Being Independent Independence has strong meaning to all of us. In the world of financial advice, this is perhaps the most basic tenet of fairness and credibility. When you work with ClientFirst Strategy, you are working with a professional who simply recommends products and services that are right for you. We do not recommend proprietary or “in house” products, which is a common practice in certain large firms. We avoided the Auction Rate Securities, leveraged closed end fund IPO’s, non-public REIT’s, and other esoteric investments that were presented as conservative investments but have led to large investment losses. As I like to say, if an investment isn’t plain vanilla, I don’t need it. The Broker/Dealer we use is NEXT Financial Group, Inc, a truly independent minded firm that is affiliated with over 1,000 investment professionals across the country. NEXT was voted Broker/Dealer of The Year by these professional in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008, a truly amazing accomplishment that highlights a culture that puts the best interests of investors ahead of all else. NEXT investment professionals manage over 8 Billion Dollars combined. My clearing firm is Pershing LLC, a wholly owned division of The Bank of New York, one of the largest banks in the world and the oldest bank in the United States. Pershing is where my client’s account assets are custodied. Pershing LLC has custody of over 600 Billion Dollars and is the biggest independent clearing firm in the industry. * Each year Investment Advisor magazine conducts a poll asking its representative readers to rate how well their broker/dealer is meeting their needs in key areas such as compliance, training, marketing, technology support, and overall performance. Broker/Dealers that are rated the highest by their representatives are named Broker/Dealer (B/D) of the Year in one of four divisions based on each broker/dealers total number of representatives.