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SMSFA

A wave of excitement

Graeme Colley

Roll up, roll up. There will be local, national, even international speakers – and all will be topical and interesting. The issues will range from the technical, administrative, investment to the legal; we might even attract the odd politician. And the networking will extend into the wee hours of the morning. What else could such an event be but the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia’s (SPAA) National Conference?

This landmark event on the SMSF calendar is being held from 19 to 21 February 2014 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. A bit hot, we know, but not as hot as the event promises to be.

Many of you might ask is that possible? After all, this year’s highly successful Melbourne conference, which celebrated SPAA’s 10th anniversary, was an outstanding event. Excellent speakers, a record number of delegates and strong sponsorship all attest to that.

But let me assure you the Brisbane conference, from my position as head of the national conference committee, will trump Melbourne, reinforcing the fact our national conference is the premier event on the busy SMSF calendar.

The theme will be Ride the Wave; that’s quite appropriate for the Sunshine State and even more appropriate for our industry, which is going from strength to strength.

A highlight will be the release of the fourth SMSF research report compiled annually by Russell Investments and SPAA. Titled “Intimate with SMSFs”, it will again provide revealing insights into the state of our superannuation sector.

The list of speakers is impressive, with a strong focus on the technical content I know our members really appreciate. That was evident in Melbourne and then again at our technical conferences held around the country in July and August.

The speakers include Russell chief executive Peter Gunning, who has just returned to Australia after working in New York for more than three years. Gunning, who is sure to have many interesting anecdotes from his time in the Big Apple, will provide us with an international view of the investment scene and compare it to national investment issues.

Comparison of some investment classes may provide a sobering lesson for those advisers and trustees who think investing in a market that is hot or getting hotter is the right strategy to adopt.

International speakers include Amazon Web Services Asia-Pacific head of support Steve Day, who will certainly bring us all down to earth with his discussion on the future of the cloud, and all it entails. Technology is something some us like to think is simply the responsibility of the IT boffin sitting in the corner, but Day will convince you otherwise in what promises to be an engaging address.

On the Australian scene we have an outstanding line-up of more than 50 speakers on all things SMSFs: audit, fund administration, legal and investment.  These include Peter Burgess from AMP, Craig Day (Commonwealth Bank of Australia), Bryce Figot (DBA Lawyers), Peter Hogan (National Australia Bank), Craig Meldrum (Australian Unity) and many others, such as Lyn Formica from McPherson Super Consulting.

Hear about the latest trends in social media and IT and the impact they will have on investment, superannuation and SMSFs going forward. Find out how investment markets can be influenced dramatically by social media and things trustees and their advisers need to be aware of as part of their due diligence.

Of course there’s the last day speaker too, but that’s a closely held secret until they appear on stage or it gets leaked. This year will it be a Nobel Prize winner, an Australian of the Year or perhaps an Academy Award winner? Find out by coming to the conference.

Registrations are now open. There are early-bird offers until 30 November as well as the opportunity for industry professionals to sign up as a SPAA member to take advantage of the discount.

See you there.

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