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Adoption of financial advice declining among SMSFs

Adoption of financial advice declining among SMSFs
By Miranda Brownlee
20 August 2020 — 1 minute read

The use of financial advisers by SMSFs over the past decade “has gone nowhere”, according to a recent research report, and has even seen a slight dip this year.

While over 70 per cent of SMSF members using a financial adviser are satisfied with the advice services they’re receiving, the number of SMSFs using a financial adviser for their fund has not seen any increase since 2007, according to the 2020 Vanguard/Investment Trends SMSF Report.

The report, which explores opportunities and challenges facing the SMSF advice market, surveyed over 3,000 SMSF trustees and almost 200 financial planners on their investment priorities and industry outlook.


The report indicates that there were around 210,000 SMSFs using a financial planner in 2007. In 2020, there were only 190,000 SMSFs using advisers, despite the number of SMSFs doubling over that time.

The number of SMSFs using another type of adviser, such as accountants, on the other hand, increased from 70,000 in 2007 up to 300,000 in 2020. There are 110,000 SMSFs who do not use any type of adviser, based on the findings of the report.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Investment Trends chief executive Michael Blomfield said the use of financial planners by SMSFs has “really gone almost nowhere” since 2007, and has in fact dropped by 25,000 SMSFs since last year.

“We’re down to 190,000 SMSF trustees who are using a financial planner for their SMSF,” Mr Blomfield said.

“The challenge here is that there is a very big advice need that goes unmet, there is in fact 335,000 SMSF trustees who say they have unmet advice needs in relation to their SMSF.”

The number of SMSFs with unmet advice needs has risen following the COVID-19 outbreak, increasing by more than 6 per cent from 315,000 in 2019 to 335,000 in 2020.

In terms of the types of unmet advice needs that SMSFs are willing to pay for, advice on longevity protection and investment strategies are at the top of the list, with 49 per cent and 47 per cent of SMSFs in the survey willing to pay for assistance from a financial adviser.

SMSFs were the least willing to pay for advice on ETFs, with only a quarter of funds willing to seek advice on this as opposed to relying on non-personalised information.

Adoption of financial advice declining among SMSFs
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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 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: [email protected]momentummedia.com.au
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