Scottrade Reviews

Updated April 8, 2015
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Scottrade Founder, President, and CEO Rodger O. Riney
Rodger O. Riney
452 Ratings

Pros
  • They do allow for a work/life balance that was much better than my previous employer (in 51 reviews)

  • It's also a great place for young college grads to get resume experience (in 32 reviews)

Cons
  • no room for advancement unless you want to change your job title and keep doing the same thing (in 23 reviews)

  • Politics, no room for growth - you're either a broker or a branch manager unless you want to move to St (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (28)

    Counting down the minutes until I leave

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Investment Consultant in Jersey City, NJ
    Current Employee - Investment Consultant in Jersey City, NJ

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    401K match is excellent
    Decent pay; bonus incentives
    Benefits package is great including vacation and sick days.
    Company cares about well being of empoyees.

    Cons

    No oppurtunity for advancement
    No oppurtunity to grow in the industry
    Monotonous job function
    Disconnect betwen home office and branches.
    Sub Par technology both in house and client products.
    No in house investment products to sell
    Sales process is ripe with inconsistancies and potential for deciet.
    Over reliance on irelavant metrics and stats.

    Advice to Management

    Allocate more time to training in a real learning environment

    Scottrade Response

    Apr 6, 2015Social Recruiting Team

    We want our associates to enjoy coming to work each day, so we’re sorry to hear you’re not happy in your current position. We encourage you to take advantage of the many training opportunities at ... More

  2. Helpful (68)

    I was a Scottrade casualty of change.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Former Investment Consultant in Overland Park, KS
    Former Employee - Former Investment Consultant in Overland Park, KS

    I worked at Scottrade full-time (more than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I used to love going to work. I loved helping people. I loved teaching willing customers how the markets worked. I enjoyed my coworkers as we were teammates willing to step into whatever needed done. Sadly, it all changed.

    Cons

    When asset gathering became not just a buzzword, but company policy, I embraced it. I liked knowing that my efforts to bring in new money were to be rewarded. And I was rewarded. I was consistently in the top 20% in my region in new assets for the first 2 years of the new bonus structure. But as I found out, it was to be a slippery slope. During the 3rd quarter of 2014, branch administration started to change the rules as to what was considered "influenced assets." There was much debate as to the meaning of influence. After all, I'd been there for years. I had regular customers come in to make deposits just because I was "their broker." Did I influence it? Perhaps the first few times, by Scottrade standards. But the fifth, sixth, and seventh times, surely not, they'd say. They were just making deposits on their own. Deposits I shouldn't be rewarded for? Or should I? What a quandary...

    Once the incentive review team was formed, I knew I was toast. After many years of forming personal relationships with clients, and trying to service their accounts, management would always up the ante. Make your mythical 10 contacts and 2 opportunities. Whats your value per contact? I suddenly found myself morphed from human broker to a simple metric. Branch admin didn't care about my personal relationships, they wanted results. As an aside, I once asked my regional manager how they came up with 10 contacts. He said it was industry standard.

    One quarter, it was determined that half of my qualified deposits were not considered influenced. I was out a little over $1000 in bonus payout. I grew bitter. Rules that defined what was influenced had changed in the middle of the game and they controlled that game. They were the judge, jury and executioner. As I picked myself off the floor I determined to fight back. Wrong move. The next quarter I took in a check that was clearly not influenced, and doctored the CRM notes to make it look like it was influenced. It was the first time I had ever stepped on the other side of the ethical line...and I paid for it, with my job.

    Quarter after quarter of high quality performance reviews, public recognition on internal conference calls from management, my career as a broker at Scottrade was finished with one bad decision.

    As the pressure mounts to push, push, push for new assets, something changes within us. We become greedy. We think only about money as our sole motivation. After all, weekly conference calls with regional managers reinforce it with constant drilling. "Where are your outside investments held?" "Do you have an old 401k lying around somewhere?" "What will it take to get you to consolidate?" Questions I constantly asked for the sole reason of our greed. I wanted that bonus! I wanted to be recognized!

    The other day I was totaling up all the assets I brought to Scottrade in my 5 years there. I think I must've brought something close to $100 million into Scottrade. A fact that held little value when I was let go.

    I miss the place though. I miss my branch. I miss my clients. I miss the camaraderie.
    I was a good broker, but I wasn't a good enough metric.

