Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Job Reviews
Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor, Sales
If I think back to before my first day, the interview process, I would tell myself to run for the hills and not take the job. The interview process lasted three months with seven different interviews and the final interview being a panel of three advisors and then finally a one on one with the director of the complex. The whole time they try to convince you to not take the job, and the director flat out told me I was a toss up because of my GPA. Looking back my gut was trying to tell me this was not the right decision. Fast forward five months into the job, I had all of my required licenses (series 7, series 66, life and health insurance). I was feeling ready to start my financial advising practice just like my father had at my age thirty years ago. I was lucky I had him to mentor me through the confusing times, and I was also lucky to have a mentor on my team who saw my potential and was the most encouraging person I have ever met. He was a man. In my experience everything went sour when my male mentor left our team of 10 taking 7 of the teammates to start his own firm. I couldn't hate him for this. I was actually really happy for him and didn't blame him for not taking me. I was not producing any business yet. What happened next ultimately led to my resignation. I was untrained, and told/expected to cold call from 8:00a-7:00p everyday or do whatever I need to do to get business through the door. What they don't tell you at BofA/ML, is that you make your own cold calling lists, you have to learn SalesForce on your own, and then see if you'll sink or swim. Most young advisors catch breaks early on from their family's, however I did not have this advantage. I ended up going on an all male team (there was only one all female team in the complex who did not take on young advisors). Lucky enough for me I heard my new "mentor" say that "young advisors are the best, because they do all the grunt work, never make their quotas because they're set too high by the corporation, and 'we' (the mentors) get 1/2 for not doing anything. Finally when they (young advisor) leaves, we get all the business they brought in." It was a reality check for me. This mentor told Merrill Lynch management that he was going to help grow talent and train young advisors but at the end of the day he only cared about himself. This business is a tough gig. Know what you are getting yourself into. Also, for women, know that most of the women in the office are Client Associates or Secretaries. The women I knew who were Financial Advisors were either anxious and miserable, divorced a few times, or never married. The job took over their lives, they never made it to their kids events, and because it is a male dominated industry, their male counterparts never fully understood these women's roles as mothers. After a few months of realizing what I had gotten myself into, and what I did not want to become, I got myself out. The only way I would ever go back to financial advising, which I enjoyed, is if I joined a small private firm that wasn't as behind the times as ML is. The positives: If you can make it, you can make A LOT of money. Also, Merrill Lynch Global Research is some of the best in the business which is great for their clients. Major con: management has the backs of the high producing financial advisors. Don't expect things to be "fair".
Job Satisfaction Level
Typical Hours (per day)
Are Women and Men Treated Equally?
Took Maternity Leave Here? (Weeks)
Recommend to Women?
Maybe. If your father or mother is an advisor that works here and plans to retire soon, then take the job.