Edward Jones

THE SCOOP

Keeping up with the Joneses

Edward Jones is a tough act to follow.  A subsidiary of the Jones Financial Companies, the St. Louis-based company has more offices than any other investment firm in the country.  The firm serves more than 7 million clients in the United States, and in affiliates in Canada and the U.K.  All clients are individual investors and small-business owners in rural communities, suburbs or metropolitan areas.  Its product offerings include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance, credits cards, certificates of deposit and home loans.  In June 2009, the company had $5.8 billion assets under management.

Dubbed the “Wal-Mart of Wall Street,†Edward Jones prides itself on its self-described long-term, buy-and-hold approach to investing that centers on financial advisors’ one-on-one relationships with Edward Jones clients.  Those relationships and the fact that the company consistently reaps rewards for its investors have made Edward Jones the top-ranked firm in J.D. Power and Associates’ survey of customer satisfaction among full-service brokerage firms in 2009.

A cautious approach

In the “Why We Are Different†section of its website, Edward Jones makes the unusual concession that because of its conservative approach to investing it is a company that “isn’t the right choice for everyone.† Edward Jones admits its methods may be considered old-fashioned, but holds firm when it comes to rejecting risky investments.  The research team analyzes stocks on the basis of five main criteria: country, longevity, safety, size and long-term analysis.  Don’t expect Edward Jones’ financial advisors to dip into emerging markets with your portfolioâ€"the country criterion specifically states that it only does business with companies in the United States, Canada and Western Europe.  Its analysts perform detailed reviews on potential stocks, sometimes spending years gathering information before approving a company to go into the Edward Jones portfolio.

What’s in a name?

More than 30 years after his father, Edward D. Jones, founded his company in downtown St.  Louis, Mo., in 1922, Edward D. “Ted†Jones Jr. took the firm to the streets and began developing branch offices so that his financial advisors could help their clients face to face.  Everyone, in his view, should be given access to professional investment advice, which should ideally come from a financial advisor who works and lives in the same community and who could really understand a client’s financial needs.  In 1955, Edward Jones’ first branch office was opened in Mexico, Mo., which proliferated into more than 300 branch offices across the country by 1980.  In 2009, there are more than 10,800 Edward Jones offices, including 10,000 in the United States, more than 590 branch locations in Canada and more than 290 branches in the U.K.  In addition to having more office locations than any other investment firm in the United States, Edward Jones is the fourth-largest in terms of brokers and total employees.

Expanding the gateway

Edward Jones is firmly rooted in the Midwest, with three offices in St. Louis, the gateway to the West.  The firm rolled out plans to expand its presence near its headquarters in Dos Peres, opening yet another office to the campus areas already there.  Due to town restrictions, the company had to scale back its expansion plans slightly, but construction is now scheduled for a six-story building with a four-story parking garage with a forecasted finish in 2011.  The growth of the company’s offices is in preparation for a planned staff augmentation, in which it hopes to add 6,900 financial advisors within the next five years, adding employees at a rate of 9 to 10 percent each year.  Initially, they’ll be providing 250 jobs for one of their campuses on top of the promised 500 jobs in exchange for aid in constructing the campus.  Besides the additional staff in Des Peres, Edward Jones also plans to beef up its Tempe, Ariz., office as well as its international offices in Canada and the U.K.  The total cost of the current development is priced at about $260 million.

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Edward Jones


12555 Manchester Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63131
Phone: (314) 515-2000
Fax: (314) 515-2820
www.edwardjones.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: James D. (Jim) Weddle
  • 2008 Employees: 30,000

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Health Service Administrator

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