Starting Base Salary (Draw) For Financial Advisor

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Wealth Manager in Dublin, California

50 months ago

FA2010, please do not pay attention to JasonTR because he has posted the same reply on several different threads and whatever he is describing is not typical of any wirehouse firm that I know of. To answer your questions...The firms you listed along with wells fargo advisors and merrill lynch will all pay you a base salary for two to three years. This will go away and eventually you will be a commission (and fee) only employee. If you haven't built enough of a client base at this point...you'll be starved out of the business.

During the salary period you will typically be paid a salary based on your experience and qualifications. I know nothing about you but in the bay area you should probably expect anywhere between 50K to 75K depending on your experience. You may qualify for bonuses depending on how well you do.

When you say start up packages for experienced financial services professionals I am assuming you mean outside of the advisory business and thus you do not have a book of business. If you are or were a CPA or attorney, you will definitely get paid more since the firms feel that you bring significant contacts to the table. If you were in mortgages or sometype of banking they probably would not see the value in your contacts.

FA2010 in Mill Valley, California said: I am interviewing with UBS and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and I would appreciate any advice on the salary ranges and commission split % during the startup period. I understand that most firms provide a guarantee for up to 28 months to allow a new FA to develop a book of business.

I have always been on a salary + commission compensation structure, but most of my income has come from variable pay for performance commissions.

What are the salary ranges? Does it vary by experience?

What firms provide the most lucrative start up packages for experienced financial services professionals?

Thanks in advance!

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FA2010 in Mill Valley, California

50 months ago

Wealth Manager, thanks kindly for your response and advice! This is very helpful. I have significant experience developing new business in corporate lending and private wealth management, and I am a top producer. I also have a graduate degree in finance from a top school. Do you have any thoughts on what a fair salary range during the ramp up period may look like for someone with my background?

Separately, what are your thoughts on partnering with a top producing FA? I have an option to start my own business or partner. Is partnering a better long term strategy, since it will allow you to leverage others expertise and focus on bringing in new business? Are you familiar with any resources (blogs, books, recruiters, etc.) that I can research to figure out how a split arrangement should look to be fair to both parties?

Thanks again for your thoughtful comments. I look forward to any additional input you may have.

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JasonTR in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

50 months ago

Wealth Manager in Dublin, California said: FA2010, please do not pay attention to JasonTR because he has posted the same reply on several different threads and whatever he is describing is not typical of any wirehouse firm that I know of. To answer your questions...The firms you listed along with wells fargo advisors and merrill lynch will all pay you a base salary for two to three years. This will go away and eventually you will be a commission (and fee) only employee. If you haven't built enough of a client base at this point...you'll be starved out of the business.

During the salary period you will typically be paid a salary based on your experience and qualifications. I know nothing about you but in the bay area you should probably expect anywhere between 50K to 75K depending on your experience. You may qualify for bonuses depending on how well you do.

When you say start up packages for experienced financial services professionals I am assuming you mean outside of the advisory business and thus you do not have a book of business. If you are or were a CPA or attorney, you will definitely get paid more since the firms feel that you bring significant contacts to the table. If you were in mortgages or sometype of banking they probably would not see the value in your contacts.

Do you think that website portrays the financial advisor opportunities posted on many of these job boards?

just want your opinion bc i think it nails it exactly.

im not saying its a bad job, but most ppl do not accurately tell you what to expect

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JasonTR in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

50 months ago

And i like the broker check website bc lots of times the ppl telling you the story have changed brokers 5 times in 7 years. I'd like to see some consistency if I was going to be "mentored" in a sales position.

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Wealth Manager in Livermore, California

50 months ago

Hi FA2010, what exactly is your background? You mention experience in corporate lending and PWM, were you a wholesaler or some type of a product specialist? Anyway you should probably get in the 60K to 70K range on the salary. If you can show that you have a network of HNW or UHNW prospects you might get a little extra.

Teaming up with an experienced FA is a wonderful way to get started in this business. You'll need to make sure that you're compensation (split commission) structure makes sense and you'll have to make sure that both yourself and the experienced FA completely understand and agree what your function and responsibilities on the team will be. That being said the experience and the ability to work with established client base is a much faster way to become established in this business.

