Best places to start a financial planning career?

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LHP in Lubbock, Texas

70 months ago

MRG,
The best way to get the ball rolling is to get an education. Many firms will work with you while you study for the CFP exam. I attended two universities & studied financial planning. By far, the better of my alma maters was Texas Tech.
Beyond that, the FPA and NAPFA sites have good leads. Don't bother with Ameriprise, Mass Mutual, Citi, Northwestern, ... Many fee-only/fee-based firms are boutiques- small businesses.
Also, there is a National FPA conference in Boston this fall. Attending that, or your local FPA/NAPFA meetings would be another EXCELLENT way to network and meet the people you are looking for.
Hope this helps.

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Randy in Lubbock, Texas

70 months ago

I disagree with you. Who wants to go work for a mom/pop financial planning shop? And be a para planner/glorified secretary? Those are good companies that you mentioned to stay away from. Yes you are selling products. But you must act as a fiduciary at all times when selling products. You can also be a financial planner while selling products. You can be 3 things in one; Insurance Agent, stock broker, financial planner. If you go to a financial planner they are going to tell you to go somewhere to get these services that you could offer @ a MassMutual, citi, NWFN, etc. And you are building up a business. If you want to go into the fee-only world then you can break out from one of those companies.

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Anonymous in Ashland, Virginia

69 months ago

I hate to be the bearer of compliance bad news but you are completely wrong about acting as fiduciary when selling products. According to FINRA and "the bright yellow circle" you only act in the capacity of a fiduciary when you charge a FEE, either for financial planning for as an investment adviser managing money in a wrap account. Any product sale is a sale of suitability.

My experience has been that if you do start off joining a Northwester, MassMutual, etc you will have to start form nothing and build up a book from scratch; where as if you go the route at a small boutique firm you are more support (which, in my opinion, is better for learning and worklife balance in the beggining) vs being in sales and marketing. The opportunity to BUY the practice is also greater as a small boutique firm, which can have advantages.

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Randy in Lubbock, Texas

69 months ago

How do you network and meet prospective clients if you work for a boutique firm? (as in you do want to be on your own one day..most people do.) And who wants to go get products from someone else when you can do it all in one company? Most people don't want 3,4 or 5 financial professionals.

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Randy in Lubbock, Texas

69 months ago

Randy in Lubbock, Texas said: How do you network and meet prospective clients if you work for a boutique firm? (as in you do want to be on your own one day..most people do.) And who wants to go get products from someone else when you can do it all in one company? Most people don't want 3,4 or 5 financial professionals.

And you can act as a fiduciary when selling products. The definition of fiduciary is a relationship of confidence or trust between two or more parties. So why can't you sell products in the best interest of your clients? why? tell me why you cant? because I know you can. People do it all the time. Just like there are good lawyers, bad lawyers...there are good financial advisors and bad financial advisors

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Thomas in Grayling, Michigan

69 months ago

I'm making a career change from automotive engineering (+20 years of marketing and business development) to Financial Planning . . . it has always interested me as a hobby, now I want to begin working as a FEE-ONLY FP. I have a BSME, MBA and am studying to pass the CFP Exam this November.

Any suggestions as to what firms I may want to begin talking to when beginning my new career?

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Randy in Lubbock, Texas

69 months ago

Thomas, there are so many options out there. Many people will tell you different career paths. I have researched many career paths and still don't know the best route. I want to have my own set of clients and own business one day. So I may choose the sell side of financial planning/advisory to build up clients and branch out to do financial planning. You can also choose the fee-only side. But the question is...how do you obtain clients working for a boutique financial planning shop? I have heard working at a bank for several years working in there wealth management department is a great start. You can learn the ropes then branch out with bank clients.

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Thomas in Grayling, Michigan

69 months ago

Randy in Lubbock, Texas said: Thomas, there are so many options out there. Many people will tell you different career paths. I have researched many career paths and still don't know the best route. I want to have my own set of clients and own business one day. So I may choose the sell side of financial planning/advisory to build up clients and branch out to do financial planning. You can also choose the fee-only side. But the question is...how do you obtain clients working for a boutique financial planning shop? I have heard working at a bank for several years working in there wealth management department is a great start. You can learn the ropes then branch out with bank clients.

Thank you for your insight Randy.... going with a bank may provide me with what I am looking for when breaking into the market vs. a B/D firm.

I would be interested to learn which banks you might recommend I begin speaking with (respected and integrity are MY requirements) regarding my aspirations.... it's been a rough market the past few months ....

