Experts in SMSFs: Experts in advice

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SMSFs are set to be a dominant force in the post retirement sector, so if you’re not providing advice to your clients in this space, then someone else is likely to.

Speaking at the AFA Conference this week, AMP head of policy and technical Peter Burgess pointed out how important it is for all advisers to be knowledgeable in the SMSF space.

“If you’re not providing self managed super fund advice to clients that are getting close to retirement or in retirement, chances are that you start to lose some of those clients,” says Burgess. “Because if you’re not talking about self managed super funds, someone else is.”

Burgess says that research from SPAA and Macquarie, as well as Deloitte, shows that clients want to have the SMSF discussion with their advisers.

“Now I’m not suggesting that you should be pushing all of your clients that are getting close to retirement into self managed super funds, but the point is that you have to have enough information, enough knowledge about self managed super funds to have an informed discussion with your clients.”

He says that AMP advertising has also shown that clients consider SMSF experts to be experts in all other aspects of superannuation, and even experts in all aspects of their financial planning affairs.

Netwealth managing director Matt Heine says that key to being considered an SMSF expert by your client, is understanding where on the SMSF journey they are positioned.

“You’ve got clients moving from delegation, to wanting a coaching relationship, to wanting to control it by themselves and clients will move through these different states of mind at different times,” he says.

Advisers need to find out if their clients are looking for delegation, or for control.

“Speak to the client, find out what it is they really want…if it’s just to access shares and cash, then they have got other alternatives.”

Burgess says that advisers should start out by assuming that an SMSF isn't right for their clients, then look for the reason why that particular client is the exception.

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