Since self-managed super funds came into existence accountants have been the number one source of advice when it comes to their set-up up and operation. However the actual advice accountants have legally been allowed to give SMSF trustees has always been very limited, and from 1 July 2016 will get even tighter.
So what does this mean for SMSF trustees – especially those of us who are self-directed?
SMSF advice your accountant can (and can’t) give
In general any person or business who advises or deals in financial products or services needs to have an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL). When it comes to SMSFs – most services and advice will be considered financial advice unless it’s specifically related to:
- Taxation advice or services
- Accounting and administration advice or services
- Information regarding compliance with laws and regulations relating to SMSFs
Although the above seems comprehensive, the list is actually quite narrow and excludes advice that are the most important and valuable to us as SMSF trustees!
“If you don’t have international shares you are missing out on 98% of the world’s equity opportunities!”
So goes the catch-cry of international share fund managers.
Popular media often scolds trustees of SMSF’s for being too domestically focused and missing out on the opportunities that are available in international shares.
And to help the do it yourself market to access international shares there are now a preponderance of Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) and Listed Investment Companies (LIC’s) that now make it easy for individual investors and SMSF’s to access international exposure through their online trading accounts.
Performances over the twelve months to 30 June 2015 certainly make DIY investors sit up and take notice of the argument why you shouldn’t ignore international share markets.
The MSCI World Index priced in Australian dollars returned 25.18% for the year to 30 June. The three year performance is 26.12%. For comparison, the Australian ASX200 Accumulation index returned 5.68% for the year,