Look on registered rep magazine's broker forums. You'll find the answer to almost any question you have regarding this business there.

FA2010 in Mill Valley, California said: Wealth Manager, thanks kindly for your response and advice! This is very helpful. I have significant experience developing new business in corporate lending and private wealth management, and I am a top producer. I also have a graduate degree in finance from a top school. Do you have any thoughts on what a fair salary range during the ramp up period may look like for someone with my background?

Separately, what are your thoughts on partnering with a top producing FA? I have an option to start my own business or partner. Is partnering a better long term strategy, since it will allow you to leverage others expertise and focus on bringing in new business? Are you familiar with any resources (blogs, books, recruiters, etc.) that I can research to figure out how a split arrangement should look to be fair to both parties?

Thanks again for your thoughtful comments. I look forward to any additional input you may have.

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Wealth Manager in Livermore, California

50 months ago

Hi JasonTR, No, I do not think the website portrays the financial advisor position at any type of legitimate firm. The financial services industry is huge so while most investment firms are very legit: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, MSSB, Wells Fargo Advisors, etc... there are bound to also be some shady operations out there too. These shady operations will more often than not be smaller, not very well known names.

Think about it. The above firms on average control over 1 trillion dollars each and make billions of dollars in revenue!! Do you honestly think they are going to try to screw some broker out of a couple of thousand dollars? No, this is an industry where they want ambitious, hard working advisors that will produce long term. That is how they make their money. If my firm did anything inappropiate to me in anyway; I could walk out the door, take my 100 million dollar client base with me and start up at any firm I wanted the next day. It's too costly to them to mess around like that and they don't.

The reason why some new advisors move around so much has nothing to do with the firms. It has to do with the fact that they were not successful and washed out at the firm they were working. From there they wanted to continue to work in the industry and found another firm that would take them on and maybe even give them a salary to do it. Happens all the time

JasonTR in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: And i like the broker check website bc lots of times the ppl telling you the story have changed brokers 5 times in 7 years. I'd like to see some consistency if I was going to be "mentored" in a sales position.

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JasonTR in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

50 months ago

Wealth Manager in Livermore, California said: Hi JasonTR, No, I do not think the website portrays the financial advisor position at any type of legitimate firm. The financial services industry is huge so while most investment firms are very legit: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, MSSB, Wells Fargo Advisors, etc... there are bound to also be some shady operations out there too. These shady operations will more often than not be smaller, not very well known names.

It seems the website describes insurance based non-salary financial advisor jobs to the tee. I worked for met and everything on that website happened and MET is kind of a big name. Honestly i think it happens because many of these so called small names like you say(metlife, mass mutual, ny life, and others) target just graduated seniors.

I think the ideal age to begin an advisor career is early 30's after 5-10 years as a CPA or other financial profession. Not saying you can't make it when you are early 20's but it seems the deck is stacked against you.

Some things on that site may not be portrayed correclty. you could get all of your clients to sign change of broker forms and switch over to your new broker but good luck replacing every single insurance policy bc that would not happen for many reasons.

again i think we're talking about different things tho...you seem to be talking about salaried jobs with investment firms while i'm talking about advisor jobs with insurance companies

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JasonTR in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

50 months ago

Maybe it varies state by state, but I highly doubt you would have to make your CPA license inactive.

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Andreas in San Francisco, California

50 months ago

The package i was offered with a reputable firm (mssb) at is a base salary that ends a year and a half after start date (salary goes to zero). i'm not bringing in any assets under management. im starting from scratch. i have an mba from a top school. i'm not sure this is for me given that the compensation (assuming i meet my quotas) in second and third year can range anywhere between 30-90k. I'm trying to evaluate this opportunity. Does this make any sense?

