Fisher Investments

www.fisherinvestments.com
Employer Engaged
There are newer employer reviews for Fisher Investments

3 people found this helpful  

highly centralized control with very slow career progression

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

I have been working at Fisher Investments full-time

Pros

payout can be relatively high if you can handle the environment

Cons

you'll move laterally for 3 to 4 years without really developing a marketable skill set

Doesn't Recommend

244 Other Employee Reviews for Fisher Investments (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 17 people found this helpful  

    Limited Career Opportunities, Low Morale and a Company with an Uncertain Future

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woodside, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woodside, CA

    I worked at Fisher Investments full-time

    Pros

    Company matches employee 401k contributions.
    Health insurance is better than average financial firm.
    Company office is located immediately off the freeway.

    Cons

    I was a longtime employee of Fisher Investments (most recently as an Investment Counselor) prior to recently joining another financial services firm. There are some talented individuals at FI, and management has been able to retain them by using fear and intimidation. If someone is disappointed with career opportunities, company culture, compensation, etc., it'd be common to hear "try to make this money elsewhere" and "the grass is not always greener at other companies." I've worked at other financial firms before and after FI, and I can confidently say the grass is not only greener but quite lush too.

    - Company morale is low. There is little confidence in management's ability to lead, manage client portfolios or proclivity to consider/address employees' concerns. The environment is the most toxic I've ever been around.

    - Employee turnover, which has always been high, has dramatically increased the past few years, especially tenured employees. Turnover is typically highest immediately after employees receive their bonuses.

    - Ken Fisher controls all decisions. With no shareholder accountability and management unwilling to challenge him, no changes can be made. Everyone is terribly afraid of Ken Fisher.

    - Complete obsession with its public image. FI proactively attempts to remove negative online FI content while promoting internally-created positive content (FI articles, reviews, etc.) They even provided us with "training" on how to defend against negative reviews to clients and prospective employees. Plus, there are efforts to proactively encourage any satisfied clients to post positive reviews online. Employees have also been "encouraged" to post positive reviews online on Ken's books and purchase his books to boost sales. All this money and effort would be better spent on improving the company rather than covering up to outsiders.

    - The most respected senior executive, presumably the next-in-command after Ken Fisher, has decided to leave the firm. Not good for stability or employees' confidence in company's future when the smartest guy in the room leaves. And this was with already below-average portfolio performance.

    - What's the career path? Few options outside of Sales, Operations and Investment Counselor roles in lower/middle management. These positions are cookie-cutter with no ability to impact their departments or the firm.

    - Investment Counselor position. Internal employees no longer want the position, and the company now has to consider and hire candidates who previously would not have been qualified. (May be a positive for notoriously tight company as these new hires are lower-paid)

    - Portfolio management (supposedly FI's main responsibility) has consistently been poor. Defending the firms' constant underperformance to clients over the years has been exhausting.

    - Management monitoring and critiquing (a.k.a. "micro-management") your work daily via a slew of reports is even more exhausting.

    - Teamwork? Compensation structure pits teams & employees against each other, so your colleagues performing worse is more beneficial. One team performing "well" means another is performing "poorly" on a monthly basis.

    - Fisher training is non-transferrable to other financial firms, and FI and the other firms know it. FI's industry reputation is that of a marketing/advertising boiler room rather than an investment firm.

    - Graduate degrees and outside education/certification is discouraged. The lack of tuition reimbursement, and the attitude of management is that higher education adds no value to the firm.

    - Workday begins at 7am sharp. Managers track your daily arrival time, so don't think of being late because it may literally cost you.

    - Perks: No sabbaticals. No annual holiday/company party. No parking half the year (or having to "compete for parking") in San Mateo. No company outings. No ability to work from home. No flexibility in work schedule, even if you have young children (better hope your spouse does not work). Work space is 3ft x 2ft (seriously), kitchen space is minimal and bathroom situation is much worse. No work anniversary acknowledgments (even after major milestones).

    I did learn and hone some professional skills in my time at Fisher, but realistically I would have done the same anywhere else. I don't necessarily regret working at FI, but I would never consider again and would recommend against it for anyone else. I do regret not leaving FI sooner because it is possible to believe in what you do, have an impact on others and your company all while making good money. Management reminds us that we are just "cogs in the machine," and their complete disregard for their employees is obvious. For anyone looking to work at Fisher Investments, can all these reviewers be wrong?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire outside experienced managers not entrenched in Fisher's cultish groupthink mentality. Focus on the content of your employees' negative reviews instead of worrying about removing these reviews

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 9 people found this helpful  

    Green Grass?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Camas, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Camas, WA

    I have been working at Fisher Investments full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Working hard, doing well for clients, and increasing the firm's enterprise value will only make you succeed. This is true in any good growing company.
    All of the below are true and exceptional relative to the industry: Work life balance, pay (including bonuses), 401k, insurance, location, opportunity, and employee growth (if you seek it out).
    90% of the industry will ask you for your list of 100+ closest friends and family who have money. FI never does that. Same thing goes for potential clients. We never ask clients what they would feel comfortable buying, we ask them a thorough set of questions regarding their goals and objectives for their money.
    The firm is always open to new ideas, all the way from what other business avenues should we pursue, down to how can we service XYZ client better.
    I have seen multiple instances where FI has been supportive of higher education. The complaints on here are people who have asked for FI to pay for their higher education and have been denied.
    As with all online review sites, keep in mind the people that have a negative outlook on FI are generally people that don't understand what is on the other side of the fence. People that have only worked for themselves (and presumably failed so they came to work for a large company), people that have little outside experience (straight out of school), or people that have never been in the finance industry which is horribly self servicing (brokers working on commission).
    Take all pros and cons with a grain of salt, and this is coming from a previous insurance/investment broker.

    Cons

    Corporate Culture has been a drag on the company over the last 2-5 years. Some clients hire us thinking we are invincible and some candidates choose us because of the same. Both groups have false pretenses for choosing a money manager. The reality is that no manager will see relative out-performance of a benchmark over a long enough period of time. The majority of employees (or former) who have a dour view of Fisher think the grass is greener elsewhere.
    They fall into two camps:
    1) someone who has been at FI longer than 7 years and rarely been promoted while their 'peers' have moved up in their career. This person fails to realize their increasing bonus and salary because their peers have had larger increases and been given greater responsibility.
    2) someone who has been at FI < 2 years and was 'sold' on a Utopian like money manager based on meritocracy. Meritocracy is true, but it embodies more than just showing up and getting promoted in <2 years.
    Many of the frustrated (ex)employees that complain about pay are in the Bay Area. Move to Camas and make a better decision for your family and/or yourself. Your chocolate cake isn't fat free. Sr. Management has said on multiple occasions that the best management candidates at the firm are in WA. That is probably because they make better financial decisions.
    If you are an (ex)employee that has complained about your manager, when was the last time you made an effort to reach out to another group and showcase your ability? If you are an introverted worker bee, don't be frustrated because you didn't show yourself to someone other than your manager. Ask for projects or other responsibilities, bet you'd be surprised who would listen. Most other managers only see their own employees under them so that automatically gives you more exposure.
    Ken is a firm believer in real life experience, and while he doesn't look down upon higher education, he does say he won't pay employees to go get an MBA. I know plenty of people who have only taken a job at a company just so they can get an MBA and then leave the company on their dime. Ken is SMART in not paying employees for useless higher education only to leave with better 'credentials'. My wife has an MBA and wrote a thesis on how to run a kite building company. Does she have better credentials than a manager who has successfully grown their division's net income with a real budget faster than 75% of the company?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep searching for better ideas to improve corporate culture. This has been a big plus in the recent months and year+. As long as employees don't think change happens overnight, this is a big positive. Making every employee accountable for their decisions only exposes the best and worst of every employee from the top to the bottom.
    Continue promoting people who embody loyalty (but not just the "I've been here long enough so that means loyalty.") People who have been at the company 5+ years have seen a tremendous amounts of ups and downs, and relatively speaking these ups and downs are much less than most investment advisers or financial institutions. Reinvigorate them with the reasons they chose FI and and FI chose them. Loyalty isn't a person who can't find a job somewhere else so they stay with the company to collect a paycheck no matter what they do.
    Less fear based management in a growing company is extremely valuable, and while it has gotten better, there are still parts of middle management that live this for their own good and it trickles down. Learn to demote and/or train middle management who don't embody change and instead feel threatened. If your middle manager's family relies solely on his/her own salary, good luck getting them to change their habits of 'managing to the numbers'. They will only do what you tell them to to make their bonus count towards their cash flow. Feel lucky if you work for a manager that will take a chance because they aren't afraid to be wrong of fail.
    Don't let this firm turn into a Siloed organization. Splitting the company into groups and telling everyone they are responsible for their own decisions can go too far and create information silos that are equally detrimental as a flat group think organization.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Fisher Investments

Work at Fisher Investments? Share Your Experiences

Fisher Investments

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.