Author: kriskitto

About Kris Kitto

Director at Superfund Partners. I love working in the SMSF space. Self-managed super funds are more than just a savings vehicle - they enable people to truly take control of their financial situation which is key to achieving happiness. Leading the Superfund Partners team is a privilege - they are a great crew and they always put others first.

How to invest in US shares and ETFs directly via an SMSF

Self-managed super funds have often been criticised for lacking diversification when it comes to their investments, specifically that SMSFs have too much in Australian shares and cash and not enough in international investments.

This criticism is somewhat unwarranted as SMSFs access international investments via Australian managed funds and ETFs.  Research from Class Super shows that the underlying exposure to international equities across the top 20 managed funds and ETFs is 57% and 58% respectively (Source: Class SMSF Benchmark Report June 2016).

A large portion of SMSF trustees desire access to international investments, namely the US as the largest financial market in the world, however investing directly has traditionally been a costly and complex exercise. Trustees face a mountain of paperwork, complex forms and typically expensive trading fees.

Looking at trading fees, the cost to an SMSF to purchase AUD $10,000 of US stocks will be anywhere from $41 to $134  ($88 on average) per trade if conducted via the international broking solutions of the big four banks (Nabtrade,

Bitcoin and crypto-currency investment in an SMSF

The recent surge in the price of Bitcoin has many investors seriously looking at crypto-currency as a part of their SMSF investment portfolio.

So, can an SMSF invest in bitcoin and crypto currency, and if so, what must trustees and advisers be aware of?

There are a number of key areas that trustees need to consider and address if they are looking if invest their SMSF monies into Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies / crypto-assets.

 

Is it allowable under the SMSF trust deed?

For any investment to be allowed, it must specifically be enabled and included in the trust deed of the SMSF. As Bitcoin and other crypto-assets are part of a relatively new asset class, it is unlikely that most SMSF deed would include a provision for investing into these currencies.

The ATO’s view is the Bitcoin and other crypto-assets are NOT currencies:

“Our view is that bitcoin is neither money nor a foreign currency,

SMSF Administrator-SMSF Admin-Self Managed Super Fund Admin-SMSF Specialist-how to setup an SMSF-EOFY SMSF Checklist

Top 10 end of financial year tips for your SMSF

The end of the financial year is the perfect time to give your SMSF some love.  The following are our top 10 pre-30 June items we believe every SMSF trustee should look at.

  1. Take your minimum pension!
  2.  Maximise contributions
  3. Superstream
  4. Review your SMSF investments
  5. Pay any outstanding taxes or fees
  6. Property
  7. Collectibles
  8. Valuations for EVERYTHING
  9. Update your SMSF trust deed
  10. Is it time for an SMSF trustee company?

 

 

  1. Take your minimum pension!

 

If you are taking a pension from your SMSF, you need to make sure you’ve taken the minimum required amount before 30 June to enjoy all that juicy tax free income and refunds of franking credits!

Noel Whittaker – SMSF Seminar

Superfund Partners is very proud to support the Sun, Surf & SMSF Seminar to be held on the Gold Coast in January 2016.

Click the image below to be taken to the event page:

SocialCard - Sun Surf SMSF

 

6 reasons to update your SMSF trust deed

With the amount of changes to superannuation in the last five years it’s essential that your SMSF has a robust, good quality trust deed.

Although the rate of actual law changes has slowed in the last few years, there have still been numerous rulings, cases and new strategies developed which require an up to date SMSF trust deed to protect your interests and get the most from your SMSF.

The following six items are example areas where your current SMSF trust deed is likely deficient:

Gold Coast SMSF Workshop: Estate Planning

For many people their SMSF will make up the largest part of their wealth as they move into their later years. This means just as much effort needs to be invested when it comes to ensuring SMSF assets go to who you want them to on death as other personally owned or business assets. This Gold Coast workshop will educate SMSF trustees on how to best structure their assets to ensure your wishes are carried out in the most tax effective way on your passing.

SMSF Gold Coast Workshop Content

In this workshop we will cover:

  • Components of a solid SMSF estate plan
  • Your personal Will does not cover your SMSF!
  • Tax on death and how to avoid it
  • Maximising the legacy you leave for your family
  • How to avoid estate disputes
  • Choosing the right executors
  • Dealing with blended families
  • Should your Will include provisions for a testamentary trust?

SMSF Workshop: Estate Planning (Brisbane)

For many people their SMSF will make up the largest part of their wealth as they move into their later years.

This means just as much effort needs to be invested when it comes to ensuring SMSF assets go to who you want them to on death as other personally owned or business assets.

Workshop Content

In this workshop we will cover:

  • Components of a solid SMSF estate plan
  • Your personal Will does not cover your SMSF!
  • Tax on death and how to avoid it
  • Maximising the legacy you leave for your family
  • How to avoid estate disputes
  • Choosing the right executors
  • Dealing with blended families
  • Should your Will include provisions for a testamentary trust?
  • Importance of Enduring Powers of Attorneys

The presentation content will cover approximately 40 minutes and we will have plenty of time for any questions and discussion on key areas.

SMSF advice: We’re here to help

A recent statistic from Investment Trends caught my eye:  40 per cent of SMSF trustees who stopped using an accountant in 2014 cited lack of access to a wider range of advice services and expertise. Is this because accountants don’t have the expertise or to deliver the right SMSF advice to trustees, or are they simply failing to communicate it?

SMSF sophisticated investor

Should my SMSF become a sophisticated investor?

Australia has relatively strong investor protection laws, and although they don’t always meet the public’s expectations, they typically ensure investors have access to appropriate disclosures and protection mechanisms when they invest or take financial advice. However there are certain exemptions (namely the sophisticated investor exemption) available to companies that issue investments or provide advice and SMSF trustees can unknowing be placed into a situation where they can’t access these protections.

SMSF unit trust

Using an SMSF unit trust to buy property with super

The following article on using an SMSF unit trust to buy property was written by Daniel Butler of DBA Lawyers and published in the Australian Financial Review on September 26; 2015. The original article can be found here: Beware when using a unit trust to buy property in your SMSF (AFR subscription may be required).

SMSF unit trusts are popular structures by which to hold property and other investments.

They are particularly popular for self-managed superannuation funds (‘SMSF’) that invest in real estate. Using such a structure, one or more SMSFs, as well as other investors, can join forces to acquire an investment property, potentially giving each investor access to a better property with more upside potential than they might otherwise have.

Working within the SMSF unit trust rules

However, an SMSF must be careful to ensure it complies with a raft of superannuation rules.

An SMSF is not permitted to invest more than 5 per cent in a related trust,