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wjrslii in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

50 months ago

Insurance companies have no base, they can offer you a "draw" for your compensation, but understand that this position is for a life insurance salesman first an advisor second. Generally these jobs are a hundred percent commission, however the actual payout on the investment portion of the business will deter you from focusing on investments, on the insurance side. If you become a broker, it is a equally tough job however there are more investment options in the long run and the payout on the investment side is way more lucrative. Life insurance companies are good for a couple of things one getting your licenses and developing sales training, thats it you will only learn about insurance products not real investments.

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john C-CFP in West Chester, Pennsylvania

45 months ago

hi Workrb,

I can only speak for the major wirehouse I work for, but we do not allow CPA to be active, or even listed on a business card. From my understanding, it is a liability issue.

However, your CPA experience will be very beneficial to you and your clients not only in the form of knowledge, but in establishing credibility and trust. Not sure that makes you feel any better about getting past that awful exam and not being able to keep the license!

Best of luck!

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Dave Wong in New York, New York

44 months ago

Just wondering what your base was if you dont mind me asking? sub 60k? Thanks in advance!

Andreas in San Francisco, California said: The package i was offered with a reputable firm (mssb) at is a base salary that ends a year and a half after start date (salary goes to zero). i'm not bringing in any assets under management. im starting from scratch. i have an mba from a top school. i'm not sure this is for me given that the compensation (assuming i meet my quotas) in second and third year can range anywhere between 30-90k. I'm trying to evaluate this opportunity. Does this make any sense?

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Andreas in San Francisco, California

44 months ago

above 60k...but still insulting for someone who has an mba from a top school

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Andreas in San Francisco, California

44 months ago

Above 60K but still insulting for someone who has an mba from a top school (its not cheap to get this kind of education)

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Ayesh in Schaumburg, Illinois

44 months ago

I am a new Financial Advisor who works for a pension advisory firm in the retirement side. I have been working with this employer on a salary basis for around 40K for 1 year now. Now, I am starting to worry about having my own clients and go independent under his brand company name as I guess I can handle prospects less than $5 mil in assets (micro-sized plans). Here are the two options given to me by him:

1.) Stay on salary with him, bring more clients on board and get a raise in salary every year...depending how much the company makes more (its a small company of 3 people right now)

2.) Get your commission coming in...which decreases your salary by that amount and then when salary matches commission, whatever I make on top of that...a part of that goes to the comapny to pay for rent and phone.

My suggestion: Go with the second option... because if maximum 3 years down the road I match my salary, then I can just work as an independent advisor rather than still getting paid between $60-$80 (if he gives me a raise) 3 years from now.

I would appreciate your advise on this matter!!

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lol! in Augusta, Georgia

42 months ago

Andreas in San Francisco, California said: above 60k...but still insulting for someone who has an mba from a top school

It is what it is? If you can't hack it, don't take it. I know plenty of Ivy league graduate car salesmen....

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Wealth Manager in Dublin, California

41 months ago

Andreas--I feel your pain but ultimately this isn't a salaried position so how much you earn is up to you. Also in my experience I have seen countless trainees come off of salary to make even less than their initial salary amount regardless of their education. Long term this can be a very nice living but the first few years are very tough. Firms really need to do more to educate people coming into the business because so few trainees really understand what to expect in the beginning stages of this career.

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Fritch in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

39 months ago

I'm an MBA grad with eight years of experience in investment management. ML offered me $74k for the first year plus four months. After that, salary began to be reduced as asset hurdles had to be met. After some deliberation, I decided that the FA career was nothing more than a glorified car salesmen and turned down the offer.

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Wealth Manager in Pleasanton, California

39 months ago

Hi Fritch-- It sounds like you obviously were unsure about this as a career choice so turning down the offer was probably the right move.

Regarding your comment, however, I feel that comparing an FA to a glorified car salesman is silly. I might see the comparison if you were to look at the career of an FA (stockbroker) back in the 80s when the job mainly consisted of cold calling people at home and pitching a stock or other investment idea. It's nothing like that now.

In my practice I sell nothing but simply consult and advise clients how to best save and structure their investments to reach their goals. I charge a flat fee on the assets I manage and receive the exact same compensation regardless of how many trades are placed or which product we decide to work with. I help develop financial plans for client's retirement, education needs for their children, estate planning concerns, etc...and then work to manage what in most cases is the bulk of their investable assets.

