First Command Financial Services Employee Reviews about "licensing"

Updated May 20, 2020

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3.4
47%
Recommend to a Friend
56%
Approve of CEO
First Command Financial Services CEO Mark Steffe
Mark Steffe
3 Ratings
Pros
  • "Home Office was FANTASTIC about providing support(in 15 reviews)

  • "The good licensing program for Series 7, 66(in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • "If you don't come from a military background you may struggle a little but you will still be able to make it(in 21 reviews)

  • "Their ENTIRE model is based off of WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE(in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "licensing"

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  1. "So far so good"

    5.0
    Current Intern - Trainee 

    I have been working at First Command Financial Services

    Pros

    The good licensing program for Series 7, 66

    Cons

    I have not had any bad experience.

  2. Helpful (3)

    "Good Starting Place"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor Trainee in Biloxi, MS
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Command Financial Services full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    First Command is a great firm to obtain your Securities licenses. They pay for all the exams. Base salry of 4k for 6months

    Cons

    Limited Market to work with

  3. "When you want more from your job than just money"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Hourly Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Command Financial Services full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great mission. Great support during licensing.

    Cons

    Low pay during training high minimum income.

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  4. Helpful (21)

    "Good place to work, great people to work with, but need to refine their processes"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at First Command Financial Services full-time

    Pros

    - First Command as a company is dedicated to their mission of "Coaching those who serve in their pursuit of financial security". - They are working on rebranding themselves to get back more to their roots - Most of the advisors truly care about their clients and put the client’s needs first - The Home Office support team is on par with the best in the industry - They will pay for you to get your FINRA licenses - For the most part, you control your calendar, so you are able to work in family events/dr appointments (double-edge sword; more below) - Descent chances for transition bonuses if you can meet their expectations, during the W-2 employment phase. Fairly good pay and compensation structure once you are independent as long as you can be a high producer. - Many great opportunities to advance if you want, but they will not pressure you to do so.

    Cons

    - There is a BAD "Frat-Boy" mentality and favoritism among the District Advisors, which can make for an unhealthy work environment. - The District Advisor (DA) can make or break your career. If you end up having any type of personality conflict with them, they can disengage from your business which can make it very hard to succeed. - The pay & compensation structure while you are a W-2 employee (a 9 month observation period) is somewhat low for the industry, especially considering they will NOT pay you any commissions on products sold during this time, however, the bonuses can help. - Current restrictions to soliciting on military bases makes it very difficult to meet clients that fall within your target market while new minimum income restrictions to work with non-military eliminate many well qualified people that could use the expertise. - Much of the leadership is out of touch with the current demands on the military (again, target market) and they expect that the clients can just take off work to meet with you whenever. While this might have been true in the 90’s and early 2000’s, the reality is that our military men and women are taxed on their time already. - With your core market being military and having frequent moves, you end up losing the clients you've built strong relationships with due to overly strict territorial boundaries. To make matters worse, since you've already serviced most of their needs, there is not much incentive for their randomly assigned new advisor to take the time to give them the same service you gave them. This ends up to an inconsistent experience for many clients. - If you're fortunate enough to make it through the hourly/salary phase and become an Independent Contractor (IC), be prepared to spend several thousand dollars right out of the gate for overpriced laptops, home office support fees, office bills, and many other on-going "business expenses". - Their idea of work/life balance is allowing you to pick which 60 hours you work each week, even once you launch your own business as an IC.

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  5. Helpful (6)

    "First Command Financial Services in Sumter/Columbia"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Sumter, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Command Financial Services full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    First Command's Victory Starts Here District, servicing the greater Columbia (Fort Jackson) and Sumter (Shaw AFB) areas is an outstanding place to work, with unlimited opportunity to help families achieve financial success. The teams in both Sumter and Columbia are fantastic to work and interact with. Working in this district is very much a team sport, with experienced senior advisors routinely giving up their time to help new folks get started on their careers. The environment is very supportive and positive for men and women alike. The support from very real people back at the Home Office in Fort Worth is phenomenal. There are specialists in all fields of technical support, financial planning, product services, investments, information systems, compliance, licensing, etc., who are very eager to help advisors to succeed in the field - it really is an amazing system to work in! Senior leadership (all the way up to and including the CEO) is easily accessible for inputs and questions. The compensation system is one of the best, if not THE best, in the industry! Importantly, there is no shortage of available work within our target markets, so there is little risk of being bored if you do the work!

    Cons

    While there is tremendous support and help available, especially in the first year, don't expect to come in, sit down, and have business come to you. If you work hard at it, the business can be very lucrative, but if you come in and "play office," things will likely go badly for you, despite the strong support environment.

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  6. Helpful (7)

    "Financial Advisor Trainee"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at First Command Financial Services full-time

    Pros

    Very good virtual support system among field offices. They also train you and sponsor licensing if you are motivated and interested in becoming a financial advisor. No cold calling involved!

