has taken on things that I would have usually done.

Also, because I was older (I don't look a day over 29) I had built up great relationships in my family, community and with small businesses.  That has been very critical to my success.

But, from day one--even before I entered this field--I have treated everyone with respect.  I am just nice to people.  I give them excellent service and feedback.  People are desparate for good service. 

Someone once told me that you will build your book with people like you.  And I have to say, they are right.  I enjoy meeting with every client I have, and I do not cringe when the phone rings.

It is such a HUGE responsibility to manage the PRECIOUS assets people have built up over a lifetime.  I do my very best--and clients can see that.

Oh, I pray alot too.

Good luck to you Opie.  Make sure you go to a company that lets you do the best for your customers.  (vs. pushing proprietary products or a very small line of products)

Jul 12, 2006 4:42 pm

maybeeee thanks for your enlightening post

the more the merrier guys and gals

Jul 12, 2006 5:15 pm

 Positive thoughts right back at you brothaK

Jul 12, 2006 5:23 pm


maybeeee thanks for your enlightening post


What did you learn from what she had so say?

Jul 12, 2006 5:47 pm

a lot

1. How she started her career

2. How she became successful

3. How she is continuing to be successful

4. Why she enjoys her career