Updated Dec 20, 2022
This information has been reviewed by our SMSF Mates before it was published as part of our review process.
Welcome back to SMSF Mate’s daily podcast. This is our general advice warning. We are required to warn you that any advice has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situations or needs and because of that you should before acting on the advice consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your own objectives, financial services and needs. Where the advice relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of a financial product you should obtain a product disclosure statement, PDS relating to that product and consider the PDS before making any decision about whether to acquire the product.
Sonny: Welcome to SMSF Mate’s podcast. Today on the podcast we have a very special guest by the name of Tim Johnston from Apollo Capital joining us. Tim, how are you?
Tim: Very well, thank you. Very much glad to be here.
Sonny: Great, thanks for coming and in the studio I’ll go around the table. I’ve got?
Ashwin: Ashwin. This is Ashwin’s voice, the accountant in the room.
Gareth: Gareth, this is the Gareth voice.
Sonny: This is the Sonny voice.
Gareth: Welcome Tim. Tim, you’re from Apollo Capital, can you tell us a bit about Apollo Capital and what you guys do and what you do there.
Tim: Yes, absolutely. So many of your listeners will be familiar with equity funds or property funds or infrastructure funds. We’re a crypto fund. The underlying assets of the funds that we manage are crypto assets. We’ve got a couple of different funds but back in 2017, 2018 we decided to launch a crypto fund as an easy way for investors to get exposure to the wonderful world of crypto assets. There’s a lot a lot of pitfalls out there for investing in crypto, a lot of difficulties. Research and analysis is one part working out what to buy and to sell but also the other parts of that is the compliance, the operations, the accounting for trading different crypto assets. The Apollo Capital Fund is our flagship fund launched in February 2018. Been going for about four and a half years now. That is an Australian unit trust which is a structure familiar to many people. That basically has an underlying portfolio of crypto assets which as you can imagine is highly volatile. It goes up and down with crypto markets. We have a couple of other strategies and other funds which I can touch on but effectively we’re a crypto asset investment management firm.
Gareth: Very good. Here comes stupid question number one. For a traditional self-managed super fund trustee maybe pretty solid in blue chip stocks or property. What would be the reason why they may consider crypto?
Tim: Not a stupid question. A great question, one I like talking to because personally myself, I’ve got a background in traditional finance. I’m a CFA charter holder which is one of the hardest sort of post-grad financial qualifications. I’ve got a bit of traditional finance experience. I fell into this world of crypto and kind of asked the same question when I did fall into the world of crypto. I think the answers are one, return potential. I mean crypto is highly volatile. It goes up and down but the return potential is clearly there. It has been the best performing asset class over usually every time frame. Certainly hasn’t been the latest time frames but ten years, five years. Three years, it’s a very, very exciting asset class with a huge amount of opportunity and the return potential has been there notwithstanding that it’s been difficult of late. Then the second one which is a really interesting conversation is around this idea of correlation. The gold star for a new asset or including something new in the portfolio is something that has return potential but also doesn’t correlate with the other assets that might already be in that portfolio. The reason I say it’s interesting is because historically we’ve said that crypto doesn’t correlate to traditional assets like equities and bonds but that has changed of late. The last six months everything’s gone down and crypto is included in that but I think you still can say that over a long period of time crypto asset markets are very different. There’s very different investors. Over a longer period of time, I guess I qualify it now by saying that your crypto assets may not correlate with other assets within the portfolio.
That flows into crypto’s a very polarizing topic. Some people think it’s absolutely fantastic and it’s going to solve world hunger. Some people think it’s the cause of world hunger. We have a pretty balanced view. We don’t go out there advocating that people should invest 30% or 20% of their portfolios in crypto but I think serious consideration needs to be given for a 1% allocation or a 2% or a 5% location with the idea that a small allocation can make a difference when and if crypto performs very strongly but if crypto doesn’t perform strongly it’s not going to bring the whole portfolio down with it.
Gareth: Cool. If someone wanted to dip their toe in the water, let’s say what considerations I have to be careful with my choice of words here. What considerations may someone be thinking about if they were looking to invest in crypto in a super fund.
Tim: Great, great question. I think the first question is exposure to the broader asset class. Then if you decide that you want that well then what does that exposure look like. Starting with the first question is the first question really is can you handle the risk because it is so volatile. Our fund I think at one stage was down 65% so if people were putting in $10,000 eight or nine months later it was worth three and a half thousand dollars or even or slightly less. If you’re the sort of person and obviously I’m not giving personal advice here but if people are likely to describe it bluntly freak out if they were to see that then I would suggest that crypto is not for them but if they put in a small amount, if they realize that it’s volatile, no one likes to see it but if they’re prepared for that volatility then I think that’s a good start to think further about whether they might like to allocate to the space.