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Courtney in Goshen, Indiana

68 months ago

Thomas in Grayling, Michigan said: Thank you for your insight Randy.... going with a bank may provide me with what I am looking for when breaking into the market vs. a B/D firm.

I would be interested to learn which banks you might recommend I begin speaking with (respected and integrity are MY requirements) regarding my aspirations.... it's been a rough market the past few months ....[/QUOTE

If you want to be Fee-Only you won't be very happy at a bank. They are the reason we're in this huge mess. At a bank you'll work for the shareholders, not the clients. Find a Fee-Only firm and learn the trade so you can either buy-in or start your own firm. Randy is loyal to the logo on his paycheck.

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Randy in Lubbock, Texas

68 months ago

My theory is the more business lines you have..the more money you will make. For me, the goal is to be a holistic one stop shop for my clients(Investments..stocks,bonds, mutual funds, etc., Insurance, financial planning/advising, portfolio/investment management, etc. The goal is to be the Quarterback of their financial lives. I do provide fee-only planning but I also offer other services as well. There are many different ways to it. You will figure out business model as you enter the industry.

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dizzle in Dallas, Texas

68 months ago

I've actually been interviewing with Spectrum Financial Group/Massmutual in Dallas. They have been very honest with me and I am confident that with their training program that I can be successful. I also have some interviews coming up with Oppenheimer Wealth Management in Dallas and MetLife. As I understand it.. the big Mutuals provide the best opportunity to get started in sales if you are confident and you feel that you can cut it. I got a degree in Financial Planning from Texas Tech and I feel like I probably won't need as much training as other people that start from scratch.. but I will need some product training and ALOT of sales/marketing training. In my opinion, I feel that the small boutique firms are VERY hard to get a job with because you have to really know the right people to get the jobs. They are few and far between. If you want to get started immediately, go the MassMutual sales route if you are confident in yourself. You will have plenty of training. Be sure to go for the CFP + CHFC also. My plan is to get the CFP next year after I get my s63 and state life and health. Sky's the limit.

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Thomas in Manhasset, New York

68 months ago

I am consider accepting an offer from Prudential, MetLife, or Primerica. Is one better than the others? Am I better off trying to get into a Private Wealth Management firm? It must be tough for new agents to makes sales quota during this economic downturn, is this not the case?

Thanks.

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dizzle in Dallas, Texas

68 months ago

Thomas in Manhasset, New York said: I am consider accepting an offer from Prudential, MetLife, or Primerica. Is one better than the others? Am I better off trying to get into a Private Wealth Management firm? It must be tough for new agents to makes sales quota during this economic downturn, is this not the case?

Thanks.

I would definitely say that it would be easier at Metlife because of the advertising advantage. They have alot of "orphan" accounts and internet request for financial help on their website. So in New York you would probably have an easier time finding clients with Metlife. They are captive.. but there is an advantage for people brand new to the business to be with a captive company like Metlife because of the leads that they constantly get. It's really hard to start out with a Mutual company. Out of those three that you mentioned I would say that Metlife would be the easiest to start out at.. if you like the office and the managers. Also, be sure that there are agents there that are willing to give you advice and help you. You're on the right track.

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Mac in Colorado Springs, Colorado

68 months ago

Dizzle, you say that is really hard to start out with a Mutual company.

Why is that?

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dizzle in Kingwood, Texas

68 months ago

The mutuals don't have as much name recognition in some cases... Not as much advertising. There are orphan accounts, internet inquiries, and warmer leads at places like metlife. I would say that you are more on your own at a mutual than at a company like metlife.

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sammy in Santa Barbara, California

68 months ago

I read this post and the various takes and have been in the industry for 10 years and closely looked at the various routes, there is some truth in each one of the responses above. The key factor of keeping a clean concious while growing your practice is simple , do to others in the same manner as you wish to be treated. Not all clients are fee based candidates however you do not have to work with folks that dont fit your business model. This industry is complex and always evolving my best advice is to not to pay to much attention to what firm you apply but focus on finding an expiernced ethical mentor and spend a couple of years learning how to take the book education you have devolped and apply it to practical sound advice. With regards to working in the bank channel I know many fine advisors who run fee based books and great practices in banks at the same time the bank channel is also populated with salesman not so concerned with there craft but the commisions. I see that as a great opportunity for advisors who focus on advice to build their books in these channels and move them independent when ready.

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Thomas in Grayling, Michigan

68 months ago

Thank you for your reply. Certainly, the most balanced response thus far.

