A Don't Quit Attitude
Edward Jones provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through an affiliate, in Canada. The firm’s 13,000-plus financial advisors (FA’s) work directly with nearly 7 million clients to understand their personal goals – from college savings to retirement – and create long-term investment solutions that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy.
Edward Jones has 11,978 branches and 38,472 employees across all 50 states and Canada. The firm currently manages more than $800 billion in assets. Company headquarters are in St. Louis, with regional headquarters in Tempe, Arizona.
The company’s biggest need in human resources is to find the right individuals for FA roles – with a vision of hiring 20,000 of them by 2020. Edward Jones has found that military veterans have the qualities to make good FA’s. They are extremely detail-oriented self-starters with a strong work ethic, and they have a passion to provide service personally. They have integrity, self-management skills, and a commitment to results. Hiring veterans also helps from a client perspective. Investors recognize and trust veterans.
Edward Jones has been dedicated to hiring veterans as FA’s since its inception in 1922. In fact, a veteran of World War I founded the company. Currently, more than 1,500 – roughly 11 percent – of Edward Jones FA’s have military experience.
In 2012, Edward Jones launched its FORCES training and onboarding program for transitioning military hired as FA’s. The company designed the program for veterans who do not have a financial services background.
Edward Jones is a good fit for veterans for several reasons. First, the financial position is not an entry-level job. FA’s run their own offices, enjoy unlimited earnings potential, and set their own schedules while working for a recognized leader in the industry. Second, Edward Jones allows veterans and other new FA’s to choose the communities where they want to live and build their businesses. After years of being stationed in many different locations, veterans and their families appreciate this flexibility. Finally, via the FORCES program, Edward Jones eases the transition into the civilian work force.
A VETERAN SUCCESS | ROB SMITH
Rob Smith spent more than 20 years in the United States Marine Corps. He served as a counter intelligence/human intelligence specialist, organizing and training CI/HUMINT elements and recruiting CI/HUMINT for deployments worldwide. He spent the last six of his years in the Marine Corps as a master sergeant.
Today, as a financial advisor with Edward Jones, Smith helps his clients work toward their financial goals and create their retirement plans. He has been with Edward Jones for nearly three years, and was one of the first two people to graduate from the FORCES program. He made recommendations that he believed would strengthen the program – so he was a part of building FORCES to what it is today.
He also opened his own branch and quickly progressed through various performance levels, receiving the company’s Zeke McIntyre Pioneer award for exceeding expectations in his first year. The award is named after the individual who opened the firm’s firm branch – in Mexico, Missouri, in 1957. Smith also served as the recruiter for military veterans in his region.
Throughout Smith’s time in the military, he learned to be a very service-minded individual. It was not about him, he said, it was about the success of his Marines. At Edward Jones, it’s also not about him. It’s about his clients and how he can best serve them to reach their financial goals. Smith spent a lot of time in the Marines convincing different people/teams to agree on specific concepts when it came to training and organizing – to motivate them to identify the best plan of action for their continued success.
Smith does the same as an FA, working with his clients to create tailored solutions that will help them to define and work toward their financial goals. In the military, Smith learned the importance of loyalty, dependability, work ethic, and a “don’t quit” attitude. These skills help him serve his clients day to day, while keeping the end goal of financial security in sight for all clients.
Smith’s biggest piece of advice for transitioning veterans is never to close a door. When he retired from active service, he never dreamed of becoming a financial advisor. He knew nothing about the role, and did not think he had the necessary skill set. However, he stayed open-minded and did not close the door on any opportunity.
Smith believes Edward Jones is a great place for veterans because the firm goes above and beyond to make sure its FA’s have all the tools they need to succeed. By providing the training, support, and resources they need, Edward Jones puts in the mentorship and effort necessary for military veterans to succeed in the financial advisor role.