Advice leads SMSFs to overseas investments

Advised SMSFs are increasing their exposure to international assets, according to Instreet, in light of strong performance from US markets and the falling Australian dollar.

SMSFs have historically been under-exposed to international markets. However, advised SMSFs are increasingly moving towards their model portfolio target weight for international shares, managing director of Instreet George Lucas told SMSF Adviser.

Mr Lucas said investors are looking to international markets because there is a “general perception” that the Australian dollar is going to fall further, opening up the potential for a currency gain by holding international shares.

He added that the performance of the US market, which is up 15 per cent this year, has attracted attention from investors. The US market offers investors exposure to new-age consumer companies, which are not available in Australia.

“When you buy into the American market, for example, you are buying Amazon and Google and you’re buying Johnson and Johnson and you can pick up companies that are just not available in Australia,” Mr Lucas said.

“When you buy in the Australian market you are getting financial stocks or you’re getting mining companies... you can’t get these new-age consumer [companies].”

Although much of the interest from investors is US-focused, Mr Lucas said investors are also looking to emerging south east Asian markets, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

“I can see [this trend] continuing on the basis that Australian investors tend to be underweight in international shares,” he said.

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