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tradd in Atlanta, Georgia

67 months ago

FYI: I am pretty sure you have to be in the business for 3 years in order to get your CFP designation.

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Thomas in Milford, Michigan

67 months ago

Yes. One needs a minimum of 3 yrs experience (previous or post exam) before you can apply and receive use of the CFP letters.

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Dizzle in Kingwood, Texas

67 months ago

Actually, if you took courses at a CFP recognized school through a Personal Financial Planning program like Kansas State or Texas Tech... it counts as your module work. You can sit for the exam immediately after graduating like many of my classmates did. But yea... you can't actually use the letters until you have worked for 3 years.

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tradd in Atlanta, Georgia

67 months ago

Question for the forum:

The more I look around I feel that the right path for me might be to start out as an Assistant Financial Advisor to an experienced Advisor/CFP. I have an MBA and have recently passed the Series 7 and 66 exams. I just have a hard time putting myself out there to the public (especially my friends and family) as an "expert" right off the bat. Any thoughts or ideas on the best way to go about this?

Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide.

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Dizzle in Dallas, Texas

67 months ago

Go to your local FPA chapter meeting and network with people. You can also go to your local FPA website, (just search atlanta FPA for example). They usually have a job bank and a list of advisors in the area that are affiliated with the FPA.

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Pat in Minneapolis, Minnesota

67 months ago

Earlier it was posted that Mutual companies do not have much name recognition. I have to disagree. Specifically, New York Life. They are huge and the best thing out there. It is like playing for the Yankees. Look at this list of the # of attendees from Mutuals that sat at the million dollar round table (MDRT) in 2008:

New York Life = 2167
Northwestern Mutual = 1411
Prudential 746
AXA = 706
Mass Mutual = 518
MetLife = 511
Securian = 433
Guardian = 383
Thrivent - 341
Principle - 299

I myself am in the middle of a career change and am considering New York Life, Mass Mutual and Principle. In my interviews and research they are all pretty similar in regards to compensation and benefits. So, for me it is coming down to my "connection" with the managing partners and the office staff. Then I am considering what company I can really "belive in" ....for me it is New York Life.

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please help in Clifton Park, New York

66 months ago

plesae help I am also consider a career in this buisness and I do not know what company to choose Metlife or Mass Mutual. I Met life want to employee me in NYC while Mass Mutual is in Albany NY. I currently live in albany and I have a family . Mass Mutual is providing salary for three years while Metlife for only 5 months. I want be stable and be able to get a lot of cleints and sell. what company would be easier to do this at in my situation?

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dizzle in Kingwood, Texas

66 months ago

You need to keep in mind that they will not pay you a dime until you sell a certain amount of insurance. The salary does not kick in until that point. So you're going to need to be relatively sure that you can sell like 5 insurance policies within a month to people you know. Metlife and MassMutual have the same policy.

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Anil in Athens, Georgia

65 months ago

Hi, I'm a College senior majoring in Finance at UGA. I am graduating this may and have interviews next week with Mass Mutual, Northwest Mutual, and two smaller firms (capstone financial and waddell & reed). I was wondering since most of corproate america is not hiring right now, is a financial advising/planning career a good choice for a college graduate?

I have been doing sales (at tmobile) most of my life and am comfortable with selling. It's just that I don't have a HUGE network of people to sell financial products to right now as most of my "network" would be college friends.

I don't mind making not as much money now as long as I can reap the rewards of my hard work and sacrifice later. I understand the cost of starting out in this business as I've done a lot of research.

What would you recommend? mass mutual or northwest financial? or go the corporate route.

I have also taken some financial plannign courses and my college (UGA) offers a financial planning degree but I went for the "business" degree and hard finance which was a rigorous course load to say the least

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whuttner in Lancaster, New York

64 months ago

Can anyone share their opinion on AXA Advisors ? I'm considering AXA and Northwestern Mutual.
Thank You.

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Thomas in Grayling, Michigan

64 months ago

It's a "numbers game" dude. You'll need to make a quota, or else you'll need to move on. Not many people buying insurance policies or mutual funds these days. Retirees are focusing on ANNUITIES due to their low savings amounts for retirement.

