SMSF Community: Exceptional access to experts
This is the second part in the series which looks at the SMSF Community and the role it can play in running your SMSF portfolio.
Liam Shorte, director, Verante Financial Planning is a super user of the AMP Capital SMSF Community.
He says the forum is extremely useful for finding up-to-date information about what’s happening in the self-managed super fund (SMSF) arena.
“I like it for the fact that there are plenty of technical experts and economists who use the forum, as well as people who pose basic questions that I know my own clients will ask. It helps me to be prepared in advance of client meetings,” says Shorte.
“It really does help to be able to have a further discussion about an issue with other community members, rather than just reading an article posted on the forum. It allows me to go into more depth in terms of understanding clients’ concerns about the topic. If I want more information about an article I have read on the forum I can go back to the author and ask questions,” he adds.
For instance a member recently posted a question on the segregation of SMSF assets subsequent to new super rules being introduced after 1 July.
Says Shorte: “One of the members provided a particularly comprehensive reply, but on a very professional basis. Now it’s my job to break it down into plain English for my SMSF trustee clients.”
He notes upcoming new rules such as the reduced contribution caps and the introduction of a transfer balance cap have changed the landscape dramatically for SMSF members. This is particularly the case for contribution strategies.
Many members have not needed to consider changing their contribution strategies for some time. But given how soon the new rules will be introduced, now’s the time to be putting in place new strategies that take into account the reformed super system.
“Many people leave thinking about super until late in their life. But because of the new contribution limits, it’s a good idea to really start thinking about super as an investment vehicle from the age of 45 onwards if you do want to have a good super balance and appropriate strategies in place before retirement,” says Shorte.
“Many people need to thinking about planning much further ahead than they expected to previously,” he adds.
Above all, says Shorte, it’s important for SMSF members to ensure they understand the new rules and, where appropriate, seek advice if they are unsure whether their strategies and fund complies.
“I think the new rules are so complex that you can't just go to a seminar on this and be confident you’re across them. Most people will need to have a one-on-one with an adviser who can explain what the rules mean for their specific situation. That's why something like the community's good because you can put up those situations on the forum and get feedback. So that when you do go to see an adviser or an accountant, you have the right background knowledge on the options available.”
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The SMSF Community is a place for people in the industry, either trustees or professionals, to build connections, share ideas and experiences.
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