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Independent Financial Group Review

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Independent Financial Group (IFG) is a registered investment advisor (RIA) that provides financial planning and investment advisory services through hundreds of independent advisor representatives (IARs). It also serves as a registered broker-dealer, ranked, in fact, as a top broker-dealer in total revenues by Investment News. In 2019, Financial Advisor Magazine featured the firm in its "Top 9 Female Advisors" issue. Additionally, in 2020, it ranked No. 4 for highest percentage of women advisors in Financial Planning magazine’s 35th annual IBD Elite survey.

Independent Financial Group Background

IFG is a privately owned firm that has been providing investment advisory services as an RIA since 2004. In 2003, it registered as a broker-dealer and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Also, IFG is a member of the Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC). 

Independent Financial Group, Inc is the principal owner of the firm. 

Independent Financial Group Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

According to documents it recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the firm currently serves the following types of clients: 

IFG’s account minimum requirements vary, depending on factors such as the investment strategy or program: 

  • AP Client, CAM Client (Design II) - $25,000 
  • CAM Client TD (Freedom One TD) and CAM Client Schwab (Freedom One Schwab) - $25,000 
  • Annuity Direct Advisory - $25,000
  • Third-Party Asset Manager Programs - Varies 

Note that IARs may choose to lower or waive these minimums in certain cases.

Services Offered by Independent Financial Group

Through its vast network of IARs and service providers, IFG can provide a variety of financial planning and portfolio management services. Based on your needs, your advisor may provide advice on some or all of the following topics: 

  • Retirement savings
  • Estate planning
  • Trust management
  • Education funding 
  • Cash flow analysis and debt management 

In addition, the firm offers various investment management programs, as outlined here: 

Advisor Portfolios (AP Client and CAM Client) - an advisory program that offers asset allocation and brokerage services through Pershing, LLC. Investments may include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and exchange-traded notes (ETNs) based on your individual financial situation, risk tolerance and other personal factors.

CAM Client TD (Freedom-One TD) & CAM Client Schwab (Freedom One Schwab) Program Services - investment management programs in which custodial services are provided by either TD Ameritrade Institutional or Charles Schwab. Eligible assets include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, ETNs, structured products, fixed income and other securities. 

In addition, IFG can also recommend the services of third-party managers. The client would come into separate agreements with the manager. 

IFG also offers annuity and variable life insurance services. 

Independent Financial Group Investment Philosophy

Investment strategies depend on the IAR. Generally, the IAR will seek to design and implement portfolios that adhere to a client’s risk tolerance, financial goals and other variables.

When evaluating securities, your advisor may utilize fundamental analysis, trend analysis, technical analysis, asset allocation or economic indicators. This involves gauging the financial condition of a company by examining its financial records, its competition and other factors. The advisor may also turn to third-party market research to make investment decisions. 

Fees Under Independent Financial Group

For investment advisory services, IFG charges a fee based on a percentage of AUM. That percentage may vary, depending on the advisor. But according to its Form ADV brochure, the maximum fees under most IFG investment programs is 3% per year. 

The maximum fee is more than three times the industry average of 0.95%, according to a 2018 study of 1,500 firms by RIA in a Box.

The fee structure for financial planning services varies. The IAR may charge financial planning fees on a fixed-fee basis, by the hour (ranging from $100 to $300 per hour) or on an ongoing basis through a retainer agreement.

Learn more about advisors' typical costs here.

What to Watch Out For

IFG disclosed no legal or disciplinary events in its most recent SEC filings.

One thing to note: IARs may receive commissions for recommending certain products. This arrangement may create a conflict of interest as these advisors may be incentivised to recommend certain products over others. That said, IFG upholds a fiduciary standard to always work in clients’ best interests.  

Opening an Account With Independent Financial Group

To contact IFG, call toll free at (800) 269-1903 or send a message via its website.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor

  • Expedite your search by using SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool. It links you with up to three advisors in your area. You can review their profiles to evaluate their qualifications before making a decision. 
  • Ask how advisor candidates get paid. Fee-only and fee-based may sound interchangable, but they're not. And the difference can have a serious impact on your returns. 

How Long $1mm Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research