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CIFAA’s new program to establish independent advice practices

Yasmine Masi29 February 2024
Life insurance cost of living crunch NobleOak

The Certified Independent Financial Adviser’s Association (CIFAA) has announced a new educational program for financial advisers on how to establish an independent advice practice.

CIFAA President, Chris Young, said the program comes at a time as the move to attain an individual Australian financial services license (AFSL) licensee grows and the demand for independent advice from clients also surges.

“There’s no accurate data on how many genuine S923a independent advisers are operating out there. We think the total is less than 500. What we can say with certainty is that many of our members are inundated with new client enquiries seeking independent advisers,” he said.

“Consumer awareness of non-conflicted financial advice is definitely growing and we simply need new members to meet the demand.

“We want to make sure that those just starting up or even those who have been in practice for some time realise that the transition to independence isn’t as difficult as they might think. That’s why we have developed an education and mentoring program for new members and it is completely free.”

The CIFAA said advisers can only be considered “independent” if they have no ownership links to a financial institution or product manufacturer; they are also banned from keeping commissions or other incentive payments and charge clients flat fees usually quoted prior to work completion.

The association’s member base is mainly made up of sole practitioners and larger practices that desired to move away from the traditional AFSL model of financial advice, now with members in every state and territory except the Northern Territory.

“We have members that have been in business for more than 30 years who are now fully independent after transiting out of commission and percentage fee models. We’re tapping into those member’s experiences and linking them up with advisers that want to go down the independence path,” Young said.

“We run CIFAA lean and mean and that allows us to keep our membership fee to just $500 per year. For that, we provide free CPD and we’re also active contributing to government policy on matters that affect our members and their clients.”

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