Financial Advising- Pros and cons

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (16)

Wealth Manager in Livermore, California

74 months ago

Open architecture? I truly doubt that. Do you have both transactional and fee based account platforms? Access to all MFs, CEFs, stocks, bonds, ETFs, alternatives, managed futures? Do your FAs have the abillity to work accounts as the portfolio manager on a discretionary basis? What are your choices with SMAs? Can you service 401Ks, stock plans, do lending, etc.. I could go on but why bother.

I agree with your comment about working for a bank but unless you work for Goldman or Morgan that is simply the reality of what this economic downturn has done. I am not a ML fan by any means but I am someone who built a business from the ground up. I know the wirehouse firms well and I know the business having been in it for close to 7 years, having about 90 million AUM and a TT of 700K. And you?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (8) Reply - Report abuse

Xtragel in Vancouver, British Columbia

72 months ago

Wealth Manager in Livermore, California said: Mbrink,

You are a recruiter for waddell and reed so your opinions are obviously biased and I feel that it is completely inappropiate for you not to disclose that fact. This forum is about "financial advisors"; people who are considering the job and people who "actually do" the job. I honestly wouldn't have cared or even commented on waddell and reed if I hadn't read your previous comment which slammed merrill lynch. Different firms are better for different people and lets just leave it at that.

Xtragel,
I am going to be brutually honest with you. Unlike a "recruiter" I have been a FA for about 7 years and have seen most people enter the business, work like a dog and then quit or be fired within a couple of years. This is not an easy job and even with a salary, a great firm and even some luck; your chances of faliure far exceed the chances of you making it. You have to really, really want to do this and if not please save yourself the heartbreak of dedicating years of your time, making close to nothing just to find out that you didn't really want it that bad. I have met many sucessful advisors and they all had one thing in common. They really wanted to do this for a living and all of them were willing to make huge sacrifices on the front end. If you are not sure than don't do it. Ask any established FA the same question and I guarantee you'll get the same answer. Either way best of luck to you.

Wealth Manager,
One more thing, do you mind sending me your email? I would love to chat with you more on a quicker interval bcuz I'm in need of advice / direction quicker. I have started venturing back to being employed and living life with different meaning...avoiding this entire profession $ prestige thing but fear I may feel empty later in life as well.

Mines is <removed contact info> if u prefer to email me instead to avoid everyone sending you spam.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Career Changer in Denver, Colorado

67 months ago

I applied with AXA Advisors and Morgan Stanely Smith Barney (MSSB) for Financial Advisor "trainee" positions. The AXA interview was a breeze - zero problems - second interview today. The MSSB job required a very extensive application (had to cull through many years of files to gather info) and today they sent me a link to take a math test. Is anyone familiar with the MSSB math test? What should I prepare for? It's been about 17 years since my last college math class and have not had to use any financial formulas in work.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

w$Reed in Westmont, Illinois

51 months ago

Honestly Waddell is not a good place. I work there right now. They tell you that you will be free to build your business, but really they run your life. You have to pay for all your lisencing costs(they get reimbursed only after you produce at a certain level for a year!!!!!!!!). Also you are not free to have any flexibility within the planning. Its either mutual funds or you have to get "special permission for any discretion" Yea nobody gets that permission. The training program is absolutely pointless. You talk and you talk but never actually do or learn anything. As soon as I have the chance to jump at another job I am there

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (7) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

wesman3385 in Columbus, Ohio

50 months ago

If you are thinking about changing careers to be a financial advisor, I would say don't. That's what I did about a year ago and now I am already out of the industry and working a temp job because I can't find anything fulltime. All you do is badger your friends and family to buy mutual funds and insurance. This is the only way you will get started and make it in this business. Anyone who says any differently works for their daddy and was given a crapload of assets to manage. I left a good paying job for this. It definitely wasn't worth it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

Wealth Manager in Pleasanton, California

50 months ago

Wesman--I say differently and do not work for my daddy nor was I given a crapload of assets. That being said it is a very difficult job to get started in and anyone considering the profession needs to be prepared for three to five years of hard work before they will start to make any real money. That's the price you pay to later make more then a medical doctor while working 30 hour work weeks.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

SalesLover in Beaumont, California

50 months ago

Wealth Manager in Pleasanton, California said: Wesman--I say differently and do not work for my daddy nor was I given a crapload of assets. That being said it is a very difficult job to get started in and anyone considering the profession needs to be prepared for three to five years of hard work before they will start to make any real money. That's the price you pay to later make more then a medical doctor while working 30 hour work weeks.

My question is, in what order should I apply at the various firms? What company should be my first choice? How about my second choice? Third…? Here are some details about me.

I am early 40s, Southern California and have been very successful in Sales. I am comfortable cold calling, prospecting and, years ago, even did D2D. I have an excellent work ethic and, having been involved in managerial duties too, know that Sales is what I truly love.

I have worked for private companies that took great care of me and billion dollar tightwad companies and thrived in both environments. I have also been successful in Sales Management. I have traveled extensively with Sales Reps within the U.S. and internationally. I have no restrictions on hours or travel now that my kids are older.

My earnings peaked with a 6 year period of $250-300k per year. However, the building materials industry has been severely down for a solid 3+ years. Thousands of Customers are gone, the ones that are left are small survivors and credit is almost impossible everywhere.

I have decided to make a change. I see potential as a Financial Advisor. I have read the many posts on this site and understand the years required to build a book of business. What I have not found clear is the best path.