    Advice to Management

    I remember one time Matt Wilson came into my branch as he was in town over Thanksgiving. He came and sat down at my desk and we chatted for some time. I asked him some questions about upcoming products and he was visibly excited about what was to come. His excitement got me excited. He seemed like a nice enough guy. He seemed to believe what he was telling me and that was enough for me. I believed in his overall strategy to reshape the company into a more viable financial firm. For whatever reason, the execution just wasn't there.

    I only had branch experience and I can truly say that I was in the trenches with my fellow brokers on the front lines. We knew what worked and what didn't work. What was realistic and what wasn't. Unfortunately, management had a top-down approach to reshaping the firm. Management would dictate to regional managers what needed to be done, and by the time it got to us brokers, something was lost in translation. This led to cynicism within the ranks, needless conference calls, and an overall mistrust of the firm. What was a family style company culture, became dog-eat-dog mentality. Brokers stealing asset gathering opportunities from other brokers. A constant battle over what was considered influenced. In fighting amongst brokers and the back office. Regional managers with little front line experience informing me on best practices in a client facing environment.

    Had the execs been willing to speak with brokers on the front line doing the dirty work and forming a bottom-up approach as to the best course of action for the firm, I feel that I'd still be there today. Had they been willing to find out what resources it really takes to gain market share, I don't think they'd be in this mess today. But they didn't, and hopefully they'll learn from their mistakes. I know I've learned from mine.

    I'll leave you with this. You turned a motivated kid, excited about learning everything about the financial markets, one who was willing to go above and beyond for clients time and again, into a cynical, skeptical, young adult that learned the hard way. I have a Bachelors in Economics, an MBA, a Series 7 and 63 and nowhere to use them. I wished I had made better decisions, but I wished Scottrade had too. We could've been great together.

  3. Helpful (43)

    Rodger, please act now to acknowledge and address this, finally, within our own house. No more airing of dirty laundry.

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

    I have been working at Scottrade full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Not applicable at the moment. At one point the firm had the allure of a career - long aspiration. Sadly this is no longer the case.

    Cons

    Cannot even begin to address. It's all been said by so many, and without actionable acknowledgement/resolution by our leaders. I've never before beared witness to so many titled leaders burying their heads into the sand, to save their own selfish fiefdoms.

    Advice to Management

    Adhere to one of your stated core principles: communicate. The fact that your associates are resorting to this site, because of the vacuum of uncertainty we've all been living in these last several years, speaks volumes.

    If just grievances were being properly addressed by 'leadership teams' in-house, where it belongs, you wouldn't be facing this very public and humiliating airing of dirty laundry.

    Scottrade Response

    Mar 25, 2015Social Recruiting Team

    We understand how you are feeling. We’ve been actively sharing the sentiment that we’ve seen on Glassdoor with the company’s executives. They are currently working to address and resolve the issues ... More

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  5. Helpful (29)

    Say one thing and do another

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Investment Consultant in Richland, SC
    Former Employee - Investment Consultant in Richland, SC

    I worked at Scottrade

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This is a decent base pay. The benefits are pretty good also. I wish I could say more but then I would be lying.

    Cons

    The bonuses aren't the best. Management is a joke. They want to be consultants but can't be more than order takers. The guidance solutions platforms is only ETF's and the company doesn't even allow you to tell clients that much information.

    Advice to Management

    Start looking at high turnover rates in some of your offices. If the same manager has went through 4 consultants in less than 2 years for various reasons something is wrong. Making outbound calls doesn't guarantee an influx of qualified deposits. Also, having quotas in place to force resignations is not cool. You need to step your game up if you really want to compete with TD Ameritrade and others.

  6. Helpful (14)

    Doesn't really care about you

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Service Representative in Saint Louis, MO
    Former Employee - Financial Service Representative in Saint Louis, MO

    I worked at Scottrade full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good place to start out in finance

    Cons

    Upper management is out of touch with everyone else. Pay is below average. Company allows clients to churn their own accounts, can't advise them not to do so.

    Advice to Management

    Ethics.

  7. Helpful (5)

    What Rodger asked all of us to do...

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Scottrade

    Pros

    Rodger asked us to help clients. Here are some things he asked us to do at the national manager meeting, on 2 national calls, and in person if you ask him:

    1. Rodger asks that we Proactively call clients (outbound dials) and ask them what they need HELP with.
    2. Rodger asks that When they tell us what they need, provide them HELP by offering a tool, education, assistance, or perhaps a meeting with our guidance group
    3. Rodger wants us to ask for HELP from leadership when we have questions, want to learn something new, and for guidance on pretty much anything.

