Originally published June 24, 2011
It’s 6:30am. Today is the day.
Your broker is moving to a new firm. Maybe they told you. Probably not.
The contracts are signed. Post dated, of course. The databases with your contact information — cocked, locked, and ready to rock. The resignation letter ready… to hand their manager at 6:31am. The laptop — is sitting in the new office. They’re moving. Your paperwork was overnighted — last night.
Yep, today is the day.
My very first manager used to say, “Your career will likely include two moves, so make them wisely.”
He moved. Now he’s back at the same firm he left — through a merger. Irony can be so cruel sometimes. And, this was the person I was taking advice from…
Here’s the thing about Fridays on Wall Street. There are certain times when everyone stares at The Elevator. On Friday, your broker has until Monday before restraining orders can be filed in court to stop them from calling you to tell you how “great everything is going to be” at the new firm they just joined.
So, let the games begin. Right? Merger Monday — everyone loves that, right…?
Do you remember the phone scene in Jerry Maguire? That’s the closest thing I’ve seen to what it’s like when a broker leaves…it’s kill or be killed. And, your broker has until Monday to get it done.
WE KEEP THESE ASSETS PEOPLE. WE’RE ‘BIG NAME FIRM.’
That was the war cry.
I looked at the exit once to move to another TooBigToFail bank too. I eventually met with every firm on Wall Street. I was part of a team –they’d be leaving soon. Time to take a check, get paid, and get some more love (at least for a little while) across the street.
And, of course, we’d tell clients how much better the next place was going to be. In the end, it wasn’t. That’s why I didn’t leave.
They are all the same. I can tell you that now with confidence because I looked at all of them behind the scenes. That was the biggest surprise on some level. That’s why when I left, I left to leave it all behind.
It’s all the same set-up. Institutional banks running individual advice. Simple mathematics. It’s product distribution.
Your broker receives a check for moving your accounts to the new firm. Now, how much? Probably 150% of what they generated while you were at their old “way worse” firm. Sometimes they promise to stay put for 14 years… for a big enough payout. Most don’t leave for less than a million.
Assuming they bring 80% or more of their business (your money) to generate new fees for the firm — they make out. You don’t, ever. They’ve got a lot riding on this either way.
“This new place is WAY better.”
You’ll hear that; I can almost guarantee it (and I’m super careful about ‘guarantees’). It’s not better. Their software is all the same. Their inventory is the same. Their motivation is all the same. Their faux cherry desks are pretty much all the same; ordered from the same lame catalog.
“It’s a win/win…” (You lose).
Yep. There’s a market for everything. And you? Sold American. Remember that.
If you make that move with them, just remember you’re indentured to your advisor’s desire for a cash infusion, backed by a promise of a better tomorrow at the “way better” same-old-same-old big brokerage firm they just moved to…