I have been working at Fisher Investments full-time
- As a privately-held company, management can invest in the firm with a longer-term view than at public companies.
- It is a global company with opportunities in both the US and internationally - getting international experience is a real plus in today's global economy.
- The company puts a lot of effort in educating investors and helping them focus on what matters.
- The company really cares about its clients and provides excellent service.
- The people who work here are terrific - smart, hard-working and ambitious.
- There are many of employees who have been here a long time and who really care about the firm and its clients.
- You don't have to take work home with you - once the day ends, you are done.
- Great place to learn the business; good first job out of college.
- The firm is investing more in employee career and skill development.
- The company encourages introspection and reflection - which is powerful.
- You can make great friends here and those friendships last even when people leave.
- Fair compensation and great benefits!
- Would like to see more flexibility in the work hours.
- The company is investing in upgrading the technology and processes which has been needed and it is encouraging. Double-down on this.
- While change is happening, it takes longer than some might like.
Advice to Management
Keep up the focus on growth and evolving with the times while maintaining the culture. Trust and listen to your employees - you have some great talent that wants to win. Continue to invest in career development - it makes a difference.
I worked at Fisher Investments part-time
Flexible hours, opportunity to speak with high net worths.
Minimal experience with other divisions of the company.
I have been working at Fisher Investments full-time (More than a year)
Beyond being a part of a company that is in true growth mode and who truly believes that our jobs as service providers are to make a positive impact on the lives of the people who entrust us to coach and guide them. There are amazing personal reasons to be a part of Fisher Investments! Benefits-Fisher investments provides fully paid health, vision, and dental premiums for you and your family! There is also a 50% 401K match up to $9000.00 per year! there is a significant focus on developing talent for internal growth opportunities! If you are someone who likes to learn and grow, Fisher Investments has developed an extensive format for continued development that will help you to achieve your short and long term goals. The campus is private and parking is plentiful and free! Fisher is a place to come and grow your career for a lifelong partnership.
There are many needs for process improvement. Many systems and processes have been past their prime for years. It is time to upgrade and to make significant changes in process for efficiency and accuracy.
Advice to Management
Look to hire more external talent to assist with the knowledge base within specific disciplines. Specifically to assist with process improvement from a different point of view and expertise.
I have been working at Fisher Investments full-time (Less than a year)
good training, leadership, and mentorship
I think the salary is way too low for living in the Bay Area
I worked at Fisher Investments full-time
I valued my time at Fisher tremendously. The CA office puts AE's in a basement together tucked away from the rest of the office. I got really close to a few individuals and there was time in-between dials to get to know your peers. The department trains people how to uncover investors needs and sell them on an opportunity to learn about a different approach which I did not value until I left. The pay is pretty straight forward -$1200 for every million dollars you bring in. By your second year your expectations will be around two to three million a month depending on your tenure. Even if you are a low producer you will can 3-5k checks every few months which is very nice. Semi annual training trips to WA were a lot of fun too - all the AE's would head out to Portland at nights to let loose. Overall this company is the absolute BEST PLACE to be trained on how to sell. I came from a banking background starting out as a teller and worked my way up to a private banker managing 50mm+ in corporate deposits. Having FI on my resume has now opened doors for me to become an Advisor for a lot of the big warehouses out there and management positions at banks. Without my FI experience those firms wouldn't even look at me so I am extremely thankful for what they have done for my career.
Culture in the AE group was a bit too loose for me. Most AE's are fresh out of college so their mentality is borderline juvenile which is tough to be around day after day in a basement. Socially the firm operates under a very rigid hierarchy - very rare for people to communicate with each other from other departments which took me months to adjust to. You can pass by the same person everyday for a year and never say a word to them. Very old school mentality which may be an issue with some employees.
At Fisher you are compensate with amazing benefits, 100% health and generous 401k match. The culture is also very nice, while it is professional the people you work with are relaxed and fun.
I do not have any Cons about the company, however I am being asked to write about the cons so I guess I will.
Advice to Management
Focus on technological development. Otherwise management are great always looking out for their employees
I worked at Fisher Investments full-time
The position is all about sales and cold calling. It is a lot of work and not a lot of reward. I wouldn't recommend this company. The one pro is the benefits.
Where do I begin. It is all cold-calling. They only hire people with little experience so that they can work them to death.
Advice to Management
Pay your employees more
I have been working at Fisher Investments full-time (More than 8 years)
- New CEO, New Head of Human Capital, the future is here! Huge push to help remedy some of the long standing obstacles that happen in most growing companies. Firm wide focus on training and development to give us a place we can really grow a lifetime career.
