SMSFs had been an amateur’s do-it-yourself project for too long, however, there were promising signs of advice take-up despite the possibility of higher costs through using an expert, according to industry consultant John Wiseman.
“The era of the amateur DIY SMSF is rapidly coming to a close as the sheer size of SMSFs as a percentage of Australia’s pool of retirement savings demanded a professional approach to the provision of advice and related services,” Wiseman said.
While time was on their side, astute accountants and trustees had already abandoned their DIY habits and sought the services of an outsourced facility with a specialist SMSF financial planner, he added.
They had also accepted there would be an increase in costs associated with the services of a qualified expert and professional, he said.
At December 2015, about 550,000 SMSFs accounted for nearly 30 per cent of the $2 trillion in total superannuation assets, he said.
“Over recent years, the industry has seen thousands of new SMSFs accounts added every quarter as individuals seek to manage and control their retirement savings, investment journey and destination,” he said.
“Capitalising on this ‘I can do it myself’ attitude and belief has been the number of discounters that seem to be growing in greater numbers daily, with advertisements offering inexpensive over-the-phone or online solutions for trustees and members.
“I can only see an ocean of trouble for those that have elected the cheap offering over professional, qualified advice that is provided by specialist financial planners.”
The winners in the new era would be specialist financial planners and professional accounting practices that had re-engineered their businesses and service offerings, he said.
“But in the end, the real winners will be the Australian consumers and national economy,” he said.