I think then the question is the second part as you said is well how do you then invest in crypto. There’s so many different ways you can do that now. I guess most people traditionally start with buying a little bit of bitcoin. There’s issues and complexities around that within your self-managed super fund and we can talk about them if you like but then you might want to buy some ethereum which is the number two crypto asset. You might want to buy some more and so then that question goes into well, do you want a diversified portfolio? Do you want one or two assets or do you want to look at something like the Apollo Capital Fund which is a unit trust and a portfolio of 30 to 35 crypto assets under that which is we like to think managed by professional investors.
Sonny: Tim, it’s Sonny here. I think with your overlay of traditional finance maybe some comments around trading crypto versus investing in crypto because I think the investment piece is probably the most important for superannuation and self-managed super funds versus a perception SMS trustees might have of the additional liquidity or volatility of trading crypto.
Tim: I think trading crypto and so to be clear on that if someone wanted to get in one day, out the next, in another asset, out the next. Look, I probably don’t have a lot to comment on that. I mean you could do that just as well as in equities or other asset classes if that’s the individual’s style. Again, whether that’s committed under the self-managed super fund is up to the investor. I guess you might say that crypto has some benefits because of the volatility that for the traders they it does create more opportunities to get in and out and have larger swings. Options traders for example. Options pricing is all about volatility. Crypto is certainly more or tends to be more volatile than equities but I think what you sort of touched on is the idea of investing in crypto.
As an example for our fund we recommend that people have an investment time frame of at least three years. We don’t think it’s the sort of asset class that you want to invest and then you see some volatility and you freak out as I described it before and three months later go, oh this is not for me and take your money out because anything could happen in three months. We encourage investors to take that longer term view. If you look at our initial investors it’s a perfect example. Our initial investors came in when the fund launched which was at one dollar. The unit price again at one stage they were down 65% and now the unit price it got as high as $5 and it’s up at about $3 so they’ve tripled their money with a lot of volatility in between and there was a distribution there as well. They were I would argue rewarded for their longer term time frame and more that investing mindset which I think you’re touching on do.
Gareth: If we go around the table within the room do we have any crypto investments currently guys or do we have any experience in the space personally?
Ashwin: I suppose I’m probably the most conservative Tim out of the lot in this space and it’s probably just my nature. I’ve got crypto on the basis of some shares I purchased. They came with it.
Gareth: The crypto came with the shares.
Ashwin: Crypto came with the shares because it’s a crypto related company. The company wasn’t crypto related but then it became crypto related. They offered some crypto that comes over a two year period in tranches. Even though it comes over a two year period, the volatility has been an interesting experience. It’s probably the nicest way to say but holistically and I like the way you framed it Tim from the maybe it’s 1% to 5% of your holistic view and that’s probably where I do sit personally on those sort of things is everyone’s got to work out their own risk profile and what they can afford to do and what they can absorb from it. By dipping your toe in a little bit and I didn’t really risk anything because it came with the shares I can now have an experience personally on how that volatility feels and where I would go further if I was to invest into crypto going forward but at this stage I’m probably I’m assuming I’m the least invested in crypto.
Gareth: The volatility doesn’t do very well on the wife test. 65% at the dinner table doesn’t go down very well unless you fully understood what you were in for.
Ashwin: Potentially. I don’t think it’s that with the wife. I think it’s more me because you just feel like I was looking at it too often. I was looking at it more often than I was my normal shares where I had higher balances. That was just a mindset thing for me. Now that this correction or adjustments happen recently I’ve looked at it less and less.
Gareth: You’re refreshing the page.
Ashwin: I think that’s more of an emotional thing for me and how I look at things. Meanwhile my wife Jo didn’t see it at all. It’s not real. What do you care?
Sonny: She does now.
Ashwin: She does that now. Well that’s assuming she’s listening to this.
Sonny: I think that’s an interesting point because you’re looking at it from a personal investment point of view and understanding you run yourself and super fund as well but like you would in equities you would traditionally go out and get additional advice or insight but this is a relatively new asset class which should and probably does have a position in the overall portfolio. There’s a lot of people out there that will go off and give it a go themselves without the knowledge and it’s such a specialist area even more so than equities. Think about equities when it’s in the early days before there was more information, understanding out there. The need for professional assistance and understanding and someone that’s looking at investment options day in, day out in my view is probably even more important in the early stage of a market like crypto. There’s professionals like Tim that are out there doing that.
