Unmet SMSF advice needs a boon for advisers
Thursday, 31 July 2014 11:45am

More than 286,000 self-managed super funds (SMSFs) have unmet advice needs, representing a huge opportunity for financial advisers, according to new research from Investment Trends.

SMSFs who say they have unmet advice needs are prepared to pay up to $2,500 per annum for advice that meets their needs, on average, up from $2,000 last year the 2014 SMSF Planner Report revealed.

The most common areas of unmet advice were inheritance and estate planning (27%), Age Pension and other entitlements (27%) and SMSF pension strategies (24%).

These figures coincide with satisfaction for advisers being at its highest since the global financial crisis (GFC).

The overall proportion of SMSFs using a financial planner stopped its six-year decline and stabilised over the last year with 41% using one in the last 12 months, according to the report.

While Investment Trends senior analyst Recep III Peker said that this could be tied into the performance of the stock market, the research has shown that advisers' technical expertise was also playing a greater role in driving satisfaction.

Commenting on the opportunities for advisers, Vanguard head of adviser distribution Michael Lovett said there were multiple elements that contribute to a client's satisfaction.

"The challenge for advisers is to demonstrate that the value of good financial advice is much broader than investment selection," he said at the report's launch yesterday.

"The analysis from SMSF investors found multiple elements that contribute to their satisfaction with advisers - outside of investment selection. These include: technical expertise, tax expertise, quality of support staff and clarity of fees and charges."

Interestingly the report also revealed that accounts may be becoming less important in deciding to set up an SMSF.

In 2013 around 35% of respondents said that they set up an SMSF due to advice from their accountant, whereas in the most recent report this figure has dropped to 30%.

For those respondents considering setting up an SMSF, the adviser was also key, with 20% taking on advice from a planner, up from around 18% in 2013.

The report was completed after an online survey of 2,163 SMSF investors took place between March and April in 2014.

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