Updated data from the Australian Taxation Office has confirmed the sustained growth in self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), as Australians increasingly look to take control of their retirement finances.

Recent ATO data shows that in the five years to June 2018, the number of SMSFs grew by 19%, while total SMSF assets grew 57% to $750bn. Similarly, super contributions to SMSFs grew 79% to $41.8bn, making just over a quarter of total Australian super contributions.

The information underlines the recent change in attitude held by Australians looking to secure their retirements. In the wake of the Financial Services Royal Commission, distrust in the financial industry is among many factors explaining the prolonged move towards self-directed superannuation strategies.

However, the risks associated with these funds suggests that the data is not all good news for self-directed investors.

The largest category of asset held in SMSFs is in listed shares, typically representing the bulk of any given fund. A US study from Deloitte found that 52% of respondents did not work with financial professionals to plan their retirements, citing being “more comfortable handling retirement planning on their own”.

Also, the increasing proportion of those choosing to go solo also opens many up to the pitfalls of the open stock market. With only 14% of professionally managed US stock funds, according to a Creative Planning study, the wealth to be earned in the market will prove elusive for many retirement savers.

James Dunn of the Australian has argued that SMSFs typically fall short due to undiversified holdings, especially in cash or property, causing many to “miss out on market gains”. Tony Boyd wrote earlier this year in the AFR, pointing out that SMSF managers “feel the pain of volatility in markets more than most”.

HALO a perfect tool for self-directed investors

The situation has led some to label the financial climate as a “retirement crisis”, but it’s not the case for those with the right tools at their disposal.

HALO is an all-in-one platform designed for self-directed investors, giving them the same tools and analysis used by professional fund managers without any loss of flexibility.

The program simplifies the analysis and trading process without any loss of functionality. The proprietary algorithms use the latest in financial research and quantitative analysis to ensure that clients are given all they need to succeed in their DIY investment and saving strategies.

“More and more investors want to take direct control of their portfolios, but they may not have the proper tools. The HALO Investment Research Platform enables investors to analyse their portfolio with all the critical metrics they need,” says creator Nicolas Bryon.

The program also includes a fully integrated trading platform, and with a mobile app in development, investors can make real-time decisions about their superannuation, protecting them from potential market volatility.

At the same time, HALO offers more cautious investors the means to diversify away from cash holdings, ensuring Australians safety for their retirement

With many choosing to take control of their own super funds, HALO is a must-have for savers desiring to make the most of their investments.

July 3, 2019