One of the key reasons for SMSfs being so popular is the level of investment freedom they offer. With a SMSF you can create your own investment strategy and select from a broader range of investments including:
- cash and fixed interest;
- physical gold and other commodities;
- shares and derivatives (listed and some unlisted);
- direct property (residential and business); and
- collectables such as artwork, stamps and coins.
Other benefits include
- One fund for the family – you can have up to four members in the SMSF, allowing you to pool your resources and increase the fund’s balance which means it allows the fund to purchase assets it currently doesn’t have sufficient money to buy. There may also be some cost savings in terms of running the SMSF as generally the fees are fixed (ie costs don’t increase as the balance does). Having one fund for the family also gives you more flexibility to decide which assets are sold to pay a death benefit if a fund member dies which could provide some benefit in relation to capital gains positioning.
- Borrowing to make larger investments – SMSFs can borrow to buy assets such as shares and property. For example, if you’re a business owner, your SMSF could purchase your business property using cash already in the fund and borrow the rest.
- Tax considerations – control over the timing of tax events, such as when capital gains and losses on assets are realised. You may be able to transfer certain assets directly into your fund by making ‘in specie’ contributions where the investment earnings are concessionally taxed. Potentially start a pension without having to trigger a capital gains tax event.
However, a SMSF may not be for everyone as there are also a number of reasons why it may not be appropriate such as:
- Running a SMSF is time-consuming and you may not have enough skill to manage your own super
- The investment choices in a publicly available fund may be sufficient for your needs
- You may not have enough funds to make running a SMSF financially viable. As a rule of thumb collectively you shouldn’t consider setting one up unless you have over $350,000 in super.
- There are penalties for non-compliance as you will have an obligation to comply with all the super rules and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) can levy a whole range of penalties depending on the severity of the breach.
Speak to us today and we can help you put together your plan to help you achieve this and many of your other goals.