Does your AFSL have your back?

Is your AFSL constantly looking to cover its own backside at your expense, lecturing you about how to run your business (or worse, putting obstacles in your way to cover itself)?

The biggest opportunity in financial planning in over 30 years is upon us. Is your AFSL helping you take full advantage…or slowing you down?

Part 1: The Why

Part 2: The What

Part 3: The How

Part 4: The When

Independent Financial Advisors Australia

Part 3: The How

Your three independence options

If you’re still reading this it’s a pretty good bet you’ve made the decision to become an IFA but can’t see how. You need to know what your next move is.

Basically you have three options …

1. Change the Tiger’s stripes (ask your current AFSL to turn independent);

2. Get into the Compliance & Supervision game (leave and set up your own licence).

3. Join a Community of like-minded folks (find an AFSL that believes what you believe).

Option 1 – change the tiger’s stripes

That is, get in front of the CEO of your AFSL and have a heart to heart, hoping to convince him or her that losing the conflicted planners under the license is not going to hurt their balance sheet. Conflicted AFSLs claim that advisers should have the choice about how they charge but this is really just a convenient truth.

So good luck with that.

Option 2 – get into the compliance & supervision game

This is certainly cheaper than it used to be although there are noises that ASIC intends to make this more difficult than it has been in the past. The fact is that self-licensing is, for most advisers, a risk.

Why? The problem is that this move is a major distraction. Plus once you’ve got your own license, there’s an ongoing distraction. Sure, people do it, but at what hidden cost? It’s the cost of mediocrity.

To explain: focus is everything in business. Lose it and you’re on a slippery slope.

Bottom line is anything that dilutes or distracts your focus in business ought to be avoided with extreme prejudice!

So get very, very clear on your vision from day one – either you want to deliver great financial advisory services to the public … or AFSL services for financial planners. Whichever the choice, devote yourself 100% to making that business sing because serving two masters means you do both at less than your full ability … the end result of which will be a mediocre business that took a lot longer to build than it should have.

Option 3 – find a Community of like-minded souls

These days you can still be a ‘master-of-your-own-destiny’ financial adviser AND build a great business WITHOUT the ball-and-chain of running an AFSL as well.

Finding the right AFSL is a trick though. There are AFSLs who use the word ‘independent’ in their marketing material but a little digging soon shows that they permit asset fees and commissions, and many of them have their own white label platforms and products. In truth they’re far from independent, they’re a train wreck waiting to happen.

In any event, signing on with an AFSL who is ‘just giving this independence thing a try’ will only work if their experiment works. Still looks like a train wreck.

Instead, seek out those souls who believe what you believe – connect with a Community that also treasures independence and all that it embodies.

You want to find an AFSL who wouldn’t dream of practising financial planning any other way. AFSLs like this simply ‘get it’ and, in their company, you’ll feel like you’ve found ‘home’ rather than feel like an outsider.

Your AFSL’s real purpose
As far as the law is concerned it’s an AFSL’s role to ensure compliance, training and supervision. This has fallen off the rails a bit. Any of these laments sound familiar?

“The stuff my AFSL insists I put in my SoAs is just for their benefit. Nothing in there for me or my client”.


“My APL is getting even narrower, and although my AFSL says I can add to it, the amount of red tape they put in the way is ridiculous.”


“All the compliance rules are aimed at the lowest common denominators under the licence. I feel like my PI premium is subsidising other crappy advisers who are under the licence


“My AFSL has a BDM who hasn’t been involved in financial planning in years and this guy is telling me what to charge and what clients to take on.”


“Meanwhile, I’m still left to solve all the problems of being in business, all on my own.”

Is that how AFSLs are dealing with the changing landscape? To use their advisers as a ‘problem dumping ground’?

This is the wrong approach entirely.

The purpose of an AFSL to help you build a great financial advisory practice.

The Roadmap

Part One: the why …

• What is an IFA?
• Why become an IFA?
• Exploding the myths around becoming an IFA.

Part Two: the what …

• What will your independent practice look like?
• What service do I do as an IFA?
• How do I articulate the value I provide?
• How do I price that service?

Part three: the how …

• There are three pathways – which is right for you?
• How your AFSL can help you or hinder you

Part Four: the when …

• Getting started – first steps
• Getting support from people who believe what you believe

The first genuinely independent Australian Financial Services Licence of its kind

Become conflict-free by joining the first Community of elite, genuinely Independent Advisers.

Contact us and explain where you’re at. We’ll tell you what you can do and give you a run down on what we see as your options. Have you had enough anxiety about being dragged into scandals you had nothing to do with? The next step is yours …

Independent Financial Advisors Australia

Have Questions?

02) 6162 0492