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donjon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote donjon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/19/2015 at 10:54pm
Hello Helado,

I can only say thanks so much for so many great thoughts!  This is truly fantastic advice. 

The .5% that are making the good money were certainly on my mind when I started this journey a few months back.  While I think I could eventually enter the 4.5%, I don't know if the top .5% would be in my future.  For me, it the velocity of growth that is disconcerting, since going backwards 6+ years is the real issue as prime earning years for me are now.  

I thank you also for looking forward in the industry and seeing hard times ahead for issues of technology, turning market, and quite honestly 20,000 edj advisors alone.... crowding. 

The comment about EDJ not having the tools for my clientele is new, I hadn't even considered yet.  That is a big consideration also. 

The calculations your provided were excellent, and I guess 5-8 years to reach my goal of $180k / year was fantastic.  I'll be using these numbers to build a model of low/med/high projections for this and other opportunities.  

Also your advice to keep prospecting all day, every day is very appropriate.   I've heard this, but not as clearly as you stated...it's a wake up call that it must be a way of life, not just a 9-5 job for the foreseeable future.  Needs to be the only thing do for 6 days for 3 years.  I like the schedule too.  Do you have any scripts you used that work?  I hear when its said it doesn't matter what you say, however it is easier knowing you are working from a proven set of words, not reinventing.  

The people leaving EDJ for more money makes sense.  However, I signed an agreement with EDJ that the training expenses must be paid back to them if you leave within 3 years.  Has anyone had experience with this?

Finally, and probably the most negative issue, is compared to building your own business which has residual value and you can raise money for, the EDJ book belongs to them, despite a small payout in the end, you can't sell for multiples of 10-15x's as you can a business, just sell it back to EDJ.  So the question of where best to spend time building a business;  for EDJ or for yourself.  

On the flip side, $500K and lots of available time are extremely alluring....So there's the rub.  Can't predict the future.  

I do like getting 30% of deals brought to others...that might be the best of all worlds.  

All great ideas.  Love to hear more if you have them. 

I'm in your debt.   I can't thank you enough. 

Best wishes, 

DJ


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote donjon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/19/2015 at 10:57pm
Hello Morean, 

Yes, I think you are absolutely correct about RR's post, I do think it also is the best. 

Thanks for taking the time to answer the post.

My very best wishes to you, 

DJ
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Hi Squeaky,

Thanks again for your continued advice... you are very kind to take the time. 

Yes, I think 65 Million gets me to the $180K bogey in 5-8 years based upon the $20 million GoodKnight and the numbers put forth by you and Helado, ClarenceBeeks, LA Broker, Threefree and confirmed by Delbs' experience.  You folks have been great getting this information out to the group so quickly. 

EJ has truly been very professional and easy to work with...first rate.  However, i do think some of the criticism is warranted too. 

Best wishes to you, 

DJ
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Hello Delbs, 

This information is fantastic!  Thanks so kindly for sharing your personal experience, it really reinforces the estimates that we've all been making about this topic. 

Do you see a cap or reduction in revenue production due to the market slowing in the future, or competition from DIY?  These are some of the issues i have come across.

Thanks again Delbs.  Very thoughtful.

Best wishes, 

DJ
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Hi LA B,  

Thanks so kindly for sharing your thoughts also.  It's very helpful in adding more data points to the decision making process. 

It sounds like (and I'm guessing here) that you may have had some time with EDJ (?)    Are you still with them, and in So Cal?

How are additional assets allocated to FA's?  Is there a normal process?

Thanks again LA B.  

Best wishes, 

DJ
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Hi nissionshooter, 

Thanks so much for taking time to weigh in on the topic.  I truly appreciate your time and  thoughts. 

Best wishes, 

DJ
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missionshooter, not nissionshooter.....  geez i can't type to save my life.

Sorry.

Best, 

DJ
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Originally posted by donjon donjon wrote:

Hello Helado,

I can only say thanks so much for so many great thoughts!  This is truly fantastic advice. 

You're quite welcome.  

