A less than Expected Bonus – What should you do?

A less than Expected Bonus – What should you do?

I wasn’t going to write about this subject but why the heck not! As indicated in the left side bar, I work for a Fee Based Financial Planning firm, that being said we have clients that we don’t charge fees because of the compensation coming in somewhere else (i.e. money under management, premiums, sale of different product, etc.)…well my bonus is quantitatively tied to the fee schedule, so my bonus is down from the previous year.

Without getting into details, and despite being in the “financial world” our office had a record year, in terms of premiums, products sold, new money under management and any other barometer you want to use except fees! 

The money was to be used for solely for debt repayment so it bothers the hell out of me not to get the extra cash.  After the first wave of annoyance, anger, general feelings of upsetness (if that is even a word), I got on the phone with The Wife to tell her the disappointing news.  She then made a few good points…

  • Being annoyed won’t do Sh!t
  • The formula was more or less negotiated – just didn’t work out for me this year
  • Demanding more money at this point may not be the best idea considering I work in the financial world!

So, we (The Wife and I) came up with a plan that I thought I should share.  Instead of bitching and moaning to co-workers, family, blog readers, etc. etc., I decided to actually talk to the people that sign my checks.  I sat down with the bosses and asked this very simple question

What can I do, to increase next year’s bonus?

What did this question show?

  • I want to help everyone make more money, not just myself.
  • I am willing to take on extra responsibilities, or change my responsibilities to better fit everyone
  • I am a flexible asset that is willing to do what it takes to thrive in my position

In my particular case, the bosses reassured me that I am awesome (my words not theirs lol) but in this particular situation there was very  little I could do in terms this bonus.   As such, when I hit the 2 year mark in May I am likely to just ask for a raise, if the job market allows for it.

Anyone have any different advice for me? Anyone think I should have done something different?

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2 Responses to A less than Expected Bonus – What should you do?

  1. The title reads ambiguously:

    Is that an unexpected bonus or a smaller than expected bonus? Can be read both ways in the absence of context.

    • You know what, that is a great point! It was a smaller than expected bonus. It was negotiated at the time of employment that I would receive a % of planning fees (which as I describe were down).

      Thanks for making that point so I can clear it up for others reading.

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