Fisher Investments Reviews | Glassdoor

Fisher Investments Reviews

Updated July 25, 2017
434 reviews

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3.6
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Damian Ornani
52 Ratings

434 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • 10-hour work days, 50-hour work weeks (in 21 reviews)

  • middle management tends to not listen to anyone but themselves, long hours 10 hour days are the norm (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Client Services Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Service Associate in Camas, WA
    Former Employee - Client Service Associate in Camas, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Fisher Investments full-time

    Pros

    - Good take home pay
    - Can move up if quickly even if you didn't study finance, accounting, or business

    Cons

    - Bad pay if you consider hours worked, e.g. starting associates make as much as interns but work 10hrs + overtime (interns know this somehow but a lot of associates don't)
    - Hours at work are intense: most of the time your overcapacity, putting out fires, and often getting reamed out for mistakes due to being overcapacity. No time to double-check work, a lot of quantity-over-quality type situations when it comes to workflow.
    - Rampant turnover, which effects workflow. A good percentage of your ten hours will be spent training mentees, being trained on tough cases that you're getting from people who are quitting, and explaining complex situations to ICs who are getting transitioned difficult clients and need someone to "hug them" with actually useful information they won't remember, because IC's are are over capacity themselves.
    - A sort of upside down structure for vertical movement in general, at least for a finance company: those who excel at administrative/client facing roles are the ones who get bumped up to research roles, which are few and highly coveted. In theory this would create researchers with great people skills, but what ends up happening is that those who BS the best rise to the top. Only firm I've seen where analysts are higher up than associates.

    Advice to Management

    Make investment research the foundation of career progression, not client services. Allow early hires the time to make mistakes without loads of training on how to avoid mistakes. And less meetings in general, takes away from time that could actually be spent doing work.


  2. "If you read this......RUN far far away from this company."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Vice President in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Fisher Investments full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Maybe a first year base salary and paid travel...I guess.

    Cons

    Bullying and Harassment from a company that has no clue what they are doing in the Canadian Investment environment. They are upset that they cannot get traction in Canada and are going through employees like a "puppy mill" The place is as close to a "cult" as you can get. Unprofessional, unorganized and unfit to be an employer in Canada....as I said......RUN!!!

    Advice to Management

    I think the word is out and many people have caught on to the deceptive misleading tactics that you utilize. Appears many fake reviews or solicited by current employees. You tell a "good story" but I think the truth has caught up to you.

  3. "Cold calling all the time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President Sales in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Vice President Sales in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Fisher Investments full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Get to travel, expense account

    Cons

    100 cold calls a day, constantly on the road and plan

    Advice to Management

    get the sales job and see what it is like


  4. "Big Opportunities for Career Growth, Strong Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in San Mateo, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fisher has strong focus on growth and a preference to hire internally which generally results in a lot of opportunities for upward advancement and new/different types of roles. Benefits are super solid, nothing I would improve there. Work stays at work, almost no one takes anything home past five, something done on purpose and rare to find. Culture is strong. Its not a great fit for everyone, but if you like a small business mentality (GSD) and enjoy rolling your sleeves up, it’s rewarding. Very mission focused, not frills. Can honestly say the firm is a beacon in Financial Services (sorry for what sounds like hyperbole) for treating clients well and actually doing what's right by them (100% of firms say that in finance, maybe 5% actually do...?).

    Cons

    It’s Financial Services, so the hours and work-from-home aren't what you'd find in Tech or other industries. For me, that was tough at first but you adjust. It's not a frilly/perks-based company--they reinvest in growth. For me, that's better but not a fit for all.


  5. Helpful (13)

    "Growing Pains"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Camas, WA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Camas, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Fisher Investments full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - 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.

    Cons

    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.


  6. "Investment Consultant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Fisher Investments full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good experience, benefits, team support

    Cons

    Management, initiatives, old and outdated technology


  7. "Investment Counselor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Fisher Investments full-time

    Pros

    Pretty good pay and work hours are great. Once you leave the office, you leave the work behind.

    Cons

    You're subject to the market and your client's attitudes. There can be some difficult times even if you're performing your function well.

  8. "Very good employer - working on lifetime carreers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investment Analyst
    Former Employee - Investment Analyst
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Fisher Investments (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I loved working at Fisher. They look after their employees and their customers. Of course it depends on the managers you have, but if you're willing to work and willing to help others, then Fisher is good for you! Their customer process is brilliant.

    Cons

    Their could be more focus on how people act in their social life outside of Fisher. Because the culture is very business related.


  9. "Quality Control Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Fisher Investments full-time

    Pros

    Benefits are good, unlimited partial days off

    Cons

    Work is monotonous. You will not be challenged, high turnover rate. 50 hour work week is minimum.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Good entry-level role, but the company has a lot to work on"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Camas, WA
    Former Employee - Analyst in Camas, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Fisher Investments full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You have a chance to work with some smart people and, depending on the role, there are some challenging problems to work on.
    If you perform well you can get good visibility with senior management.
    If you aren't in a sales role, Fisher will go out of their way to find a better fit within the company for an underperforming employee rather than letting them go.
    Some managers are willing to provide regular, helpful feedback.
    Lots of internal opportunities to move up and around the company and managers who are willing to support their subordinates moving around after 18-24 months in a role.

    Cons

    The culture can be toxic with employees attempting to "throw others under the bus" and managers swearing at their subordinates (this comes from the very top and trickles down).
    Technology is outdated and largely not transferable.
    The talent level is subpar.
    Rigid work schedule (be there by 7 am, can't leave until 5 pm).
    Fisher bills itself as a meritocracy but is quicker to reward employees based on how long they have worked there and allows those employees to "coast" while having much higher standards for newer employees.
    Lots of red tape and bureaucracy that gets in the way of employees performing well in their job.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage management to treat subordinates with more respect and to resolve conflicts between employees more effectively.
    Loosen up on the work hours and dress code if you want to remain competitive with young talent, particularly in the Bay area with so much flexibility offered by tech companies.
    Follow your own advice of challenging conventional wisdom.


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