Research reveals spike in planners’ struggle to retain SMSF clients

New research suggests financial planners are increasingly struggling to acquire and retain SMSF clients, and has also shed light on the top advice gaps SMSF trustees are looking to fill.

According to Investment Trends, the proportion of financial planners who deal with SMSFs with ease – including acquiring and retaining SMSF clients – has fallen from 31 per cent in 2013 to 21 per cent now.

“We do a comparison of what these financial planners who are finding it easier to deal with SMSFs are doing differently from those finding it harder. There’s a quarter of the amount that would say it’s actually harder to acquire and retain them versus non-SMSF clients,” Recep III Peker, head of research, wealth management, at Investment Trends told SMSF Adviser.

“Those who find it easier, they talk to their SMSF clients about, or advise them about, a much wider range of topics.

“They’re much more likely to provide advice on ETFs and they’re more likely to be doing tax planning as part of their advice. Also, they’re more likely to be providing advice on SMSF pension and retirement strategies.”

Mr Peker said Investment Trends’ investor research has found that some of the top advice needs amongst SMSF trustees include strategies for retirement and pension phase.

Financial planners who find it easier to deal with SMSFs are more likely to provide services related to SMSF pension strategies in contrast with those planners who find it harder to deal with SMSFs, Mr Peker said.

There is also a significant difference in the way financial planners who find it easier to deal with SMSFs, as opposed to financial planners who find it harder to deal with SMSFs, create growth exposure for their clients, Mr Peker said.

For example, those who find it easier to deal with SMSFs are more likely to use ETFs, REITs, LICs and direct shares with their clients than those planners who find SMSFs difficult to deal with.

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