Military & Clients - Jones

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May 31, 2008 4:46 pm

To the Jones folks:  I am thinking about joining the Army Reserve or National Guard.  It is also a goal of mine to Goodknight with an Edward Jones rep.  

The girl I talked to in EJ recruiting said I can be in the guard and still work for Jones.  I believe it is government law, anyway. 

So, what happens to my clients if I am deployed for a year, or in training for 10 weeks?  What options do they have?  Girl said she would ask but never called me back…

May 31, 2008 5:23 pm

I left Jones more than a year ago to go Indy--but one thing I will say about them, if you were on a long term deployment serving your country--they would place a TR in your office for the deployment!  Talk with your area leader!

May 31, 2008 5:28 pm

I was deployed while with Jones, they really take care of you.

May 31, 2008 9:12 pm

A good friend of mine while I was at Jones was deployed. They did everything that you could ask them to do. They placed a rep in his office and when he returned they offered either his old office or another office of equal size…

Jun 1, 2008 12:46 am

The legislation you are referring to is USERRA.  Following is a brief description off of the US Department of Labor website:

  The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects service members' reemployment rights when returning from a period of service in the uniformed services, including those called up from the reserves or National Guard, and prohibits employer discrimination based on military service or obligation. The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) administers USERRA.   I deployed while employed by Edward Jones.  My region was very accomodating during my departure but St. Louis was not.    Personally I would not tell EJ about any plans with federal service unless absolutely necessary.
Jun 1, 2008 7:59 am

Thanks for the responses!  Sounds like the EJ reps have had varying experiences.  Does the temporary rep come from hq?  

Jun 2, 2008 1:21 pm

Yes.  They normally have “roving” advisors that will cover in these type of situations.

Jun 2, 2008 4:54 pm

Just remember, your right to serve is without question, the support you will receive from your fellow FA’s is without question, support you get from your Regional Leader depends on how hard you work at you other job (Edward Jones).  It would be a lot easier if you were already in the guard and had gone though your training first–it doesn’t work very well to be a new FA and go off to basic and or officer candidate school. 

  Good luck and let us know how this turns out for you!
Jun 2, 2008 5:18 pm

There are a few different scenarios that could play out for your military leave. 

  If your office is large enough when you get deployed they might put a transitional rep in there until you get back.  He would basically move to your town and live there and work your office until you returned from deployment.    If it's not, they might assign a TR to make phone calls to your clients from our HQ here in STL.  Those clients will still get service, but not from someone locally.  And they might not see a real person other than your BOA while you're gone.     They could also assign a new FA who's target market is in a different spot than your office, say the next town over.  That new FA works out of your office, servicing your clients until you return.  They put your accounts in what they call a house account that separates the assets from the ones of the new FA.  He gets any commissions that are earned on those accounts while you're gone.  When you return, he vacates your office and you take over.  He moves back to his own area and opens his own office.    I would think long and hard about doing both at the same time.  My family is a very military family.  In fact on my dad's side, I'm the only male for three generations that didn't serve.  So, I'm a big fan of your decision to join the guard.  I'm also a big fan of you doing a GKN program.  But doing both at the same time could really put a serious hurt on a fledgling EDJ biz. 
Jun 2, 2008 8:58 pm


I recently made the transition from being an active duty Naval Officer to the business.  I think it’s great you are interested, but the reality is you probably need to make a choice of one or the other.  Reservist/Guard are being deployed left and right and for long periods of time.  Trying to build a practice the right way is nearly impossible with that lack of stability . . . not to mention what it does to your clients.  A few may think it’s admirable, but when YOU are not there to serve them, they will go elsewhere.  The relationship is really what they are buying and if you’re thousands of miles away, the relationship might as well not even exist.

Best of luck if you decide to do it.  I did not join the reserve on my way out for this reason.  Let us know what you decide down the road and how it plays out.

Jun 2, 2008 9:00 pm

I think Spiff’s point is that no matter how Jones handles it, they can’t build the business for you and keep clients from leaving. Jones can float you for a while, but it will really hurt your ability to build a business. Imagine this: you work two years, build a business of a few hundred clients, then get deployed. What do you think your clients will do? I’m not discouraging you, it’s just a business that’s largely incompatible with lengthy layoffs (as are most “solo” professions; i.e. lawyer, CPA, etc. - most clients would take their needs elsewhere).

Jun 2, 2008 10:17 pm

Great discussion and points taken.  I’ll give you my scenario, then let me know what you think:

I’m (age 26) in a position where my wife is going to be in chiropractic school for the next 3.5 years.  We do not plan to stay in the city, rather our ideal situation is where she can own a business and I can be one of a handful of FAs in a small town.  So my GKN would be 3-4 yrs out. 

I was hoping for a leadership learning experience (on top of my inner need to serve my country.)  I would be entering as an Officer Candidate.  (I have a master’s)

I’m starting to frown as I write this.  If I’m 4 yrs into the military, that’s four left I may be deployed.  And from what I’ve read the first couple years or so will make or break a business.   Perhaps I should drop the military idea or wait to do the GKN after 8 years or so.  It’s a tough decision.  But I think I could grow professionally by the military experience; better communication skills, more confidence, etc.

What’s the chance of the GKN host taking over for a year during deployment, then shooting those clients back to me when the guy retires?  Just a thought.  Thanks again guys!!  Really appreciate it.

Jun 3, 2008 4:29 pm


I'm not following your logic on the GKN comments.  What do you mean "So my GKN would be 3-4 yrs out"?  and "Perhaps I should drop the military idea or wait to do the GKN after 8 years or so"? It sounds like you assume you will get a Goodknight plan whenever you want it.  Maybe I am mis-interpreting what you are saying.
Jun 3, 2008 5:38 pm

My advice - if you really want to serve in that capacity, go ahead and join. Find another job in financial services to learn the biz (salaried job) finish your deployments, and then decide what you want to do. It’s likely your goals will change.

Roadhard will tell you (as will anybody with combat experience) that combat CHANGES people. It certainly changed me. I was all for a career at Jones until I deployed. I was in the infantry (not sure what branch you will be going into) and we had a chain of command that acted a lot like Jones GPs and RLs. People almost got me and my buddies killed.

So you may not even want to do this after a military career.

Jun 3, 2008 5:54 pm

Sorry B24 - you’re right, I do not know I will get a GKN in the first place, but just saying that is my timeline IF things were ideal. 

I’m not looking for a GKN for 3-4 years, but, like you said, IF I’m hired.  I do NOT want a GKN in the city, where I’m stuck for 3-4 years.   

8 years is the minimum National Guard sign on period.