Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
Dakotah
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:28 pm

Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by Dakotah » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:43 pm

I'm retiring from the military in approximately a year. As part of the preparation process, I attended the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) this week. TAP is run by the DoD, and attendance is a typical step in separating from the military. Most of the week is spent on how to job-hunt, write a resume, take advantage of your VA benefits, etc etc. Today (the final day) was a bit different...there was a lunch panel/meet-and-greet with several potential employers (primarily defense contractors) and local colleges. One guy stuck out like a sore thumb, though...an Edward Jones "recruiter".

After initial introductions, each of the panel members went to separate tables and the separating/retiring military members milled around and visited those who interested them. I quickly exchanged info with a couple of contracting companies that interested me. Investing is also an interest of mine, obviously, and I have had some passing thought of trying to make a career out of that passion...so I decided to check out what the Edward Jones recruiter had to say. Sadly, the VAST majority of what this "recruiter" was saying had almost nothing to do with actually becoming employed with Edward Jones. Instead, what he repeatedly hit on was a few key themes...

1. Understanding investments takes years and years of 60-hour study-weeks
2. The TSP is a horrible investment vehicle, and you should get out of it as soon as you can
3. Set-it-and-forget-it options like target-date funds will leave you eating cat food when you are old
4. Various other buzzwords and technical terms meant to confuse the uninitiated (rising interest environments, currency exchange fluctuations, multiple expansions, etc etc)

After a couple of minutes, it became clear that this "recruiter" had little to no interest in bringing on new Edward Jones employees...instead, he was there to try and drum-up business for his own advisory service. In fact, the information-card that he encourage us to fill out included sections on income and financial goals. Nothing about our education, availability date for employment, or anything one would expect if they were truly "recruiting".

I left the discussion feeling disgusted...and yet thankful that I long-ago attained the knowledge to see through the smoke and mirrors.

livesoft
Posts: 68560
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by livesoft » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:50 pm

Was there any food involved? EJ doesn't usually involve a free meal like some other places, but maybe in this setting at least some refreshments were available?
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Topic Author
Dakotah
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by Dakotah » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:51 pm

Yes...the EJ guy brought Chick-Fil-A for all.

LiterallyIronic
Posts: 1332
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:36 am

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by LiterallyIronic » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:52 pm

Ugh. How'd that guy even get a table at the event?

ThisTimeItsDifferent
Posts: 246
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:51 pm

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by ThisTimeItsDifferent » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:53 pm

Could you inform the people who set that up? It sounds like he was violating what should have been the standards for those potential employers who should have been there.

Topic Author
Dakotah
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by Dakotah » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:53 pm

That's a good question. I left some strongly-worded feedback for the TAP administrators.

alex_686
Posts: 5097
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:39 pm

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by alex_686 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:56 pm

Ok, so Bogleheads is a Do-It-Yourself type place, and thus anti-advisers. I modestly take the other view. As somebody who has done this professional, as back-office support and having done some profit modeling of new FA, let me give you some insight.
Dakotah wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:43 pm
1. Understanding investments takes years and years of 60-hour study-weeks
You don't need a deep knowledge of investing.

If you are going to be a profitable FA you are going to need a extroverted, type-a, driven personality. Lots of ex college sportsmen. You salary will be tied to your sales, so think salesperson. You don't need to know much about investing. The intervened PhDs and MBAs from headquarters will give you investment plans.

If you are going to be a good FA - as in providing a high quality product - you are going to need to be well versed in psychology and behavioral economics. Think of it as being a good marriage counselor, trying to reconcile irrational spending goals, overly optimistic assumptions on what the market can deliver, and risk adverse clients who can't bear to lose a single penny.

There are good choices out there, but they are hard to pick through. If you are going to become a FA, know that most are commission based and that the first 2 years will be very lean as you build up your client base.

User avatar
Toons
Posts: 13405
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by Toons » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:58 pm

1. Understanding investments takes years and years of 60-hour study-weeks

Quick Study
3 fund porfolio.
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-fund_portfolio


:mrgreen:
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

livesoft
Posts: 68560
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by livesoft » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:08 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:52 pm
Ugh. How'd that guy even get a table at the event?
Chick-fil-A for the win.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
nedsaid
Posts: 12757
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:33 pm

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by nedsaid » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:18 pm

Dakotah wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:43 pm
Sadly, the VAST majority of what this "recruiter" was saying had almost nothing to do with actually becoming employed with Edward Jones. Instead, what he repeatedly hit on was a few key themes...

1. Understanding investments takes years and years of 60-hour study-weeks
2. The TSP is a horrible investment vehicle, and you should get out of it as soon as you can
3. Set-it-and-forget-it options like target-date funds will leave you eating cat food when you are old
4. Various other buzzwords and technical terms meant to confuse the uninitiated (rising interest environments, currency exchange fluctuations, multiple expansions, etc etc)

After a couple of minutes, it became clear that this "recruiter" had little to no interest in bringing on new Edward Jones employees...instead, he was there to try and drum-up business for his own advisory service.
I am glad you were able to see through this. His bashing of the Thrift Savings Plan was inaccurate but understandable as he wanted the rollover. The TSP is actually one of the best retirement savings vehicles out there with very low cost investments. Target Date Funds, while imperfect, are vastly superior to what most individuals could come up with on their own. If folks don't know what to do with their retirement investments, I suggest the Target Date Retirement Funds. You also get professional portfolio management for a lot cheaper than what Edward Jones could provide it for. One thing I liked about John Bogle and Vanguard was the use of "plain English" in their conversations with investors, no fancy words to confuse and obscure. It sounds like you learned well.
A fool and his money are good for business.

