Specialists share tips on dealing with ‘nervous’ SMSF clients

As an industry poll shows SMSF clients are nervous about investing their money in superannuation, two well-known SMSF specialists have offered their advice for dealing with panicked clients in the lead-up to the federal budget.

In response to the question ‘Are your clients currently nervous about investing their money in super?,’ 65.4 per cent of respondents said 'yes', while the remaining 34.6 per cent said 'no'.

The SMSF Adviser survey was conducted across two weeks in February and had 285 participants.

Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Verante Financial Planning director Liam Shorte said it’s important to remind clients that no matter what the “hype” around budget season, superannuation will always be a concessionally taxed environment.

“Regardless, you should always have balance, and certainly don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” he said.

“The superannuation system is always going to be a concessional system, so as long as long-term planning is in place, you don’t need to be rushing around and taking big changes. Clients should stick to their long-term plans,” he said.

Similarly, Quantum Financial principal Tim Mackay said it’s imperative to remember that speculation around budget time “is nothing new”.

“Whatever the revolving door of prime minister or treasurers, there’s always talk of changes to superannuation,” he told SMSF Adviser. 

“On the back of the GFC, with the government struggling to fix balance sheets, and always looking for opportunities for revenue, super stands out as one of those areas. You would be naïve to think that there will not be changes to super.”

Still, Mr Mackay said he advises clients that if they had contributions they were going to make, to consider bringing them forward in anticipation of any budgetary changes.

“Rules that are already in place typically get grandfathered, so they are protected. But if you were going to do it anyway, bring it forward,” Mr Mackay said.

Mr Mackay said it’s important to advise clients that they should keep making decisions based on the current rules.

“Don’t use this as an excuse not to do anything for weeks. Don’t let it paralyse you about making strategic decisions about your dream retirement. Make decisions based on the current rules, put them in place before anything changes. They should be grandfathered, and there should be lead time,” he said.

“If there are changes that are flagged or implemented, then I’d [encourage clients] to seek advice ASAP as to what they can do,” he said.

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