Power shift in SMSFs

Editorial director of Switzer
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A survey released today by the SMSF Professionals Association of Australia (SPAA) and Macquarie Bank, reveals some interesting recent trends in the SMSF space.

SMSF trustees are getting younger and savvier and more of them “love experts” according to the study, which is the result of an online survey of over 2000 Australians by Macquarie and aggregated data from Macquarie’s cash management, wrap and mortgage clients.

A massive 46% of recent SMSF investors, or those who have set up an SMSF in the past three years, are aged under 30 and the majority, or 52%, are women.

“It is a large percentage but it has been a trend for sometime now,” SPAA CEO Andrea Slattery says.

“And I think [that’s partly because] the level of information in the market is growing, rather than it being a landscape of acronyms that people don’t understand.”

Property in favour

Another interesting trend to emerge from the report was the increase in direct property investments since 2006. In March this year, 14.7% of SMSF assets were invested in direct property, up from 10.7% in June 2006. Over the same period, the value of property assets grew by 230% to $73 billion, a higher growth rate than any other asset class.

Slattery insists that this is less about the property spruikers and more about greater knowledge of how the asset class works, along with cyclical factors.

“It’s just another asset that is getting more interest and information,” she says.

She also reports that the percentage of geared property investments is still quite small.

Love for the experts

SMSF trustees value the opinion of experts (see the graph below) but in an interesting conundrum, are reluctant to say they rely on them.

Around a quarter of intending investors, or those that plan to set up an SMSF in the next three years, say they love experts and 21% are fascinated by the opinions. However, less than 4% of both current and intending investors say they are reliant on experts.

Important: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. Consider the appropriateness of the information in regards to your circumstances.

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