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Jul 29, 2009 3:15 am

50-year old business owner looking to get into investments and/or insurance selling. Any recommendations on companies? Just want firms that can give a platform of growth and that I can own the book (if possible).

Don’t have to worry about getting paid, since my other business does that for me. But, that should not be the determining factor.


Jul 29, 2009 11:16 am

If your other business is paying you, why would you start a new venture that may or may not pay you?

Jul 29, 2009 12:01 pm

Otane. Your best option is to find an RIA that will let you “keep your book”. Or an indy.

I can understand why he might want to do something different. All I know, is if when I’m 50 and I’m looking at doing something… it won’t be financial services (at least not in this capacity).

Jul 29, 2009 12:02 pm

Diversifying revenue streams is something that I am shooting for. Everything goes in cycles, and some things don’t last that long in business.

Any suggestions on firms that are friendly to older guys that are willing to hustle?

Jul 29, 2009 12:05 pm

Jones. But they don’t let you own your book. They like biz owners and older guys. Where are you located?

Jul 29, 2009 12:07 pm

Thanks for the suggestion Moraen.

Believe it or not, I think this business offers the most stability and growth after you get through those beginning hurdles.

Getting leads and customers is something that never ends in any business. It just seems that the retention rate in this one is higher than any other.   

Jul 29, 2009 12:10 pm

I am in SoCal.

Does brand recognition help in selling products? I know that Jones seems big on the brand look, but don’t know if that really matters.

Excuse my ignorance, what is a good example of an RIA?

Jul 29, 2009 12:13 pm

You need to understand that at Jones, they own the book, you do not. At an independent firm, you own the book. That is a very significant difference.

Jul 29, 2009 12:19 pm

Why would anyone start at Jones if you don’t own the book? They could theoritically kick you out or change your status anytime?

Jul 29, 2009 12:27 pm

At Jones you are an employee not an owner. In your situation, I would think you would want a scenario that you were the owner .

Jul 29, 2009 12:50 pm

[quote=iceco1d]Jones isn’t going to be a good fit for you.  You don’t own the book, AND they most likely aren’t going to let you keep your other business running while you work for them. 

  Same thing with Wells, Merrill, UBS, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, etc.  You are going to want to start with an indy office of Raymond James, LPL, Cambridge, Commonwealth, and RIA, etc.[/quote]   x2.   I know of people who have held very non-threatening, non-competitive positions where there they had no conflict of interest that they wanted to keep because they enjoyed the job and Jones insisted that not keep it. Probably not a match if you want to keep the business.
Jul 29, 2009 1:08 pm

Does brand recognition help in selling products?

  When you first enter the business, you think it does.  What you eventually learn is that it does not.
Jul 29, 2009 1:17 pm

Otane, what markets do you want to target?  Do investments or insurance interest you more?  A few quick thoughts:

If you want to be a money manager, learn the investing ropes through a wirehouse, Ed Jones, or hook up with an independant investment advisor.  With all but the indie, you will not own your book.  Downside - all insurance will have to go through a payout grid.  It may not be an issue at an indie firm, but it will be an issue at a wirehouse or Ed Jones. If you want to sell insurance, look at the major mutuals (Northwestern, Guardian, Mass Mutual, NY Life).  Also check out Met, New England Financial as well.  They give you varying degrees of control over your book.  I know that you own your own book at Guardian and Mass, but not sure of the others.  If you want to target businesses, this is a better route - your market will be expanded beyond those who have investable assets.  However, your investment training will be mixed at best. Above all, go with the local office that will give you the best chance of succeeding.  This is a tough business with a high attrition rate. 

I hope this helps.

Jul 29, 2009 1:46 pm

An RIA can help you get started. Problem is, most RIA’s want you to have a little experience. I don’t know about anybody else.

I know you said you wanted to own your own book, and there are RIA’s that put it in the agreement (for instance, our contract takes it one step further and states that if you decide to leave, WE won’t solicit your clients).

I pointed out Jones simply because they like middle-aged (sorry) business owners.

You won’t be happy there or at any regional or wire if you want to own your own book.

If there are good indy shops near you, see if they are hiring. It’s likely that they are.

Jul 29, 2009 3:35 pm

This industry presents a problem for people with no experience.  You basically either HAVE TO start at a captive firm (Wire, regional, etc.) or find an RIA or independant firm willing to take a newbie.  The only independants in my area that have hired newbies hired guys out of B-School that started as “portfolio analysts”, graduated into servicing the smaller clients, and eventually bringing in their own clients.  But these are large indy firms (as in top 10 in the country) with close to $1B AUM.  One has like 35 employees, and the other has about 30.

I can't imagine a shop with just a few guys hiring a newbie.  Unless you had some distinct background (massive network, former lawyer/CPA, etc.), most won't take a shot on you.
Jul 29, 2009 4:04 pm


At Jones you are an employee not an owner. In your situation, I would think you would want a scenario that you were the owner .

[/quote] mmmmmm not an owner.........LP, profit sharing, 2 trips a year around the world........   Yes, I am a Owner...........
Jul 29, 2009 4:07 pm


At Jones you are an employee not an owner. In your situation, I would think you would want a scenario that you were the owner .

[/quote] mmmmmm not an owner.........LP, profit sharing, 2 trips a year around the world........   Yes, I am a Owner...........[/quote]   I believe that you mean "an owner".
Jul 29, 2009 4:08 pm

Could this be the return of …dare I say it…DJ???

Jul 29, 2009 4:14 pm
Hey Kool-Aid:

Could this be the return of …dare I say it…DJ???

  I was thinking the same thing.   From the overuse of the elipses to the poor grammar to the quote in his signature that is randomly interrupted by a comma, there are some striking similarities.   Here comes the vehement denial...
Jul 29, 2009 4:22 pm

Geez…I must sure love the kool-aid…lol


FORTUNE, Jan. 26, 2009

For the 10th year, Edward Jones was named one of the “100

Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE

magazine in its annual listing. The firm ranked No. 2 overall

and No. 1 on the magazine’s Best Large-sized Company list.

These 10 FORTUNE rankings include top 10 finishes for

seven years and consecutive No. 1 rankings in 2002 and 2003.