SMSF sector ‘playing catch-up’ with automated advice
The SMSF sector is still lagging behind the broader advice space in terms of automating certain types of advice in areas such as investment strategy and retirement, says an automated advice provider.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Plenty Plus co-founder Josh Golombick said the SMSF sector can expect to see a number of additional advice areas becoming automated, especially around retirement and investment strategy.
“Within our digital advice business, Plenty, [which is business to consumer], we already do a lot of retirement advice such as how much you need in retirement and how much you need to save, and we see that expanding to the SMSF sector,” explained Mr Golombick.
“We almost see the SMSF space playing catch-up with the non-SMSF space, in terms of retirement planning and investment advice. That’s where we see it going more broadly, and obviously the benefit to the accountant and the client is that they’ll be able to access things a lot more cost effectively, costs will be brought down and efficiencies will be improved by using digital advice services.”
Plenty Plus co-founder Greg Einfeld said one of the areas of advice Plenty Plus will be focusing on in the near future is automating advice for investment strategies for SMSFs.
“Superannuation funds are required to have an investment strategy. Typically accountants will just print out a template for their clients and say ‘here’s your investment strategy’, the problem is that when they do so they are providing advice and that’s problematic, and as a result they are potentially breaking the law, in doing so,” said Mr Einfeld.
“So that’s an area where we think we can add a lot of value to accountants in order to make sure they stay on the right side of the law, just with that simple task of providing an investment strategy.”
As part of the investment strategy, SMSF investors also need to ensure that the client has considered their insurance, he said.
“It’s very hard to be able to do that as an accountant if you’re not licensed and even if you’ve got a limited licence, you’re not allowed to discuss specific insurance products with your client, so how do you do that in a compliant manner if you only have a limited licence - it’s very challenging,” said Mr Einfeld.
“So we want to make that whole process easier for accountants to ensure that they can remain compliant and investment strategies are one really good example of where we’ll be doing that in the future.”
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.