The .5% that are making the good money were certainly on my mind when I started this journey a few months back.  While I think I could eventually enter the 4.5%, I don't know if the top .5% would be in my future.  For me, it the velocity of growth that is disconcerting, since going backwards 6+ years is the real issue as prime earning years for me are now.  

One thing to remember is that I believe of that 4.5% that make over $200K in this business, the only reason they don't make it to the next .5% is because they get comfortable.  If you live anywhere but NY, LA and maybe a handful of other major metros, making $200 - $300K gives you an awesome life, and people just aren't motivated to keep growing.  Making $250K working 30 hours a week (or less) is a nice life.

So don't despair about making it to the elite.  It's all about motivation, once you make it to netting your $180K goal. 

I thank you also for looking forward in the industry and seeing hard times ahead for issues of technology, turning market, and quite honestly 20,000 edj advisors alone.... crowding. 

The comment about EDJ not having the tools for my clientele is new, I hadn't even considered yet.  That is a big consideration also. 

It could certainly be big.  No options.  Limited ability to customize fee-based portfolios.  Proprietary (and limited) insurance and annuity offerings (and haircuts on commissions on insurance products).  Limited (and overpriced) bond inventory.  Small time investment bank.  No access to private equity or hedge funds.  I don't believe there i any asset backed lending.  There are other things, but those are big ones that all of the wirehouse teams pitching your newly minted UHNW prospects will have at their disposal that you won't.  

The calculations your provided were excellent, and I guess 5-8 years to reach my goal of $180k / year was fantastic.  I'll be using these numbers to build a model of low/med/high projections for this and other opportunities.  

Also your advice to keep prospecting all day, every day is very appropriate.   I've heard this, but not as clearly as you stated...it's a wake up call that it must be a way of life, not just a 9-5 job for the foreseeable future.  Needs to be the only thing do for 6 days for 3 years.  I like the schedule too.  Do you have any scripts you used that work?  I hear when its said it doesn't matter what you say, however it is easier knowing you are working from a proven set of words, not reinventing.  

I don't have a script because I don't cold call.  If I were going to cold call, there is an old AG Edwards script that goes something like...

"Hi Bob, this is Helado from Perverted Investments Group.  I know you're busy so I'll be brief...the reason for my call today is to see if you're an investor, and if so would you be open to a new idea from time to time?"

And then let them talk, see where it goes, and get an appointment.  

The other alternative (which I think would be tough these days, given rates) is to call pitching muni bonds...

"Hi Bob, this is Helado from I Just Nailed Your Wife Investments.  The reason for my call today is we have a [your town] sewer authority bond paying 4% triple tax free. That's like getting 6% on a CD after taxes.  Bob, do you have any money in the bank currently earning 6% interest?"

Then STFU and let them talk.  The goal is NOT to sell them a muni bond over the phone (although you can take that approach), but the goal is to say "before you invest any money in this issue, we should sit down and take a look at the rest of your holdings to see if this fits with the rest of your investment plan."  And then you go for an appointment to review (and pitch) everything.  

Of course, if you want to just build for awhile selling munis on the phone, that's fine.  Sell them some bonds, and now you have a CLIENT to call back and drip on for future business, as opposed to a stranger.  Plus you get a point or two of gross to the grid to pay the bills and keep your job.  One word of advice that a wise bond guy (ha!) gave me a long time ago...

Always ask for a million dollars.  If you ask for a million dollars, the prospect will do one of three things...

1.  Invest a million dollars.
2.  Invest an amount lower than a million dollars.
3.  Not invest anything.

If you ask for $50,000, the prospect will do one of three things...

1.  Invest $50,000.
2.  Invest an amount lower than $50,000.
3.  Not invest anything.

What they DEFINITELY will not do, is invest a million dollars.  

So always ask for more than you expect.  You'll probably get less.  But asking for less will NEVER get you more.  

The people leaving EDJ for more money makes sense.  However, I signed an agreement with EDJ that the training expenses must be paid back to them if you leave within 3 years.  Has anyone had experience with this?

