Unfiltered, fresh, candid, and honest feedback straight from your Edward Jones peers who transitioned to another firm or model within the past 18 months.
Our recent Update for Edward Jones Advisors noted that 371 experienced advisors left Edward Jones in 2022.
But in many ways, leaving was the easy part.
The heavy lifting comes next: transitioning client accounts, learning systems and platforms at a new firm, and prospecting for business under a different flag.
So it’s natural for Jones advisors to not only wonder why their colleagues decided to switch firms (a question we touched upon in our previous update) but also how successful these advisors were post-transition. Said another way, do the advisors who left Jones regret the decision to do so?
While we could not talk to all 371 advisors who left the firm in 2022, we did leverage our extensive network to ask recently transitioned Jones advisors about their experience. In their own words, we wanted to know the following:
- Portability and transition success: How pleased are you with the overall success of the move, and how has asset portability measured?
- The good: What has been the biggest positive surprise?
- The bad: What has been the biggest challenge or negative?
- The punchline: If you could make the decision over again, would you?
It’s important to note that a good transition can take months or even years to properly measure and evaluate. We plan to keep tabs on these advisors and will report their progress down the road. For the purpose of this update, we focused on advisors who transitioned within the past 18 months.
It’s unfiltered, fresh, candid, honest feedback straight from your peers featuring an unedited selection of their responses.
- How pleased are you with the overall success of the move, and how has asset portability measured?
“I am very pleased with the assets that have moved. I bypassed my target in 8 weeks and replicated 85% of my revenue from Jones with 50% of the households.”
“Assets moved over a bit slower than I expected. I am at 75% in 3 months.”
“I am 6 weeks in and moved 90% of the assets that I circled.”
“I am thrilled. I transferred over $150 million of the $225 million I was managing, and I am way better off financially.”
“I moved 81% of my book in 4 months, which is about 90% of my goal. I am very pleased thus far.”
While some respondents failed to provide a portability percentage, on average, the respondents moved 85% of their clients within 3 months. This is in line with, or even better than, industry standards we see at other firms—and shows that while not all transitions away from Jones are a success, the overwhelming majority are executed well.
- What has been the biggest positive surprise?
“No question about it, the freedom to run our business the way our clients deserve it to be run.”
“Client reaction has been incredibly positive. 100% of the people who moved with me want to be here and are excited.”
“I’m getting new money from existing clients. So thankful for how it went.”
“I love being independent and able to make my own decisions.”
“I can’t say enough about the ease of doing business. Rather than a flat ‘no,’ the attitude is far more advisor centric: ‘Let’s figure out a way to get this done.’”
“Freedom to communicate with clients is tremendous. The turnaround on client letters/mass emails is same day.”
Most responses in this section centered around end-client receptivity to the transition. Jones advisers were pleasantly surprised with how well their clients and prospects responded to the move, with many reporting that they actually received additional dollars from existing clients post-transition. Marketing freedom and communication was another major positive that respondents noted.
- What has been the biggest challenge or negative?
“Adjusting to new technology and figuring out the tech integration has been challenging.”
“It’s been difficult to replicate some of the insurance business I was doing.”
“I was stressed and overwhelmed for a few months right after the transition. It’s a LOT of work, and I was working more hours than I had in a long time. New firm, new systems, and lots of client conversations. But for sure, it was worth it!”
“Getting acclimated to new technology and language. It was a major hurdle for us, but moving forward, as we onboard new FAs into our practice, we will have a tailored process to ensure the gap is smaller.”
Most responses in this category cited technology and the difficulties of learning a new firm’s systems. One additional challenge that advisors worry about when leaving Jones is legal repercussions. Of the group surveyed, none received the dreaded Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) from Jones. While TROs do happen, they are indeed rare when an advisor follows the advice of the new firm and qualified legal counsel.
- If you could make the decision over again, would you?
“I wish we had done it sooner.”
“Nothing is a 10, and there is no perfection anywhere, but I am extremely happy with the people I chose to affiliate with.”
“I’m thrilled and would definitely choose to go independent again if I had the choice to do it over.”
“We would leave sooner. In fairness, the only thing we miss is the familiarity of a system that comes with years of experience using it. Other than that, everything we could do there, we can do here and MORE!”
“All change creates some loss. I do miss the community of people at Jones and the mentoring and coaching that I did. But I am thrilled that I moved and would do it again!”
Not one of our survey respondents indicated that they regretted the move. While some mentioned elements of Jones that they miss (most notably, the culture and community of advisors), across the board, respondents noted an uptick in freedom, flexibility, and control over their business since leaving the firm.
As you can gather from these responses, the feedback from Jones advisors who recently transitioned is overwhelmingly positive. That’s certainly not to say that a transition is easy, nor to suggest that all advisors should leave Jones. Indeed, even those advisors who are thrilled with their decision to leave the firm express gratitude to Jones and look back fondly on their time at the firm. But the modern landscape has evolved tremendously, and Jones advisors are not nearly as stuck as they might have once been. There are many legitimate options for advisors who feel limited or stifled, and as these responses prove, a transition need not be such a daunting task.