Self-managed super fund (SMSF) has the words "self managed" in it but you don’t have to do it all yourself and if you are busy it is usually counter productive and just plain bad strategy to do it alone. A recent Investment Trends report suggests around 40 per cent of SMSF owners seek advice from a financial adviser and close to 100 per cent use an accountant or specialist administrator to assist with the compliance obligations such as tax returns, minutes, member statements, managing contributions and pensions.
If you think obtaining professional advice is expensive, remember the cost of amateur advice could be astronomical. Obtaining good advice and finding someone you can trust can have both qualitative and quantitative positive effects on your super fund.
On the qualitative front, good advice provides piece of mind, and from a quantitative perspective, advice can add thousands of extra dollars to your super fund that may help you have a better retirement sooner. For example, a person earning $100,000 and salary sacrificing $20,000 per annum can save $4500 in tax a year. This simple piece of advice has a direct correlation to increasing your wealth and it is just one of many potential advice strategies. So too, having a trusted professional such as an accountant or adviser can provide an innumerable level of comfort for investors.
Of the 33,000 practicing accountants providing services to SMSFs, only 9500, or just under 30 per cent, are licensed to provide investment and strategy advice. This number illustrates that finding the right professional can be problematic and like seeking good medical advice, wealth advice requires some due diligence and thorough research.
Like all professionals in your life, the most important aspect is finding someone you can trust and work with over the long term. Once you determine what services you need, then you can decide who it is that you are going to seek out. Family and friends can be a great source of referral for you and often they've done the legwork to choose someone who is right for them so, potentially, that person may be right for you, too.
Make sure you do your homework and never feel like you are all alone. Managing your own money can be overwhelming when times get tough and seeking a second opinion can not only save you thousands or make you thousands, it can give you something much more important, peace of mind.
Tanya Hofbauer is licensed to establish a SMSF under new rules that commenced on 1 July 2016 and would be more than happy to discuss setting up a SMSF or the ongoing requirements of your existing fund, please contact myself or Tanya on 03 8393 1000.
Pat Mannix, Partner, Paris Financial
Follow me on Twitter @mannix_pat
Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net