Fisher Investments Reviews in San Francisco, CA | Glassdoor

Fisher Investments San Francisco Reviews

Updated January 24, 2017
157 reviews

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San Francisco, CA Area

3.2
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Damian Ornani
5 Ratings

157 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work/life balance in the sense that you do not frequently work overtime, and you are not allowed to take work home with you (in 18 reviews)

  • Good pay; rarely work more than 40 hours a week; great benefits; rewarding career; advancement opportunities for top performers (in 38 reviews)

Cons
  • The work life balance is terrible; you are required to work 50 hours a week with no flextime and no flexibility (in 10 reviews)

  • Long hours with early starts, 50 hour weeks at minimum (in 18 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (4)

    "Great Place to Build a Career"

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

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

    Pros

    Fisher is a place where you can work in lots of different areas over the course of a career. So, unlike so many of my friends at other companies, I don't have to seek out a new employer every few years in order to earn new responsibilities or learn new skills. The firm also prides itself on education, so there are ample opportunities to learn about finance, the industry, and world events from a capital markets perspective. I've worked at other firms where that is absolutely not the case.

    Cons

    Fisher is definitely not for everyone, and I would encourage anyone considering a job here to really get to know the culture--ask as many questions of the recruiters and interviewers as you can. The day-to-day can be tough for people not used to intense environments, and the formality of the office will be a culture shock to anyone coming from Technology or other similar firms in Silicon Valley.

    Advice to Management

    For folks who do well over time and earn it, more schedule flexibility would be nice.


  2. "Investment Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You have access and are able to engage with some pretty brilliant people. And, if you're looking to get your foot in the door with a HUGE RIA, this is a great spot to start.

    Cons

    They say they are a meritocracy, however this is really code for "metric based." There's a difference, and the astute observer would recognize them as the second of the two.

    Advice to Management

    Keep crushing


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Get your experience and leave"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Client Programs and Talent Acquisition Associate in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Client Programs and Talent Acquisition Associate in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    There is one real reason I come into work everyday and that's for the people. Fisher genuinely hires good, hardworking people. I have made manyou good friends over the past few years.

    Cons

    Before you read anything else. This is a company that loses over 25% of their work force every year.

    This company is afraid of change. Only real opportunity is if you're willing to move to Washington. Pay and benefits are not competitive. Hours are terrible and "they don't know why they still make associates work 50 hours weeks."

    Advice to Management

    Company needs change. You have good employees treat them well or you will continue to have terrible retention rates.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Very strict, no growth, depressing and monotonous"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Programs Associate in Foster City, CA
    Former Employee - Client Programs Associate in Foster City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    comfy chairs, you're not contacted outside of regular office hours to do any work

    Cons

    bad management, no growth, no opportunities for growth, same work over and over and over, high employee turnaround, outdated methods, strict rules, no fun.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Top-down fear-based culture; Lack of leadership, vision, strategy"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technology in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Technology in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Co-workers can be pretty cool, kind, smart. You spend many hours together, so this helps. Health and Dental insurance plans are good; Market-comparable.

    Cons

    Fear-based org structure and management style. Very little leadership in C-Level, G-Level or Team-Level managements. There's a low level of professional experience outside of Fisher across the organization so many people are out of touch with reality and have a narrow perception of what is possible.

    Little growth opportunity. Not much chance to advance through the organization.
    Mandatory 10-hour work day, excessive micromanaging, an outdated dress code, stingy PTO policy.

    Advice to Management

    Stop tacitly accepting upper management screaming and fear-mongering in the office. Throwing the "F" word as an intimidation tactic and power move, demeaning employees, in this time in history, is despicable. The managers and team leads that sit by, observe it, and still let it happen are just as bad. Outside of that, stop the silo-ing of groups, bring technology practices into this millennium, and hire leadership that can actually lead with vision and positivity.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "black-hearted cult, stifling environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investment Counselor in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Investment Counselor in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Fisher Investments (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good at PR and marketing to make themselves look and sound good. It seems like they are trying to reach their investors or potential investors. They put up a good front of trying to "serve" employees as well.

    Cons

    It's all a front. This is a self-serving organization that refers to itself rightly so as "the cult on the hill." This is the name others gave Ken Fisher's first office in Woodside, but it is still a fitting title for an organization that overlooks every big elephant and continues to operate as if it were 1963. The leadership is incompetent. The middle management is brutal, leading like dictators, over sheepish victims that it controls with politics and fear.

    They talk openly about "drinking the Kool Aid" and caution about those who do not drink the Kool Aid. If you don't drink, they will take you down fast. Therefore, the remnant are career Fisherites, including its CEO, Damien, who started there as a twenty something, and now 20 years later, knows nothing else but the warped culture he grew up in. When he goes around asking people how things can be improved, he is deaf and doesn't understand change management. All he knows is the propaganda he was raised on and what he spouts off now, so it is all a game face for everyone there.

