Career Switch: Switching from Financial Advisor Role?


New Member
Hello everyone,
This is my first post on this website. I am considering making a career switch from the financial advisor role I've been in the last 5 years. I've worked for Edward Jones and Bank of America. I was hoping that some of you might be able to give me some info on the industry, and also differences between firms.
I've been very successful for how long I've been in the industry. I'm consistently one of the top producers in Long Term Care Revenue, and in terms of individual cases Life Insurance in my region. That is all we are allowed to sell as financial advisors, and I've heard that many of the insurance companies are looking to add financial services to their portfolio of management. This might have occurred years ago I'm not sure.
What I'm looking for is less micro management (bureucracy!), especially if it is with a firm that is commission only. Are all firms commission only , or do some pay salaries?
Also, the main thing I'm looking for is happiness, and by that I mean I've been wanting to live and work in the country ever since I've started in this business, but unfortunately I started in an urban market and did well early on, so as you know it is difficult to move away from good income especially with a family to look over.
I'm hoping to take over an office wherever I go as I'm in no position to start over from scratch again, and feel I'd be sought after based on my production and work ethic, and knowledge on the fin services side, and the fact that I'm only around 30 and actually want to move to a rural area which I believe his rare in my generation. I'm looking to stay in the south midwest KS,MO,TN,KY,AR. If that helps in terms of individual firms to chose from.
Again any advice would be greatly appreciated, as I have probably a 3rd grade education on the actual detail of the individual company firms and how they operate with the individual advisor/agent. I'm looking to run my own office in a small town. The names I'm most familiar with are obviously State Farm, Farmers, All State, Shelter, American Family, and I'm sure I'm forgetting an obvious one.
Thank you again for any advice given.
Please feel free to ask more questions as I realize this is somewhat generic.
Good luck!

Just some food for thought. The avarage Ed Jones guy lasts something like 2-3 years. Not to burn you or anything but I think that has a lot to do with all of the front end load funds you sell.

The companies you speak of P&C require a much different path. You are not getting your fees upfront as you were, as your true income comes from clients staying on, and the long term income that creates.

Make sure that you get that old programing our of your head in order to truly be successful going forward.
IMO, I don't think you'll find a salaried position without micro management. IF you're looking to "take over" an office, I think your best bet is to latch on to a local Allstate etc. office. I get a letter every 3 months from Allstate asking to take a financial advisor role to a local P/C agency. They offer salary (and signing bonus)....and it seems you do well in the situation of marketing to prospects already clients of the company (BofA). Start calling some of the big offices in the area you want to work. Sit down with them and get to know what they offer.
The BoA connection probably is a steady source of referrals and will be hard to replace.

Anytime someone is willing to pay you a salary there is a great deal of accountability (and micro-management) that goes along with it.

P&C shops seem ideal due to their built in base. But keep in mind most of the ones you mentioned are captive agents. SF heavily recruited me a few years ago with promises of a salary, car allowance, etc + bonus based on production. Seems SF wants their agents to produce life business. Can't recall the exact numbers but a life guy would laugh.

I do recall laughing at them when they told me the commission earned on life sales. They were quite proud of the fact they earned 35% commission which, to a P&C guy, must seem like a windfall.

I had to tell them I get a minimum of 90% with my life carriers and I am a marginal life producer at best.

When you move into rural markets you will find things move at a much slower pace and it becomes more difficult to get ahead of the curve. A buddy left NWML a few yrs ago to hook up with Sun Trust selling annuities. He originally did very well but wanted to move to the more rural areas. When he did his income took about a 30% hit.

There is less competition in the boonies but fewer targets to aim at.

Before you uproot your family to move to a different area, you might want to consider a 3 - 6 month "assignment" in an area of your choice to see how well it works . . . or doesn't. That's an awful lot of change to go into a market where you don't know the players and make it unless you have a solid financial base to fall back on.
In SOME cases (not all) can negotiate a deal with Pru, MetLife, NY Life etc...

They won't mind subsidizing your local office (for a while) as long as you are writing some business with them. You'll be free to write business with a lot of other major carriers too.

But you need to find a DSM that gives you the leeway you are looking for.