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Financial Advisors?

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Financial Advisors?

Postby lastingsgriller » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:20 am

is anybody here a financial advisor or know much about the industry. I have now had two interviews with a company called Waddell & Reed and they seem to have taken a liking to me.

going into these interviews I really had no serious intention on switching jobs, but I am sort of "exploring other options."

The company is mid-sized advising company, certainly not a Merril Lynch or Smith Barney, but those companies won't even bat an eye at you unless you have your series 7 and series 66. And to qualify to take those tests you have to be sponsored by a company. kind of a visious cycle if you ask me.. :-?

anyways, It seems like there is a bunch of money here if you are good at what you do. but just wondering if anyone here is a bit more enlightened than i and may have a bit of advise..


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Re: Financial Advisors?

Postby RugbyD » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:47 pm

Being an advisor is in many ways being a salesman depending on how you get paid. If you are going to be advising retail clients, consider if you would enjoy working with individuals and their personal finances, especially ones who don't know what they're doing and will always want maximum return for minimum risk.

As someone who does know what they're doing, I would never buy anything but a no-load fund (99%+ of the time). Advisor comp will often be tied to load-based funds, so what is in your interests is in this case the opposite of your clients' interests. Can you live with that? Your value-add will be in asset allocation aside from what is formulaic for the person's age, goals, and risk tolerance. You don't get paid for this though unless the reputation you build over time for doing it well increases the value of your current assets under management and brings in more money via referrals. "Buy & hold" is dead as an investment strategy. You may be smart for rotating client assets into cash or low-risk investments, but your employer will often not like that b/c they don't make any money when your client sits in cash.

Some people are really clueless when it comes to money and investing and do need help. I am of the opinion that most of these people would do just fine if they spent a little time learning the basics by reading stuff online. If they really want to put no effort in, they should expect to fork over X amount to an advisor to help them out. I'm not sure X really justifies what help they do get if it is driven by load-based funds. There are many solid advisors worth their cost, but they are adept at asset allocation, create their own investment ideas, and have a financial education and investment knowledge base far deeper than what you are likely to be given. You'll have to work to develop it and it will take a lot of time outside the office.

Food for thought. Your situation may vary, but it is important to you and to your clients that your interests are directly aligned with theirs. The typical comp structure may not allow for that though.
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Re: Financial Advisors?

Postby urbanbreez » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:55 pm

That's a tough act to follow. Rugby just dropped knowledge for dat ass. You better pay close attention to how you get paid. Like, specifically, and get it in writing. What are the splits? Before you waste time, energy, and opportunity cost. The unfortunate truth is that the title of Financial Adviser often just means that the Financial Adviser gets raped by his own company. You do all the work and they make all the money. It can be a cold business. And you're dealing with other peoples' money, sometimes their entire nest egg. If you eff it up, you can't escape the nagging feeling that the gates of hell await you and all you really did was make your boss rich.

That said, there are opportunities to make nice money. You need to seriously research and ask the tough questions about how you are paid before you agree to work for any of these companies. I had a $20,000+ month once in a related Job Title. Of course, it took me half a year of lean checks to get there, but the rush from seeing that big fat check with your name on it is totally worth it. Keeps things interesting and you get to be your own boss in the right situation. There are no office politics because it's all about the bottom line, i.e. money. If you boss hates you but you are making goals he can't say anything to you. You can smirk in his face all day and be generally rude and not get fired because you hit numbers and that's what it's about. On the other hand, you can be the most likable person in the company and get canned with quickness if the figures are falling short. I like knowing what is expected of me in terms of dollars, not how much you brown nose. The simplicity is soothing.
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