AGE to Finet

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Apr 4, 2009 2:57 pm

I made the transition from AGE to Finet this weekend (with a painful 18 month stop over at WS PCG).  So far it has been comparitively painless.  It is not without challenges.  I did have to get each client to sign a letter authorizing moving their account from PCG to Finet and the letter is written in a prose that even when I knew what I was doing, I did not understand it.  So I had to call each client and explain it.  This makes the transition a little easier than moving to another broker/dealer, just a little.  Of the four indy outfits that I investigated in great detail, Finet is the most expensive.  They take about 25% after all haircuts, fees, ticket charges, etc., vs. 15 to 20% for most of the others (all based on proformas and conversations with advisors with the other firms.  The others that I checked out in detail were: LPL, RJFS and Commonwealth.   After I have been here a few weeks, I will get back on here and give and update if anyone is interested.  Also, I would be happy to assist anyone who is interested.  Just send me a private message.

Apr 4, 2009 10:06 pm

Thanks for the info and opening yourself up to those of us making decisions.  We are in the process of looking at options for our move from WS.  We have been in talks w/ LPL (very impressed so far) and are reaching out to RJFS, SF, and Finet.  What kind of promises did they make you about not chasing your book?  How long do you have to stay at Finet?  Can you just move to them so your branch doesn't chase your book and leave in 6 months to a year to comletely sever ties w/ those we have grown to hate?

You say that your total haircut is expected to come in around 25%.  We got a pro forma from LPL that projected 15% haircut before rent etc.  Why did  you decide to stay w/ WS and lose out on the 10% for the rest of your life?  Was it the retention that that you would have to pay back (that is the only thing that has us even considering Finet)?

Apr 5, 2009 12:42 pm
Regarding the difference in the haircuts. I based the information on research I did on my own tracking down advisors who are with the various firms and asking how things are working, including their pay outs. I think there is a rather large variation depending on business mix.



2. With Finet being more expensive, why did I choose them? First, there was the ease of transition. Second, there was no ACAT and no competing with the other FAs in my branch for accounts. I figure that there may be a few clients who want to be with a firm they recognize, especially in the post Madoff world. If I picked up 10 or 15% more business, that would close the gap.

3. I have closely read the contract a few times and there is no prohibition against moving on to another firm tomorrow. They would want the AGE retention money back, but, other than that the contract language is clear. My book is mine.

4. I am starting to get used to the Smart Station system, and in a few months, it will be just as easy as learning any other system. Time will tell.

I would be happy to let you know how things look after a month or two. At this time I am very happy to be in the independent world. Also, regarding the retention money, remember that if you move to another firm and paid the ACAT fees from WS, that could add up to a lot of cash. If you have 1000 accounts at $95 each, that could cost $95k. Ouch!   My only start up cost was about $15k for nice desks, chairs, computers, copier, rent, supplies, artwork, repainting the space, etc.
Apr 10, 2009 6:11 pm

After the first week at Finet things went fairly well. There were a few glitches, but not bad. One glitch was that I was told that my PCG emails would forward to my Finet in box, but that is not the case. I had a check request that did not go out.



The home office folks have been extremely helpful. I have a home office training person spending all next week with me and my assistant, so that should be interesting. I am accumulating a list of things to ask about. My most annoying client decided that he wants to be back at my old branch, so that is a plus. 98% of my clients have moved over. There are just a few that will not be following and they will be easy to replace. All in all the experience has been far less stressful than expected. I am delighted that I did this. If anyone has any specific questions, send me a PM.





Apr 26, 2009 9:13 pm

After three weeks at Finet from PCG, things are running pretty smoothly.  I would say that we feel like we are ahead of schedule as far as having the office organized the way we want it.  The trainer from the home office was very nice and tried hard to be as helpful as he could.  My office was his first channel transfer that he did on his own, so there were several things that he had to call St. Louis for.  We do not have access to the client contact system on Smart Station, so I am going back to an old paper and pencil system that I created 12 years ago when I started at Merrill.  I understand that we will have the client contact system later in the year.  With 99% of my book moved from PCG, I feel like I can go back to doing business as I did before with a higher pay out.  One thing that I would do different is get a letter and email out to clients the first day with my new contact information.  I was suprised that the home office did not have a standard pre approved letter for this.  We had to create our own and it took way too long to get approved.  Some clients we frustrated that emails sent to PCG were not forwarded and therefore not replied to.  PM me if you have any questions.

Apr 27, 2009 2:01 am

Great info , please keep it up, valuable

May 29, 2009 1:08 am
illinoisrep:

After three weeks at Finet from PCG, things are running pretty smoothly.  I would say that we feel like we are ahead of schedule as far as having the office organized the way we want it.  The trainer from the home office was very nice and tried hard to be as helpful as he could.  My office was his first channel transfer that he did on his own, so there were several things that he had to call St. Louis for.  We do not have access to the client contact system on Smart Station, so I am going back to an old paper and pencil system that I created 12 years ago when I started at Merrill.  I understand that we will have the client contact system later in the year.  With 99% of my book moved from PCG, I feel like I can go back to doing business as I did before with a higher pay out.  One thing that I would do different is get a letter and email out to clients the first day with my new contact information.  I was suprised that the home office did not have a standard pre approved letter for this.  We had to create our own and it took way too long to get approved.  Some clients we frustrated that emails sent to PCG were not forwarded and therefore not replied to.  PM me if you have any questions.

 
How are things ?
Jun 2, 2009 10:42 pm

We are now eight weeks into the move and are really getting back to business. April and May production were below where I wanted them to be. I expected April to be low, but, living without Brokervision has been a slower transition than I expected it to be. The loss of BV was going to happen anyway, but I forgot how much I had gotten to rely on it to streamline my business. My local expenses are running a little below expectation so I should be back up to my previous income shortly.



