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SMSF trustees distracted by noise says AMP Capital

Miranda Brownlee
26 February 2015 — 1 minute read

A combination of behavioural biases and the proliferation of news and technology could be hindering SMSF trustees, says AMP Capital chief economist Dr Shane Oliver.

Speaking at the SMSF Association conference last week, Dr Oliver said while improved information should result in more efficient markets, it also means more immediate effects on markets.

“Information is quickly impounded into share markets so you don’t have the long lags you once had in the past when bad news hit the markets,” said Dr Oliver.


Unfortunately in some instances, he said, this means there is an overreaction in markets when bad news occurs.

“You’ve got a situation where you’ve got more irrational markets,” said Dr Oliver.

“[This] information overload combined with behavioural biases, is leading to a situation which is not that great for investors, so we’ve already got [a] problem here.”

SMSF practitioners, he said, therefore need to educate their clients that “even if you have information, it may not necessarily help you – it may just confuse you”.

The average SMSF trustee, he said, should instead look to adopt a long-term strategy, rather than regularly “chopping and changing” their investments which will “probably end up destroying value for them”.

“Investors need to realise that markets climb a wall of worry; that’s the way they work, if there’s nothing to worry about then maybe that’s a worry in itself,” he said.

“Normally markets go up against a wall of worry – we’ve seen that in the past few years.”

Dr Oliver said it is critical for SMSF trustees to “turn down the noise”.

It is important, he said, investors don’t spend all their time monitoring investment information channels.

“You’ll end up very confused about things – a lot of it is literally a soap opera.”

Miranda Brownlee

Miranda Brownlee


Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.

Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years. 

Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.

You can email Miranda on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SMSF trustees distracted by noise says AMP Capital
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