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Adviser points to ETF pitfalls for SMSFs

Adviser points to ETF pitfalls for SMSFs

Katarina Taurian
24 June 2014

While exchange traded funds (ETFs) have experienced a strong take-up by SMSFs, one adviser has pointed out there are various pitfalls that advisers and trustees should be aware of.

Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Skeggs Goldstien director Adam Goldstien said that as the ETF market grows, providers are offering more ‘exotic’ varieties, for example ETFs biasing higher yield stocks.

“These ETFs may contain their own set of investment strategies and constraints resulting in differing returns between similarly named ETFs,” Mr Goldstien said.

“Due to the number of ETFs and the myriad of investment options available, ETFs can lead trustees to making decisions that are not commensurate with their fund's investment strategy, particularly if using dis-intermediated online broking services,” he added.

Mr Goldstien also said some ETFs effectively track a benchmark “with no meaningful active returns”.

Practitioners should be certain that there is sufficient liquidity in the ETFs they consider for their clients to ensure the ETFs can be traded in a timely manner, he added.

However, Mr Goldstien also pointed to the various benefits of ETFs for SMSFs, saying ETFs are a relatively simple way to allow an adviser or trustee to achieve diversification in an SMSF portfolio by providing access to a wide and varied range of assets and investments.

He also said that by “traditional standards” ETFs are very inexpensive.

“For this reason they are a very attractive investment vehicle for SMSF trustees taking control of their superannuation,” he said.

Adviser points to ETF pitfalls for SMSFs
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