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 and ranked, in fact, as a 2021 top broker-dealer by total revenue, according to Investment News.
As a fee-based operation, certain advisors at the firm can receive commissions for selling insurance and/or securities. The firm is required to act in clients' best interests, though.
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 is a privately owned 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:
- Non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals
- Corporate pension and profit-sharing plans
IFG’s account minimum requirements vary, depending on factors such as the investment strategy or program:
- AP Client, CAM Client (Design II): $50,000
- CAM Client TD (Freedom One TD) and CAM Client Schwab (Freedom One Schwab): $50,000
- Annuity Direct Advisory: $25,000
- Third-Party Asset Manager Programs: Negotiable
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): This is 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: These are 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 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.
What to Watch Out For
IFG has six disclsoures on its SEC-filed Form ADV. These are attributed to both the firm itself and advisory affiliates.
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 (858) 436-3180 or send a message via its website.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
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