    Cons

    Once licensed, you are on your own. You get a small pool of clients from the database but you have to go out and advertise yourself and company's services. I do not think it's really cons but it's worth mentioning!And get ready for loooong hours!

  7. Helpful (12)

    "First Command Advisor-1 Year Later"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at First Command Financial Services full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    They genuinely care about their clients. They will pay for your licensing. If you are a young person starting out with no expenses, or a military spouse who already has an income you can depend on, and are a natural salesperson, this is the job for you. If not, read on. I remain a client of FC if not an "employee".

    Cons

    It's been over a year since I left so I have had time to gain some perspective and let the dust settle. This was the first job I have ever quit. Here is what I feel an prospective "employee" of FC needs to know: For the first year (they push for sooner than that) you are an employee of the First Command corporation. Then once you "go independent" you are now an independent who works with First Command, gets support and software (both are excellent by the way) from First Command, does things the First Command way, sells to who First Command wants you to sell to, gets money from First Command etc. But....you do not work FOR First Command so your paycheck does not have any taxes taken out, you have to provide your own benefits package, pay your own office rent, supplies, etc. (minus a small stipend based off of performance and the whim of your District Advisor-who interestingly is also an independent contractor even though the company expects them to fly up to home office constantly to conduct training, etc.), pay for your own office assistant, advertising (although it has to be within strict rules), attended mandatory training events, etc. I point this out because asking around to friends in other firms you are an employee of that firm with all that carries. FC saves itself endless expense although in their defense they claim this allows them to pass the maximum amount of compensation on to you. Here is the challenge with all of that. With normal firms, if you start a client, you keep that client unless there is some reason for them to decide to change advisors. You build up a stable of clients and wealth under management and all those years of struggling pay off in the long run. With First Command, they want their clients to always have someone face to face (which to be fair, is an excellent model for taking care of their clients). That means you start the client and when they move (and their clientele is military so they almost ALWAYS move) you lose that client. Gone. With the assets you brought in. If you are by a large base, you have enough clients moving in to make up for the ones moving out. If you work at a small base or a base with high turnover (like a training base without many permanent personnel), you will start a ton of clients, get great praise heaped on you by the home office for your New Clients Created, and make other advisors down the road rich when the client moves on, meanwhile you struggle to keep up with your goals that First Command directs towards you which are always going up. If you are not a sales person, do not hire on (this is true of most Financial Advisors I would bet). 90% of your job is convincing people to buy what FC has to offer. The 10% that is actual financial management you will pick up quickly and the vast array of software and home office expertise and eight layers of Compliance will make sure you do a good job at it.

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    First Command Financial Services Response

    February 23, 2018VP, COMMUNICATIONS

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences as a First Command Financial Advisor. While you determined that this career was not the right fit for you, we do appreciate that you remain a client. Please know that we value your business and are committed to providing you the best possible service today and in the years to come. As you have noted, for some, this is not an easy career. You commented that it is a job for a natural salesperson. Certainly an ability to sell oneself is important for anyone who is self employed, especially an Independent Contractor who is launching a new business. But sales ability alone is not enough. We have found that Advisors who are primarily motivated to sell products do not typically enjoy long-term success. Our most successful Advisors tell us that one of the most compelling elements of this career is the opportunity to serve military families in a meaningful way. Seven out of 10 First Command Financial Advisors come from the ranks of veterans and military spouses. For these Advisors, the career is about serving those who serve. It is about staying connected to the military community in a way that adds value to the lives of service members and their families by helping them pursue their financial objectives and goals.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Office Manager with a great DA and team!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Office Manager in Columbus, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Command Financial Services full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Family-like atmosphere, Plenty of Home Office support, Small business environment, serving thur military, empowerment by the DA, amazing district in team ( owner, CEO, DOA, DA, marketing, recruiting, licensing)

    Cons

    Lack of friend staff training; NO benefits; Lack of AA training. No benefits for field staff! No Home office concern about field staff.

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  9. Helpful (3)

    "Excellent company and career"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in San Antonio, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Command Financial Services full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    First Command is a positive influence in the industry and the people here truly care about their Advisors, Employees and most of all, their Customers. Here you have the ability to help people in a meaningful way in the area that causes most people significant stress - finances. Your compensation is based on performance rather than rank or seniority. Their training program is comprehensive and free; they pay for all licensing and certification and provide a base salary plus production-based bonuses during your first year while your commissions build.

    Cons

    It's a challenging career because people are too caught up in today to care about their future. It's easy to get frustrated and discouraged from the cancellations and no-shows. This is more of a calling than a career. You have to honestly care enough about people to pursue them in their own best interest.

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  10. Helpful (1)

    "Opportunity"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Financial Advisor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Command Financial Services for less than a year

    Pros

    This company, like many others in this industry, are in need of advisors. Therefore, they are actively recruiting new advisors. They do pay for the licensing process.

    Cons

    The amount of mentoring and training you get is VERY dependent on the office you are in. Some give more than others. Some don't give any at all.

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Found 13 reviews