Financial Advisor Program

Discussion in 'Trading' started by ken0012, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. ken0012


    Does anybody know the process of becoming a Financial Advisor Trainee? Is this the only way to get sponsor for the series 7 and 63 exam. As a job how much do they get pay starting out or just salary in general. Is this like a telemarketing position with a lot of cold calling or what? Please clarify thanks.
  2. been there, done that.
    every firm has a different program. so it's tough to answer your question about salary. i worked at 2 big firms...if you have specific questions about a specific firm let me know.

    it's not the only way to get the 7,63..but its a way to get it and get paid while you're preparing for it.
    good luck
  3. ken0012


    I'm thinking Morgan stanley or USB Paine Webber but it seem like they all want someone with a BA who went to business school in college or something like that. I'm one of those who didn't go to college still pursuing but instead went to trading so is that going to be a problem in the interview process. USB mention something about FAST test and SIA test after submiting the resume what are those?
  4. ok, i have experience with these firms....worked at Morgan..interviewed with Painewebber. Here's the deal:

    1) a BA will help.but it is not needed.
    2) the tests from Painewebber are a basic math skills test and a personality test. they want to see if you can add and SELL.

    what they want is someone who is a complete selling machine. in my Painewebber interview the guy asked me, "what would you do if you don't make it through our program?" I told him that if that happened he should take the day off because I could possibly become homicidal/suicidal. I was supposed to have a second interview, but by the end of the hour we were negotiating salary. Now I don't suggest you do that with everyone, but this guy had Rugby pictures in his office, so I figured he'd appreciate a bit 'o violence.

    I ended up going with Morgan because they had a better deal. Then switched to another firm after a year. One of the best ways to make $ in that business is to switch firms.

    So basically , when you interview, they want someone who is intense. Just make sure you don't look you would kill them...but you might kill someone else who stands in the way of your business plan. And by all means dress well and be articulate.

    Good luck.:)

    and about the trading thing...i wouldn't bring it up unless they do....the last thing they want is someone who is staring at their computer all day.....they want you on the phone and/or networking 24hours a day.
  5. ken0012


    Thanks uptik2000. This sound interesting. Ok what's the business plan they're talking about. By selling do you mean trainee have to make house to house call like in Boiler room. Where the trainee pitch stock like crazy. Or is it more like they have a list of potential client where they want you to follow up on. Selling investment product such as 401k, IRA, Morgate, business loans etc.... What if you don't have that list of potential client where does one go rake up that look them up on the yellow page.:confused: Do they boot people who can't sell or generate lots of clients. Is there like a certain sale number expectation they expect in a quarter?
  6. If you're not a salesman, don't even think of trying it.

    If you don't like cold-calling and you don't have a thick skin, don't even think of trying it.

    Different firms may say it's not cold-calling, but at the end of the day, that's exactly what it turns out to be. I remember calling my buddy at a famous firm and asking him about what kind of leads he was getting. "Oh, I've got thousands of leads," he said. "It's called the White Pages."

    I went from being a stockbroker to trying my hand as an FA, and realized it wasn't for me. My buddy's comment about the White Pages turned out to be very true. The firm called anything "leads." Lists of small businesses were "leads." Then you call them and find out they've been called several times already and are sick of being called (you are often told not to call back in rather unfriendly terms, to put it mildly). My supervisor would give me a stack of "leads" - basically stacks of names and phone numbers that had been called literally dozens of times already. And if you did get a prospect to come in for an initial consultation, well, it also became very apparent very early into the game that we weren't doing what was best for the client, but trying to bring a clients' assets over to us and then selling them on a product that would generate the most commissions for the firm. You'd basically try to scare them enough at the first meeting (how has your portfolio performed lately - terribly of course - and feed on their dreams - what kind of lifestyle do you envision, don't you want to have enough money saved for your kids' education, don't you want to retire early, etc. etc.) so that they'll turn over their assets to you.

    Many of my friends have tried it too, and we all found out that attrition rates at the various firms we were at were well into the 90% range. The office I was in had about 24 FA trainees, and only 3 had made it to one year. And, I'm not kidding, several DOZEN had been hired and either quit or were fired after a few months. Some lasted only a few days before they realized what the game really was about. Of those 3 who had made it past a year, only one of them in my opinion made his clients' needs the first priority. That's a scary ratio if you ask me.

    Starting pay is horrible. Once you start to bring in assets you're paid a draw. If you don't bring in assets you're continued to be paid miserably. It's a pressure-cooked environment to get you to sell yourself and the firm and bring in the assets, baby. Basically if you can make it to a year you have enough coming in to support yourself. We were told if you can make it to 3 years in the business you're on your way to steady six-figure incomes.

    (Don't ask me what company I was with. I'm not about to risk violating confidentiality agreements. Suffice to say it's a very large and nation-wide firm and characteristic I believe of most firms.)

    You can make a lot of money doing it, but you definitely need the personality for it. And after what I've seen, you have to be able to live with yourself when you look in the mirror - have you really done the best for that 68-year-old widow or did you sell her a product that is going to do her very little good but generated a lot of dinero for you?

    I've been successful in sales in other arenas, but I can honestly say I do not have what it takes to be an FA in the manner as it was revealed to me.

    Good luck to you if you decide to go for it.
  7. ken-
    they will give you various lists of "leads" to call. yes, "cold-calling" is one of the main ways to build your book of business. some of it depends on your location and what firm you work for. you have to be a bit creative need to do something different once in a while.
    a lot of what hapa wrote is true. when i started there were about 20 newbies in my office...3 months later 15, after 6months 10, and after a year maybe just 3 or 4 of us left.

    Here's a good test to see if you would possibly be a good "Financial Advisor"(fancy word for stockbroker):

    During your teenage years how were you with hitting on girls?
    If you said "hello" to a girl you liked and she ignored you what would you do?

    a)run ,hide, and cry
    b) be persistent with questions
    c)wet your pants

    Okay, if you picked (B) you might have a good chance. If not, you should really check into something else. Or maybe go to aCharles Schwab office or something.

  8. don't do it, ken. trade for yourself or go with a prop firm.

    best to you,