It is actually a difficult and very important job because my services have a direct impact on my client's future quality of life. I conduct myself and thus am treated like a professional and I really do not see how my job is much different then that of another professional service provider such as a doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc...

Either way with your MBA and investment management background I'm sure you'll find something that you'll like better and I wish you the best of luck in your search

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Peter in Upland, California

39 months ago

Is an FA the same thing as a PWM (Private Wealth Manager/Private Banker)?

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Wealth Manager in Pleasanton, California

39 months ago

Hi Peter--Yes and no.....In the truest form these are divisions within the investment bank that deal with UHNW (ultra high net worth) clients. For some banks this might be 10 million dollars in assets and at other places it might be 25MM.

Regardless both the FA or the private banker both deal with retail clients so the title really just signifies the size of the client in terms of asset level and even then there is no hard rule on this. I know FAs that have 50MM or even 100MM dollar client accounts which came over from private banks.

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Ex-Pension Analyst in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

38 months ago

Does anyone know which houses have the best splits and what the typical fee splits would be? Obviously this is probably negotiable based on if you have an existing book, but typically what is the split (70/30, 60/40, 50/50, etc) if you were a scratch FA going to a Merrill, Morgan, etc.? Is there a major difference if you were to go to a place like Edward Jones or even started your own shop through a place like LPL or Raymond James?

I've been in the institutional investment consulting area for the last 5 years and on the custodial banking side for a couple of years before that. Recently I was laid off, so I'm weighing career options and wondering the feasibility. Any advice is helpful.

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ccc in Needham, Massachusetts

38 months ago

Glen Ellyn - i am in the same boat as you so maybe we can share info we are finding out? CCC

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Broker in Dallas, Texas

38 months ago

Insurance companies have salaries that don't go away. 17 year Vet in that field, where are you getting your info?

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Andreas in San Francisco, California

38 months ago

I am wondering how i'm going to pay off my MBA debt. This job pays me less than what I was making 10 years ago when I graduated from college.

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Alan in Canton, Michigan

38 months ago

I have been offered a position as a FA with Well's Fargo advisor's but am stuck on what do to. I am currently in a different field but it is also in the financial industry and is a wholesale position. I have worked my way up and I have made a little over 500k the past 2 years but think that will decrease dramatically this year. I am only 25 years old and feel that I need to find my calling. I can sell anything and I believe that is what WFA is looking for and why they contacted me. Not sure if it is worth the risk. Any advice?

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Sara (Sacramento) in Elk Grove, California

37 months ago

Hi all, I'm just now looking into this recently. I figured salary / income in the first 1-2 years is going to be low, but based on these comments, now I'm really concerned that I won't be able to get it anywhere back to 100K. I've always been a top producer in Sales so I'm not worried on that side. However, I thought the average salary would be more. For you experienced folks out there, can you give me an idea of what above average producers make after the 2 yr mark?
Also I was think there was residual income. Is there residual income?
Thanks for any reply! :)

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Wealth Manager in Dublin, California

37 months ago

Average salary is extremely difficult to calculate in this industry due to the fact that most FAs don't make it past their first 5 years. If you add in the incomes of the people who ultimately were unsuccessful....then the average income looks much lower.

I can't comment on the independent or insurance companies that have their own broker/dealers but for the main wirehouse firms (merrill, mssb, wells fargo advisors, etc) the average is in the 750K GDC range which translates to around 300K take home pay. I'm not sure if they take the newer advisors into account when they run these calculations but either way you can easily make over 100K doing this assuming you make it past the start up period.

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Ane from Mintcofinancial.com in Buffalo, New York

35 months ago

Ex-Pension Analyst in Glen Ellyn, Illinois said: Does anyone know which houses have the best splits and what the typical fee splits would be? Obviously this is probably negotiable based on if you have an existing book, but typically what is the split (70/30, 60/40, 50/50, etc) if you were a scratch FA going to a Merrill, Morgan, etc.? Is there a major difference if you were to go to a place like Edward Jones or even started your own shop through a place like LPL or Raymond James?

