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Devising an SMSF investment strategy

An investment strategy is fundamental when it comes to self-managed super funds. Not only is having one a statutory requirement, but it also helps SMSF trustees know what to invest in to meet the fund’s investment goal.

Above all, an SMSF investment strategy must be designed to help trustees reach their retirement goal.

To do this, the strategy must outline the fund’s objectives. Every fund’s objective will be different and should reflect the circumstances of each fund member. For example, it must take into account the age and when each member plans to retire, existing assets inside and outside of super, each member’s current and future salary and ability to contribute to the fund. Importantly, it must also factor the ability of the fund’s assets to be sold within a specific time frame.

Taking into account the risk profile of each fund member will help the strategy determine what the fund invests in. In cases where the risk profile of each member differs, individual asset pools should be created to reflect individual members’ risk preferences.

SMSF strategies need to be reviewed regularly, especially during important life events, like when a member enters retirement, suffers from an illness, goes through a divorce or passes away. These events can have a substantial effect on how a fund operates e.g. if a member dies, a fund’s asset allocation may need to change so that the fund holds fewer high-risk assets.

While there is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all approach’ when it comes to an SMSF’s investment strategy, it is essential for a strategy to consider the elements such as the ones discussed to ensure the fund complies with regulations and meets member needs in retirement.

Posted on 24 May '16 by , under Super.

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What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
  • Insurance policies
  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
  • Proof of identity. This could include your driver's license, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
  • Your fund's unique superannuation identifier (USI).
  • Details of your previous fund.

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