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justwondering in Whittier, California

66 months ago

Hi all,
I'm thinking about changing careers. I'm an executive at a large company and have done well for myself. However, I miss the basics - helping people, being of service, and doing something more usefull and giving back. Mid life crisis? I've loved personal finance for a long time and have helped my friends and family and thought, what the heck. Maybe I should do that. I'm in the process of interviewing with Edward Jones and it's going well. Do you see advantages of being older (late 40's) and helping people. I would think there would be an advantage than trusting a person right out of college. Not saying they don't know their stuff but there is a perception that they don't have enough life experience.

I understand the cut in pay, hard work, but I like the idea of my success being in my hands and not company politics.

Any advice is welcomed.
Thanks.

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JP in Chicago, Illinois

66 months ago

I'm 38 and am seriously considering a career as a Financial Advisor as well for very similar reasons. I'm a trader and have made a decent income but missed the feeling of helping people. Furthermore, I often have friends and family pick my brain about the markets and stocks and the like. I loved the interaction and also thought I'd be happier if I took this route...

Part of my process has been approaching friends and saying, "I'm giving serious consideration to becoming a Financial Planner. What do you think?" My feedback has been pretty positive. I've even had a couple of people offer to be my first client. You'll know right away what their perception is. As far as age is concerned, I feel there is an advantage to being a bit older. Look at all the investment ads. You never see a kid in their mid-20's pitching investment advice. I think people are calmed by others who have been around the block and have something to show for it...

I've also been reading the book, "Escape From Corporate America" by Pamela Skillings. An interesting read as it discusses how to assess your current job, identify your true calling, develop a plan to follow your creative dream, and how to overcome obstacles along the way. Maybe something you should pick up...

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justwondering in Brea, California

66 months ago

Thanks JP. Good luck to you and I'll pick up that book today!

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Nikkim1001 in Chicago, Illinois

65 months ago

justwondering in Whittier, California said: Hi all,
I'm thinking about changing careers. I'm an executive at a large company and have done well for myself. However, I miss the basics - helping people, being of service, and doing something more usefull and giving back. Mid life crisis? I've loved personal finance for a long time and have helped my friends and family and thought, what the heck. Maybe I should do that. I'm in the process of interviewing with Edward Jones and it's going well. Do you see advantages of being older (late 40's) and helping people. I would think there would be an advantage than trusting a person right out of college. Not saying they don't know their stuff but there is a perception that they don't have enough life experience.

I understand the cut in pay, hard work, but I like the idea of my success being in my hands and not company politics.

Any advice is welcomed.
Thanks.

I have been in the business 4 years. I am young and started in this career right after college. I truly believe having a little gray hair and years of professional contacts will make you more successful off the bat. I work for AXA its a well rounded company. I will be happy to answer any questions. If you are planning on doing financial planning it is really important to look at their planning platforms and is it a true planning tool.

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Newbie in Los Angeles, California

63 months ago

justwondering in Brea, California said: Thanks JP. Good luck to you and I'll pick up that book today!

Did you end up with the Edward Jones position? I am in a similar situation with a midlife career change. I'm in my late 40's with 25+ years of success in another industry. Although I lack the formal financial training, I've been pretty solid with numbers in the past and have loosely followed that sector. Looking for a shift in career that brings me some satisfaction instead of just "the grind" of the old one. BIG salary cut, to the point where we might actually sell the house and scale back if I start anew. But, I see BIG upside with the change. And, the interaction and assistance on a personal level is always rewarding.

Any thoughts would be appreciated?

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BM in Waltham, Massachusetts

63 months ago

Am in a similar boat - 40+ experience in investments and insurance but not in the sales side. What type of firm is better - a large firm like Ed Jones or a smaller shop like Strategic Financial Planners. Another question for experienced financial planners, what is a reasonable income you can expect after working in the field for say 3 years?
Thanks in advance.

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ssw825 in Phoenix, Arizona

61 months ago

Hi Newbie, in regards to your comment: I interviewed with Edward Jones for its FAs position last month, and during the process I have met some impressive FAs that came into the financial services industry in their early 40's with 20 years of experience in another industry, such as the IT industry. The FA interviewed me has about 20 years in the IT industry, and when he came in as a FA with Edward Jones 6 years ago, he took a HUGE paycut. And now 6 years later, he made close to $200,000 last year. I hope this help :)

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Wealth Manager in Pleasanton, California

61 months ago

Newbie, the post by ssw825 is correct and most major firms would rather hire someone with some life experience and hopefully a few contacts as well. Being more mature will help you in terms of your credibility with clients and also will help you in dealing with the stress of getting this new business off the ground.

I think it is important for you to understand, however, that the first five years will be tough in terms of your work load and also the income you make. Firms will quote out a host of figures in terms of the average earnings, asset growth, etc.. but keep in mind that these numbers represent the percentage of trainees that "made" it. So while they may say the average (and average numbers aren't a good indicator either, ask for the median)is X amount of dollars in year one, two and three; when you factor in all the people that dropped out because they couldn't survive on what they were making...the numbers become much lower. Not trying to scare you but you need to understand the realitiy of how this job actually pays.