I've been in the institutional investment consulting area for the last 5 years and on the custodial banking side for a couple of years before that. Recently I was laid off, so I'm weighing career options and wondering the feasibility. Any advice is helpful.

Contact me. Since leaving my former Agency, I got a better deal working with a local and well established company.

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finao in Bunn, North Carolina

35 months ago

I've worked in the the investment banking field for over 7 years but not as an IC,FA or PB...more like a consultant. I've the the 100% commission and thats just not feasible for me anymore. Merrill has asked me to come onboard their PMD (three yr paid base) but from what I've read, base salary seizes after that. I am a single parent and can't fully invest the time I did when I didn't have children so I really need a base plus comm role. Can anyone give me some ideas of which banks in the Dallas, TX region offer this. Thanks in advance.

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Another cynical "top school" MBA in Los Angeles, California

33 months ago

I think most of you are full of it and just want to brag about your "top school" MBA so you don't feel so bad about wasting the dinero. Look -- we all have them.

No such thing as a free lunch & just wait for them to backtrack on your incentive pay. Don't be a pushover, get it in writing, or this isn't the field for you. Most people it's not. Don't "find your calling" -- work your ass off and learn to manage your hours better. Work sucks, stop trying to take the easy way out.

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hsong in Collegeville, Pennsylvania

33 months ago

FA2010 in Mill Valley, California said: I am interviewing with UBS and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and I would appreciate any advice on the salary ranges and commission split % during the startup period. I understand that most firms provide a guarantee for up to 28 months to allow a new FA to develop a book of business.

I have always been on a salary + commission compensation structure, but most of my income has come from variable pay for performance commissions.

What are the salary ranges? Does it vary by experience?

What firms provide the most lucrative start up packages for experienced financial services professionals?

Thanks in advance!

mark

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Prospective MS FA in Mattoon, Illinois

33 months ago

WEALTH MANAGERS in DUBLIN & PLEASONTON, you guys really give solid and realistic information/advice. Thank you for being a resource for your industry.

In my situation, a recruiter has contacted me and is trying to recruit me for the MS FA program. I have always wanted to get into financial services but the timing was always wrong. It also didn't make sense in my career until now because I didn't have the business or investing experience to really sell it credibly. However, now my concern is the realistic earning potential over my first year and how much of my savings it will eat into to cut my teeth in this industry. I am currently making $156k as a manager but am capped and really hungry for more and new challenges and something more competitive with no cap on my earning potential. All of the cold calling, prospecting and marketing is perfect for me. My limiting factors are that I am in a smaller rural community and would be working in a relatively large (given the community size) MS office that is about 10 FAs. I also have no soft relatives accounts to take over to get me to boost my numbers. My question is if I negotiate a $60k base and perform in the top 15% of new advisers can I hit $120k in commissions and base in my first year?

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ML Prospect in Staunton, Virginia

32 months ago

I am in a similar position as a lot of you. We have graduate degrees from good schools, have worked in the field for several years and are considering either going back into the FA field or taking the 'leap' and entering this arena. I have an offer from Merrill and have been contemplating this for a few days. With that being said, I would simply like to make one comment that I feel is going untouched here. For those of us considering this career, I think we need to step back and not concentrate so much on the money. Do you have a passion for the financial markets and an overall interest in eating, sleeping and breathing this business? Moreover, do you enjoy working with people and are you good at communicating your ideas in a coherent and perhaps persuasive manner? This IS NOT a glorified car sales job and anyone stating that simply has a lack of understanding of what it takes to be successful in this career and should probably not partake in forums such as this. Those people making the big dollars in this business have the aforementioned attributes previously discussed. They have a passion for the markets, they communicate EXTREMELY well and of course they can work their way into wealthy circles by providing a much needed service with the utmost integrity, discretion and the highest levels of customer service. The best in this business are extremely bright, work very hard and TRULY ENJOY THEIR JOB! You can't go into this career because you see dollar signs! You have to enjoy the work, enjoy working with people and have the right knowledge and skills to make this happen. I hope this helps some of you who are 'on the fence'!