Gareth: Yes and I think that really mirrors what my experience watching a whole group of mates literally with casino chips and Tim, my background is digital marketing in web development, that sort of stuff. I’m a bit of an analytics nerd and like to understand how things work and go digging.
Tim: There’s a lot of casino analogies.
Gareth: Oh yes. When I kind of learned at some point a few years ago that the exchanges I think we’re making 10% to 15% each way on the transactions, I don’t know if that’s still the case. The people making the money were the people who ran the exchanges. 10% and 15% spreads or whatever, it’s crazy monies.
Ashwin: Gareth, I think one thing is you can invest in those exchanges and that’s where these professionals like Tim are I’m not sure what makes up your fund but I’m assuming you can invest in those sort of businesses now. I think reflecting on what I just said previously I think the other thing that’s pretty changed in the last couple years for me anyway is you can’t ignore the market cap or the valuations of these of these cryptocurrencies. There is a market value there now so there should be some exposure from a holistic view and measuring up with your risk profile like Tim mentioned.
Gareth: Does anybody know if your industry super fund, the main part of Australian wealth is actually invested in crypto?
Sonny: I don’t know whether…
Tim: I do.
Gareth: Your time to talk Tim.
Tim: That’s what I clearly watch for obvious reasons. Look, I’m pretty confident saying that the total allocation so far is zero percent.
Tim: Zero percent. They tend to avoid it. Hostplus came out, they had an investor day or some sort of engagement and the question was do you invest in crypto assets. The CIO said oh look, we’re looking at the space. An interesting analogy one of our advisors at the board level is a professor at Monash University. I think he’s also involved in Hostplus and he had university students come up to him and say I’ve changed my super over because of this because it does engage and I guess resonate with the younger people in particular but the take-up has been very, very slow. I actually used to work at a very large industry super fund. When we launched our fund I said it would be probably three to five years before they start looking at it. Four and a half years later I’d probably still say that they’re three to five years away.
Gareth: Because I mean that that’s your big bucket of money that turns up. If market caps good now you start throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at something just by default it’s going to go up right?
Sonny: But Tim there’s been a lot more institutional backing or support over recent years than historically in the asset class?
Tim: Absolutely and again that’s something we watch very keenly. I think the Australian super funds are very conservative on a global scale but that story of institutional investors of that size avoiding crypto is consistent on a global scale. I mean we do have entrants like Fidelity, Fidelity Digital Assets which is a separate division, Goldman Sachs, there’s always stories of them getting involved in crypto in one shape or form but we don’t have a large number of stories of sophisticated institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds investing in the space. We did have in 2017, we had Yale, Harvard, MIT and Stanford endowments investing in crypto and done very well but I think it tends to be the pools of money that have a bit more flexibility like the endowments are a bit more risk seeking than the conservative type investors that are otherwise described.
Gareth: Because there’s a number of ETFs Tim and also I guess there’s futures like on I think the CME has a bitcoin future you can trade on a trading level and a few other. Are there any like ETFs or listed assets locally like on the on the ASX?
Tim: There’s different types of ETFs. There’s one that’s actually based on and I love the term physical bitcoin which is inherently contradictory but that’s how we describe it. I think there’s one or two that is based on physical bitcoin in Canada but I think the other global developments have been more based on bitcoin futures because you’ve got all sorts of other ETFs that are based on futures of other assets. That’s not as a big a leap for the regulators but it’s not the same thing because your futures have high roll costs and ROI is always going to underperform the actual price of bitcoin. There is a local development which I think might, I don’t think it’s on the ASX. I think it’s on one of the secondary exchanges in Australia but I think that’s also based on futures. There’s also a beta shares ETF called coin which is a basket of crypto related companies or other crypto related companies. They’re listed on other global exchanges. Again, that’s very different to getting exposure to the underlying crypto assets.
Gareth: Here comes stupid question number two. For someone who was thinking about say self-made super fund, I like the idea of some crypto bit of a buzzwordy kind of thing for a lot of people. What would be my options? What can I pick from without this being an out and out sales pitch for you? What would be my consideration of things that I could choose from?