Con't

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

SalesLover in Beaumont, California

50 months ago

I do not have experience, so I will need training and to earn the various licenses. I would also like a full basket of products to work with. I would like to be hired by a company where I can build a book that, if I ever needed to, I could take with me and go elsewhere or independent. However, that is only a contingency concern as I am most content to stay with a good company.
I think the only weak spot on my resume is that I did not finish college.
On this site I have read about firms that are now part of a bank (Like ML), firms that have very limited offerings (Like Jones), firms increasing their embrace of fee based advice (Like MSSB) and firms that are better for independents (Like LPL). Each company surely has pros and cons and the writer is usually weighing in with their bias as they should but, given my situation, is there a solid pecking order I should pursue?
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

REGISTERED BANKER in Torrance, California

48 months ago

Wealth Manager in Pleasanton, California said: Wesman--I say differently and do not work for my daddy nor was I given a crapload of assets. That being said it is a very difficult job to get started in and anyone considering the profession needs to be prepared for three to five years of hard work before they will start to make any real money. That's the price you pay to later make more then a medical doctor while working 30 hour work weeks.

Hi Wealth Manager,

Firstly thank you for being so candid in sharing your options and fact about the position.

I am a license banker(7 and 66) with JP Morgan Chase, I have been working closely with my F.A, I do sell every now and then fix annuities and some mutual funds on my own but mostly I pass it on to my F.A, I average about $200000 a month in investment referrals,my base salary is $42000,last year with incentives I made 54000.

I have been recently approach by investment manager to take up a role of F.A, I sole bread earner,new home owner with 8 month baby, I know that there is lot of potential to make good even crazy money.

I guess I am trying to see if you and others will for a second put them self in my shoes and tell me what would they do.

I am 28 yr old, my risk torrence will not change till next 3 yr, that is when my wife will go back to work.

Am I taking to much risk?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Wealth Consultant in Redmond, Washington

41 months ago

Wealth Manager in Pleasanton, California said: Wesman--I say differently and do not work for my daddy nor was I given a crapload of assets. That being said it is a very difficult job to get started in and anyone considering the profession needs to be prepared for three to five years of hard work before they will start to make any real money. That's the price you pay to later make more then a medical doctor while working 30 hour work weeks.

Listen to this Wealth Manager. What he has been saying is true. What I know is ML pays you the most and the longest while you are studying for your Series 7 and as a trainee. Xtragal: World Financial Group is an MLM but they won't say that. They sell mostly Index Annuity (in US) because securities license is not required. You will be successful at WFG if you recruit a lot of agents who would sell Index Annuity to their friends and relatives, and you don't need to know anything about financial advising, as most 'agents' don't. You also need to 'invest' your own money to build your business at WFG, like going to convention. The top 1% makes good money at the expense of other wannabes.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

Nagendra

19 months ago

Wealth manager,

Visit the link:
www.updown.com/member/nagendra

What would you like to advice me?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Scott in Boston, Massachusetts

18 months ago

JBF in Huntington Beach, California said: Career changes are never easy. I think you need to take a good hard look at what you really enjoy doing because if you go into this with money as a focus, you'll struggle. If you truly enjoy the 'work' you'll be doing, then it really isn't 'work,' and success will come easier. You have to believe in yourself.

Regards
Jeff
www.mysafg.com

Hi Jeff, I completely agree with your point of view here. I wanted to add that there's a useful site that provides greater transparency into the personalities, motivations, etc. of top producing financial advisors called CareerNumbers -- www.CareerNumbers.com.

Their data shows that while many of the top performing financial advisors care a whole lot about money, they also have a much better fit with the job than their less effective counterparts. It's pretty cool to finally see some data on the topic. A amount of it is intuitive, but some of it is surprising. Definitely worth checking out if you haven't already.

Best,
Scott

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Series 7 Exam Tutor in Pennington, New Jersey

15 months ago

The main pro include very high compensation for the best in the industry. The con is that is can be challenging to bring the level of business that would get you that high compensation.

Good luck,

Michael Weiss, CFA
www.series7examtutor.com
www.series65examtutor.com

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

okey64@gmail.com in Calgary, Alberta

10 months ago

Wealth Manager in Livermore, California said: Open architecture ? I truly doubt that. Do you have both transactional and fee based account platforms? Access to all MFs, CEFs, stocks, bonds, ETFs, alternatives, managed futures? Do your FAs have the abillity to work accounts as the portfolio manager on a discretionary basis? What are your choices with SMAs? Can you service 401Ks, stock plans, do lending, etc.. I could go on but why bother.

I agree with your comment about working for a bank but unless you work for Goldman or Morgan that is simply the reality of what this economic downturn has done. I am not a ML fan by any means but I am someone who built a business from the ground up. I know the wirehouse firms well and I know the business having been in it for close to 7 years, having about 90 million AUM and a TT of 700K. And you?

What it TT, please?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

okey64@gmail.com in Calgary, Alberta

10 months ago

What is TT

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Placebo in Northridge, California

7 months ago

wesman3385 in Columbus, Ohio said: If you are thinking about changing careers to be a financial advisor , I would say don't. That's what I did about a year ago and now I am already out of the industry and working a temp job because I can't find anything fulltime. All you do is badger your friends and family to buy mutual funds and insurance . This is the only way you will get started and make it in this business . Anyone who says any differently works for their daddy and was given a crapload of assets to manage. I left a good paying job for this. It definitely wasn't worth it.

Yeah I'm contemplating whether to change my career in becoming a financial advisor but I was wondering how does one get started.

Is there a way to get prospective clients besides your family and friends? Doesn't your firm give you leads where you can develop from there? Or do you have to figure out everything by yourself?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.