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sammy in Santa Barbara, California

64 months ago

In the business what you sell or advise is like a moving target. Finding the right mix of what best fits the client needs and what the client will allow you to do often requires an investmnet that meets your recomendation and their tolerance half way ie... client would fit well in a muni or corp bond but due to the fear you sell a fixed annuity. Dont be a one trick pony annuities have their place but if the client can handle more risk diversify. Thomas was right when he stated money is not flowing into MF's. This market people want FDIC, annuities, muni's.
With regards to getting into the business at this time....couldnt be a better time. A market like this will give the expierence to build a great career. As for which firm? It really doesnt matter that much it is splitting hairs most shops have something about them that it is better then the next overall they are more or less equal and if you take the job at the weekest link by bad fortune ..switch. This a very Tough market for a newby to build a book if current income is not important find a 500k+ producer in your area and offer to work beside them even if it means working really cheap. The skills you will pick up will pay well in the following years. Ideally look for an advisor who has a balanced book ie.. 35-40% managed money 30-35% annuities 15-20% fixed income and so forth.
How do you find a top Advisor? Look in invetment rep mag ( online additon) Barrons just listed their picks for roundtable top 1000, From their contact advisors in your area and if they are not looking for help ask them for referals of their friends. Brokers know brokers

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Mattk37 in Centennial, Colorado

64 months ago

There is some great information in this string. Thank you.
I'm curious to know whether most people entering the field have a sales background. I have recently begun to research a career as an advisor, but have never held a commission-based position, and do not have a financial background (I am a paralegal). I’ve considered going to law school and pursuing an LLM in Taxation, but it seems like the long (and expensive) way around. I’m not interested in a career where I need to be knocking on doors and pestering relatives, but I do enjoy talking to people about financial strategies.

A couple firms I’ve looked at (Northwestern Mutual and Edward Jones) don’t require any financial background and this makes me think they are simply looking for people who can sell, sell, sell. Do I really need to have a financial education to get started?

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Maximus in Grayling, Michigan

64 months ago

You're intuition regarding the folks like NW Mutual and EJ are "spot on." They do not focus on hiring people with a finance background. Rather, they look for people who are personable, approachable and "trustable". This model lends itself to the fact that you will be selling to people who best IDENTIFY with you. For example, if you're someone that comes from simple means - and may not have a college education - then you will likely attract clients from the same upbringing. The same is true if you come from a more affluent background and/or educational background.

I studies for the CFP exam and passed, only to learn that "sales skills" are by far greater asset in this field than education.... The only way this will change is if congress enacts legislation that holds a minimum standard (regulation and licenses) for financial advisors, credentials, etc.

I think one could max-out as a financial advisor at about $100 to $125K per year, on average. If you're the intellectual-type, you may want to pursue a law degree and study taxes, estate planning (trustee). In additon to becoming more valuable to society, and having more options, your return on investment should be higher in the long run.

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SoxFan78943 in Boston, Massachusetts

64 months ago

Hello All,

I'm 29 and been in financial services for over 7 years. I was laid off in December by KeyCorp and now I'm only solicited by companies offering commission only sales (ie. MetLife, Northwest Mutual, NY Life).

I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to accept a job as a financial advisor, just to break up my mundane, unemployed lifestyle?

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Maximus in Grayling, Michigan

64 months ago

Many FA firms will certainly want to talk to you if you have a BOOK to offer. Obviously, your book would bring in the revenue to help pay for your job....

Other than that, the market for FA is VERY TIGHT right now. Not only do you need good looks, but you need a stellar personality, and an un-ending supply of energy (i.e. do not require sleep) are all important attributes. Currently, I am interviewing three firms. One firm has a 5-step interview program, another I've met the president for lunch on three seperate occasions, and the other firm I have just started to interview with has a six-step program.

After all is said and done, I'll definitely be in need of a 12-step program!

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Will H. in Saint Petersburg, Florida

64 months ago

MRG in Kensington, Maryland said: What are the best companies for launching a financial planning career? It sounds like a "fee-based" or "fee only" way of planning would most appeal to me... rather than an insurance sales type environment.

I am looking for a great training program where I can be part of a team working on client cases, and eventually taking on cases of my own, always with the client in mind.

I initially thought Ameriprise would be good, but after some more reading about them, it sounds like a sales factory that does not set up people for long term success and fulfillment.

Thank you!

If you are going to make it in this business you need to dump the anti sales bias and fast. Everybody sells whether they know it or not. CPAs, Doctors, Lawyers and most definitely Financial Planners, at least the ones that last do. You can be the ultimate answer man in the financail world but if you can't sell, game over. Sound harsh? Not as harsh as trying to make it and not be able to build a clientele which is SELLING.

Will H.