They will come after you for training costs if you leave voluntarily and go to another firm in the industry the first 3 years.  If they fire you, or you just quit to go back to your old job, generally they will leave you alone.  

Finally, and probably the most negative issue, is compared to building your own business which has residual value and you can raise money for, the EDJ book belongs to them, despite a small payout in the end, you can't sell for multiples of 10-15x's as you can a business, just sell it back to EDJ.  So the question of where best to spend time building a business;  for EDJ or for yourself.  

That's somewhat true in indy world as well.  For one, practices command 1.5 - 3.0 times revenue in our industry, not 10 - 15 times, so the spread is not as great as you think when compared to EDJ (or other) sunset plans.  Also, keep in mind, EVERY shmuck in this business wants to buy a book of business.  Hardly any of them have any fucking money, and they never want to put anything down.  It's always getting 20% down, and taking a note for 3 - 5 years with a meager interest rate.  No one is writing you a check at retirement and letting you sail off.  And then you always have to stay around for 6 - 12 months as a consultant to help hand off the book.  And then you have to hope your clients stay so your successor can afford to pay you.  And you have to draft the agreement for the sale (costs you money).  And you probably need life insurance on the buyer just in case.  Point is, yeah you have some more control as an independent.  And yeah, you can probably get a couple more bucks for your book.  But just like the payout, the difference isn't as big as the LPL recruiter wants you to believe.  

Read one of my posts about indy b/d haircuts on fee-based and how much B.S. it is.  A $40MM book at 1.25% at EDJ grosses $500K.  That $40MM book at 1.25% at LPL probably only grosses $400K after program fees and ticket charges (if you both use institutional funds or ETFs).  So your LPL guy might sell for 2.5 times revenue, but his revenue only shows as $400K because LPL is siphoning $100K off in nickel and dime fees before their magical grid of 92%, whereas EDJ is putting the whole $500K in fees through the grid.  

Long story.  Point is, it's not as much of a spread as it seems.  Don't worry about it now.  

On the flip side, $500K and lots of available time are extremely alluring....So there's the rub.  Can't predict the future.  

I do like getting 30% of deals brought to others...that might be the best of all worlds.  

Yeah.  If you want to do that, I'll call you tomorrow and get you setup.  You get the appointments, I'll do the rest.  Hell I'll split it with you 50/50 and you can go back to making $200K at your old job too.  Just introduce me to these people and setup the meeting.  

All great ideas.  Love to hear more if you have them. 

I'm in your debt.   I can't thank you enough. 

Best wishes, 

DJ


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Originally posted by donjon donjon wrote:

Hi LA B,  

Thanks so kindly for sharing your thoughts also.  It's very helpful in adding more data points to the decision making process. 

It sounds like (and I'm guessing here) that you may have had some time with EDJ (?)    Are you still with them, and in So Cal?

How are additional assets allocated to FA's?  Is there a normal process?

Thanks again LA B.  

Best wishes, 

DJ


I was with EDJ for 5 years but left 6 years ago because I knew I could not grow my business as fast as I wanted/needed to in expensive Southern California. For me personally it was the best business decision I could have made. I still have several good friends at EDJ and I have lapped them in production since leaving. Not because I work harder, just found a better fit for a large metro area.
Like others have said, if you can still earn in your past career as you have before you need to stay there. You don't want to possibly waste 5 years of your prime earning years doing an experiment that may net you negative net worth.
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Just a thought.   The handful of executives (HNW) we have as clients have mentioned that they would never invest in a company that goes door to door. One even commented that he knew for a fact that EDJ offers absolutely no Alternative Investments and was better serving unsophisticated investors.
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Hi Missionshooter, 

Thanks again for the quick response.  

Yes, I have heard from quite a few people that they don't foresee investing with a guy out pounding on doors for leads.  I have a long business history, and have very easy conversations with executives in small to mid sized businesses, especially high growth and even startups.  I've been where the executives are and have started up and taken public so I understand their world.  Knocking on their door on a Saturday morning is probably not how they expect me to meet them, and certainly makes me appear through the lens of first impressions as not a "white shoed" advisor.  

