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  • Writer's pictureShane Ellis

Specialist SMSF advisers in demand

The Quality of Advice Review (QAR) has provided a vehicle for advisers to clearly define the difference between advice as a professional service and portfolio performance.

Irene Guiamatsia, head of research for Investment Trends, said until now there has been a clouded perception of where an adviser can support clients, especially those with self-managed funds.

But the results of Investment Trends’ latest report shows SMSFs are increasingly turning towards financial advisers for support with a lot more than their portfolio performance.

“The QAR has provided the vehicle for them to do that with things like tiering in terms of the type of advice that can be provided,” she said.

“For professional advisers that have been in practice for long time this is how they will stand out, if they can articulate clearly to perspective clients who are going to be very receptive to using advice in the future.”

Ms Guiamatsia said with the raft of legislative and regulatory changes in the superannuation sector over the past 12 months, the Investment Trends 2023 SMSF Adviser Report shows more trustees are looking for advice.

“It has always been the case that SMSF find it most challenging in administration – dealing with compliance and reporting requirements,” she said.

“I think in the past two years there has been a deluge of new policy announcements and SMSFs are grappling with understanding these and how it effects them.

“It is a bit of a missed opportunity if you don’t understand them and don’t avail yourself of something that may beneficial so it’s very important for SMSF to understand.”

She said the whole transformation of the regulatory landscape has perplexed many SMSF investors and as result they have been increasingly seeking advice on measures like QAR and the indexation of transfer balance cap.

“Our research found without fail, advised SMSF are more likely to understand [these changes],” Ms Guiamatsia said.

“We found that SMSF who don’t seek advice are struggling in the current environment and are more likely to appreciate the value of advice.”

The report revealed that there was an increase in SMSFs seeking advice and advice practices said this had also seen their revenues grow.

“Advice practices usually tell us that they make most of their revenue in fee governance rather than upfront costs.

“When they can maintain the relationship over time advisers have been able to increase their revenue by about $1000 per year per SMSF client for the advice that they provide,” she said.

“We have generalist advisers who have been one to 20 SMSF clients and specialists who have more than 20 clients, and it is that sector which is growing quickly as more advisers are actually targeting SMSFs.

“For many years advisers have shifted their proposition to high value clients which are now SMSF clients.

“The research shows that there has been a rise [in revenue] for specialist advisers of about $1,400 per year in this area.

“Our thinking is that it is quite hard to get people to pay more money for things they don’t value so our interpretation is that SMSFs are appreciating the value of the advice they are receiving with this changing landscape in the space.”

Written by Keeli Cambourne


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