While cruising the trade publications, I can’t help but notice all the ads from broker-dealers. Each one attempts to put its own slant on what it is a broker wants in order to switch firms. Some ads are old school and tout high payouts.
I’ve even seen some that pay more than 100 percent. Hmm… I wonder how they can do that. Think about the bragging rights you’ll have with your other broker friends when you tell them you have a 105 percent payout. Just don’t mention the $115 ticket charges and $10,000 a year E&O insurance.
Leading technology is another phrase I see over and over again. Beware of this phrase as well. Technology is in the eye of the beholder. Your version of great technology is going to be different from someone else’s. My father-in-law is still mesmerized by how technologically advanced the telephone answering machine is. “How the hell do they make those tapes so small?” To him, a cell phone is something only an astronaut needs.
If technology is your thing, before you sign on the dotted line, peel a few layers off the BD onion. Ask how many people work in the technology department and then talk to a few of them. You’ll know they are exaggerating a bit if you find out they include the receptionist (she turns on the computers in the morning) and the office services guy (he carries the computers to a new employee’s desk). The reality may be, the entire tech department is three geeks in a cubicle and one is going on maternity leave next month.
If a BD’s technology is important to you, it pays to be a little skeptical. Don’t just take the smooth talking recruiter’s word for it. A good friend of mine works for a BD with leading technology and his tech department can’t get his phone to forward. I’m pretty sure my father-in-law is the CIO there.