User avatar
cheese_breath
Posts: 8968
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:08 pm

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:26 pm

A good example of the old saw, "No good deed (in this case serving your country) goes unpunished (ripping off our good people in uniform). These are the same kind of people as those who would talk 90 year old widows into buying 30 year annuities.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

User avatar
friar1610
Posts: 1581
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: MA South Shore

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by friar1610 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:27 pm

Dakotah wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:43 pm
I'm retiring from the military in approximately a year. As part of the preparation process, I attended the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) this week. TAP is run by the DoD, and attendance is a typical step in separating from the military. Most of the week is spent on how to job-hunt, write a resume, take advantage of your VA benefits, etc etc. Today (the final day) was a bit different...there was a lunch panel/meet-and-greet with several potential employers (primarily defense contractors) and local colleges. One guy stuck out like a sore thumb, though...an Edward Jones "recruiter".

After initial introductions, each of the panel members went to separate tables and the separating/retiring military members milled around and visited those who interested them. I quickly exchanged info with a couple of contracting companies that interested me. Investing is also an interest of mine, obviously, and I have had some passing thought of trying to make a career out of that passion...so I decided to check out what the Edward Jones recruiter had to say. Sadly, the VAST majority of what this "recruiter" was saying had almost nothing to do with actually becoming employed with Edward Jones. Instead, what he repeatedly hit on was a few key themes...

1. Understanding investments takes years and years of 60-hour study-weeks
2. The TSP is a horrible investment vehicle, and you should get out of it as soon as you can
3. Set-it-and-forget-it options like target-date funds will leave you eating cat food when you are old
4. Various other buzzwords and technical terms meant to confuse the uninitiated (rising interest environments, currency exchange fluctuations, multiple expansions, etc etc)

After a couple of minutes, it became clear that this "recruiter" had little to no interest in bringing on new Edward Jones employees...instead, he was there to try and drum-up business for his own advisory service. In fact, the information-card that he encourage us to fill out included sections on income and financial goals. Nothing about our education, availability date for employment, or anything one would expect if they were truly "recruiting".

I left the discussion feeling disgusted...and yet thankful that I long-ago attained the knowledge to see through the smoke and mirrors.
I've mentioned this before on this forum...

I'm a long-retired Navy guy. At my TAP seminar, there was an attendee who had already started working part-time for a financial firm in anticipation of doing so full-tine in his 2nd career. I can never remember if it was Ameriprise or Primerica. He made this known to the folks running the seminar and they, apparently in good faith, reacted as if we had some sort of a true expert in our midst and offered him some podium time so we could all benefit from his "wisdom". He (the soon-to-be FA) asked the group if anyone had ever heard of the Rule of 72. I raised my hand and explained what it was. He was blown away that a mere mortal not in the financial industry would possess such inside knowledge. He was basically fishing for business although he realized he was prohibited from soliciting anyone junior to him (although he said he would be happy to take any names of interested people and pass them on to his civilian boss who was not so restricted.) He was an O-4 and much of the audience was enlisted, so that eliminated a lot of people from having direct contact. I think the people in charge of the seminar made an error in judgment by giving this guy the platform although I think it was an honest mistake. Based on what you outlined above, think the EJ guy at your seminar misrepresented himself and ought to be banned in the future.
Friar1610

MittensMoney
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:59 pm

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by MittensMoney » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:29 pm

Will you be living near a major city? Places like Schwab or Fidelity could be an opportunity worth looking into.

averagedude
Posts: 760
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 3:41 pm

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by averagedude » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:36 pm

This EJ guy definitely has options when it comes to his career. He would have no problem becoming a used car or timeshare salesman.
Last edited by averagedude on Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
Dakotah
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by Dakotah » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:37 pm

MittensMoney wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:29 pm
Will you be living near a major city? Places like Schwab or Fidelity could be an opportunity worth looking into.
I'm at Ft Meade, MD...sandwiched right between Baltimore/DC/Annapolis. All three are within commuting distance. I would imagine I could probably make the transition if I wanted...but based on the info from alex_686 (thanks, alex), I don't fit the mold of a typical successful FA. I'm more of the introverted overly-analytical type. I'm more of a numbers guy than a people-person. :)

There is no shortage of lucrative contractor/GS opportunities around here for my current career-field. I'll sit on those financial-advisor aspirations for now.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 57726
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Unexpectedly subjected to my first Edward Jones sales-pitch...

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:28 pm

I removed an off-topic post and reply discussing a fast-food establishment.

Please stay focused on the investing aspects.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

Post Reply