You are currently on:

How to choose the right investment strategy for your SMSF?

Jan 27, 2022, 15:49 PM

By Graeme Colley
Executive Manager, SMSF Technical & Private Wealth

Graeme Colley SuperConcepts
All SMSFs are required to have an investment strategy which is the plan for making, holding and realising investments in line with the fund’s investment objectives. It is the backbone of the fund which is designed to benefit members.

As part of the investment strategy, the fund’s trustees need to put a portfolio of investments in place, but this can be a bit of a high wire act when markets are volatile.

The fund’s portfolio may require trustees to invest in various investment types in Australia and overseas. These may include:

• listed and unlisted shares and units in unit trusts,
• commercial and residential property,
• currency,
• term deposits, and
• specialised and boutique investments.

What makes a good investment for an SMSF depends on each fund’s objectives.  For example, a fund with relatively young members may be looking for investments with a high capital growth component and a lower amount of income being paid as interest, rent and dividends.  In contrast, an SMSF consisting of retired or older members may be considering investments with higher income yields and lower capital growth to help with cash flow.

As markets move, fund trustees may need to rebalance the fund’s portfolio.  This may occur if there is a significant increase in the value of the fund’s portfolio of listed shares and require a reallocation of the fund’s investments into property, cash and term deposits.  The reason for the reallocation will help to align the fund’s investments with its investment strategy.

A review and adjustment of the fund’s investment strategy may be required in some situations, but this is a long-term objective and would be expected to occur at less regular intervals than the reallocation of fund investments.  An example requiring a review of the fund’s investment strategy may be necessary when a member leaves the fund or commences a pension to increase the fund’s liquidity.

Rebalancing a fund’s investment portfolio may be difficult where the fund owns a significant investment where its value has increased significantly or an investment that proves difficult to sell.  Examples include real estate, shares in private companies or unit trusts and specialised investments such as artwork and collectables.   This decision may come down to how investments are classified in the fund.  However, as the fund changes over time, trustees are likely to face some level of rebalancing the fund’s investments.

The ultimate decision may be up to the fund’s auditor to determine whether the fund’s investment strategy and allocation are out of alignment.  Failing to meet the requirements of an investment strategy and put it into action is a compliance issue for the fund and can be reported to the ATO by the fund’s auditor in an Audit Contravention Report.  As a trustee, you should study your responsibilities more closely to avoid such incidents.

Want more free SMSF knowledge? 

For fortnightly insights, follow our podcast SMSF Adventures with SuperConcepts hosted by Jessica Griffith as she speaks to some of the greatest minds in the industry, to deliver the information that matters.

Follow the show on Spotify or Apple Podcast.

To learn more about how our range of SMSF services phone us on 1300 023 170 or request a call back

Alternatively click through to view our range of services for trusteesaccountants and advisers