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Prospective MS FA in Mattoon, Illinois

32 months ago

ML PROSPECT, I couldn't agree with you more! I'm right with you in terms of love of financial services, clients, being in it for the right reasons, not all about money, etc. It is all there. I've wanted to do this since I was in college. However, it's only now in my career after I have the business experience and insight that I feel I can credibly and effectively advise and sell the service. Were money not an issue, I would be in there like swimwear! However, like many, I've got a pretty big nut to crack each month with mortgage, private school, etc. Hard for me to imagine being able to weather 4 to 5 years of sub 100k compensation. I posted my dilemma on another thread here and a wealth adviser from CA states that is the reality. He's done it for 8 years and just cracked 200k in an affluent area...I want the answer to be that if I really work hard and sweat, I can get to $120-150 in a year or two but that just doesn't seem to be reality unless I magically bag a white whale. But those capt. ahabs are probably more like unicorns than reality. Let us know what you decide and how it goes. Thanks for your feedback!

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FSI Phase2 in Connecticut

32 months ago

I can give you some very relevant up to date input if you still need it Prospective MS FA. Let me know if you are still mulling the decision.

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Prospective MS FA in Charleston, Illinois

32 months ago

FSI Phase2 in Connecticut said: I can give you some very relevant up to date input if you still need it Prospective MS FA. Let me know if you are still mulling the decision.

FSI Phase2: Yes, please give me any input you can, as it looks like I am moving forward in the process. Thanks in advance!

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FSI Phase2 in Connecticut

32 months ago

You can indeed make more than your initial salary in your first year if you happen to have some very good prospects and bring more revenue to the firm than your pay is. There are both cash and stock bonuses that you can qualify for if you beat the goals, but getting into the six figure range in the first year will be difficult because you will be spending 5 months getting your licenses before you can start bringing in any assets.Going forward the income potential really is dependent on you and can be extremely lucrative.
Now for the reality check. Hopefully the Manager you are dealing with has told you that the success rate of new Advisors is 10% or less. I had no doubt that I would be in that 10% given the 22 months of salary that I would be getting. I am no stranger to hard work, long hours and develop trust very easily with people.
The problem is that given the economy, the 22 months has become quite a shrinking time frame. Keep in mind the 5 month training period I mentioned and I was let go after 9 months for not hitting the sales goals...so some simple math will tell you how short the ramp up time is.
This is not meant to discourage you because I do know people doing great with the company, but they began with them in a different time and with a different company culture.
If you have a good network of HNW individuals already you will be just fine. My circles were not made up of people with much in investable assets, and I also took the approach which sales professionals will tell you and tried to focus on totally cold new relationship building first. In my case the problem is that this just started to look like it was going to work very well over time...but time ran out and now I feel I have lost all of that time and credibility with those prospects. I hope this helps.

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Prospective MS FA in Charleston, Illinois

32 months ago

FSI Phase 2: Excellent, well balanced accounting of your experience! Similar to you, I'm not in circles with HNW individuals. I too can build relationships quickly, sell work hard, etc. However, as you clearly state, culture and economic conditions are so key to the fragile conditions starting out with zero book and a small window of time to produce. Given that small window, it seems like the only way to succeed is a very tightly defined niche market and streamlined prospecting system. Do you agree? In your experience, which prospecting methods and niches were worth your time and which were a waste of time? Lastly, which firm let you go and which firm are you working for now? Can't tell you how helpful this is especially from someone who can talk objectively about their personal experience.

