With fewer Financial Advisers recommending and working directly with SMSF’s, the level of superannuation assets available to those who are still working in the SMSF Sector is growing.  There is a real opportunity for a continuing Financial Adviser to become an SMSF expert and ultimately grow a significant SMSF business. The latest data shows a growing number of limited licences (mostly Accountants) being closed, leaving a large number of SMSF Trustees without suitable financial advice. Smart Financial Advisers are taking the opportunity to skill themselves up and take advantage.

Benefits of becoming an SMSF Expert

SMSF’s are complex structures and an understanding of the legislation that underpins them is essential if a Financial Adviser wants to attract savvy SMSF Trustees. That’s not to say that becoming and staying a Financial Adviser today isn’t a tough process but adding an SMSF Specialisation is not just a simple extra step. For those that do attain a Specialisation in Self-Managed Super, the benefits can be great, especially with so many Financial Advisers leaving the space. Whilst some Financial Advisers have steered clear of SMSFs, those that haven’t enjoy both the financial benefit and the relationship building opportunities. These benefits are:

  • New Revenue Streams
  • Closer relationships with current clients
  • A more holistic service offering
  • More referral opportunities
  • Ability to create niche offerings
  • Access growing prospect pool

What we know  from partnering with many successful Financial Advisers is that becoming an SMSF expert and building a client base of SMSF Trustees does not require a change in business model for a Financial Adviser. If you find the right partner, you can access many of these benefits and all you will need to do is manage the client relationship.

How to become an SMSF Expert

The key to attracting SMSF Trustees that may have been left with advice requirements is not just about whether or not you are able to give the advice, most Financial Advisers can do that now. To be an expert in SMSF, as opposed to other Superannuation products requires some more training, accreditation and dedicated SMSF CPD. Growing an SMSF business is not just about setting up new funds, SMSF trustees want to be able to get support with the ongoing management of their fund and guidance when it comes to changes in circumstance such as adding new members, rollovers and contributions, establishing pensions and preparing for death. This requires an in depth understanding of the relevant strategies and the rules. A business like Keep It Simple Super can be a fantastic partner when it comes to technical support but having your own understanding will help you guide and protect your clients.

We recommend that you get your knowledge and accreditation through Self-Managed Super Fund Association (SMSFA). I am a Fellow of SMSFA and have been associated and held accreditation since 2005. The benefit to my business through this association have been great. The accreditation that a Financial Adviser should seek is the SMSF Adviser accreditation (SSA). The SMSFA lists the benefits of having this accreditation as:

  • Independent recognition of your SMSF expertise
  • Industry leading designation (SSA / SSAud)
  • Grow your profile with Association branding and listing on ‘Find A Specialist’ page
  • Enhance your current SMSF skills and knowledge
  • Specialist only CPD and up to 16 CPD hours per year
  • Potential for one subject credit towards FASEA requirements
  • 1 subject credit towards Graduate Certificate in SMSFs through Kaplan. Subject credit is approved by FASEA

To register for the Specialist program, you will need to be an Associate member of SMSFA, which comes with significant benefits of its own. Getting qualified to market yourself as an SMSF Expert is just a small part of being an SMSF expert. You don’t want to be an expert that gives free advice so building a service around your expertise is how you can take advantage of the growing number of potential SMSF clients.

Opportunity to grow your own SMSF Business

If you do have current clients with SMSF’s, you are most likely managing a relationship with multiple Accountants. You are probably referring to those Accountants for any questions relating to the management of these funds. Your client probably is too. We work with many Advisers around the country that have come to us frustrated that their clients SMSF is being managed outside of their business.They are constantly fearful that these clients may leave, especially as the clients age and their superannuation becomes a more important factor in their overall planning.

One way to establish yourself as an SMSF expert is to set up your own SMSF Administration service. We have seen many Financial Advisers attempt to do this by employing and managing a team of Accountants and Tax Agents although they very quickly determine that this doesn’t work due to the pressure that hiring and managing a team of accountants puts on their business. The outcome is that it often negatively impacts their existing financial planning business. We have seen many Financial Advisers successfully brand their own SMSF Administration business using a wholesale provider as the engine for their service. The wholesale provider will act as Accountant and Tax Agent whilst facilitating the audit process. This leaves the Adviser with a brand-new revenue stream whilst doing little more than managing the client. If you can successfully achieve this, you have not only grown the value of your business but have most likely secured your client for the future.

Locking a client in long term by reducing the external influence of an Accountant can be achieved by going down the SMSF expert path. SMSF numbers are still growing and with Accountants and Financial Advisers leaving the advice and SMSF space, there are a growing number of Australians that are looking for a Financial Adviser, particularly with SMSF expertise. To engage with one of Australia’s leading wholesale SMSF Administration businesses with a proven track record of helping Financial Advisers develop and implement their own SMSF Administration service, contact Matt Heighway – [email protected]