Are SMSFs suitable for everyone?

May 17th 2017 | Categories: Superannuation & SMSF |

woman doing her research on SMSF

The average SMSF member in 2017 is a different kettle of fish to the stereotype you may have conjured up in your mind. Australian Taxation Office figures show approximately 1.1 million people in the country now run their own fund. But if you’re imagining a wealthy, experienced and financially savvy investor, you may be surprised to hear that a much wider variety of people are now choosing SMSFs. So are SMSFs suitable for everyone? Not quite. You should still discuss your retirement needs with a financial planner to identify the best options. However, CommBank recently published a new report that explores the profile of typical SMSF members in 2017. Do any represent you?

The self-directed investor

These investors are the most closely aligned to the traditional perception of an SMSF member. A large proportion of this group are older men who own businesses, who are more than 90 per cent confident, or are very confident about managing their super. More than one-third are so self-assured that they don’t take any professional financial advice. According to CommBank, self-directed investors make up 30 per cent of SMSF members.

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The controller

The largest of the SMSF groups at 35 per cent of people, the controller could be described as the most typical SMSF member in 2017. Not quite as independent as self-directed investors, this demographic are nonetheless very confident about managing their fund; they just prefer to support their decisions with financial advice. One-third have two or more people offering guidance, with independent financial planners and accountants the most favoured specialists.

The coach seeker

Coach seekers are an example of the new brand of SMSF members. They only make up 22 per cent of the total, but comprise 31 per cent of members to funds that are less than two years old. A quarter of coach seekers are aged under 45, making this the youngest demographic overall. They don’t have as much confidence as self-directed investors or controllers, with 48 per cent claiming they don’t have faith in their abilities to run their fund.  

The outsourcer

Just 13 per cent of SMSF members fall into this category, but their numbers are growing.

Nearly two-thirds aren’t confident about managing their super, with 58 per cent outsourcing all super activities, including administration and compliance, performance monitoring and researching opportunities.

Almost all outsourcers rely on professional assistance (97 per cent), with half using independent financial planners and 88 per cent spending more than $1,000 on advice per year.  

Do you need help with an SMSF?

Self-managed funds may not be suitable for everyone, but it’s clear that the typical profile of an SMSF member in 2017 is far more varied than in the past – and this trend seems likely to continue.

If you’d like to discuss your retirement planning, please contact a member of the team at Invest Blue.

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