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FSI Phase2 in Connecticut

32 months ago

Hello again. You are spot on with the niche market as long as it is a large enough pool to allow you to make the core of your business. The thing that seemed like it was going to work was reaching out to COI (Centers of Influence) such as Attorneys and CPAs. These are people who have very similar clients and who you can refer business back and forth with so it is in their interest. This unfortunately is not a quick road to clients. I did waste a few months cold calling homeowners (the limited number that are not on the do not call list), and trying to find people to do public speaking for. Had I gone the COI route right from the start I might have made it. I also had the benefit of an experienced FA helping me which is not always the case. I know people from other branches that felt completely alone in their efforts. This was with MS and I am currently looking for a new position which is what brought me to Indeed.com this morning. I can tell you that ML has a longer ramp, and lower goals...but the salary is significantly lower in my part of the country. I love the Industry and helping people so truly hope to be able to find something that will fit financially with my stage of life. In case I did not specify I am a mid-life career changer that had come from a salary just shy of $100K but doing something I have no desire to go back to.

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Just tring to make it in Freeport, New York

32 months ago

Wealth Manager in Dublin, California,

I will start the interview process at Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley next week, my background is i have a BA for a top school, and 2 years of experience from a smaller B/D, no where on the level of Merrill or Morgan, and i feel the tactics taken at my previous firm (i.e. leads-call unsuspecting individuals ask them questions about there finances and if the answer all,call them back in a month and pitch them a stock) where more of the salesman kind of role (pretty much saying the same thing over and over to each potential client over the phone until you open someone) than solution-men. Which when I entered the business i thought i would be, but i took the job just to get some type of training and my licenses. I'm licensed with my series 7 and 63, I am no stranger to long work week hours and I also came up with a clear concise plan to bring in new business. I am 25 years old and I would just like to know, what do you think i should be asking for salary wise, and do you for see any issues i may have going forward. Any criticism is greatly appreciated.

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Closer in Miami, Florida

31 months ago

Hey there... I was recently approached with the idea of interviewing with one of the larger financial institutions to become an FA. While I'm certainly not the most qualified for the position, I am definately excited about the possibility, and ready for the high pressure and the challenge. Perhaps one of the most intriguing parts about being an FA is the constant room for challenge, knowledge, and self-development. I have a BA from a mid-tier school, and have mulitple years of experience in high activity B2B sales organizations. Most of these organizations are far from the financial world, but the challange is no longer there for me, and what I see, I feel I can find as an FA. I've been requested to appear for an interview by the recruiting manager himself, and I most certainly will take the opportunity. My reason for posting here, what advice can anyone give me as to prepare myself for the interview, and what advice would you give someone coming into the position new?

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Andreas in Berkeley, California

31 months ago

Dear Andreas,
Brace yourself. Its a never ending race that you are being put in. im in that rat race myself. I have to say i enjoy the day to day, but the pay isn't really there. at the pace that i am going its going to take me 25 years to earn the amount I should be earning today with the background that i have. Best of luck in your pursuits.

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Andreas in Berkeley, California

31 months ago

Another cynical "top school" MBA in Los Angeles, California said: I think most of you are full of it and just want to brag about your "top school" MBA so you don't feel so bad about wasting the dinero. Look -- we all have them.

No such thing as a free lunch & just wait for them to backtrack on your incentive pay. Don't be a pushover, get it in writing, or this isn't the field for you. Most people it's not. Don't "find your calling" -- work your ass off and learn to manage your hours better. Work sucks, stop trying to take the easy way out.

I have a top mba and the reason why i "complain" about the pay is because together with my wife we are in debt 200K (we both have mbas). My wife is at a point where she would like to have a baby, but with my uncertain income she does not want to. My fellow classmates have jobs that pay them 5 times more than what i get paid. i like my job, but from a procreation perspective its not helping and my wife is not getting younger either.

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sacphillygirl in Elk Grove, California

31 months ago

This is a marathon. I have a completely different background too, although mostly sales. I've been lucky enough to be hired by the biggest and best simply because my manager thinks I can sell. In order to survive you do have to be smart, but most of all you have to know how to be a top producing sales person. You either have it in your personality or you don't. It can't be taught, only the product can be taught. In all honesty, I am a top producer, but the whole reason I went into sales is because I am a mother and I really appreciate being in control of my own schedule. I have always worked smart more then hard and made a better then average living. However now it seems I have to work to exhaustion in order to make the money that I need to make and neglect my children. I know it can be done, but unless you are lucky and pair up with an established group, you had better be prepared to work smarter and harder then ever for the first 2-3 years and I'm taking for granted that you are a top-producing sales person. If you are not a natural talent at sales, forget it. If I wasn't a master at building relationships I wouldn't be staying here. That would just lead to disappointment and a waste of my time and their time. Good Luck!

