Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor: Good Gig?

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Rank: Chimp | 3

I am currently a senior in college in Atlanta and am interested in knowing what people generally think about working as a financial advisor for MSSB. I have searched the forums and found a lot of good answers, however, I am interested in knowing about how the job is viewed in terms of prestige for a person fresh out of college. Is it difficult to get into with a company like Morgan Stanley to the extent that it is impressive?

I know that this is "shallow", nonetheless, I am interested in all that a career has to offer.

Considerations for Becoming MSSB Financial Advisor

A career as a financial advisor can be challenging and rewarding. As with all career decisions, it depends on your goals and interests. A few WSO members shared their perspectives on the job:

From Certified Asset Management Professional @Bobb

If you are a good advisor, build strong relationships and have a big book it can be one of the most rewarding and easiest jobs around. It will entail a lot of cold calling, relationship building and trying to sign high net worth clients.

From Certified Investment Advisor Professional @sfbroker

  • During the first couple of years your main focus will be on business development/client acquisition
  • The firm will be monitoring your progress (net new assets, production) on a monthly basis
  • Miss your numbers for a few months and you will be out of a job
  • My recommendation is that you spend your time and energy trying to get into a job that is aligned with your interest

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Comments (9)

Jun 16, 2011

If you are a good advisor, build strong relationships and have a big book it can be one of the most rewarding and easiest jobs around. It will entail a lot of cold calling, relationship building and trying to sign high net worth clients

Jun 16, 2011

read this:
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/faspwm-guys-...
I think people outside finance will view it as prestige i guess, but ppl in finance unlikely. I'm not in the industry.

If you think you're making big dough right out the gate you might want to spend like 10 minutes doing basic pay out math. According to the experienced people in that thread above you make 0.40% on your total gathered AUM. Meaning if you raise $20MM (obviously this will take a few years for the average entry level broker), which may take you 2-4 years if you work 90 hour weeks prospecting and beating the pavement right? your payout is $80 grand. In comparison the first year out of school Major tech companies pay their corporate finance grads ~$80k-$100k, all IBs front office positions pay total comp of >$90k-$150k, HFs slightly higher range etc.

Jun 16, 2011

There are two primary compensation models from what I understand:

1) Salary + Bonus

2) EWYK (Eat What You Kill)

The firm I am interning for is the latter. The PWM's make a small salary for the first 2 years, then once they've had an opportunity to build their book of business, they get a % of the fees they bring in. The different products they offer have different fee structures. SPV's (special purpose vehicles) net us like 6+% AUM while other products net 1%. Then the PWM get's a certain % of the fees he/she generates.

If you get your AUM up, and have good products to offer, I think you can make a very good sum of money. In addition, "work/life balance" is some times belittled here (as this site is IB-weighted), but it really does mean something to me at least. I like the idea of making 200K and keeping closer to Main Street hours. To each their own.

Patrick Bateman would eat Eddie Morra's lunch (and probably his brains).

Jun 16, 2011

Different companies have different payouts, different investments pay out differently, different commissions etc. It is very hard to generalize

Jun 16, 2011

It is salary for 18 months to allow you build your book and then pure commission although I do not have the commission specs in front of me.

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Jun 16, 2011

If you feel your strength is not in sales, you may find yourself unhappy, especially if there is a large emphasis on production. You might cut it for a little while, but long term success in the business comes from production, and not necessarily being a star at investing or market analysis.
Source: I was an advisor

Other options include joining the middle or back rather than front office. Work on the research/portfolio management side perhaps.

Jun 16, 2011

How exactly would I get my feet in the door for those kinds of roles?

Jun 16, 2011
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