Tim: I think it comes back to what I touched on before about how do you want to get exposure to the space. Do you want to buy one asset like bitcoin or ethereum? Do you want a basket of other assets? I think there was a question in the discussion about what we invest in. We invest in crypto assets only. We don’t invest in companies. I guess that’s another question of do you want to invest in companies that are within the crypto space or the direct crypto assets. I’ll proceed on the basis of talking about direct crypto assets because that’s what we do and I think that’s probably more interesting than investing in companies which are effectively equities. I think again, you do need to be careful from an SMSF perspective that the investing in crypto assets is contemplated by the trustee and all sorts of other compliance issues because I have heard of stories of people trading them directly within the SMSF and then the SMSF being non-compliant. Obviously you guys will be right across that and can’t stress that enough that you need to check that but assuming you can and it’s contemplated by the trustee and compliance is ticked off your first option is whether you want to buy bitcoin directly.
To do that you might open an account with an exchange there are local exchanges like BTCmarkets and Swyftx and Coinspot. There are large global exchanges like Binance and FTC and Coinbase which now service the Australian market. Again, that’s another sort of pitfall, can be a pitfall for investing in crypto is which ones are the trustees exchanges and then how are you going to store the assets. These are issues that you just don’t need to worry about with equities because it’s so easy and people are used to it but do you want to leave the crypto assets on the exchange, do you want to transfer them to a hardware device. You’ve got to sort of go through these considerations. That would be option number one is direct exposure.
Option number two is to look at your ETFs that are available. I did mention the Canadian one and the Australian one. Look, I think that space is only going to develop more and more. I think that’s arguably a reason to be bullish because it will open up more pools of capital both from particularly in that case from the retail level but another reason to potentially be bullish is that institutional adoption which you would hope would increase. Then here’s the third one is more of a private, unlisted fund. The Apollo Capital Fund is open to wholesale investors in Australia. There are no retail funds of our nature in Australia due to some regulatory issues but I think once that ETF piece is finalized which is inherently a retail product that will make it easier for diversified funds like us to launch a retail equivalent.
Sonny: Tim, can you give us an insight to the process and complexities in building out a crypto portfolio in terms of how Apollo’s gone about doing it?
Tim: Yes, absolutely. I touched on a few of the issues with investing in crypto and the potential pitfalls. The first one is your research and analysis and what to buy and what not to buy. Even within the top 10 crypto assets you’ve got what I’m trying to work out whether I should use the official term which is called a shitcoin. You’ve got these altcoins or I try not to be too crash with my language but they’re basically coins, dogecoin for example. Dogecoin has been tweeted out a lot about by Elon Musk. I can’t believe it’s top 10 right now or certainly top 20 but these assets they run up to billions and billions of dollars’ worth of value. Everyone knows that they’re basically worthless. That they’re mean coins is another term. Look, you can invest in them. That might be more suitable for trading but we sort of avoid them pretty strongly. There’s other examples like Shibu Inu which is it’s a dogecoin kind of copy. There’s other more high-priced examples which a lot of people disagree with me like Ripple or Bitcoin Cash which are probably more legitimate than a dogecoin but we would still think investors should avoid them.
The first question is research and analysis what are you going to buy? Again not supposed to give personal advice but I think most people start with bitcoin. It is the biggest, most well-known, the largest and it’s probably the easiest to understand as well with bitcoin. If the audience is interested, they can go and google the similarities to gold and bitcoin being labelled as digital gold but unfortunately I have heard a number of stories over the years of people, very sophisticated investors investing in these coins and you’re taking the kind of same concepts that they’re used to in other markets and applying them to crypto and it doesn’t actually necessarily work that way. Research and analysis, working out which assets to buy.
The second thing then is your operations. Where are you going to buy them and where you’re going to store them? For us we store most of our assets on Coinbase custody which is probably the leading custodian globally. It’s got insurance behind it. We also use getting a little bit technical here but the way to move the assets around there’s another very successful crypto company called Fireblocks which divides up the passwords to move crypto assets into multiple passwords that multiple people can sign off to move assets around.
Gareth: Tim, sorry to interrupt but just for a point of reference for people that may not be so educated with this is can you just provide an analogy to say like if you were holding currency or gold for example. Like relate it back to how moving USB sticks around and just explain that a bit better.
Tim: Sure. Show how we move crypto assets around.
Gareth: Yes and if you imagine someone’s typically got a box of US dollars sitting in a shoe box under their bed. Just relate it, use an analogy like that so people can kind of get their head around how crypto assets are stored.
