All SMSFs are required to have a written investment strategy. The investment strategy starts with the investment objectives and then sets out the parameters for the investments usually including an asset allocation. Other factors that the investment strategy should take into account include:
The investment strategy should be based on the objectives, needs, and preferences of each SMSF member. Factors to consider include their age, their retirement needs, and their attitude towards risk. The strategy should explain how the fund’s investments meet each member’s retirement objectives.
A review of the investment strategy should be conducted on a regular basis to ensure it continues to reflect the members’ circumstances. All decisions should be documented, including the decision to make no changes.
When it comes to investment options for SMSFs, you get a lot of choice. Your fund can invest in:
As well as a wide range of investment choice, you get to choose the mix of investments for your fund through an investment strategy.
Below are a few things to consider when you’re planning your investment strategy;
Diversification is about investing in a variety of assets so that no single asset drives the performance and risk of an investment portfolio. It can mean positively performing investments balance out the negatively performing ones.
This can help lower the risk across a portfolio and smooth out investment returns over time. While this may not lead to huge gains, the effect of big losses may not be felt as strongly.
Although you’re generally unable to access your super until retirement it’s still important to consider how accessible cash is in an investment (e.g. an at-call deposit account is very liquid, while property is not).
SMSFs can have a combination of liquid and illiquid assets so you may need to think about cash flow and when you’ll need access to your money. For example, if a member passes away, the trustees may need to access cash within the SMSF to pay dependants or the estate of the deceased.
Asset allocation is how your investment portfolio is spread across different investments. Asset allocation can often involve considering the split between growth investments (generally more aggressive) and interest-bearing investments (generally more conservative).
Based on a minimum balance of $200,000 and as an example, a diversified portfolio might invest the following amounts in each asset class.