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ssw825 in Phoenix, Arizona

61 months ago

I totally agree with Wealth Manager. The average first year salary for FAs at Edward Jones is quoated at $65,000, and this number would be a lot lower when considering the stats for people that quit during the first 4 months or so. Also ask/research for the standard deviation of the salary if that is available.

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Michael in Sterling Heights, Michigan

59 months ago

Wow, this is a great discussion. I too am considering a career in financial advising with Edward Jones. I am very successful in my current industry (mortgages), however I really miss just simply helping people and having a higher earnings potential. Please elaborate, what are the first two years like and what does it take to succeed.

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tmm in Talladega, Alabama

56 months ago

BM in Waltham, Massachusetts said: Am in a similar boat - 40+ experience in investments and insurance but not in the sales side. What type of firm is better - a large firm like Ed Jones or a smaller shop like Strategic Financial Planners. Another question for experienced financial planners, what is a reasonable income you can expect after working in the field for say 3 years?
Thanks in advance.

I am curious if anyone has some feedback from this post. I am on maternity leave and dreading going back to my old job. I have an MBA and I am thinking about becoming a FA. I want to know which company would be best to work for. I would need to start an office in my community. I need the training and licensing. What is the expected (true) income after two years? Any advise is appreciated.

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Wealth Manager in Livermore, California

55 months ago

Tmm, Which firm or an expected income will be partly determined on your geographic location and partly determined on how you want to work. When you say that you'll need to start an office; I can only assume you most live in a rural area? Also what exactly is your background and qualifications? An MBA is great but you need to keep in mind that this very much a sales job for at least your first 5 years.

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Jumping Jack in Lily Dale, New York

55 months ago

With the banks now offering FA's right at the branches, will this have an impact on FA's who work with Ed Jones, New England or Raymond James? Why would people use an FA if these are a service provided by a bank?

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Wealth Manager in Livermore, California

55 months ago

Most bank based brokers do not provide comprehensive financial planning or sophisticated portfolio management techniques. At the branch level they are mainly looking to provide some basic investment services to "retain" the assets there. Mutual funds, fixed annuities and some structured products are what I have mainly seen from bank FAs. This just doesn't cut it for 1MM and up clients or clients with greater planning and investment needs.

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Jumping Jack in Lily Dale, New York

55 months ago

Do they provide that service at no cost to members of the bank? I think that's what HSBC is doing or are they not revealing the cost to member?

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Wealth Manager in Livermore, California

55 months ago

No, there is a charge for their services just like at any other broker/dealer. Either a commission is charged when investments are purchased or sold or in some cases clients are charged an annual fee (fee based accounts) based on the asset level in the account (i.e..100K account charged a 1% annual fee; client pays a 1000 dollar per year fee). What makes it confusing to most people outside of our industry is that many products have embedded fees which pay the broker/dealer (and the rep) but the client never sees the charge. This should always be disclosed by the rep.

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New Financial Advisor in Glendale, California

55 months ago

Hello, this is an interesting forum. I am new in the industry, I just got my series 6, 63, 65 and I have California Insurance License. I am going to start the trainning with my office. This is an medium wealth management office. I am a part college student and I would like to know what I should do to get more clients, I am scared because I know it is a commission only job. I would like to know what do you mean with "Hard work" in this field? Cold calls? What kind of advertising do you recomend? Seminars? Knocking doors?
The commission is 45% of the GDC. I understood that if for example: I sell a mutual fund of 10 000 with 4% front load I will receive $180!!
I need to sell one everyday, to get $5400! That is less that I was doing in my previous job.
Is that normal in the financial industry?.
Thanks

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JasonTR in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

54 months ago

just wanted to pass along this website
i worked in this field for two years and this website is spot on in describing every aspect of the job

www.armydiller.com/financial-scam/starting.htm

also before you start check out this website for the hiring manager or other financial advisors at the company and ask why they switched companies so much

www.finra.org/Investors/ToolsCalculators/BrokerCheck/index.htm

this is a great job if you succeed just there are so many lies told to prospective applicants

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JasonTR in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

54 months ago

New Financial Advisor in Glendale, California said: Hello, this is an interesting forum. I am new in the industry, I just got my series 6, 63, 65 and I have California Insurance License. I am going to start the trainning with my office. This is an medium wealth management office. I am a part college student and I would like to know what I should do to get more clients, I am scared because I know it is a commission only job. I would like to know what do you mean with "Hard work" in this field? Cold calls? What kind of advertising do you recomend? Seminars? Knocking doors?
The commission is 45% of the GDC. I understood that if for example: I sell a mutual fund of 10 000 with 4% front load I will receive $180!!
I need to sell one everyday, to get $5400! That is less that I was doing in my previous job.
Is that normal in the financial industry?.
Thanks

that's your problem right there is you say selling a mutual fund with a 4% load....would you want to invest in something like that when you can invest in funds that charge no load?? if you're going to try anything i'd go for retirement plans, benefit plans, and life insurance....check out freeerisa.com and you can get contact info of the ppl administering the plan along with the balances in the accounts

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New FA in O Fallon, Illinois

48 months ago

Interesting discussion. Am doing the same thing at age 54 after 30 years in IT. Have been thinking about it for 5-6 years and decided to make the move. I think there is far more upside than in IT for the long run. IT employment market is the pits. Hope and expect to be able to do Financial Advising until I drop.