Tim: I think there’s different ways you can do it and the best story I’ve heard on that is just go with what you are comfortable from a technology perspective because I could describe the technical and technological pure way to do it but if you’re not tech savvy and that doesn’t sit well with you maybe just leave the assets on the exchange and let the exchange handle that but what I was referring there, what we’re sort of talking about with moving crypto assets around is think of it like an email address and you’ve got an email address and I send you an email and I’m sort of transferring value just by sending it to a wallet which is a destination which could be your email address. To do that I need a password to basically action that transfer. Really storing crypto assets is as simple or as complicated as storing a password. In the Fireblocks example what we do is we actually cut that password up into three or more pieces and you need multiple people to come together to put that password back together to be able to then send the email or transfer the value.
Gareth: A bit like they need codes where you need multiple keys in theory.
Tim: That’s exactly right. The official term is keys and your passphrases and private keys and that sort of thing. Again, if you buy your assets on an exchange and you leave them on the exchange, you don’t really need to worry about any of this. You’re basically putting your faith in the exchange. That’s getting easier these days but there are very high profile cases, 2014 there was an exchange called Mount Gox which everyone used, was the biggest exchange globally and it went under and lost funds. That happens still but less so with some of the prominent exchanges globally.
I started talking about the operational issues, the research and analysis, the operational issues. Then the third part is the accounting side of things. If each time you trade from one crypto asset into another or Australian dollars into a crypto asset it can become an accounting nightmare very quickly. There are software programs which address these things that then comes back to the style of investing. If you’re just going to buy a couple of crypto assets, it’s pretty easy. If you’re going to trade frequently then it can get quite complicated. For us as a fund we’ve got independent administrators which take care of that and independently verify these things ultimately to the benefit of our investors.
Gareth: Cool. Can we touch on like I guess at a like an accounting level what needs to happen within an SMSF or your investment strategy or whatever to allow for any kind of crypto exposure if…
Sonny: Tim’s looking at Ashwin by the way.
Ashwin: I suppose look, I think the first thing is obviously the trustees need to sit down and make a decision on adjusting an investment strategy to allow for this and that would either mean reviewing the trustee of the super fund as long as well as the investment strategy and then make a decision sort of what we’ve just discussed today to an extent is sit down and make an actual holistic plan but then decide are you buying assets like the ones mentioned previously or are you looking to buy into a fund. Then make sure your investment strategy lines up with that. From Tim’s example their unit trust need to make sure that the unit trust is listed in your investment strategy and the allocation is right. If it’s direct funds then maybe updating the investor strategy to allow for cryptocurrency and then an allocation accordingly from a holistic view. Those would be the steps you’d look at.
That is a good point you mentioned if people do trading or regular transactions. It’s going to add to more accounting costs and just be wary of that or have a discussion with your accountant before you decide to do it as a trustee so you have an open eye that the accounting fee might drop by quite a bit because you decided to buy maybe only a thousand dollars’ worth of crypto but trade it regularly. Some people forget transaction costs because you get caught in that moment but then there’s the compliance cost that comes afterwards.
Sonny: Is crypto considered a currency like what sort of asset does it actually fall under within like at an accounting level?
Ashwin: You’d have to go back to the deeds. It’s really your constitution, I mean your deed rules and with the super fund you’re going to update that deed and then the investment strategy together. It all comes back to everyone’s got very different deeds. It’s started with the deed first and the investments really to go up with it but what we normally advise is talk to the auditor of your fund. They’ll lay out exactly what they are going to view as meeting their requirements because ultimately they’re signing off that you are compliant as well. The accountant’s usually just managing the transactions, preparing the reports. It’s the order that’s going to come back and make sure it’s all tight. I’ve reached out to our order when I’ve done transactions just to get clarity that I haven’t stepped over anything.
Sonny: Because it is quite I guess the point is like it seems quite complicated and how you get the auditor’s tick of approval is very complex.
Ashwin: It’s not overly because most people can reach out to the auditor because you haven’t done the transaction yet. If you reach out to anyone before you do something you’re going to get the peace of mind that you’ve done the right thing as a trustee. I think trust the advisors around you and reach out for their advice, pay for the advice but then you’ve made the decision from that. You can also engage with a financial advisor to make sure it’s all part of your plan as well if you’ve got one in there because some people get caught up at a barbecue and decided to do something on the rash and then it’s then you’ve got issues.
Gareth: I was just buying some coins.
Ashwin: Then there’s issues that are way more problematic like non-compliance or trying to rectify the issue. Definitely sit down with your advisors and make sure it’s the right decision first and then you can do all these updates. Those updates generally should be happening every few years anyway around the deed and the trust. Investment strategy is reviewed every year by trustees typically.