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CFP Wanna Be in Michigan

64 months ago

I'm with you 100% that people need to SELL in order to make a living. However, in my discussions with FAs and other professionals, I believe they all would prefer adopting the FIDUCIARY standard to care (clients need come first), rather than selling by commission or fee-based incentives. A Fiduciary standard and related code of ethics is what Attorneys and Doctors must subscribe to in order to "do business." Why can't the Financial Community take the same approach? Everyone wins...

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Nnamdi Odi in Kingwood, Texas

64 months ago

Have any of you considered how difficult it would be to enter the financial services industry, particularly in sales after what has happened in our economy? So many clients have been soured by how badly their advisers have performed over the past year that they are going to deep discount brokerage firms and managing their finances themselves. Hell they couldn't do any worse. If you really want to enter the financial services arena as an advisory, you might be best served doing so by getting a job with a brokerage firm taking care of account maintenance and learning about FINRA regulatory requirements. This would allow you to get you s66 and s7. You could then qualify through your firm for the s24 and become a registered principal. Many brokerage firms now have advisory education programs that can prepare you for a career as an advisor through the attainment of a CFP and all of the aforementioned FINRA licenses. This can also give you the opportunity to network with other experienced advisers. You can earn a considerable salary while working back office operations and learn the ropes for a while. This is when I would try looking for a position in a fee based firm with an experienced advisor, they would definitely appreciate all of the clerical and account maintenance experience that you have. Why am I saying all of this? The retention rate for sales in financial services is so low its not even funny. 80 percent of those who try end up failing by their 4-5 year. Why put yourself through this? Try getting a job with Schwab, Fidelity, Scottrade, Etrade, etc etc etc... There are some firms out there that have advisory wings of their company that you can work your way up to. Some don't even have sales involved and pay very well.

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Wealth Manager in Livermore, California

64 months ago

This is and has never been a career that is easy to get off the ground. Most advisors fail within their first five years (greater than 85%)so the economy and the markets will not be the deciding factor on who will make it. It's all about really wanting to do this and not giving up no matter how hard and miserable it can get.

If I haven't scared you away then let me give you a little advice. Don't waste your time getting a job at Schwab, Fidelity, etc. The client base you build and work on isn't yours so you can always be easy replaced. At most firms you build a book of business and can take that book with you wherever you may decide to go. At the discount houses you don't have that so while you have a easy time in the beginning stages of your career, you have no long term security. Also the income potential isn't even comparable.

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Joe in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

64 months ago

I am a recent graduate from Law school and business. So I have a JD and MBA, I am currently interviewing at a number of financial services firm. I have a large network of contacts, but the majority are young lawyers and small business owners.

I am interviewing at the following firms:

Northwestern Mutual

Edward Jones

Mutual of Omaha

They each seem to have their own advantages/disadvantages. Northwestern seems really sink or swim (no financing plan, 100% commission) and all their emphasis seems to be on insurance sales. They don't provide any assistance in generating leads. On the other hand they have the best location (downtown Pittsburgh) an amazing office, great people and good training.

Edward Jones pays an actual salary (which is nice) and they seem the most investment oriented. They also provide your own office and assistant. The two downsides are that they seem to be focused on the rural market and they seem to require "door knocking" ( I don't know this for sure).

Mutual of Omaha is very similar to Northwestern, just not as "classy". They also seem to have much less emphasis on non-insurance products. However, they provide alot of financial support for new agents.

I'm just curious if my impressions are correct. What choice should I make? Any suggestions?

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CFP Wanna Be in Michigan

64 months ago

Sounds about right Joe. I've been looking at EJ vs. all the others because of two factors: (1) They make an initial investment in their people to give them a leg-up to help succeed. (2) Your other colleagues will also want to see you succeed... a lot of positive support from other team-mates. I wouldn't worry about the "door-knocking." My understanding is that it's not really cold-selling, rather only introducing yourself to the area (in a personal way). I guess, similar to a politician going door-to-door and announcing he's running for local office.... not sure if you're required to kiss any babies!!!

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Joe in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

64 months ago

I don't know... I live in the center of the city. People don't just walk around knocking on doors, its dangerous. Besides, I already have a great network of contacts, why would I need to do this? I've heard though that they actually require you to do this during the interview process to prove your "courage".

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CFP Wanna Be in Michigan

64 months ago

Pittsburgh is THAT tough? ...and I thought Detroit was bad.