I had my first visit from compliance to let me know how to stay out of trouble. My compliance guy is very knowledgeable and helpful which is a real plus. Some of the things we have to do are an amazingly silly waste of time. Some things we are required to do like calibrating a time clock twice a day completely defy logic. To think that someone so stupid as to think of that rose to the level of authority is beyond belief. All in all, the compliance requirements are minimal and my very able assistant takes care of ninety percent of it. The AGE to Wachovia merger continues to be a little frustrating, but is getting better.



One more thing that I wish I had done before the move was to take both the series nine and series ten exams. It is time consuming to study for these and there is a time limit to having them done. Now I am going to have to take a few days off to focus on preparing so I get it done in time.



All in all, I am very glad to have made the move. I have several quality of life improvements, including an office close enough to home to ride my bike to work and having an office with a kitchen so I can stock it with healthy food that I can prepare as I like. I have already lost a few pounds. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

Jun 3, 2009 8:45 pm

Illnoisrep

Just get rid of time clock. ou can hand date /time items if you don't have a timeclock.That way you can do away with Sync log. Everyone thinks it is stupid, but FINRA will write you up if you are out of synch and ones that attach to PC are way expensive.

Jun 8, 2009 10:54 am

Friends at other indy firms do not have time clocks either. 

Jun 8, 2009 10:11 pm
 
I need your advice (or anyone elso for that matter). I have worked @ AGE 10 years with 07 T12-525M 08 T-12 449M now heading south to around 400M. I have completed all paperwork and my final compliance interview. I am schedule to go to FINET first slot in 2010. However I recently went to Raymond James home office on a last minute due diligence trip and I was extremely impressed. They would help out with 20-30 % of my now 400 T12 10-15% now and the rest in 5 years. 
 
Why I still am interested in FINET?
I am extremely nervous about changing firms in a hostile environment with all the hell we put our clients through with conversion from AGE to WB to WFA and our lovely market. I also like to know the devil I am with. I am confortable with Envision, and all the the systems. I can even live with the contact management system for awhile (which sucks by the way).  I also like the $160,000 in my account plus maybe another $130-$150K in Forefront $.  I would like to give it hell for a few years with FINET and see how I do. I am hoping that once I get away from all interviewing and constant bitch sesions (which I usually lead by the way) I can get back into sales again. 
 
My rational is I can always sell the practice or move to RJ/LPL once established on my own.  
 
Thanks for all your comments keep them comming. Alot of people are in the same boat. Any advice would help.
 
PS I had a great 10 years at AGE with a great manager and an awesome staff. It will be a gut check er leaving them.  What an A..hole Bagby is...
 
Jun 8, 2009 10:41 pm

Go to RJ. Finet is not as advertised. PM me if you want to know more.

Jun 9, 2009 1:25 am
Readnecks w/Money:
 
I need your advice (or anyone elso for that matter). I have worked @ AGE 10 years with 07 T12-525M 08 T-12 449M now heading south to around 400M. I have completed all paperwork and my final compliance interview. I am schedule to go to FINET first slot in 2010. However I recently went to Raymond James home office on a last minute due diligence trip and I was extremely impressed. They would help out with 20-30 % of my now 400 T12 10-15% now and the rest in 5 years. 
 
Why I still am interested in FINET?
I am extremely nervous about changing firms in a hostile environment with all the hell we put our clients through with conversion from AGE to WB to WFA and our lovely market. I also like to know the devil I am with. I am confortable with Envision, and all the the systems. I can even live with the contact management system for awhile (which sucks by the way).  I also like the $160,000 in my account plus maybe another $130-$150K in Forefront $.  I would like to give it hell for a few years with FINET and see how I do. I am hoping that once I get away from all interviewing and constant bitch sesions (which I usually lead by the way) I can get back into sales again. 
 
My rational is I can always sell the practice or move to RJ/LPL once established on my own.  
 
Thanks for all your comments keep them comming. Alot of people are in the same boat. Any advice would help.
 
PS I had a great 10 years at AGE with a great manager and an awesome staff. It will be a gut check er leaving them.  What an A..hole Bagby is...
 
 
Just keep doing what you do for the folks you do it for. But just not at wachovia or wells. Go to a firm that you think is the most like AGE or quit. That is the only way you can look yourself in the mirror
Jun 9, 2009 7:39 am

Punkbynature,

 
Sorry how do I PM (private message) someone? As you can see I am a Newbie.
Jun 9, 2009 9:59 am

Redneck,

 
I hope you figured it out by now.  Click on punky's screen name and a drop down menu will come up, hit Send Private Message.
 
Good Luck with your decision.
 
This definitely is an industry in transition at the moment. 
Jun 9, 2009 12:08 pm

What is Finets stance on small accounts? Does this stupid householding still affect the the client when it comes to smaller accounts? Also what is their standpoint on smaller commissions (ie less than $95 commission)? I cant stand the fact that we are going to try to nickel and dime our clients. Thanks for your help. 

Jun 9, 2009 1:03 pm

The pay on small tickets is just an 85% pay out minus a $27 ticket charge.  I think the householding issue is just like PCG. 

Jun 26, 2009 5:00 pm

I understand  illinoisrep was asked to stop posting on this thread by his compliance dept..

Jul 18, 2009 8:36 pm

Does compliance really watch these threads?  Since probably everyone posting here is registered, what is the compliance issue?  Does anyone know?  I find many posts like this one helpful. 

Aug 31, 2009 2:29 am

Okay, after 20 plus years in the business I am going to Finet soon. I have made comments in the past that may not point to this direction but compared to the alternatives this is the best thing for clients