A diversified financial services firm, Next Financial Group is a full-service broker-dealer registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. and an investment advisor registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Additionally, it’s a licensed insurance agency in all 50 states. The firm partners with financial advisors across the U.S., with their services being available to their clients.
Next Financial Group is headquartered in Houston with many affiliate offices across the country. The team of hundreds of investment advisory representatives (IARs) at the firm, many of whom are broker-dealer representatives and insurance agents, oversees billions of dollars in assets.
Next Financial Group Background
Next Financial was founded in 1999. It’s a wholly owned subsidiary of Next Financial Holdings, Inc., which is, in turn, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Atria Wealth Solutions, Inc. Four employees and two board directors have small stakes.
One of the employees who is a stakeholder is president Barry Knight, who has led the company since 2006. Before coming to Next Financial, Knight was a senior vice president and director of sales development at Pioneer Investments.
Next Financial Group Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Minimums vary, depending on the program and IAR. Generally, they range from $2,000 to $100,000, though they can be negotiated or waived at the firm’s discretion.
Services Offered by Next Financial Group
Next Financial offers investment programs and advisory services. It also provides brokerage services and insurance products.
Its investment programs include:
- Next Select Platform
- Contour Platform
- Visionary Multi-Manager Program
- Variable Annuity Model Portfolios Program
- Investment Fiduciary & Retirement Plan Consulting
- Plan Participant Investment Advice Services
- Recommendation of third party money managers
- Educational workshops
- Consulting Services Program
The firm recommends its “unbundled” programs - NAA and AMP 1 - to investors who will trade infrequently. For more active investors, its wrap fee programs - NAA II, AMP 2 and AMP 3 - where brokerage, advisory and other fees are bundled into one fee, may be more cost effective. The Next Select Platform, managed by Lockwood Advisors, also has a wrap fee structure, but its investing options are more limited, primarily to certain mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and model portfolios. The Visionary Program uses selected sub-managers and/or model providers’ investment models and is managed by Envestnet. Finally, VAMPP is for sub-accounts within selected variable annuity contracts using model portfolios.
Next Financial Group Investing Philosophy
To select investment strategies, Next Financial’s IARs primarily apply charting, fundamental and technical methods of analysis. The strategies they may use include long-term purchases, short-term purchases, asset allocation and rebalancing, dollar cost averaging, trading, short sales, margin and options.
With the Next Select Platform, investment decisions are determined by Next Financial’s investment committee, which uses both quantitative and qualitative analyses to construct its ETF and mutual fund allocation models. It also applies Modern Portfolio Theory and Monte Carlo simulations to test its models and to evaluate performance relative to risk.
Fees Under Next Financial Group
Like most firms, Next Financial collects management fees based on a percentage of the client’s assets under management (AUM). Each program charges its own fee rates, with advisors incurring some of the costs, and clients taking on the rest. The fees rates that apply to your agreement will be spelled out by your advisor. The typical maximum program fee is 1.5% annually.
What to Watch Out For
In its most recent SEC filings, Next Financial has several disclosures on its Form ADV. Most of these are attributed to the firm directly, with the most recent disclosure being from 2021.
As noted earlier, most IARs are also insurance agents and broker-dealer representatives. So although they charge fees for their advisory services, they do receive commissions from third parties in their other roles. Despite this arrangement, the firm has a fiduciary duty to act in clients' best interests at all times.
Opening an Account With Next Financial Group
To contact Next Financial, call its toll-free number, (713) 789-7122. Alternately, you can send a message on its site.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
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