NEXT FINANCIAL bad firm

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region's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-31

This company is just a joke.  I have been with them for 3 yrs and just had enough.  Jeff Auld must have seen this coming and was part of why he left, it had to be.  I am on my way out and ANYBODY THAT IS LOOKING AT THEM BEWARE!  They have no operational support at all, calls go unanswered and calls don't get returned.  I couldn't get stinking trades executed a couple weeks ago when the market was tanking because of it.  It has become a ridiculously run company - turnover is God awful and nobody seems to know what the hell they are doing.  Their stinking stock program has been shut down for about a year now and I can't get out of what I own and I can't get an answer as to when it will open so I can sell my shares.  Our suggestions are falling on deaf ears as we OSJs are fighting to turn this ship around but nobody seems to listen.  I have had it - where do I begin???  What firms are out there that understand they are there to service their advisors?

lambda's picture
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Joined: 2005-07-20
region's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-31

Well let me tell you how they win it...they stack the invites and press us "independent" reps to vote favorably for them....ever wonder why they didn't win it this past year?  It's because of what I stated above and the fact that Jeff Auld left along with their losing focus on servicing the advisors.  We spoke w/ this vote and they still haven't listened.

theironhorse's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-03

well, Auld is my new B/D's pres and he told me during the interview process he left NEXT because the culture there became one of "grow grow grow to win awards, with no regard for support to help the force."  Now this may or may not be why he moved, but it is what he told me personally.  He has done several things to make us capable of meeting advisors needs.  Nothing is perfect mind you, I am just saying he has done many things to make home office people rewarded for service to reps.  I think we are, size wise, where NEXT was when Auld went there.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29
finadvnj's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-17

Happy to chat with you offline about a solid B/D.
Please email me privately with a phone number to reach you, by clicking the arrow next to my name finadvnj.
No, I am not a recruiter.
 

Scarlet's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-12

We just made a move from another b/d and one of the firms we looked at was NEXT.  The advisors I work with had nothing good to say about that firm at all during their due diligence.  They felt it was just poorly run and a bunch of used car salemen running it that didn't know their as$ from their elbow.  They were not very impressed with the chairman of the company either, felt like he belonged in a used car lot v running a b/d.  Their words, not mine. 

region's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-31

In my 3 years here at NEXT, I have increasing grown suspect of anything Gordon D'Angelo does.  He tries to hide everything in the idea of equity back to us but as of yet, I have never seen that return, only a fictional increase in stock price determined by????? and how it's determined ?????
This bs $21.50 marketing fee mandated by Gordon that all us advisors pay so that "we will be aware of the marketing initiatives" that NEXT offers is a joke.  I participated in their grand VIP events and got a whopping 13 invites, I have over 450 household accounts, 13 doesn't do jack for me.  But then I get to call in to the home town marketing team for marketing ideas and oh boy...it's like the blind leading the blind, and that's if you ever get a hold of anybody or get a return call from them.  This firm has just turned so sour I can't even shed a tiny light on their problems.  JUST STAY AWAY AND LOOK FOR OTHER OPTIONS.

Expo's picture
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Joined: 2007-12-11

well

Expo's picture
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Joined: 2007-12-11

I have been an OSJ at NEXT for 4 years. I think they do a fantastic job. Every BD has their issues. As for the stock what more can you ask for? It has increase from $28 last year this time to $46! At least you have the opportunity to own the BD you choose to clear through. I do agree with you about the marketing fee, but there are so many hidden fees other BD's charge that NEXT doesn't i.e. annual compliance fees, affiliation fees, form fees etc. I have had nothing but good experiences.  <?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

region's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-31

Expo, do you have any idea as to how the price of the stock is figured out?  Have you ever gotten anything in writing?  Imagine, NEXT Financial has a stock price of $46/share; curious to know given the size, revenue etc that we are/have - how is that price determined?  How does that price compare to other b/d's stock price? 
On  the fees and "fantastic job" - I think it is becoming a case of you pay for what you get.  My experience has not mirrored yours so you have the upper hand there.  I have experienced countless instances over the last 8 months or so where I have not had my calls returned, not had my business processed properly let alone timely, which resulted in being incorrectly paid.  I have had cases where my commissions payments were lost, client paperwork sent in to be processed lost and ZERO accountability on who and what affected it.  The time to get advertisements, seminar materials and other pieces approved by the home ofc has constantly gone up.  It truly seems that whenever my office talkes with anybody in the back office in Houston that they feels as though we are a burden to them, we are causing them to actually do their jobs and that attitude almost always comes across.  Expo, I hope your experiences continue as you see, but frankly, I am curious if you really are an OSJ at NEXT, if so, you must be a board member, maybe you are one of their recruiters, as listening to the OSJ conversations, emails and even discussions with a couple of the board members, your comments are definitely not shared by the majority of OSJs from what I see.  Also, there are not a whole lot of other firms the size of NEXT that charge those "hidden fees" you claim either, and none of them charge some mandatory marketing fee.

