I've been reading through threads here, and have a question that I'll try to keep short. Well, hopefully short. I have a family member who works for a major wirehouse who got me interested in being a broker five years ago. I have a BA (not in finance, or economics. "Organizational Leadership and Development" with a minor in Psychology.) I'm 36 years old, have a family, and worked my way through College (later in life, graduating in 2001) I paid my way through working as a Police Officer, promoting to Sergeant before graduating. Yes, I know, everyone hates cops... I don't have that "cop attitude," and have been out of that business since 2001. Needless to say, I didn't go to Smith Barney and hang out to see what really gets done from day to day. I took it as I would be picking equities, building portfolios, and making people money. NOT being a salesperson. Sure, I watched Wall Street a few dozen times, and knew there was 'some' sales involved in earning trust so I could land "the big accounts" that I could trade for. What I did not know was the fact that those days of picking stocks for people, and making them money is long gone. Very long gone. You see, there's no money (commissions are 1/100th of what they once were) in picking stocks and making folks money. In fact, compliance frowns on it. People now have access to discount firms, and can do this WITHOUT me, all the while they paying $7/trade instead of the former $300-$700 per trade that USED to be the norm. So where is money now made for a guy with a Series 7 General Securities Rep license, 66 Registered Investment Advisor Rep license, and Life & Health licenses? Packaged products. Stuff like A share mutual funds, variable annuities, Limited Partnerships (for Accredited Clients), and managed money for a fee. The problem is the fact that I thought I was going to be picking those stocks, and managing their money, so they could make money and be at least somewhat happy with their PROFESSIONAL Broker. Not me selling them the same stuff they can get down the street at ABC wirehouse. Not me having to call people I don't know trying to sell them something that may or may not do well for them. I've always been more analytical than that, and done well in trading my own account in the past. I was shocked to find out that the mutual funds that I put them in usually don't beat the spx. I was shocked to find out that the money managers I put their money with were also sub-par. I was shocked to see how much they were paying in fees to hold a variable annuity that performed sub-par so they could get a guaranteed death benefit, or guaranteed withdrawl benefit while the firm got a big commission, and the insurance company, and wirehouse could get richER. This isn't what I wanted. I was told "stick with managed money, and you'll do fine." Well, the managed money is down over 500bps ytd (not bad I guess relative to the markets...), the mutual funds down 1000+bps ytd, and the variable annuities I don't even want to talk about. I have been monitoring the main money managers I use, and they blow my mind at the ignorant stuff they buy, and decide to continue to hold. More than half under the 200dma, for example and performing poorly. I put together a tactical asset allocation portfolio on paper, and am up 14.6% ytd. I continually outperform these "professionals," and I've only been licensed for 5 years, with a trading background of about 8 years pervious to becoming licensed. What I'm trying to say is I am analytical, and have more of a trading mindset. Not a "you need to gather assets" mindset, and send them a statement, and go to dinner with them once a quarter. That just isn't me. I'm at the point where I have people I can bring on as new Clients, but I don't get excited about talking to them, or "papering them," as I know what they'll get is sub-par. That leads to a problem of me not making money, but it's not about me. It's about them. I found out 5 years later that I'm on the wrong side of the business. Yes, I know, I should have figured this out earlier, but retail firms have a way of keeping "the carrot in front of the horse" indefinitely. I could get a portfolio I built through compliance, sure. However, I'd make about enough money to take my family to Wendy's for dinner with the commissions paid on that. That's where the packaged product B.S. comes into play. Variable Annuities pay on average 7% A share funds pay on average 5- 5.75% (unless they qualify for breakpoints making the commission less) Managed money is about 2% per year on the average account. And, last but not least, the Equity Indexed Annuity paying 9-10%:eek: That's right. A $200,000 rollover into one of these pays $18,000-$20,000.:eek: However, the interest earned is "linked" to the spx, meaning the insurance company has a way of screwing the Client out of the FULL gains of the spx. Things such as point-to-point crediting of interest, monthly averaging, etc., Basically a 15% year in the spx means they'll probably get less than half of that. Not to mention the MAJOR surrender charges involved, and caps on interest earned, I'm wanting out of being a retail Broker badly. I am wanting to trade for a living like I thought I was originally going to be. I just didn't know it was going to be like this, and that there are firms (major firms!!!) who push their Brokers to sell snake oil packaged products when they have guys who could do much better doing the right thing. For me, the right thing is working hard finding the right mix of equities, bonds, cash, etc., and getting paid for doing so. Sadly, those days are long gone. I know, Brokers bitch about the commissions being tiny for stock picking vs. selling money managers, funds, annuities, etc., due to the discount brokerages. I know if you want to make good $$ you have to sell this "stuff." But I just don't want to do it anymore, nor can I stomach the thought of putting poeple's hard earned money into sub-par crap just so the firm and me can get paid well. I'm just not a salesman. Other Brokers may say that I'm weak, or a "piker" for not being all happy about jumping on the phones to pitch the flavor of the month, but I cannot get excited about this kind of work. I get excited about trading. I get excited when I see guys trading on the floor of the NYSE, CME, etc., I get excited about trading with other LIKE MINDED guys/gals trading, and making money. NOT selling sub-par junk. I'm a thinker. I'm analytical. I have a Son who is in the 5th grade, who can be within .50 cents of what the total bill will be at the grocery store when we got to the checkout using no calculator. And, that's with him adding in the State sales tax!!! But his Dad? A salesman... I'm not proud of me... I wanted something else, and what I'm currently doing is NOT it. I guess I'm asking for help, and advice. I'd LOVE to work on a trading floor. I'd love to be in that environment. Just don't know which way to turn. I'm far, far from rich. LOL! In fact, I don't sell the snake oil crap, so I don't get paid what my "peers" get paid. Plus I have a family. I konw there are probably several Brokers on here, so please don't take offense. There's always going to be a market for a Broker to sit down with a Client, see how much money they have, find out their risk profile, etc., and sell them something and make a nice commission in the process. It just isn't me though. Again, all the retail Brokers I know would say get a job at Walmart, or be a compliance officer, but that's not what I'm going to do. I really appreciate any advice you guys and gals here have as I don't know where else to turn.