The profile of SMSF investors is “dramatically evolving”, according to a report from the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) and Macquarie Bank, with results indicating increasing engagement from women and younger generations.
The 2013 SMSF Active Management Report draws on a Macquarie survey of 2,017 Australians as well as aggregated data from Macquarie cash management accounts, Macquarie wrap clients, and Macquarie mortgages.
Debunking stereotypes about the age profile of the average SMSF investor, the report’s findings indicated that 44 per cent of investors intending to set up an SMSF and 46 per cent of SMSF investors who have recently established an SMSF are under the age of 30.
“This [report] is showing people are genuinely considering their future retirement options much earlier than the current market is suggesting that they are,” said SPAA chief executive officer Andrea Slattery.
The report also indicated that a majority of recent SMSF investors are women, at approximately 55 per cent. Gary Lembit, analytics insight manager at Macquarie Bank, said gender patterns have changed when compared with the previous survey.
“A large reason for this is [an SMSF] really is a family product,” Mr Lembit said. “SMSF as a category is something that families do together. So you would expect over time that the balance between males and females will be relatively even and relatively constant, and that’s what we’re seeing [develop].”
In addition, results showed one in five recent investors are females with no children who still live at home with one or both parents. The report also indicated 23 per cent of recent investors and 13 per cent of intending investors come from single-parent family households.
“This strongly indicates that SMSFs are being considered and implemented by people with a very different profile to traditional SMSF clients, and who may not have considered starting their own fund in the past,” the report stated.
One in four SMSF investors indicated they “love experts”, according to the survey, continuing trends from 2012 research which indicated SMSF investors are generally more likely than other Australians to seek advice.
“By loving experts, we mean they’re very open to having a financial adviser, whether they’ve got one or not, and very open to talking to specialists who can help improve their knowledge,” said Mr Lembit.
“The recognition of the role of experts has never been as strong as it is now,” he added.
However, the study also indicated that SMSF investors take an active role in managing their investments, and allocated more of their investments towards direct equities in recent years, while direct property has continued to grow in importance as an asset class.
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