region's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-31

Well another great week has begun.  In a matter of just a hours, I am once again reminded as to why my new review of other independent shops has become so important and necessary.   I have just experienced another case where NEXT's back office has completely lost an application for one of my clients which I submitted about 3 weeks ago.  I got a call from one of my wholesalers that I work with quite a bit asking about a check they received w/o any application/paperwork.  When I called the home office - oh why did I bother, it was just one big giant circle jerk!  First, they claim I never sent anything in, then after showing I had, it became a case of well this person received it and they are out today, then oh you were suppose to submit this to that person with this....blah blah blah blah blah....never was there, "I'm am sorry Mr. Client, we really screwed that up, how can we make this better" etc...the entire discussion was their attempt at trying to pass the buck onto my office.  I ask don't we have anyway at all of logging in and tracking correspondence and business that comes into the home office so we can hold people accountable?  Silence................and the deer in the headlight look! 
Glad I am a shareholder and can own part of my broker/dealer; too bad I am not viewed as their client instead of a shareholder though.  You might think as an owner, I could get my issues addressed and answered, wishful thinking though.  Well my countdown continues and I am getting close.  I would like to really unload at our national conference this year regarding this but I don't think I can keep subjecting my clients and my office to this.

region's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-31

Bye BYE NEXT - I am out the door!  I only wish I could have sold my worthless stinking "ownership" before leaving but that day will come..............I hope!

GoneIndy02's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-05

Lambda-
jones is highly ranked in publications, too.  But those of us that have actully been there do not always agree with the publicity.
 
Be careful how you make decisions in this industry.

region's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-31

Knowing how the great used car salesman Gordon works, I would rather keep the exact name of the firm unannounced but I have moved to one of the JNLI firms.

Scarlet's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-12

Region,
 
I was sharing this thread with one of the FAs I work with as we all looked at NEXT as an option and we just were laughing at some of your comments.  So many of them were thoughts we all shared about our due diligence experience there.  The chairman of the firm was one we had a very iffy feeling about and we certainly had suspicions about the disorganized back office - we just were never to get answers, let alone correct ones.  Good to see you jumped and hope all will go well.  We looked at some of the Jackson b/d firms and thought highly of them.  Best of luck.

prudent's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-22

NEXT Financial stockI don't know the formula that NEXT uses to determine the stock price, bit it appears that NEXT currently values itself at ~40% of GDC.  This valuation lagged for the past couple of years (closer to 30%).  The high-water mark for B-D valuations was the LPL private equity deal that went through in Summer '05, which valued LPL at 230% of GDC (!?!).  We'll likely never see that type of valuation again as that occured during silly season when private equity was extremely flush.Recent transactions for B-Ds with very little growth have been in the 25-50% of GDC range.  It's arguable, with NEXT's nearly 50%/yr average growth in GDC, that their stock is currently undervalued.

prudent's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-22

Regions:"Bye BYE NEXT - I am out the door! I only wish I could have sold my
worthless stinking  "ownership" before leaving but that day will
come..............I hope!"Just curious, what makes your NEXT ownership "worthless" and "stinking"?  Depending upon when you acquired it, if you were buying NEXT stock anytime during the first half of your tenure at NEXT (you were there for the past 3 years?), your holdings should have increased in value anywhere from 85% - 200%, no?  Just trying to separate/clarify the factual from the personal in your posts.Best wishes in your new venture.

region's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-31

SO, is that the NEXT value proposition to their stock ownership?  Buy it for the future promise of selling out?  Sounds like a commitment to independence!  You offer numbers that are factored on that item, sold firms; I can't imagine using that in the recruiting pitches.  I won't bother to argue the numbers you present as I think my comments above are more prudent.  But to compare any ounce of LPL to NEXT in determining value is like comparing the New England Patriots to the College of Wooster football program.  I would love to be the fly on the wall if the day comes where private equity firms come in to the home office of NEXT Financial to investigate what value to put on for a stake in the company.  I don't think your numbers would hold up.
In contrast, I would think it makes more sense to evaluate the price of NEXT stock to other firms that are public as that seems to be a better barometer for NEXT.  Let's look at Raymond James which is a billion dollar company and trades low thirties high 20's.  Maybe Investor's Capital is more appropriate as they are almost the same size as NEXT, similar revenue numbers.....they trade at a whopping $5 and change on the amex.   Or how about NFP - trades around $22/share but a far larger revenue generator than NEXT and a firm that has experienced a strong growth history in revenue and reps.  Do you honestly believe that NEXT would demand 50% or more of their earnings for a market price?  If so, keep buying, for me, I believed the mirage too long and have come to be enlightened.  When executives can't produce in writing the formulas to which they determine their stock price other than to say it might be based on what other firms have sold for, that's a light bulb moment.  When I own a few thousand shares of which I can't sell because I can't get a response as to when the stock plan will ever open again (since it's been closed for almost a year now) I tend to think that w/o a market that such stock is worthless.  So your second comment is yes answers to both, it's both factual and personal.  I can't sell what I currently own, can you?  If you can't how much is it worth?  Otherwise it's all on paper nothing more. 
BTW, Enron was Houston based too.  The were voted to be the most innovative company in america for 6 straight years.  They boasted about their explosive year over year growth and having revenue of $112 billion....maybe it's a Houston thing.

