American Express fin. advisor good or bad start?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by edollaz, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. edollaz


    Hey everyone, im new to this thread, but have been lurking and reading posts for a while now. I just graduated in Finance a few months ago and want to get my series 7 licence and get started working. I was just offered a job by American Express as a fin. advisor in which I would be able to be sponsored for the series 7. Im already studying for the CFA level 1 in June. I realize if I were to accept the offer, I may have to put off my studying for the CFA. Is AmEx even a good company to work for? I have had trouble finding anywhere to get credible advice and figured there has to be some people here that would be able to give me some insight... Thanks very much for your suggestions, ill be appreciative of any ideas at all.
  2. range


    IMHO, a finacial advisor poistion is essentially a type of sales position, dealing with finances of course. The CFA will qualify you to be an institutional analyst. Two different things. Think about what you want, and then pursue that.
  3. Truff


    Don't waste your time. They will jerk you around for a few years, pay you crap, and make you work like a dog. There has to be plenty of other opportunities out there in that area.
  4. Weasel


    If you are going to be an FA, do it with a true full service brokerage firm that offers more than just their own proprietary products. The house brand isn't always the best product for your clients. Failure rate of trainee financial advisors is very high. Unless you have cpa's and attorneys to refer clients to you or have rich family will be an uphill climb. Good luck!
  5. SH6


    Building business is tough as a rookie FA unless you know high net worth clients already..ideally you are good enough that someone with a business about to retire likes you and offers to let you buy a portion of their business or all of it, so you don't have to recreate their wheel. Otherwise, it's ham on hand for a couple years at least.

    As for AMEX versus Full Service..there are several trade-offs in payouts, mentoring and support, book ownership, etc. Need to find which person you are and go that way...AMEX better payouts and more autonomy as well as book ownership, but less product offerings...something like wire house Merrill, highly regulated and good support, but you will pay 60% of your income back to them.

    Find out the details and make your decision, each has their merits, but don't go on opinions about either side based on ET forums..we've seen the software and broker endless debates that lead no one to a conclusion...use your gut on the path you wishes.

  6. gnome


    Find what they have in store for you in the way of marketing.

    Sometimes, they will place their people in banks when you can try to sell mutual funds, variable annuities, and life insurance to bank customers looking for a better return on their money.

    If they expect you to cold call and find your own clients, you'd better be well connected or the task of finding new clients can be daunting.
  7. In addition to the advice given so far I'll add a bit.

    I worked at Merrill and Morgan during 1996-2000. As an ''advisor''(they may not be able to use that word soon) you are really a salesperson. And to me it always made sense to go with the brand name to get the clients.

    While I was at Merrill we always had people coming over from AXP...never knew of anyone going from MER to AXP. True, Merrill payouts are less but it's better to make 30% of a million than 50% of $500k.

    That being said, it's not always a bad thing to start as a broker if you're in a big city. My cousin started as a retail broker at Painewebber and is now a derivatives trader at UBS.

    Good luck.
  8. SH6


    Good point to make concerning the payouts.
  9. jaykit


    This is a sales position disguised as something nicer. If you have connections and feel that you can build a solid book from your own contacts, go for it. But, if you are starting from scratch with few contacts, it will be an uphill battle. Cold calls at night and on Saturdays. Most of the leads for Amex come from their card holders through mailings. In this position you will not be involved in the markets that much, that's left up the mutual fund mgrs. that you are selling for. No analysis, trading or such, just sales and new business leads. I worked there for a year, then went to trading for myself. It just wasn't my cup of tea...

  10. Nearly any job he takes will require him to put up with "jerking around" and paying his dues. His best advice is do decide what he really wants to do, then go that route, and pay his dues.
    #10     Feb 11, 2005