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Independent Financial Group Review

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Independent Financial Group

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. Also, Financial Advisor Magazine recently featured the firm in its Top 9 Female Advisors issue.  

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. 

What Types of Clients Does Independent Financial Group Accept?

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

Independent Financial Group Minimum Account Size

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

  • AP Client, CAM Client (Design II) - $25,000 
  • Lockwood Investment Strategies (LIS) - $250,000
  • Lockwood Asset Allocation Portfolios (LAAP) - $50,000
  • 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 to its clients. 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. For instance, your advisor may utilize fundamental analysis. 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. 

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

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%. 

The fee structure for financial planning services varies. The IAR may charge financial planning fees on a fixed-fee basis, by the hour or on an ongoing basis through a retainer agreement.

What to Watch Out For

IARs who work through IFG 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 when similar options that may be more suitable for the client may be available. That said, IFG upholds a fiduciary standard to always work in clients’ best interests. 

Disclosures

IFG had no disciplinary events in the past 10 years to disclose as of the time of this writing. 

Opening an Account With Independent Financial Group

To contact IFG, call (800) 269-1903 or send a message via its website page,  https://www.ifgsd.com/contact/.

Where Is Independent Financial Group Located?

Potential clients can find IFG at 12671 High Bluff Drive, Suite 200, 

San Diego, California 92130

All information was 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 differnece can have a serious impact on your return. 

How Many Years $1 Million 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.

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

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

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%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. 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