    Cons

    Fear of telephones. We all have it. Many have chosen to ask for HELP and fix it. Others have created a multitude of excuses other than the truth to avoid doing the very work that truly HELPS clients.

    We can all fix it and make it easier if we ask for HELP. When we do this, we can HELP our clients. When we do both, we can HELP Scottrade win. Scottrade and Rodger need our HELP.

    Advice to Management

    Look at the sales report and take notice of managers that are refusing to work. Look at the outbound dial column and you will be in total shock to see that we have BOM's averaging less than 3 dials per day. Our competitors are averaging 40-50 dials per day. Are we okay with 3? Can we honestly say we are helping clients when we don't even call them? Can we honestly say we are doing what Rodger asked us to do when we don't call clients and HELP them? Can someone who is averaging 3 dials look Rodger in the face and honestly say they are HELPING clients? And when you look at these low effort managers, you will notice their brokers also have work ethic issues.. Should we do something about this?

    Scottrade Response

    Apr 15, 2015Social Recruiting Team

    Response for below: Thank you for your review. As you mentioned, everyone at Scottrade is dedicated to helping our clients meet their financial goals. We are happy to hear that this message has ... More

  8. Helpful (11)

    Investment consultant

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

    I have been working at Scottrade

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Very good working environment. Very nice associates to work with. good 401(k) plan.

    Cons

    Products are not fully satisfying clients' needs. Doesn't hold license 66 for branch level.

    Advice to Management

    There is a gap between management level and local branch. We can't simply set a number as target since all branches are geographically different. Closes do not mainly come from sales outbound calls.

  9. Helpful (8)

    Great Potential For Rewarding Career

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

    I have been working at Scottrade full-time (more than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    As a branch associate, you're going to get out of Scottrade what you put into it. If you are engaged, driven and coachable you're going to have an excellent career here.

    I feel like I am helping the company and our clients. The negative posts here are clearly written by associates who are focusing on the challenges and not seeing the possibilities. I wish I could inspire them to help, grow, change and develop themselves, be positive and assist this company.

    We have a vast amount of talented leadership in my division:

    Our DVP was the top in sales at his previous firm and adds a lot of value to our division because of his success and experience. He does a weekly sales coaching session and from the feedback I get from other branches most of their fundamental sales dialogue and processes developed over the past few years came directly from our DVP. He built a great foundation and continues to inspire us to hone in on our skills.

    Our new RM was one of the very best sales leaders at one of our main competitors. He has over ten years of sales management experience. He visits his branches often and works extremely hard to help each one of us succeed. I can already see a huge difference in the refinement of our conversations through call coaching and improvement in our sales process in the short amount of time he's worked with us. In addition, he gives each one of us leadership opportunities if we earn it.

    Goals and Targets are set by each branch associate. There are minimum targets but they are easy to accomplish if you make meeting your goals a priority.

    Branch Manager salary is competitive. If you can learn how to exceed your share of the firms service and sales objectives, you will be recognized and awarded with meaningful annual raises. I made 35% more last year in incentive pay alone. If I hit the targets I set for myself this year I will made 50% more. In addition, Scottrade just added a team component to our bonus which could add significantly more to our bonuses. It will motivate us to work harder and smarter. My compensation for 2015 will be the highest it's ever been - even higher than when I worked for a full service firm.

    Cons

    With so many branches and associates, some of our executive leaders in St Louis make decisions about associates in the field without knowing the complete picture. With such a lean management structure, our leaders often do not have the time to learn about and assist us with the challenges we face.

    The company needs to find the financial resources to upgrade all of the branches so we can have private spaces for more meaningful conversations with our clients and associates. We can't wait years, investing in private offices now will help us attract larger clients and retain our best employees. Currently I have on average ten appointments with clients a week out in the open. I need my own office to conduct these meetings effectively.

    Advice to Management

    Add another DVP and at least one more RM in every Division. This will allow them to do their jobs more effectively concentrating on a more manageable number of branch associates so the ICs get the coaching they need directly by the RMs.

    Place the RMs in their own regions. They need to be in the branches coaching and building relationships with their teams. This will ensure we get the best possible talent and give our existing employees a way to advance our careers without significant travel and relocating to St Louis.

