SMSF trustees continue to shun planners
SMSF trustees are increasingly turning to accountants for unmet advice needs while the proportion of SMSFs using a financial planner has dropped for an eighth successive year, according to fresh research from Investment Trends.
Speaking at the launch of the Vanguard and Investment Trends 2015 Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) Report, based on a survey of almost 4,000 SMSF trustees and 501 financial advisers, Investment Trends' head of research, Recep III Peker, said that fewer SMSF trustees are intending to approach financial planners and other guides for investment advice.
The proportion of SMSF trustees with unmet advice needs intending to approach planners and other guides such as specialist super consultants has fallen from 70 per cent in 2014 down to 54 per cent this year.
The proportion of SMSF trustees turning to accountants providing tax advice and accountants providing investment advice, on the other hand, has increased from 50 per cent to 52 per cent.
The survey results also indicated that the proportion of SMSFs using a financial planner declined again, from 41 per cent in 2014 to 36 per cent this year.
Mr Peker said the main areas of unmet advice needs that SMSFs were willing to pay for were typically in strategy-related areas such as inheritance and estate planning, SMSF pension strategies, age pension, offshore investing and asset protection.
The interesting thing about the results, he said, is that accountants do not traditionally provide advice in these types of areas.
“The area that more accountants provide advice on than financial advisers is tax planning, and you would expect that, but all the other areas financial advisers really stand out on, especially things like advice on ETFs, investing for regular income, retirement income product selection and protecting assets and income against market falls,” he said.
“So accountants can actually win from partnering with financial planners to provide a more holistic offering to their clients who have all these unmet advice needs.”
Mr Peker said the positive news is that financial planners are working closely with accountants.
“We now find that only 16 per cent of SMSF advisers don’t have any accountant relationships, down from 22 per cent in the previous year,” he said.
“It’s really important for them to work together but we generally find they’re moving in this direction.”
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.