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SMSF clients posing real challenge

Financial planners are finding it increasingly difficult to both attract and retain SMSF clients, according to the most recent industry research.

The Vanguard/Investment Trends “2016 Self Managed Super Funds Reports” showed 51 per cent of financial planners indicated they found it either harder or even much harder to acquire or retain SMSF clients.

This compared to 25 per cent of planners admitting they found it hard or much harder to attract or keep SMSF clients a year ago.

At the other end of the spectrum, only 10 per cent of planners said it was easier or much easier to acquire or retain SMSF clients in the 2016 study compared to 21 per cent of practitioners responding in this fashion last year.

The report revealed the key factors in determining if a financial planner found it hard to acquire SMSF clients were related to price point and being able to establish the value of advice to those individuals.

“Those who find it easier [to acquire SMSF clients], the key thing about these financial planners compared to their peers is they’ve worked out how to demonstrate the value of advice to their SMSF clients,” Investment Trends head of wealth management research Recep Peker said.

“They’ve also been able to convince their SMSF clients to pay [for the advice].

“What this is saying to us is planners really have to work on their value propositions to their SMSF clients.”

Peker said other parts of the report indicated there were unmet advice needs among SMSF members and suggested planners holding themselves out as specialists in a narrow context might help them better communicate their advice propositions.

“There’s a huge opportunity in being an SMSF retirement specialist,” he said.

“There’s also a really huge opportunity in being an SMSF investment specialist.

“So different groups of trustees have different needs and this is a really good opportunity for planners to differentiate themselves in the SMSF space to really help them articulate their value proposition to their clients in the SMSF space.”

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