Investing, Super and SMSF's

Investing, Super and SMSF's

Simply put, people usually invest today so life is better for them tomorrow

Now how you do that using one or more of the thousands of different types of investment options available, well, that can be as varied as the people who use them.

And that's a problem because complexity and an overwhelming abundance of investment options can often delay or stall our decision making (and even wear down our well being).


Investments are never a one-size-fits-all solution

We take the time to listen to what you'd like to do in life today and tomorrow and then help you understand your options and what we think might best suit your individual needs and time line.

Whether you aim to accumulate wealth through residential property in your SMSF, generate income for retirement, or something in-between, we'd love to learn more about your journey and how we can help you get there.

There's a point where all of this choice starts to be not only unproductive, but counterproductive —a source of pain, regret, worry about missed opportunities and unrealistically high expectations … leading people to take less positive risks in making selections and to use simplifying strategies in lieu of more considered choices

Schwartz, PhDThe Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less

Our philosophy towards Superannuation

Don’t keep all the eggs in one basket

Super is a long-term investment, so it’s important to consider diversification alternatives rather than just put ‘all your eggs in the one basket’. The governments constantly changing super laws and the failing social security system indicates that the risk of legislative risk is on the rise. What is promised in superannuation today, may not be what’s always delivered tomorrow.

Put it another way, if all you have to sell is a hammer you'll treat everything as a nail.  If your current adviser is just selling superannuation, consider if its actually right for what you want to do today and tomorrow.

Our Philosophy towards Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF)

Managing a Self Managed Superannuation Fund - with much freedom comes much responsibility

Like other superannuation funds, self-managed super funds (SMSFs) are a way of saving for your retirement in a tax effective manner. The key difference between an SMSF and other types of super funds is generally that SMSF fund members are either the Trustees (or Directors of a Corporate Trustee) of the fund. They run it for their own benefit and have personal responsibility for ensuring that it complies with the SIS Act and its Regulations. Most importantly, the SMSF must be run in accordance with the sole purpose test.

The ATO directive is very clear:

'Your SMSF needs to meet the sole purpose test to be eligible for the tax concessions normally available to super funds. This means your fund needs to be maintained for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits to your members, or to their dependants if a member dies before retirement.'

  • SMSF members decide how to invest and thus have a wider choice of investments than standard off the rack funds.
  • An SMSF can invest in a broader selection of investments including property and, if you are self-employed, small business assets too.
  • An SMSF can have a maximum of 4 fund members and can include family members, giving the fund more super to invest. Assets held inside an SMSF are usually shielded from bankruptcy but are the property of the fund and not available for members personal use. Becuase of the complex laws around personal use investments, if your run
  • Assets held inside an SMSF are usually shielded from bankruptcy but are the property of the fund and not available for members personal use.
  • You also need to be sure your super investments are legal and in compliance with your SMSF Trust Deed

Remember all financial & investment decisions carry risk, so it's important to think carefully about your investment options to balance the level of risk against the level of financial return. Because of the complex laws around personal use investments, if you run an SMSF, you'll probably find it easier with a financial adviser to advise you.

SMSF's aren't for everyone and you should think carefully before deciding to set one up. It's a major financial decision and you need to have the time and skills to do it. Either way, you should certainly get professional advice.

A quick reminder about the need for time 
Every wealth accumulation strategy takes time to achieve its goal. However, if an investor dies or becomes disabled during his or her accumulation stage of investing, it's highly unlikely the goal will ever be reached. This is why life insurance and income protection insurances and related are foundational to everything we do.

Investing in Property through an SMSF

Do you need a Certificate of Financial Advice?

For SMSF’s that choose in invest in property as part of their considered investment strategy, banks and other mortgage providers will usually require a Certificate of Financial Advice along with funder specific additional requirements and documentation.

  • This can be a difficult document to obtain as it requires a licenced and experienced professional with an unusual broad skill set and understanding of your super funds' investment plan, trustee deed and member’s needs.
  • At Sapience, we have those skills and the necessary licences to help you understand non-recourse mortgage lending and different asset classes.

This breadth of expertise means we can comfortably work with SMSF Trustees to help them comply with different sections of the SIS Act and we can also provide Certificates of Financial Advice.

If you are an SMSF Trustee and need assistance meeting your member insurance responsibilities, whether you need a Certificate of Financial Advice, or want to update your documented investment plan, or perhaps you are needing to complete your annual liquidity review and life insurance needs for your members, we can help you.

Death and taxes…

No discussion about investing is complete without a mention of taxation as well

Capital gains tax (CGT) is a tax on the profits made from the sale of an investment asset. (You could see it like a success tax).

The capital gains tax rates are different, depending on how long you hold the asset before selling, with a short term tax rate applying to assets held for less than a year and a longer-term tax rate applying to assets held for more than a year. Typically, long-term taxes have a lower rate (the government does this to encourage long-term investment), so it's often in your best interest to carefully choose and hold onto your investments.

The long-term tax rate is lower (to encourage long-term investing), so it's usually in your best interest to carefully choose the benefits of a longer-term investment time line.

Contact us today here to see if we can help you get certainty about your situation.

When thinking if investing is right for you, its important you feel comfortable understanding the basics before rushing into unfamiliar territory

Five simple rules for investing in uncertain times

As we've seen in recent times, investment markets can change overnight

But there are some simple rules that investors have been using to help wait patiently and build long-term wealth for decades.

Investment basics 101

So you're thinking about investing, or perhaps you've suddenly realised that you're already an investor because your compulsory savings from your wage, aka your superannuation account balance is already invested somewhere (hopefully)

Either way, it's time to take a closer interest in where your wealth is and what it's supposed to be doing for you

Investment basics for investing in uncertain markets

15 Most common questions we get asked about investing in uncertain times

Constant ups and downs in the market may make an investor wary. But being wary doesn’t necessarily mean sitting on the sidelines. You simply need to know what you’re doing or talk to an expert.

Start by asking yourself two simple questions: