Adviser polling shows drop in SMSF advice

Live polling of delegates at the SMSF Association National Conference in Melbourne today has suggested that numbers of clients seeking advice on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) is decreasing, with many advisers thinking that this trend is set to continue.

The polling, conducted in a session at the conference, showed that nearly half of attendees found that the number of consumers seeking SMSF advice in the last six months had decreased, with the remaining recording a fairly even split between increasing and staying the same.

The same was true for whether the responding advisers expected the amount of advice sought to decrease, increase, or stay the same in the next six months. Forty per cent then said that they had seen a growth in the number of SMSF clients looking to wind up their fund, with 60 per cent saying they hadn’t.

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Following recent Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) regulatory guidance on property investments for SMSF trustees, around half of delegates participating in another live poll thought that the desire of consumers to set up an SMSF to invest in properties was saying the same. About 30 per cent thought it was decreasing.

Unsurprisingly considering the apparent focus of clients on property investment, an overwhelming majority of over 70 per cent of advisers participating in the poll thought that consumers should be allowed to borrow in the SMSFs.

The room was largely thought there shouldn’t be a minimum balance, then when asked on, if there were one, what that should be, nearly half the room thought that it should be $200,000 - $300,000.

Finally, in a concerning statistic, 93 per cent of advisers responding in the live polling said that they thought their SMSF advisers spend just one to three hours a month administering their funds. A point raised as a possible explanation however, was that much administration was now outsourced.

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