    Reward top performing Branch Managers with additional titles, responsibilities and compensation to help spread positive coaching models to the region. This will give talented BOMs more leadership and coaching experience, give ICs more attention, build comraderie and fill our pipeline with more talent for the future.

    I really appreciate our guidance consultants and don't want to complain about current structure because I think it's what's right for right now, however the guidance process is not easy. As we are currently licensed we are very limited in what we can say. Working with a remote guidance consultant to help our clients is challenging. If this is going to be the way we are going to help our clients going forward, develop a dedicated team to travel to our branches and assist the RMs and coach us how to succeed with this model.

    Scottrade Response

    Apr 6, 2015Social Recruiting Team

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We’re happy to hear you’re embracing the company’s growth and finding success in your career. We recognize the need for private meeting ... More

  10. Helpful (5)

    IC

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

    I have been working at Scottrade

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I like the work here. I came from a full service firm where the pressure was enormous. Here I work eight hours a day, no weekend work and I don't have to work overtime very often. Between all the inbound calls and walk-ins I can hit my targets. I usually make 5-10 outbound calls a day to follow up on some leads and hit the campaign list. No cold calling or prospecting for new clients. My two coworkers are cool and we go out to a bar every other month or so on Scottrade. We are pretty tight branch. I have only been with Scottrade for a year and a half so I can not really comment on all the stuff about how things are going down the tubes or anything. From my perspective it is a pretty nice place to work. No real pressure or stress. Just handle the clients business ask for a little more and make sure you document everything. I do like this new bonus campaign and the potential to double your bonus. I hope that stays a permanent fixture.

    I make about 45K base and about 20-25K in extra bonuses. I know at other firms you can make a lot more but I like the laid back nature of Scottrade. Good benefits but I would not say they are better than other firms. I like the kitty the branches have. it is fun to hang out every so often with coworkers and have Scottrade pick up the tab.

    Cons

    Like most companies there are some headaches. I came from a firm where my focus was on selling, not paperwork. I do a lot of paperwork in the branch. When I call our back office they are sometimes really rude and condescending. There are some great people there and I have made a list of all the good people to work with in each department and I try to reach out to those people directly. I write nice emails to their supervisors about how helpful they are and they really appreciate it. So when I call in again they are really kind to me.

    I like our branch administration it is just we never here from them. I have been here for a year and a half and our regional has only stopped by twice. Both times for only a few hours before they left to see other branches. It would be nice to have greater communication between the branch and headquarters.

    The technology is a little slow and outdated.

    Advice to Management

    First I think things are going well but here are a few honest thoughts from the field.
    I would like to see an upgrade to our CRM system. Compass is not very good at all. I know so many people who use a combination of compass and excel to keep track of clients. So much time is wasted just trying to manage contact information with our clients. I think whatever it costs to upgrade to a new CRM system would be worth it.

    The future is Guidance and managed accounts and I know their is an oversight issue to giving branches guidance. The current system is tough to closes. I think the guys up in St. Louis are great but I wish we could just do more at the branch level. I hate it when I feel like a used car salesman and a client asks how much a managed account will cost and I have to say something like "well we are very competitive why don't you have the call and they will tell you." My thought would be let the branches handle the small Guidance accounts like less than 100K. All they do is fill out a questionnaire and score it. Train the branch managers or something to be the guidance person in a branch and make sure they have a 66 or 63,65 combo. That way the GSG group could handle the bigger accounts and the small accounts could be handled in the branch. This way an oversight team only has to watch the branch managers who should be your more upstanding branch employees anyway. I think we would get a lot more closes because branches would not flood the GSG team with the 25-100K leads and they could spend a lot more time on the bigger accounts. The branches could close more because they would not have to coordinate so many schedules trying to get GSG on the line. More closes, more money. Everyone wins:)

    Finally it seems like the career advancement opportunities here are very disorganized. I have expressed interest in advancing and being promoted but there is no formal process. I have friends in many regions who say their regional is having them mentor other IC's or they have a coaching program. It is all different and it seems like you have to build a good reputation and volunteer for extra responsibilities but there is no real system in place. I would like to see a career path program instituted or something. plus I would like to see more advancement options in the branch network other than IC to Branch manager. Nothing against St. Louis but one day I will want to go farther than branch manager but I can't say I would want to live in St. Louis. So if Scottrade does not give me a chance then I will go elsewhere. I know I am not the only one who feels this way and I think it is a shame that top performing people have to leave because we can't give them another challenge. I think this would also help branches feel more connected. If your regionals were in the field they would build better relationships with the branches. Better coaching, better employees, better branches, more business, more money. It makes sense to me.

