SMSF confusion putting Aussies' retirement at risk

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Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) says it's growing increasingly concerned over a perceived lack of regulation surrounding property investment, particularly with regard to SMSFs and is calling on ASIC and the Government to take action.

According to the organisation, financial services professionals remain tentative as to just who can legally guide SMSF customers through the process of investing in property.

PIPA chair, Ben Kingsley, says despite repeated public discussion, professionals in the financial services industry remain confused as to who can recommend property for investment within an SMSF.

“If industry professionals are confused, then what hope does that give us that consumers will navigate this investment channel successfully?”

With SMSFs attracting a growing number of Australians, many of which are looking to invest in property, Kingsley says the lack of appropriate regulation is putting the retirements of millions of Australians at risk.

“Once again, we are calling on ASIC and the federal government to get up and take action and regulate property investment.”

He admits that the vast majority of brokers, accountants and financial planners do their best to help clients make smart investment choices, but a lack of regulation leaves consumers vulnerable to less scrupulous operators, namely ‘property spruikers’ and marketeers.

Furthermore, despite good intentions, Kingsley says many well-meaning professionals simply don’t have the qualifications to provide sound property investment advice.

“PIPA’s message to anyone operating in the financial services space where property investment is involved, including self-managed super, is to look after the customer where you are qualified.”

“PIPA remains dedicated to seeing property investment in Australia regulated,” says Kingsley, “But in the meantime, we are calling on financial services professionals to work together in the best interests of Australian consumers and towards the greater goal of increasing the professionalism of property investment advice in Australia.”

Do you think there should be tighter regulations on who deals with SMSF investments?