Waddell & Reed Reviews | Glassdoor

Waddell & Reed Reviews

Updated June 21, 2017
320 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.3
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Waddell & Reed CEO Philip Sanders
Philip Sanders
13 Ratings

320 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work/life balance as you set your own schedule (in 13 reviews)

  • Recently upgraded technology with e-signature paperwork (Docupace), financial planning (E-Money), and investment tools (Morningstar & Envestnet) (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • Unpaid, little to no hands on work, basically like sitting in classroom all summer long (in 11 reviews)

  • Building a book of business is definitely the biggest con (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Advisor Assistant"

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

    I have been working at Waddell & Reed full-time

    Pros

    Friendly Management, Nice people, Good work life balance

    Cons

    Outdated Tech, Home Office Support is not the greatest

    Advice to Management

    Provide more support


  2. "If you want to work 60+ week right out of college and have nothing to show for it years later, work here!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Waddell & Reed full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people are nice and the training courses are fairly helpful most of the time. Some management is very helpful act like they want you to be very successful.. only because their success is measured by yours and if you make money, they make money off of you. About 20% of the people in the office are friendly and wish you success and will help you in any way that they can.

    A lot of people have been successful at this company but if you don't meet the criteria below, you will most likely crash and burn.

    Cons

    Where do I even start? Unless you are over the age of 40 and want this to be your second career, do not work here as a financial advisor. You have ZERO benefits, no salary, no nothing. They will charge you for absolutely everything that they can think of even if you're not using whatever it is that they're charging you for. They will con you into working for this company right out of college saying that you can "definitely make $80,000 in your first year." They are basically telling you what they have to in order to get you to work there no matter what and make you feel like you're a failure if you don't do well.

    They do put a lot of effort into weekly meetings as long as you live up to their standards. If you don't, they are very disappointed and it shows. Weekly meetings as an advisor, for example, if you don't set 15 appointments a week, good luck. They make you feel like you're not good enough for working 60 hours a week and not having anything to show for it. Yes, I typed that right. You can expect to work and work and work and stress your head off until you hit their standards. You can expect to cold call (except they pretend that you're not cold calling because you know these people) until you set a certain amount of appointments. Doesn't seem that difficult, right? Not when LITERALLY NO ONE ANSWERS YOU BACK. Even when these people filled out surveys saying that they want to work with you, they will be insanely difficult to contact to set a meeting with, won't show up, will never contact you back, or will waste hours of your time and never make you any money.

    You have to pay 100% of your certification and license training and will be compensated back I think $200 (they changed it right before I was activated as an advisor. It used to be something like $1500). To be fair, they increased your commission percentage to offset it; however, that doesn't help when you struggle to make any sales at all.

    If it takes you longer than their "designated study timeline" to get a certification, prepare yourself to feel like a disappointment in every. single. meeting. Sometimes, they won't even look at you or address you at all and make you feel awful because you didn't get enough surveys/meetings that week although you are truly trying your hardest to succeed. Some of the "trainers" are miserable to be around (will literally make you cry and hate yourself because of the way that they speak to you.) while others were sincerely helpful. Sometimes they just didn't show up for meetings without letting anyone know and you're stuck there on a Tuesday night waiting for someone to show up. Or they show up late with no respect for your time at all.

    You're a cog in their machine and they will push you to make sales--some of it being necessary tough love but some of it is taken WAY too far (no encouragement to balance off the tough teaching style). They say that if you're not making any money, then you're clearly not trying hard enough and to get rid of your "head trash", have confidence in yourself, and get clients! Easier said than done when you put in as much work as humanly possible and can't live up to their standards.

    If you want to leave the company and haven't delivered a plan to a client, they will ask you for a refund of what you were paid which is completely understandable; however, I barely made anything working there. Not even enough to pay one credit card bill; however, I will never recommend someone to work here unless they have a group of people who are guaranteed to become clients. Other places give you a stipend or will give you clients from the get-go to get started. Not here. They make you invest over $2000 for licenses and certifications and then push you out into the world of cold calling expecting you to be able to make enough money to live off of.