- PRIVATE COMPANY - We don't have 10,000 employees or shareholders we need to think of. Our clients come first, always, and employees and innovation come as close runners up.
- A+ Benefits - $0 come out of my paycheck for medical and dental premiums (at previous employers this used to cost me $400 a month). Fisher matches 50% of my 401k contributions - This year they have given me $7,000 towards my 401k so far!
- The people - Not your average "investment firm". Youthful firm full of excited individuals who are looking to learn and grow. Collaboration is at the forefront of everything we do. You come in and have an instant network of peers and mentors to help you navigate problems, celebrate success and give you valuable feedback.
- Schedule Flexibility - The hours are 7-5 or 6:30-4:30 for most roles (Sales and IC are on 8 hour shifts). The work is done 100% in office (no work from home). I worry that when the time comes for me to start a family, this is going to be hard to juggle. There are plenty of people here who make it work, and the schedule + the benefits make for a great place to be while raising kids. However for me it is a constant question I have in my mind.
Advice to Management
- Keep up the direct communication on what is working and what is not.
- Hold Senior Leaders to not just "what" they accomplish, but "how" they go about getting there. End of year numbers being hit without productive collaboration, positive partnership, or professional respect shown to ALL should be addressed.
I worked at Fisher Investments full-time (Less than a year)
- Benefits: They cover medical, dental, and optical premiums on top of your salary.
- Macroeconomic Strategy and Goals: Fisher has a noble goal of providing it's customers with conflicts-of-interest-free investment services. Their founder and former CEO Ken Fisher is acknowledged as one of the most successful long term investment strategists in history, and they specialize in fundamental, equity only strategies. No derivatives, alternatives, or flashy hedge funds, and no expensive insurance/annuity products. As one of the largest registered investment advisors in the world, their institutional relationships give them a great deal of leverage.
- Structure: No conflicts of interest. They do not custody assets, and therefore can not steal them. The client's name is on the certificates so the client knows they truly own the assets. They also do all their research internally.
- Fees: In line with industry average - %1 of the total invested portfolio.
- Service: The investment policy committee makes all the important investment decisions for the client, protecting the client from making mistakes. The client is assigned an Investment Counselor, who helps explain the goals and gives the clients a sense of ease.
For integrity's sake, I will use my own personal story to outline some of the larger issues with the company.
I applied to Fisher Investments four times for the Account Executive role, waiting six months in between each time, per company policy. During this time I sold insurance to get experience in the financial services industry. I have a BA in economics and although I only had a C+ Average GPA, I am an intelligent and hard working person. I also had several years of solid business and sales experience during college to bridge that gap.
After each time I applied I did not get any feedback on the interview process - also per company policy. I would make it past the phone screen and into the in-person interviews with the AE team leaders (people who often had less management and sales experience than me at the time, again due to my previous experience). It wasn't until the fourth and final time I was interviewed that I actually made it in front of the AE hiring manager.
Shortly after finally being hired, it became painfully clear that I was overqualified for the entry level sales role. It also became clear to me that the company had grown too fast, and their HR department had made mistakes with my candidacy. This posed a problem for the AE hiring manager, who had overlooked me as a good potential hire.
I was also unsatisfied with my position after a short time, realizing just how little the position matched my skill level and experience. The AE hiring manager had also talked me into a salary that did not match either of those categories. I accepted, only because I'd had so much trouble getting hired in the first place.
I quickly demonstrated my aptitude, gaining attention from upper management. This put even more pressure on the AE hiring manager. But instead of offering me a better position, or granting my request for a higher salary, or providing me with greater resources to close more lucrative sales, I was met with platitudes, empty gestures, and department-wide demonstrations intended to highlight my insignificance.
During one floor-wide monday morning meeting, the statistics on the number of department interviews, hires, and transfers were posted on a large whiteboard while the AE hiring manager stood in the back of the room and stared intimidatingly toward me, as if to make the point that I was just another pawn, unworthy of such consideration by his superiors.
I was then caught between fulfilling my obligation to the original position I was assigned, or attempting to side step the AE hiring manager's authority to gain a better position. Normally this would have been an easy choice, but I was never directly offered anything from upper management. Keep in mind, this is a company that promotes itself as one where people can move laterally with ease.
The COO himself did tell me a story in a small group setting about how he had climbed the ranks by taking his bosses job. Another upper level manager told a similar story to a larger group about his path within the company, from sales to research to upper management, right before saying that loyalty and intelligence was the best way to climb the ranks. (This message was of course antithetical to the "metrics-based" merit system propagated by the AE hiring manager to low level employees.)
