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SMSF establishments on the rise

New research shows that the pandemic and inflation concerns have not blunted the enthusiasm of Australians for setting up self-managed super funds.

The research from AUSIEX found that women and younger generations are driving new account openings, with the first SMSF accounts from Generation Z opened in the last year.

AUSIEX said some SMSF investors appeared to ignore inflation fears, trading during the volatility of January 2022 - averaging 57% buys during the month.

The research found a 9.3% increase in new SMSF accounts opened during July-September 2021 relative to the corresponding quarter in the previous financial year, driven by self-directed investors while the 2021 calendar year had a 5% growth on the total book.

However, since this period, the advised segment has become the leading source of new SMSF account openings, including a sharp rise in September 2021.

"Self-directed investors who not long ago had the time to set up and manage the compliance obligations and direct their investments, may be finding themselves facing both challenging investment conditions and time poor once again," AUSIEX chief executive Eric Blewitt said.

"As a consequence, they may now be again seeing the value in and actively seeking professional advice."

AUSIEX found the proportion of Millennial advised SMSF clients has also quadrupled in the past decade, and the average age of the principal contact on new SMSF trading account is down from 67 in 2012 to 59 in 2022.

There are also more women with SMSFs now - women accounted for 28% of new advised principal contact SMSF clients, back in 2012 that figure was just 18.5%. In 2019, 20% of principal SMSF clients were women, so the increase in the years since has been sharp.

Read more: AUSIEXEric Blewitt