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Lack of advisers a ‘concern’ for SMSF sector: FAAA

By Keeli Cambourne
June 28 2024
1 minute read
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The decreasing number of qualified financial advisers could be forcing people wishing to establish an SMSF to seek help elsewhere, says the chief executive of the Financial Advice Association Australia.

Sarah Abood told an industry briefing that establishing an SMSF is “not for the faint-hearted”, and that, as such, there is a need to increase the number of qualified advisers to support the growing cohort of people who would like to manage their own funds.

According to the latest Vanguard/Investment Trends report, the number of non-advised SMSFs is at an all-time high of 475,000.


Concerningly, the report stated that nearly 40 per cent of people are establishing an SMSF after doing only internet research. Further, only 25 per cent of trustees without financial advisers are likely, or very likely, to seek financial advice in the future.

“This is deeply concerning considering self-managed super funds are a really important structure and they work well for a lot of people,” Abood said.

“Becoming the trustee of a self-managed super fund is not a small commitment and I think doing that without financial advice is extremely concerning and this is one of the reasons why we need to get supply [of qualified advisers] up.”

Abood said although there is no firm data to indicate why new SMSF trustees are not seeking professional advice as often, it could be that they had been forced to wait too long for an appointment.

“It may be that some of those people tried to get an adviser and couldn't find one or they waited too long, but certainly setting up a structure like an SMSF with no professional advice is extremely dangerous, and we would be very concerned if that would continue,” she added.

“The risks are not just in the structure itself. They're in why the trustee is setting up the structure and occasionally it is the case that people are making those ‘recommendations’ online because they're trying to entice people to invest in things that possibly the risks of doing so have not been fully disclosed and the chances of ending up with nothing are actually much higher.”

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