Edward Jones is a privately-held financial-services firm serving individual investors. This heartland brokerage is based in St. Louis and has 9,900 offices in the U.S. and nearly 1,000 outside the country.
This firm likes to say that it has just one type of client: the serious, long-term individual investor. Its tight-knit culture is focused on conservative values and building community, and its investment philosophy emphasizes quality and diversification.
Edward Jones financial advisers are their own bosses, operate their own branch offices and most are offered limited or general partnership. The company has ranked No. 1 on Registered Rep magazine's broker report card survey for 17 straight years. But advisers are not without their gripes. Some said that the firm's "buy quality, diversify and be patient," philosophy didn't serve clients well through the financial meltdown and technology services have been less than stellar, though they are reportedly improving. Football fan alert: The Edward Jones Dome is home to the NFL's St. Louis Rams.
When it comes to financial adviser positions, specialists need not apply. The company told Fortune that it looks for generalists and particularly those who can work independently. And, the company doesn't feel the need to lure talent with a signing bonus. The typical trainee is 35 years old and employed in an unrelated career such as engineering, accounting or teaching college. Unemployed job seekers aren't likely to fit in, according to the magazine.
Edward Jones advisers reported an average of $364,258 in annual gross production and an average of $58.4 million in client assets under management, according Registered Rep's 2009 broker report card survey. The firm doesn't offer up-front money to lure producers, but has provided "financial support."