feng shui's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-24

What happened to the vision, baby, vision?
 
Did it go up in smoke with the stock price?

region's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-31

Vision? What a joke.  It appears that the vision may be to sell out!  Recent experience with my new backoffice yesterday - I actually talked with somebody live and best of all they actually new what the heck they were talking about.  And get this...ready, the person I talked to has been with the firm for several years and my call was logged, recorded and thus, provided accountability for the actions of the home office specific to my call.  Maybe that's a vision that NEXT should seek?

Scarlet's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-12

Region,
 
We had a recent call from a person who was a recruiter at NEXT that left, they had some discussions with us during our due diligence.  Apparently, the recruiter left due to conflicts of conscience with what NEXT was promoting v what they could deliver and the like.  This recruiter I guess was fed up and left and apparently 2 others left prior in the same capacity over similar issues.  I guess that's pretty telling when you lose several recruiters in a short span, don't you think?
Rarely, does one ever seem to make a decision between two choices and after doing so wondering what might have been and having an idea of what might have been if the choice was the opposite of the one made.  In our case, it appears that the choice we made has been good for us thus far, but knowing from these posts and others what it might have been, it's very gratifying to know that what might have been was avoided by our choice.  Ahhh, thankfully we didn't go down the path with NEXT!
WEST H - beware!

region's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-31

Scarlet,
 
I know of several people that left the firm over the last couple of months.  I know of at least one recruiter that left for many reasons you and I both stated prior.  This one particularly felt the firm was full of misdeads and misleading of prospects.  I wonder if that is the same person you are talking about or if somebody else more recent left too.  I know that they lost chief compliance officers, one who stayed for a month maybe and left, the operations manager that was there for a whopping 3-4 months before she got fed up and left and as of when I left, they still hadn't replaced her.  Some of the regional managers were fired or let go because they raised questions about particular practices that were taking place and that upset a particular person in the home ofc so they fired him and I recently heard they fired another RM for the same.  Doesn't it all sound like true independence, especially when you own stock like PRUDENT said a few pages back...oh boy, I sense the walls beginning to crumble.  Thanks for the update Scarlet, this thread may turn into the new EDWARD JONES BASHING thread but for NEXT Financial.

ivebeentaken's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-06

I have seen nothing but immediate reaction to my needs at NEXT.  I was with Wachovia before and my branch manager couldn't even tell my assistant how much PTO the firm offers.  She never got paid correctly.  In fact they missed paying her all together several times.  My branch manager pretty much ignored us-except for the time he accused me of offering sexual favors to my old boss to get the job!  The other reps in the office were not only allowed, but encouraged to move accounts from my rep code to theirs. Yes, NEXT is heaven to me.  (Anyone know a really good attorney?)

ivebeentaken's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-06

icecold-give it up!  I need all the help I can get.

region's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-31

I've been taken.,
 
Congrats I hope it continues for you but don't hold your breadth.  Often times heaven seems to be your current environment when you don't know any better - I don't mean that in a mean spirit but it can often be the case.  I know reps that are and have been happy at NEXT and many that are not; usually the one's that are happy came from a bad situation or were relatively new to the business.  The one's unhappy are the one's who have seen things get done with the proper focus and level of support in a prior life.  If it works for you blow it up and don't look back but I can tell you, always take what they say with a grain of salt and continue to scrutinize how your business get supported.

ivebeentaken's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-06

After what I have been through, I will NEVER trust anyone fully again.

region's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-31

TOP QUALITY - with Ike on the horizon Houston based NEXT Financial implements their disaster relief plan to continue operations....
 
Executive assistant busy now getting hotel space so skelton staff can plug into hotel electronics and continue operation.  That's it folks!

GoldCaddy's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-16

I've been with NEXT for four years.  They're not perfect, mistakes are made and repaired as quickly as they are noted.  I've found them to be fair, continually seeking improvement and willing to work with me to solve problems.  The technology platform leaves much to be desired and they lied about how long it was going to take them to get Albridge.  That said, the old IT Director is gone and things seem to be improving. 
 
I have to believe there are better B/D's out there but NEXT is good enough it isn't worth the misery of making the transition to a marginally better broker.

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