"Loyalty to who?" I wondered. My aim was indeed to eventually move into research. Did the upper level manager know this when he made his speech?
The later COO summoned me up to his office on the condition that I felt the AE hiring manager was being unethical in his dealings with me. He was, but I did not want the AE hiring manager's job, and did not go.
When I decided to stick it out in the position I had worked so hard to obtain instead of applying for other positions in the company, I was told to take a vacation by a colleague. I left for Hawaii the next day. When I got back, I was fired for not "obtaining the proper approval before leaving." I had accumulated enough PTO to cover my vacation, but apparently did not give enough warning to my lower level team leader and floor manager, despite looking them both in the eye and telling them I was going.
All of this happened in a span of four short winter months, and in the weeks leading up to my "un-excused absence," I'd come down with a terrible case of bronchitis, made worse by the constant talking required of Account Executives (200+ phone calls a day).
The week before I was fired, I was prescribed a hefty dose of a prescription steroid, which really messed up my sleep cycles. This combined with all the drama and stress from unwanted attention culminated in a lapse in my judgment, and I can see how my lower level superiors felt miffed from me not asking them, but telling them I was going on a vacation. Up to this point, I believe they had been pushing for my success.
Regardless, the person who fired me was the AE hiring manager himself. I'm not even sure the COO or upper level manager knew prior to it happening. In fact I am fairly certain the upper level manager told my colleague to tell me to take a vacation. I thought it was intended to give me some time to heal my lungs and think over what position I would be happy with in the short and long term. I guess I was wrong.
Now, to outline the issues:
1) Big Brother. Everything you say and do can and will be used against you. There are dummy cameras, designed to distract you from the real ones. Someone is listening to every word you say to prospective clientele. If you say the wrong thing, or say something with the wrong tone, you will hear about it. In fact, I am fairly certain I was followed on numerous occasions outside of the office. I may sound paranoid, but its true.
2) Use of indirect communication. Outside salesmen will pose as prospective clients, just to see how well good you are at selling stuff. When I say I "demonstrated my aptitude," what I really mean is that I knew who was real and who was fake. Ken fisher did it to me himself and I made it clear that I knew something was up. However, I did so indirectly, also showing that I knew how to play the game. That's what got upper management's attention.
This helps the company avoid liability issues - Like when an employee is indirectly told to take a vacation, management can then fire that employee for not "following proper protocol." Said employee then has no way to prove that he did indeed have proper approval, and cannot claim wrongful termination.
3) The "Metrics Based" merit system is a load of bull. Just like with any sales role, there are better territories than others. There are also better outside salesmen that others. SENIOR AE's (i.e. the loyal and tenured) get special relationships with outside salesmen who are capable of closing in affluent areas. Lower level AE's are nothing more than sorting machines, filtering higher quality leads out of the trash and sending them upstream.
4) Office Poltics. Ken Fisher often writes about his loathing of "Poli-tics." However, his own company is rife with a cacophony of brown nosing, backstabbing, and downright hostile people working in management. I was literally yelled at once by the AE hiring manager for eating burritos. I am not kidding. Many of the people I met there were bright, hard working people, who genuinely wanted to help others. I was one of those people, but I was also too smart for my own good. Instead of putting me in a position where I could maximize my talents, I was pushed out because I posed a threat to the old guard. The irony is thick on this point.
5) Performance. The actual performance of their portfolio has been lackluster in recent years. Shortly after I was let go, Ken Fisher resigned as the CEO, although he still remains the chairman of the Investment Policy Committee. Hopefully this has allowed him to focus more on the portfolio's performance. They also recently opened a new home Office in Texas.
Advice to Management
Admit when you have made mistakes, and don't repeat them.
I should not have been fired, and the way you handled my situation was flat out cruel. I hope nothing like this happens to anyone else as you continue to grow into a large company.
I have been working at Fisher Investments full-time (More than 10 years)
I'm in a role today that I could have never imagined 10 years ago, thanks to the unique opportunities provide to me at Fisher. I've had the opportunity to manage major projects, lead teams, and learn countless new skills across several different departments.
The benefits are amazing - my favorite being the 100% covered medical/dental/vision and 50% match on my 401k up to the IRS minimum.
My standard work day is 9 hours with a 1 hour paid lunch, which I've easily become accustomed to, but would like to see increased flexibility in my schedule moving forward as I continue to grow my family.
Advice to Management
Continue to stay on the front lines of workplace trends and technology improvements.
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