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Internet research, word of mouth driving SMSF setups

Miranda Brownlee
16 June 2022 — 1 minute read

Accountants and advisers are no longer the main influence for setting up an SMSF — internet research and conversations with friends are now the core drivers, according to recent report.

Vanguard and Investment Trends this week published their 2022 SMSF Report which analysed data from 2,430 SMSFs.

The research found there has been a significant shift in terms of the main influences for establishing an SMSF, with word of mouth, internet research or self-initiated decisions now the core influences for setting up a fund.


Respondents were asked what the initial trigger or conversation was that began their thought process about setting up an SMSF and eventually taking action.

Investment Trends head of research Dr Irene Guiamatsi said the responses were compared across different generations of SMSFs.

“What we see is that accountants played a significant role in planting the initial seed for SMSFs that were set up some 20 years ago,” said Dr Guiamatsi.

“[However] for the most recent cohort of SMSFs, it's much less so. The influences that are having the most impact [for these SMSFs] are internet research and a friend or colleague with an SMSF. So, that word of mouth advocacy channel is becoming quite an important channel of influence.”

Dr Guiamatsi noted that accountants and advisers still play a significant role in guiding investors through the process of setting up a fund.

“However, when it comes to the initial instigation, we are seeing different influences play a role here,” she stated.

The top reason for establishing an SMSF has remained the same, with desire for more control still the number one reason for setting up an SMSF.

“[However] some of the other motives that are driving the most recent cohort are around the perception that they can make better investments than super funds and achieve better returns,” Dr Guiamatsi noted.

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
Internet research, word of mouth driving SMSF setups
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