Fisher Investments Reviews in San Mateo, CA | Glassdoor

Fisher Investments San Mateo Reviews

Updated July 19, 2017
124 reviews

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San Mateo, CA

3.5
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Damian Ornani
7 Ratings

124 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. "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.


  2. Helpful (15)

    "HORRIBLE culture, awful pay"

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

    I worked at Fisher Investments (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I was on one of the better teams. In order to stay anonymous, I"m going to keep it at that. Suffice to say my team actually had access to most of the internet. They pay 100% of your medical, dental, and vision, and do 100% match on your 401K contributions to the IRS allowed maximum. I made a couple of lifelong friends.

    Cons

    Hmm...where should I start...

    - JUST STAY AWAY.

    - Frat bro culture. It was disgusting. The mail room was on the 3rd floor, which is where most of the frat bros (i.e., those who didn't make it in investment banking so decided to become investment counselors instead) sit. Every time I went to the mail room, I would look at the floor to avoid eye contact yet painfully felt every eye on me as I walked past. They also used to make a list of names of new women who joined the firm and make it a competition to see who could sleep with them first. Like I said, disgusting.

    - 10-hour work days, 50-hour work weeks. In at 7 am, out at 5 pm. Ridiculous to treat a bunch of adults like schoolchildren. Once 5 pm hit, everyone took to the stairs because the elevators would be way too packed. Then there was a 10-minute long line to leave the parking lot (for those lucky enough to have parking passes, anyway). Everyone else? Go park on the street and make sure you move your car every two hours, or you're getting a ticket.

    - Half-hour lunches. And you were timed. You think you're on a salaried payroll? Nope. It's hourly. You have to fill in a timesheet every week. If you come back late from lunch, you better make sure that reflects on your timesheet.

    - Bad pay. My base was $50K when I started. Five years later, I left with a base of $55K. Ridiculous.

    - I worked with some of the most egotistical people in this place. A couple in particular stood out. Kicker was that the most egotistical ones also tended to be the stupidest ones too.

    - Remember those lifelong friends I mentioned in the "pros" section? Yeah, whenever we talk about Fisher, we just talk about how awful everything was. We're all suffering some form of Fisher PTSD.

    - Too bad I can't give zero-star ratings on this site on Culture & Values and Career Opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    You have a toxic culture, and from what it sounds like from recent reviews, nothing has changed much. Years later, hindsight is 20/20, and I'm SO glad I got out when I did. You don't invest in your employees—change that. It's also the 21st century, so maybe stop the frat boy culture and actually treat women employees as equals rather than objects to be ogled at.

  3. "Rewarded for hard work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Fisher Investments full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    - Benefits - hands down some of the best medical, dental, vision and 401(k) plans out there.
    - Perks - discounts, team events, food trucks, and other things to make you feel appreciated
    - Culture - the small company to larger company transition has been a work in progress. There are still many quirks here, but things continue to improve.
    - Training - definitely big steps to help develop employees.
    - Rewarded for loyalty and will do - don't consider Fisher if you're looking to do mediocre work. There are a lot of bright and competitive people so be ready to step it up. I've learned a tremendous amount and have been given plenty of opportunity and recognition.

    Cons

    -Flexibility - I wish the company would figure out a way to let people work from home when deserving.
    -Direction - Maybe bit more direction from most senior leaders.

    Advice to Management

    Damian - I appreciate the increased communication and transparency. It helps employees feel more connected to you and the company. Keep listening and acting on the feedback when feasible. We're looking forward to new, positive change!


  4. Helpful (9)

    "Get your experience and leave"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  5. Helpful (11)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  6. "Investment Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  7. Helpful (16)

    "black-hearted cult, stifling environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 (22)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    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 (2)

    "Solid growth opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


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