    ***Unless you have a sugar daddy to pay all of your bills, have a full time job on the side and don't sleep, buy a book of business, or have 200 people with loads of money just sitting around waiting to become your clients, you will go bankrupt. Do not work here right out of college no matter what they tell you unless you or your parents have rich friends with no financial advisor (hardly ever the case). If you work your butt off, you can be successful in this career; however, it is extremely difficult. I knew it was difficult when I signed up for the challenge but for me, it was impossible.

    Advice to Management

    Stop telling college students that they can make $80,000 in their first year of working for you when there is no possible way that they can be successful. Treat the advisors as "employees" even though they're technically contracted. Show them respect and appreciate that they are trying to succeed as best as they can and some of the ways that you interact with the employees are very demeaning.

  3. "Specialist"

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

    I have been working at Waddell & Reed full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits and days off

    Cons

    Instability, lack of support and respect from senior level


  4. "Don't care about their advisors"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Columbia, SC
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Columbia, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Waddell & Reed full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Home office people are generally helpful and clients do well. Clients can get redemption quickly with little paperwork and hassel.

    Cons

    They throw you out their on your own and wish you the best. Zero training. Lousiest company I've ever worked for.

    Advice to Management

    Financial advisors are how you make money. They are the front line. They are the company. Treat them like that.


  5. "Manger"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Shawnee, KS
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Shawnee, KS
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Waddell & Reed full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    family values, employee friendly, community involvement is important to WR

    Cons

    pay is on low end

    Advice to Management

    pay scale should be competitive


  6. "Administrative Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Waddell & Reed full-time

    Pros

    The company recently streamlined processes and increased efficiency of internal software.

    Cons

    Investment team mis-fires caused downsizing.

    Advice to Management

    Profits need to be reasonable, not excessive. Great benefits.


  7. "Good employer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Waddell & Reed full-time

    Pros

    Strong company in Kansas City

    Cons

    Hard for some to get ahead.

  8. "Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Overland Park, KS
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Overland Park, KS

    I worked at Waddell & Reed full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Strong Kansas City company with good work environment. Hard work.

    Cons

    Highly regulated industry with many deadlines.


  9. "Financial Advisor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in Tampa, FL
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in Tampa, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Waddell & Reed full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great work/life balance as you set your own schedule. Co-workers are kind and considerate.

    Upgraded technology with e-sign capabilities.

    Cons

    100% commission and it can be difficult to build your own book from scratch.

    Training not for beginners. Must have an understanding of the industry and have experience with Financial Planning.

    High fee structure.

    Managed account can only incorporate proprietary funds.

    Individual securities and non-proprietary funds held through third party brokerage (Pershing) and the ppw is hectic.

    Advice to Management

    Create a training program for beginners that is separate from the seasoned advisors. Also using seasoned advisors as mentors and assigned to beginner advisors will increase the advisor success rate and reduce turnover.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Better be a good salesman to work at Waddell & Reed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in Colorado Springs, CO
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in Colorado Springs, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Waddell & Reed full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They have a great Co-Op program that helps make big public marketing events (lunches, dinners, etc.) affordable for the advisor. They're starting to make it to the 21st century in technology--such as paperless systems for purchases, redemptions, etc. The company provides numerous free services that advisors are charged for at other firms.

    Cons

    You build a sizeable book of business very quickly or you're gone. It feels like working under a microscope with Compliance just waiting to pounce on the smallest misstep. There's something wrong with some of those people. You become very risk-averse and hesitant. If you're not a great sales person, you won't make it. Or you'll spend so much of your time cold calling and marketing that you never have time to get good at financial planning or product knowledge. It's a lose-lose proposition -- and most newbies do just that.

    Advice to Management

    Loosen up on the "gotcha" games and rein in the Compliance pit bulls.


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