Advisers’ SMSF client assets double in three years

Net assets per adviser in self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) have more than doubled from $22 million in 2019 to $51 million as the adviser exodus means remaining firms are taking on more clients.

According to Wealth Data research using data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the adviser exodus had left remaining advisers taking on a higher volume of SMSFs.

This was demonstrated by the fact that total number of SMSFs had remained fairly static since 2016 at around 550,000-600,000 funds. However, the number of advisers had fallen from 24,000 to less than 17,000 over the same period.

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This had led to the average adviser now managing 36.2 SMSFs compared to 24.6 in the first quarter of 2017.

The average SMSF balance was $1.41 million, up from $1.04 million in 2016.

Colin Williams, founder of Wealth Data, said: “We appreciate that not every SMSF has an adviser and not every adviser works with SMSF clients. The stats highlight the growing number of SMSFs that will potentially require the support of an adviser. The stats clearly indicate that existing advisers naturally increase their market share of SMSF clients as the total number of advisers continue to decline”.

There was also a downward trend for cash weightings in SMSFs which the firm said “indicated many SMSF clients may be seeking more investment advice as opposed to a passive approach”.

In the third quarter of 2016, the beginning of the data, weightings to cash and term deposits were 24.8% but had now declined to 17.1% in the most recent quarter.

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