For a while I ran a high net worth brokerage, we used executives 144 stock and margin to give newly public company executives some liquidity from their holdings without having to sell (because no executive wants to sell, and reporting is rough).  Mostly met them at shareholders meetings for their companies.  It was very easy to introduce myself since I was offering a truly valuable service, and many firms won't loan against newly public stocks that are restricted by 144 requirements.   

I get the idea that perhaps EDJ doesn't loan on 144 stock, although I haven't yet done any research here to know. 

I truly appreciate all of the great responses you have given me. 

Thanks so kindly,

DJ






Edited by donjon - Jan/20/2015 at 1:31am
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Hi LA B:

Thanks so much for your thoughtful and timely response.  

You spent 5 years with EDJ and 6 years with another firm.  Did you have to start all over with 0 book at new firm?  How/Why were you able to grow your biz so much faster at new firm?  Was there something specific that might also apply to my situation?

I'm in So Cal also, have been entire life so know all the communities very well, and quite a few business people.  If there is an easier/more conducive way for me to build my book of business, I would certainly love to find out about it.  

Thanks so much for sharing, can you maybe tell me a little about what made your new situation so much better?

Best, 

DJ
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Hi Helado, 

Thanks again for such wonderful advice.  I am so truly in your debt....

Making $250 in So Cal is good, but doesn't bring the prestige of $400+ considering the cost of housing and living here is so high.  The 30 hour weeks is certainly attractive tho, but I don't forsee that happening for at least 5 years (?)  Pedal down for the next 3 at least I assume.  The $180K is just the minimum I can accept, not the ultimate goal, so I'd need to keep pressing.  Delbs was very kind in sharing his journey to $360K over 9 years of no doubt ceaseless work.  


The conversation about missing tools and competing with other wirehouses has become a focus.  You're right that in my prior brokerage life when we went against Merrill and MS before, we would lose out on accounts that required a bit more sophistication.  I certainly don't want to feel like the "little brother" again.  
Thanks for the script and advice to ask for the $1 million order.  One question, how were you able to build your book so big without cold calling or door knocking?  Any advice about that?

I especially enjoyed your discussion about the differences and similarities between building a book at EDJ and indy.  That was extremely enlightening, and you clearly know the numbers which makes that comparison work very well.  

Actually I was thinking more about comparing building another new e-commerce company or merging together a few businesses over next 5-7 years instead of the EDJ path.  That was the 10x-15x multiples that I was mentioning.  Then get your ticket punched and be out of the game for awhile, not working at all.   It's also a business where I am very comfortable, although the risk is very high...but with an 85% wash out rate here, I'm not sure the odds of success are that much worse.  

Your post has given me a lot to think about including the ideas about 50/50.  I'm still researching, but the information you have supplied me has vastly sped up the process.  This kind of information just doesn't exist anywhere else that I could find. 

Thanks so much Helado, I fell like I know you better already. 

Best, 

DJ 


Edited by donjon - Jan/20/2015 at 1:34am
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Originally posted by donjon donjon wrote:


 One question, how were you able to build your book so big without cold calling or door knocking?  Any advice about that?


Well, I'm still only about 7 years in the business, so I'm still growing and my book is not gigantic, though I do net somewhere in the $200 - $250K range, so I fit the trajectory you were looking for.  But don't read much more into my post thinking there might be some other "secret sauce" besides the grueling nonsense of cold call / walk, seminars, and referrals.  

I just do a slightly different version of cold walking where I made very targeted calls to a specific niche of employers in my area, and got the retirement plans.  Then I built my book around gather other household assets outside of those retirement plans by doing "educational visits" to the workplaces I had plan access, and also do seminars targeted at those employers (targeting upcoming retirees).  

The point is, it's COLD, FACE 2 FACE marketing.  That's what you have to do.  You can't do mail, blogging, etc. as an EDJ rep and have any success.  The only secret is TALK to people, as MANY as you can.  It doesn't matter how you get in front of them, just matters that you do.