    All in all I think things are going well and I hope we can continue to grow the company and get paid. Thank you

    Scottrade Response

    Apr 10, 2015Social Recruiting Team

    We’re happy to hear you’re enjoying your time at Scottrade and appreciate your advice to management. We want you to know that each of these issues is being considered and steps are being taken to ... More

  11. Helpful (7)

    Like where we are going - Can't afford to go back

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

    I have been working at Scottrade full-time (more than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    If you are positive and willing to learn and put in the effort you can be successful here.
    Scottrade provides solid pay, benefits, a generous 401k match and stability.
    Over the past 2 years my compensation has increased significantly. I am experiencing a more rewarding career that now allows me to help my clients in a meaningful way. I no longer have to explain what I do to the point where I concede that I am a glorified, over-paid customer service rep. This is a direct result of the new opportunities the company is providing to associates who want to be a part of an exciting and rewarding new future for Scottrade.
    I have a leadership team that has provided me every resource at their disposal to help me be successful. The management team above me is a mix of individuals with experience from outside of Scottrade as well as within. They recognized that I was willing to be a part of where we were going, and not be an anchor to the past, and jumped at the opportunity to partner with me to help everyone involved experience greater success. Not all leaders and managers are created equal but you have to ask yourself why someone who is above you in a company, and whose performance is dependent on your own, would not be willing to help you. Most of the people in this company are willing to do just that. Competency varies as it does with any company and any position but questioning the desire or willingness of management to help you excel in your position doesn’t make sense. In the rare occasion where this is true it is likely the result of someone who is not willing or able to change – which coincidentally is the problem with many at the branch level who are on here complaining about the new environment we find ourselves in.
     I have experienced a tremendous amount of collaboration among my peers. We are now in what some would term a competitive sales environment but the reality is that we don’t compete between branches for the same business. We compete in our own geographical area with many solid competitors within our industry. Those who are embracing the change, understand the necessity of it, and take pride in who they are as an investment professional are more than willing to help those around them to get better at their job. Again, this group is a mix of people new to the firm as well as Scottrade veterans with a progressive and positive view of what our future could hold if we embrace this necessary change.

    Cons

    If you are negative, lazy and selfish you will not be happy here and are likely to find fault with just about any successful organization.
    There are some who are mad and upset because Scottrade is changing and they are being asked to change. The reality is that what you were doing – supporting trading activity – was increasingly able to be done with less need for you. Our job was becoming a low-skill, customer service position for the most part and yet we were being paid a pretty high salary and expensive benefits for this type of work. If you became complacent and satisfied with the lifestyle this provided you I can see how being asked to work a full 8 hours a day could be upsetting. I think that a loud and tenured minority is having success convincing some at the highest levels that they are receiving an unfair amount of pressure to produce. I'm not entirely sure who is controlling the current dialogue.
    We don’t have quotas, we have targets. We are being asked to have somewhere around 10 quality conversations with our clients about their finances in an 8 hour work day. As a new IC who was happy to have the opportunity to work here recently said to me – “Scottrade is paying you to TRY! Are you kidding me?”
    If you're not having success are you doing everything you can to get better? Do you want to do this job? If you're honest about the answer to those questions and you take steps based on the answers you will be happier and Scottrade will be better off as well.

    Advice to Management

    Stop seeing the number of years someone has worked here as a reflection of how much they care about the company. Some of them never left because they couldn’t replace the salary you were paying them anywhere else with the skill-set and level of effort they were giving you. The future of this company should be seen as those who are willing to help you compete successfully in a very competitive environment whether they are brand new or 25 years in.
    Continue to incent in a competitive way to attract, retain and develop the quality professionals you are going to need to be successful in this industry. We need people who are willing to work hard to win. We don’t need people who are constantly telling you why they can’t – poor technology, poor products, poor management, etc. Ask yourself why some are able to exceed expectations with the same so-called poor technology, products and management?

    Scottrade Response

    Apr 6, 2015Social Recruiting Team

    We appreciate you taking the time to write a review. While the changes you alluded to have been challenging for some, it sounds like you have had a positive impact on your branch office. We are happy ... More

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