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SMSF members younger, richer, investing offshore

The profile of Australian SMSF members has changed significantly compared to just last year, according to an analysis of Australian Taxation Office (ATO) data.

The total number of SMSFs in Australia is now 528,701 and the number of SMSF members is at 1,006,975.

The CoreData “Trends in SMSFs June 2014” report said based on newly established SMSFs, the age distribution of fund members had changed drastically in the past nine months, with 62.1 per cent aged between 34 and 54, compared to only 36.6 per cent of SMSF investors in that group in July last year.

Those aged 25 to 34 made up 11.1 per cent of all SMSF members, compared to 4 per cent a year ago.

The jump translated to about 111,775 SMSFs members in that age group.

In addition, higher income earners made up a greater proportion of SMSF members, with 20.5 per cent earning between $100,000 and $200,000 in March 2014, compared to 14.4 per cent in July 2013.

That represented an increase of 61,425 members, the CoreData report said.

When it came to asset allocation, 32.1 per cent of SMSFs held the majority of their holdings in stocks, followed by 28 per cent invested in cash.

SMSFs held 12.2 per cent in non-residential real estate, compared to 3.7 per cent in residential real estate.

Funds were also investing more in offshore assets overall, the report said.

Growth of investments in overseas residential property grew by 3 per cent, followed by 2.2 per cent growth in non-residential property, 2.6 per cent growth in shares and 2.7 per cent in managed investments, outstripping the 2 per cent overall asset growth in the past quarter.

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