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Mujican in Lubbock, Texas

30 months ago

I'm about to graduate college in December with a degree in International Economics. I just got my first phone interview appointment with Edward Jones Investments. I realize that this is likely a tough industry to make it in, but I have that kind of drive that it take to succeed, IMO anyway. I've read all of the info websites I could find. My question is, is all of the information concerning pay accurate. Roughly 50+ grand for the first coulpe of years. I have a family that I am concerned about being able to support and honestly base salary isn't much, 21K I believe, plus commission. Are these figures with commission reflecting average agents or the top percentile producers. I have read that top producers can earn as high as 90K their first couple of years which is great if its true. Would really appreciate some feed back on this, especially from those of you who might have less than 5 years experience.

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Mike in NJ

30 months ago

Hi all,

I currently do not work in the financial field but am beginning to enjoy it now that I am studying toward my MBA and working toward investing in my own retirement. I currently work in the science community as a lab geek but do not find it interactive enough for me and am looking into becoming a FA. Without any finance background, othet than what I am currently studying and reading on my own, is this a field I can ultimately get into? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Peter Thompson in Nassau, Bahamas

29 months ago

Hello,
I am a 28 yr old narcotics detective looking to make a major change in terms of my career. I recently used some of my savings to pay for my own securities liscensing course and am about half way through it. Passing this course will not be a problem. My question is, seeing as I have no experience in the financial field how can I better sell myself to a large firm. And as I will be coming with my designation already in hand does it drastically or minimally improve my standings? Thanks.

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AP in New York, New York

28 months ago

Peter Thompson in Nassau, Bahamas said: Hello,
I am a 28 yr old narcotics detective looking to make a major change in terms of my career. I recently used some of my savings to pay for my own securities liscensing course and am about half way through it. Passing this course will not be a problem. My question is, seeing as I have no experience in the financial field how can I better sell myself to a large firm. And as I will be coming with my designation already in hand does it drastically or minimally improve my standings? Thanks.

I think you may be misinformed as you can't actually take the exam without a broker/dealer to sponsor you. With that said, B/Ds want two things: sales experience and evidence you have an established network (a wealthy network at that).

I work in a major metro city for a major public brokerage. It seems to me, it's about who you know as far as landing a job here. Not to discourage you, but if you don't know someone in the business, you'll have to invest in finding a contact. The other route is to get your foot in the door by becoming an advisor's assistant. Not ideal, but if you really want to be in the business, it's a great way to learn before jumping in.

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Peter Thompson in Nassau, Bahamas

28 months ago

AP in New York, New York said: I think you may be misinformed as you can't actually take the exam without a broker/dealer to sponsor you. With that said, B/Ds want two things: sales experience and evidence you have an established network (a wealthy network at that).

I work in a major metro city for a major public brokerage. It seems to me, it's about who you know as far as landing a job here. Not to discourage you, but if you don't know someone in the business, you'll have to invest in finding a contact. The other route is to get your foot in the door by becoming an advisor's assistant. Not ideal, but if you really want to be in the business, it's a great way to learn before jumping in.

Thanks for the response. However, you are right that the "Series" exams do need a B/D to sponser you but the Canadian equivalent, the "CSC" does not. That's the one that I am halfway through. Becoming an assistant may not be an option for me because salary has to be worth it because as I have a family to support. So I can't very well leave the force for less money.
Regarding sales experience and an established wealthy network, I can appreciate that firms may need experienced advisors looking to switch firms to have this but can they honestly expect every advisor to have these things (i.e. what would be the point of brand new advisors). I guess what i'm asking is can firms expect those who choose "Financial Advisor" as a second career to actually come with experience and business books? If so they could be losing out on real diamonds in the rough, that could shine after just a bit of o-t-j training.

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