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Phil in Broomfield, Colorado

29 months ago

Great discussion but I need to step in here and not sugarcoat anything...

If you have nothing to lose (i.e. the stay at home that is getting back into the workplace or a student's first job) I would say go for it. Those of you saying you want to "help people" are mistaken. You dont get paid for helping people if you work as an FA for Edward Jones, Axa, Raymond James, etc. You get paid for rolling over other retirement accounts into a product of your own company. It's a Sales Job 100%. The turnover is huge for first year employees because working without a consistent paycheck is not sustainable for 3 years for most people. If I had established myself in a career for 25 years I wouldn't even think about starting from scratch with Edward Jones. Once you're done p!ssing off your friends and family trying to sell them stuff, you'll be out in the big wide world with yourself, a expensive briefcase and a fake grin. Yes, there are people who make it but probably the same ratio as college basketball players turning pro.

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Researching in Columbia, South Carolina

29 months ago

Phil, U mad bro?

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Eddie Hardin in St. Louis, Missouri

28 months ago

I'm a career changer myself, in my mid-40's. I approached it from a different perspective and went back to school to get my CFP desgination. I attended the program through Dalton Education and finished everything in 9 months. Then I took the Dalton Review and sat for the exam all within one year from the beginning. Everyone there made it easy for me to move thru the program and complete everything on time. The materials were easy to follow, with great examples to make everything clear. Which was a great help since my background is in health club management. It made all the difference in the world to further my education and my career all at once, and in a relatively short amount of time. My only regret is that I wish I had done it sooner!

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Peter in Winnipeg, Manitoba

20 months ago

Phil, thank you for the cold hard truth.
I am currently a university student and thinking about going down the Finance career, more specifically being a Financial Advisor. I've been searching on the internet and asking the right people for information on what the job is truly about, however all I've been getting is encouragements to go down this path. Two reasons, either they know in their mind that reality will hit me once I enter the career and will fail, or they were commenting out of kindness.
If there are any other information about the reality of this career, then please say so. I would rather prepare myself and inform my parents as best as I can, so that we would all know what to expect.

Thanks again.

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Rob in Las Vegas, Nevada

18 months ago

Well, This seems like a great place to inquire more.
So, Recently, I have narrowed down my career paths to FA, Real estate agent... and possibly a insurance agent(been down that road already)
Currently, I am working in the real estate industry. I pretty much cold call all day and convince people to come in and take a look at options for selling their homes. I am not licensed, so I set up the listing appointments for a broker/agent. I am salaried and make commission... make about 35-40k right now with commission.
Had a family friend(realtor) advise me to take a look into FA because it involves the same steps to acquire clients... cold calling, and hard work... make crap for the first 3 years. Pretty much comes down to communication and selling yourself to strangers... and being able to handle plenty of rejection(not a problem for me, I call people 5-6 hours a day and tell them to sell their homes... and I get at least one person to commit to a appointment a day)
I hadnt really put too much thought into FA before because I always thought of the movies "wall street" or "boiler room"... big college guys working in new york making 300k out of college.
I dont have a degree, and actually think it may have turned out for the best since i would have had one in criminal justice... pretty sure that wont help me here.
Regardless... i have taken steps to finish my degree in either accounting or finance...
Want I am hoping to learn from the experience people involved in this thread is... What advise can you give me. What do i want to look for... should I try and work for a large firm?(if they even give me the time of day) find a broker/dealer? get the degree first because nobody will touch me? Im 29, so i am younger, but I know my way around a phone and can hold my own when presenting to people face to face.
-appreciate the time to those who throw me a line.
-Rob

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brimile in Burlington, Kansas

13 months ago

Eddie, how did the career change work out? I'm considering something very similar to what you did.

Eddie Hardin in St. Louis, Missouri said: I'm a career changer myself, in my mid-40's. I approached it from a different perspective and went back to school to get my CFP desgination. I attended the program through Dalton Education and finished everything in 9 months. Then I took the Dalton Review and sat for the exam all within one year from the beginning. Everyone there made it easy for me to move thru the program and complete everything on time. The materials were easy to follow, with great examples to make everything clear. Which was a great help since my background is in health club management. It made all the difference in the world to further my education and my career all at once, and in a relatively short amount of time. My only regret is that I wish I had done it sooner!

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