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ETFs now first choice for advised SMSFs

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By Keeli Cambourne
27 March 2023 — 1 minute read

Advised SMSFs are more focused on using ETFs for great diversification or to gain trading efficiencies, suggests new research from AUSIEX.

In a recent sample of its client data, AUSIEX found that advised clients had just under 60% of their holdings in ordinary shares in February, compared to a more aggressive asset allocation of 87% among self-directed SMSF investors.

Brett Grant, head of product, marketing and customer experience at AUSIEX, said advised clients also showed greater interest in ETFs by allocating 22 per cent of their portfolios to this class, versus only six per cent for self-directed SMSFs.” 

 Mr Grant said hybrid securities ticked up to just over four per cent of total traded value among that cohort of advised clients last year and expectations of a better year for bonds was likely behind the notable preference that many displayed for fixed interest ETFs this year. 

 “Most AUSIEX clients analysed are heavily invested in the financial and materials sectors which dominate the Australian share market, but, SMSF clients with an adviser also had a greater inclination to spread their capital across other sectors by taking overweight positions in healthcare stocks (12% of holdings) and consumer staples (8% of holdings),” he said. 

With the continuing uncertainty in both the global economic and geopolitical spheres, Mr Grant said many investors were being very cautious and are seeking advice where they may have previously not.

“In this environment, trustees may be more likely to seek professional advice to help manage risk by diversifying their retirement savings into assets previously not on their radars,” he said. 

 “With balances that are on average four times larger than non-SMSF clients, trustees who seek advice continue to provide a significant business opportunity for planners who can provide quality service to this segment of the market.” 

The February data shows that the top five traded securities for advised SMSFs were BHP, NAB, CBA, WBC and CSL, while for self-directed SMSFs they were BHP, WBC, FMG, CBA and MQG.

For traded ETFs advised funds were trading most heavily in IVV, VAS, VGS, VGAD and VAP while self-directed funds were looking to VAS, GEAR, NDQ, IVV and VGS.

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