I wouldn't advise you follow my formula because the types of retirement plans I work with are generally very low revenue, and it took awhile to get enough plans to work in order to make real money, and given your hurdles, you don't have that kind of time.  I did because I started out independent.  

Call or Walk (EDJ doesn't care which).  Do a seminar or two a month.  Ask for referrals.  That's it.  Simple.  But not easy.
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Hi Helado:

200 - 250 in seven years seems very good.  That certainly is on the higher side of the formula we've been using.  

Have you ever worked at EDJ, or always independent?  Do you think there is an advantage to either way (pros cons)?  

Thanks again so much for the insights.  I get the urgency of the situation requires just brut force talking to people. 

Best, 

DJ
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The other thing to consider is that with your background they are probably looking at you as potential partner material, DEPENDING on how hard you work out of the gate. THAT is the way to make big money at EDJ. I am talking about aiming for GP level, not LP. If you are willing to bust your ass gathering new assets, AND at the same time build relationships with GP's at EDJ you can get on the fast track for partner.

Based on what you've done in the past you have the skills to build relationships at those high levels (insert EDJ jokes here). 
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Listen - go talk to some teams at the large institutions and give them your story. You should be targeting liquidity events and even trying to win stock option plans (a very underserved market that HAS to have a large firm run that business). The big firms should be able to guaranteed 2 yrs @ $50k income and that gives you enough runway to show progress.

I know you have experience and contacts - doesn't matter. The $ you think will easily come in never does and you have to look at how to build a long term business.

Hate to say this but if you try what I am telling you and fail you can ALWAYS go back to EJ.

You want to "bump" into a rainmaker? Just visit the closest expensive place for drinks around 4:30p near any of those buildings. After the wholesaler flavor of the day is buying everyone drinks go over and introduce yourself. Ask them what they do "big swinging dicks love to make noise" and then tell them about what you do. Sparks will fly and ask to have lunch.



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Figure out what your exit from EJ is now before you get too far.

You have already brought up Rule 144a.  I would venture to guess 99% of the people at EJ have no idea what that even means (and probably 85%+ of this board).  Throw in 10b5-1 and you can probably eliminate the other 1%.  EJ is not equipped, nor interested, in handling this type of business.  Nothing wrong with that, but they do not seem to be a fit for you and your current network.

Your network can be a goldmine if you work it correctly.  Here is the thing I have found:

The investment bank handling the IPO already is soliciting the c-suite and the top 25 share holders.  You know who is getting little-to-no love?  The VPs and directors who all the sudden have $1-5mm in company stock.  

I'm sure you can do the math pretty quickly on how many of those people you would need to have a nice business.  My suggestion would be to get your series 65, keep your current network going well, and find a firm to partner with.  You can try to go the IB route and compete to try to win the C-suite money, or you go go with an Independent firm (or RIA) and go for the "small potatoes" who only have $500k-$10mm from the IPO.

Feel free to PM me if you want to know more about the Independent/RIA route.  
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I can get you $50k guaranteed for 2 years and if you want to split new business 35/65 in your favor I will make you a star. Just get me the intro to the HNW (min $2mm investable) and you can stay home in your pajamas. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote helado Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/20/2015 at 12:16pm
Originally posted by donjon donjon wrote:

Hi Helado:

200 - 250 in seven years seems very good.  That certainly is on the higher side of the formula we've been using.  

Have you ever worked at EDJ, or always independent?  Do you think there is an advantage to either way (pros cons)?  

Thanks again so much for the insights.  I get the urgency of the situation requires just brut force talking to people. 

Best, 

DJ


Always independent. Advantage of independence is flexibility and a little bit more money. Advantage of EE is having a salary and benefits to start. There are indy firms with wirehouselike capabilities. There are employee model firms with dogshit capabilities.
My posts are for abrasive entertainment only. Nothing posted is investment, legal, tax or any type of advice, nor is anything mentioned true or even based on real events. Posts are complete fiction.
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