FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long has the IFAAA been around?

Established in 2009, the IFAAA was formed following the ASIC’s submission to government that conflicts of interest “distort the quality of advice” and should be banned. Consumer groups endorsed the view but many industry associations representing financial planners vehemently opposed the idea of banning commissions, even though it was demonstrably in the interests of the public. The Association’s founders recognised that there was an urgent need for a professional Association whose members’ interests were aligned with those of the public.

What does the IFAAA do?

The Independent Financial Advisers Association of Australia exists to provide leadership to the financial advisory community and to the public at large on the provision of genuinely independent financial advice in this country.

As a leader, the IFAAA’s role is to set a standard for the financial advisory community in the interests of the public. Its vision is for a new era in which high quality; genuinely independent financial advice is accessible to all who seek it.

What is the Gold Standard of Independence TM?

Similar to the Heart Foundation’s “Tick” which guides Australians on healthier eating choices, the IFAAA Gold Standard of Independence™ guides Australians on how to find financial advisers who practice without incentive and without conflicts.

For the public this symbol is a beacon for genuinely independent financial advice. For Practising Members this symbol is evidence they have satisfied the most stringent standard of independence in the profession.

How do I qualify to become a member?

All members of the IFAAA meet the conditions of section 923A of the Corporations Act and as such are legally entitled to use the words “independent”, “unbiased”, and “impartial” to describe their services. They also uphold the IFAAA’s Gold Standard of IndependenceTM:

  1. You and your AFSL may not have ownership links or affiliations with product manufacturers, and
  2. You and your AFSL are not in receipt of commissions (unless they are rebated in full to the client) or incentive payments from product manufacturers, and
  3. You and your AFSL do not charge asset-based fees

Click here for more details on how to qualify to become a member

How much does it cost to join?

For the 2018/19 financial year fees are $1,500 which are calculated on a pro-rata basis for members joining during the financial year.

What if I’m not yet completely independent but working towards it?

Shortly the IFAAA will offer a transitional membership option for those advisers who are actively converting their practice to become independent. To receive notifications and updates on this and any other IFAAA news

Click Here to subscribe to our notification list.

Does the IFAAA have an AFSL?

No. The IFAAA’s primary function is to guide Australians on how to find financial advisers who practice without incentives and conflicts, and to educate and promote independence for financial advisers.

However if you would like to have a confidential discussion about your options then please get in touch by emailing admin@ifaaa.com.au and we arrange that for you.

Does the IFAAA have a lead generation service?

The Association doesn’t offer nor exist to provide this service to its members. However the reality is it does receive receives a consistent stream of enquiries from the public all around the country who are looking for genuinely independent financial advisers. The IFAAA publishes on its website a full list of all members with links to their own websites and periodically we survey our members about the number of enquiries they receive as a result of their membership of the IFAAA. Member responses from those surveys vary from simply ‘positive’ to ‘extremely enthusiastic’; notable comments are:

  • “Even if membership fees were $20,000 a year, it would still be profitable because of the increased traffic we get on our website.”
  • “Apart from referrals we don’t do anything other marketing anymore.”
  • “People just Google ‘independent financial advice’, the first unsponsored search result is always ifaaa.com.au, and then from there they just contact us.”

In any event, our survey responses indicate the average seems to be about 6 unsolicited enquiries per month per member, depending on a number of factors including time of year and what’s happening in the media. For instance, enquiries spiked to unprecedented levels while the Royal Commission into Financial Services was underway and extensively reported on by the media.

The Association will continue surveying its members for feedback on unsolicited enquiry as a result of membership, as well as probe further into average conversion rates and fee revenues.