Heck you're an attorney... you shouldn't be afraid of anything! (LOL)

If you're really that concerned about your safety, I would share your comments with EJ staff for the very same reason. Demonstrate you have a GREAT Rolodex and you be OK... especially if you can show them you have a PLAN (with an MBA this should not be a problem). Basically, the EJ model was formulated out of sales people calling on farmers and rural community residents. It's a very conservative culture... maybe not updated for large metro areas.

Good luck!

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Joe in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

63 months ago

No, Pittsburgh isn't bad at all... but is still a city. Frankly, the model of walking around knocking on doors seems ridiculous in an urban market. I wonder how succesfull it has been in metro areas.

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Nnamdi Odi in Kingwood, Texas

63 months ago

Dude, with a law degree and MBA you should be able to get a high paying salaried job with a small fee based financial planning firm. Check out your local FPA. Many small to mid-sized firms have built in performance bonuses with a firm salary commitment.

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Wealth Manager in Livermore, California

63 months ago

Joe,

Being that you live in a big city I think that you should consider other broker/dealers as well. With your education you can easily get interviews with Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, UBS, etc... and all of these firms will pay you a starting salary for the first 2 years while you start off. Nothing wrong with Edward Jones but they are one of many potential employers. Don't limit yourself.

Also as the person above mentioned you might also consider looking into smaller firms that operate like a boutique type B/D or even a RIA. Many of these firms offer a decent salary with bonus structure. The thing you need to keep in mind here is the fact that you will be working an existing client base (which is easier than building it). This is great but since it isn't "your" book of business you will never have the job security of earning potential (unless you later become a partner)of that of an established wirehouse FA.

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Joe in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

63 months ago

Thanks for you suggestions guys. I will definitely look into some of the smaller firms. I have applied to a number of those firms in Pittsburgh, with out ever even receiving a phone call back. I don't know if it is because of market conditions or what. I do know that Pittsburgh is pretty saturated with Graduate degrees.

So you are basically saying that Northwestern and Edward Jones are too far down the food chain for me to start out there?

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Nnamdi Odi in Kingwood, Texas

63 months ago

I think so. I guess it depends on how good your local Nortwestern Mutual is and how much support you would have. It would probably be a good way to start. Personally I would get sponsored for a CFP and go the Smith Barney/Merrill Lynch or maybe the boutique fee based route. But then again I love working with investments primarily.

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Nnamdi Odi in Kingwood, Texas

63 months ago

Joe in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: Thanks for you suggestions guys. I will definitely look into some of the smaller firms. I have applied to a number of those firms in Pittsburgh, with out ever even receiving a phone call back. I don't know if it is because of market conditions or what. I do know that Pittsburgh is pretty saturated with Graduate degrees.

So you are basically saying that Northwestern and Edward Jones are too far down the food chain for me to start out there?

Also you definitely need to start trying to attend some FPA meetings. Also if there is a NAPFA chapter around you, check them out.

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Joe in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

63 months ago

Regardless of where I get hired I am planning on getting my Series 7 and 66 right off the bat. I figure I have a pretty good background on the relevant law (I took insurance law and Securities in law school).

Is this a mistake? What is the benefit of having a Series 6 rather than a Series 7? It seems like the Series 7 completely overrides the Series 6.

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Nnamdi Odi in Kingwood, Texas

63 months ago

You need the 7 to make securities recommendations. I would also get the 66. The series 6 is useless for what you want to do. Try to get a CFP also, don't put it off.

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sammy in Santa Barbara, California

63 months ago

In the aftermath of last year many of us in the "trenches" have been meeting with what is left of the broker dealers to find suitable homes. I personaly have met with various firms NYL, UBS, Ameriprise, Merril, and LPL this represents a good sample of the industry from the insurance side, wire house side and independent. You can get a start with any of these firms but if you have an understanding of what kind of business you want to build each one will offer diferant advantages. I am not big fan of the Insurance company set ups not because they are "pushing annuities" but because i have not found one that would allow complete open architecture with regards to investment options. From what I have seen your choosing your mix from a company approved product list, i find this to restrictive(but if your new to the game it may help tame the process). The larger wire house jobs have more offerings and often better access and resources to syndicate business but can still be restricive. The most autonomy can be found in the independent channel. I am seeing a lot top talent right leave the Big BD's to start their own boutiques and think this exodus will continue. Tainted names and golden handcuffs that are worthless(options) are freeing these producers to seek the greater rewards that can be found from being 1099 with 90% comp and full access to the market place. With a JRD and MBA would highly recomend the estate planning route along with grabbing that CFP.

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