    The next downturn in the market will take down the firm. The organization is not capable of change. If someone talks of change, everyone else circles around ready to stone you, if not literally then at least with attacks.

    Human Resources is actually the antithesis of what we know of as HR today; they actually take out any naysayers or those who do not "fit the culture" very much like a cult, while there can be verbal abuse and assault reported and they will protect the aggressor while taking down the victim. I have never seen anything so bizarre in my entire career.

    The environment is terrible. People swear at you and point fingers. You will be in the cross hairs of blame for stuff you never had anything to do with and could have never predicted or avoided. The only people who stay are those who have no other options or who grew up here and do not know any better. This is hell, people. Get out! The work life balance is terrible; you are required to work 50 hours a week with no flextime and no flexibility. You can work longer too. You will not be given adequate tools, software, or resources to do your job. Fisher is cheap about everything as if they were broke, but they have valets outside not utilized just in case a client in a Ferrari comes over one day on a blue moon.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest with yourselves; change before it's too late. You are a dinosaur and you are brutal to your fellow humans. Karma!


  8. Helpful (18)

    "Just don't do it, really don't do it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    ... ummm... really thinking hard...
    you don't have to pay for insurance but that's pretty standard for the Bay Area so nothing that stands out

    Cons

    No work/life balance. You start work at 7am mandatory. Then of course you get people coming in earlier, 6am even 5am and it's seen as normal. I don't know how people can say they have a work/life balance. There is no flexibility. No working from home. If you can't trust your employees to be productive, then why are you hiring them in the first place.
    HR and all of management see the perks offered by other companies as childish and unproductive (regardless of current research proving otherwise).
    Attitudes are archaic in every respect, from the hiring of minorities to their attitudes towards women.
    They brag about their contribution to your 401k but it's not that much more than what other companies are offering (because there is a cap of $9k) and you would have to max out your own contributions.
    There is not one person who I have spoken to who is happy. When I ask why they stay they say because of either bonus or to have their 401k vest. So sad.
    The office in Woodside is just so depressing. San Mateo not that much better apart from the fact you can actually escape at lunch time.
    People have been fired in the most unprofessional manner- in front of your other colleagues then they clear their desk in front of everyone. What a horrible situation.
    It's also full of the "Alpha Male" type in management, so a lot of ego stroking and talking down to other people goes on which is horrible to be around.
    Be wary of all the positive 5 star reviews. It's unrealistic to think these are a true reflection of the company. All companies (even those with the highest employee satisfaction) need improving. I know for a fact they instruct current employees to leave good reviews.
    There is also a major internal disagreement on the culture. I heard one person during an interview describe it as the following and in a positive way..."have you seen "Wolf of Wall Street"?... yeah we are like that". Then others say the complete opposite.
    Oh and looking forward to that once a year company event... yeah, it will take place on a Saturday.
    Their health insurance plan... they grandfathered in their old plan. So all the good stuff that companies and insurance plans legally have to offer now... well they don't have to.
    They underpay people who started out their careers there, and pay much higher (for equal positions) to new recruits.


  9. "Former Employee"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA

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

    Pros

    Awesome company. Ken is an amazing CEO and the facilities are top notch

    Cons

    Not too many negative things about this company - loved my experience there and everyone I worked with

    Advice to Management

    Provide more support staff (assistants, interns) to the employees during working hours


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Solid growth opportunity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data Analyst in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Data Analyst in San Mateo, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Lots of different hats to wear, lots of work to do and lots of opportunities to learn. Very good situation if you are a self starter

    Cons

    Lots of red tape, some ideas get stuck in the pipeline, even though they are easy to implement.

    Advice to Management

    Cut the red tape and get with the times in terms of salary, hours, and what is necessary to build a solid company.


  11. Helpful (28)

    "Marketing is a MESS"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Marketing in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Fisher Investments (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You get to put marketing experience on your resume. It doesn’t matter that the marketing you learn at Fisher Investments isn’t real marketing. It’s a complete joke, but no need to get into those minor details when interviewing for your next job.

