Should I keep suffering or move on?

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Jun 27, 2012 3:19 am

A little about me: I am almost 5 years in the business & I started at a wirehouse at the peek of the blood sheed in Dec. 07 as a trainee w/ over 120 people in my class.  I am now 1 of 10 left from that group.  The remaining 9 FA's were on huge teams or inherited books from a legacy transition strategy from daddy.  As such, I was the only FA that survived as a sole practioner. 

My business: Given that all equity & managed money recommendations I made to clients dropped tremendously the first few years of production, the only way I could survive is build my book simply transactional & focused on fixed income (its easier to say, "mr. client, yes your acct. is a little down, but not as bad as the mrkt & you'll get your principal back at maturity...blah blah blah" My focus was primarily assets & gross, virtually no managed money (90 percent transactional).  That said, most of my clients were older & many of the good, dependable transactional clients have passed away.  In the past year, I recently turned 180 degrees by deciding to focus on fee base business & reoccuring revenue through managed money & the like.

The problem: My revenue is PATHETIC. I did 140k last year & tracking 120k this year b/c I lost some clients recently & because I moved almost 100% towards managed money in January (the transactional biz was not as sustainable & becoming more of a liability) I am just simply surviving.  The assistants in my office make more money than I do.  I continue to work b/c although I hit the "reset button" on my practice, I believe I have some positive momentum.  I am a great prospector & great on the phone which I know is valuable in this biz.  As such, I know I can get a salaried plus bonus structured job in the industry if I had the guts to jump and leave all my 5 years of work behind me for some idiot to inherit. 

The change: 3 months ago, I started a joint production agreement w/ a very large team at the firm.  In this role I'm doing the same thing I was doing before, but now I have access to warm, qualified leads generated from the team's corporate 401k/ESOP/DB clients which I try to turn into private clients.  I see a lot of potential & have had good results so far. However, since I've joined this team so late in my production years, the results won't be good enough to save me from my firm dropping my payout to 28% next year when I don't hit a production threshold by Dec. (dictated by my gross & length of service). 

What should I do?: I'm willing to stick it through & feel this new partnership will be tremoundously beneficial long term, but it's painful when I've had or know I can move to other opportunities that would provide immediate monetary benefits.  I'm 31 years old & started when I was 26.  So feel that I'm young enough where I should be patient b/c I'm sacrificing for the long term.  But it's tempting to consider that I can leave maybe to a bank, indy, or an option that will give me a comfortable salary in the same role BUT limited income potential. 

Thank you for those that read this far, I'd love to hear your thoughts & advice.

Jun 27, 2012 2:22 pm

I’m at the same company and 4 years LOS. Send me a private message if you want my advice.

Jul 9, 2012 12:40 pm

Join an indy outfit. How does a 50% + payout sound? Just my $0.02.

Send me a message and I could probably help you out, depending on your geography.