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Readers Respond: FA Jobs: Pro & Con

Responses: 9


From the article: Financial Advisor Careers
Financial advisors fill key positions in the financial services industry, and are key drivers of profitability in major securities firms. Moreover, as the crucial interface between these firms and the investing public, financial advisors have a highly visible role. If you're a financial advisor, used to be one, or are attempting to become one, please share your experiences with our readers. What are the chief pros and cons of this career path, as you see them? Would you do it again? Would you do anything differently? What tips can you offer our readers who are interested in this line of work? Thanks for your time! Share Your Experiences


I'm in mnth 11 of my career as a FA. This is by far the most difficult job I've had. Clients let you down so much. The leads I source are crap mostly. Policies get declined. You drive many miles after time-wasters at your own expense. Clients don't do what you request. I do work for free because I feel sorry for people because some other adviser messed up & left the company. But this is the best job I've ever had. Nothing compares to the rush of submitting a 20k commission case. Or seeing 1 client in an office and walking out with 4 new unplanned appointments. Nothing beats the 1 in 10 amazingly interesting person you meet. Nothing feels as good as helping someone reach their goals. The interesting & important things you learn. And it's a bonus that you don't have some high horsed boss peering over your shoulder watching your every move. Definitely not a job for slackers, but definitely a job that will open so many doors and possibilities. I will work in the industry for life.

Financial Consultant

I have worked as a stock broker, advisor, then the much better route financial consultant for a discount house. I had the dream and ambition, and finally found what I was looking for as a Financial Consultant. It is difficult to get this role for well known firm that gives you leads all day long and a book of business. You can get there though working as a service rep first or going through the ringer in a full service place getting some experience and a low salary and most importantly your S7 and S66. As a Financial Consultant for a discount house, you wont make a MM+ but steady six figures is definitely doable and a 40 hour work and vacation to follow too. Good luck
—Guest ZAO

Wire House or Banking FA

There are two ways to build a practice and as everyone has said, each takes time: work for a wire house like Merrill or Morgan Stanley OR work in a retail bank branch or credit union like Chase Private Client or as a credit union rep.Pros of wire house are major product offering and ability to service major multimillion dollar accounts. Hardest part is that you have to self- source all your leads and you only make 25-40% of the commission u generate. At a bank, on the other hand, the appointments are set for you. The tricky part is that u can't get the inside bank advisor jobs w/o experience and because the leads are provided the "grid payout" is capped at like 35-38%. At the wirehouses you can go as high as 45-50%. - but you have to be generating 1mil in commissions to get that. First year looking at 60k, then 70-80k, 3rd year 90k, etc. and these estimates assume u are going to make it and assume u are working 50hour + weeks. If u can make it through the first 5 years...
—Guest Andy

Financial advisor

6 years in financial services. Requirements: Unrelenting drive, enthusiasm and big dreams. It's true, first 5 years, expect to earn very little. Compare this job to farming. You shall reap what you sow, but as you get better and build up your contacts, you'll soon find yourself turning away clients who do not meet your criteria. The sky's the limit on income and you can work with people you like. Not for the faint-hearted or people who want time off. Here it doesn't matter how talented you think you are. A lazy advisor will always lose his client to a hungry one.
—Guest Edward

Hard but easy

The actual job is easy but managing your emotions can be hard. The median pay is not accurate for people that work for full service brokerage firms. They are probably getting lots of the the median, from bank brokers. The job takes alot of confidence, deligence and the ability to manage you and your clients emotions
—Guest tough

The Pros and Cons of a Financial Advisor

I've been a financial advisor little over a year now and I can definitely share the joys and hurdles. This is also for those people out there considering becoming a financial advisor. The major pro of becoming a financial advisor would be the compensation and the freedom over your time - meaning that your earning potential is limitless and you are your own boss. Ironically, this is also the con of becoming a financial advisor. While it's true that income potential is limitless due to the compensation system being 100% commission for most major companies, this also means that if you don't manage your business, your income could be 0. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be excellent at communication skills, be overly enthusiastic, or be a great salesman to become a successful advisor. Diligence, perseverance and relationship management is all that is important to be successful.
—Guest Richard

Potential FA

I have been looking in to become a Financial Advisor for the past year. It is very intimidating to think about the commission based salary. However, the freedom of running your own office and the unlimited earning potential are worth the risk. From what I've heard, as long as you are disciplined, work hard, and don't give up this can be an extremely rewarding career.
—Guest jlace

financial advisor pros and cons

As a financial advisor for the last 13 years, I would say that you have to work extremely hard like any new small business owner. Perseverance, enthusiasm, salesmanship, and discipline are the keys to success. Don't expect to make any money for at least 5 years and I would highly recommend working with an existing established team as opposed to starting on your own...The ideal candidate for this business is someone who is very connected in the community and has a lot of experience working with affluent people..and already has a level of trust with that community. I definitely don't recommend this job for recent college grads looking for their first job.
—Guest mike c

Weighing Pros and Cons

In the midst of my career at Merrill Lynch, I explored becoming a financial advisor. I used my contacts to discuss this with several leading (and former) FAs with the firm, then I set down on paper a balance sheet of pros and cons, including my own strengths and weaknesses. It all came down to this: on the positive side of the ledger were my confidence in my analytical abilities, my own success as an individual investor, and my communications skills; on the negative side, I felt that my sales skills were not strong enough, and I was sure that I wouldn't sleep easy, worrying about my clients' accounts. So, I decided to stay in administrative roles rather than take the plunge.

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FA Jobs: Pro & Con

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