    Cons

    This company is so backwards it’s unbelievable it’s still standing. The thinking and processes are so archaic, I felt like I was in a time warp. Lots of extra work and time is wasted because of the multitude of inefficiencies. Lots of smart, capable people are being severely underutilized and stunting their career growth potential. The company praises itself on innovation but I didn’t see evidence of that. Many good ideas are dismissed because 1) stuck in their old ways 2) limited knowledge and talent 3) limited resources to implement them 4) woefully incompetent management, all of which leads to 5) people just don’t care.
    Only a few people in the entire department had real marketing experience when I was there. Those people got quickly frustrated and bored once they realized what they’re going up against is a no-win situation. A large majority of the department had been at the firm for a year or less. This meant there wasn’t much learning to be had. It’s the blind leading the blind. Instead, you take up valuable brain space with the quirky methods of Fisher that are absolutely useless anywhere else. Heavy turnover is a huge red flag. During my time at the firm, many employees quit, some fired, this includes EVERY level of management – entry level to the top.
    A lot of new hires come into the company believing their role to be one thing, but then they get pulled in so many different directions they end up floundering with no direction at all. For a lot of transitioned employees from other departments, Marketing ends up being their last stop at Fisher Investments. It’s unsettling when you realize your job has been reduced to a laundry list of the most random tasks because no one knows what they’re doing and what to do with you. Another major problem is when people leave, they generally take their knowledge with them and leave everyone else to pick up the pieces. I can’t tell you how many times I heard about so-and-so from back in the day who built some database that no one knows how to work, or no ones understands the logic behind a particular process, and too bad they never taught anybody because they haven’t been able to find a replacement. Marketing falls right back to square 1 over and over again. It’s a vicious cycle and from what I hear, it’s been like this since the beginning so it’s unlikely Marketing will ever learn from their repeated mistakes.
    Limited resources is a major problem. Many employees are overloaded and yet somehow made to feel like they're not working hard enough. Having no life is like a badge of honor for a lot of managers. Working late night hours and weekends is something to brag about. So is missing lunch and eating from the vending machines all day long. Ten hours is a supremely long day, no one else I know in the Marketing industry works these forced hours. Long hours are a necessity from time to time, but mandatory? How about expanding the talent pool and hiring more people instead of running employees ragged? How about offering a little flexibility to demonstrate trust and respect for your employees? These rudimentary concepts are foreign ideals to Fisher Investments and they look down on such things as employee satisfaction and work-life balance. On top of this, every group always seems to have their token micro-managers who have no other skills but to play babysitter and track their team's comings and goings and stand over their shoulder to make sure they're working every single second of that 50-hour work week. Why doesn’t anyone ever tell them that their overbearing personalities is creating an unpleasant work environment? Do they not realize that all their irritating and condescending comments only serve to provide fodder for water cooler gossip and inspire job searches? Probably not, as these types are typically power-tripping egomaniacs who think they have dazzling personalities, beloved by all. Even some fellow teammates would make nasty comments about others and their schedule or workload, I had never experienced such all-encompassing negativity anywhere else before. All it takes is one person like that to make life hell at work. Whenever these people are around, there is palpable tension in the air. Having to constantly watch your back is never a good feeling.
    The Fisher culture is inexplicably weird with no sense of camaraderie. There are some nice people, but I never got the sense that anyone was particularly willing to share their knowledge. It was like pulling teeth to find someone willing to help you. My manager was largely unavailable and never provided an ounce of support or direction. Much of it had to do with the fact that my manager was completely unknowledgeable about my work and showed little interest in my career, so what would I learn from them anyway? Many meetings were ignored, emails unanswered, or I received snippy and vague responses as if I was a nuisance for trying to do my job. There were only 2 semi-competent managers I felt I could rely on, but they soon left which was unsurprising given the oppressive environment. After a while, all these things weigh down on you and only serve to demotivate. A lot of the higher-ups have an arrogance about them that oftentimes gives one the feeling you’re not important enough to be spoken to. It was a very stand-offish group that thrived off of excluding people they deemed unworthy. I was only spoken to if they ever needed anything from me, all other times I might as well have been invisible. Hearing people lose their temper or treating employees poorly was not uncommon. I found the environment to be so unprofessional and unwelcoming, that I never felt 100% comfortable working in it.

    Advice to Management

    Stop focusing on the wrong things. Focus on things that matter. Do you really want demotivated employees half-heartedly executing your plans? Well then, change it. And no, that doesn’t mean firing everyone. You’ve got a lot of talent already so quit sucking the life out of everyone. Stop making people feel like slackers and failures. Appreciate what you’ve got and make people happy to work there, not happy to leave.
    You may actually believe that people leave Fisher on “good terms” but that’s only what we tell you because everyone is afraid to say what they really feel, even in an exit interview. I know several former co-workers who considered writing a review on Glass Door, but they were so frightened of being found out. That’s how strong the culture of fear is, even after quitting, people are afraid of Fisher coming after them somehow. What’s the point in explaining to HR the real reason for leaving anyway? Nothing is ever going to be done about it, so why bother? People are more concerned about not burning bridges. Everyone I know who left Marketing left because they absolutely hated it. They may spin you some carefully thought out story, but the truth is if they were happy, they would have stayed. I know some managers will get all worked up over this review and try and figure out who could have posted this and eventually write this off as a rant from a disgruntled employee, but that would be dumb. Take it as a learning opportunity. I'm in the majority here, my opinions are not unique. Watering down my commentary would be disingenuous. To be honest, my remarks are rather tame compared to others I've heard. Like I mentioned at the top, spend your energy on things that actually matter. Take care of the people you haven’t managed to drive away…yet.



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