Sonny: Tim, from a fund or an unlisted trust perspective I’d imagine you guys issue tax statements and annual reporting?
Tim: Yes, absolutely. I think obviously I’m biased but I think one of the advantages of the fund is that we take care of all that the accounting and some of the other issues that I touched on for investors. As an Australian unit trust we do need to distribute. The best way to think about that is that is the P and L for the fund or the realized trading gains and any income for the fund on an annual basis. That’s not always the case. If we’ve had some losses throughout the year and the crypto markets have been a bit rough then there may be no distribution but if there is distribution then it comes with a distribution statement.
Gareth: If people want to find out more about your capital fund, what should they do?
Tim: Look, I think best place to start is the Apollo Capital website. That’s apollocap.au or just google Apollo Capital. I think another thing that we do and we’re big on is just providing education because crypto’s a really complex asset class. It’s a complex topic, a great resource which I think is a great resource anyway is our weekly newsletter. People can sign up to that on the website and we just provide commentary on markets. We’ve actually got a webinar tomorrow. We provide thinking about how crypto fits within the broader portfolio. We all try to do it in a balanced view. Obviously we think that crypto has a place in the broader portfolio but we don’t sort of beat our chest too loudly and drum it down your throat. You can find in other places of the internet. The way I started in the space was back in 2017, sort of fell into it and I just put a little bit of money into it. Probably should have put a lot more.
Gareth: Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Tim: It is but it focuses the attention and then you start to learn a little bit about it. It is a very, very interesting technology with a lot of disruptive potential across many industries. I think learning about it is a great way to start.
Thank you for joining us once again. If you’re interested in our waffle about self-managed super funds feel free to join us on smsfmate.com.au or search SMSF Mate in Spotify.General Advice Warning
Tim is the co-founder and managing director of The Apollo Capital Fund. Apollo Capital is a portfolio of actively managed crypto assets that seeks to deliver exceptional, uncorrelated returns to investors. As well as running The Apollo Capital Fund, Tim helps to educate investors about crypto and blockchain technology and their groundbreaking implications.
Tim has also worked as part of a team of angel investors, as a consultant for a boutique capital raising and advisory firm, and as an investment analyst for the HESTA industry super fund among other positions.
Tim completed a Bachelor’s Degree, Law/Commerce at Deakin University.
You can find out more about Tim or connect with him on Linkedin here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-johnston-au/
Or visit his website here: http://www.apollocap.io/
Sonny Rahim is a finance professional based out of the Greater Perth Area. He is the director and founder of Premia Private, a multi-faceted finance business with advisory divisions and expertise in the areas of Strategic Planning, Wealth Management, Investment Management, Debt and Personal Insurances. Sonny is one of the founders of SMSF Mate.
Sonny studied in the Private Markets Investment Programme at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford and also participated in the Oxford Entrepreneurship Venture Finance. He also completed a Bachelor’s Degree, Commerce (Accounting and Finance) at Curtin University in Western Australia.
As well as being a founder and managing director of the Premia Financial Group, Sonny has worked as an investment fund manager and a chartered accountant. He sits on the board of Ronald McDonald House Charities Western Australia.
You can find out more about Sonny or connect with him on Linkedin here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonny-r-rahim-28959333/
Or visit his website here: http://www.premiaprivate.com.au/
Ashwin is an accountant and educator based in Perth, Western Australia. He is passionate about helping family owned businesses and startups. He is one of the founders of SMSF Mate and you’ll regularly see him on our podcast!
Ashwin is a managing owner and director of Eventum Consulting, a multidisciplinary firm helping clients with finance, succession planning and their tax needs. He also served as a lecturer in taxation and small business at the Central Institute of Technology, and has worked as an accountant at a number of well-known tax specialists.
Ashwin studied a Diploma of Business Education and a Bachelor of Commerce in Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting and Corporate Finance, both at Curtin University, WA.
Ashwin is passionate about technology, and sees it as an enabler for his clients to grow truly sustainable and profitable businesses.
You can find out more about Ashwin or connect with him on Linkedin here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashwin-ramdas-72442919/
Or visit his website here: https://eventum.com.au
Gareth Lane is a successful entrepreneur, businessman, and owner of the digital marketing and web agency Concise Digital, based out of Perth, Western Australia. Concise Digital have solved over 60,000 digital / web problems for clients since 2005. Gareth is one of the founders of SMSF Mate.
Gareth is passionate about helping small businesses be more successful online by avoiding the pitfalls of digital marketing. He regularly runs live talks, workshops and meetups discussing Google, social media and all things digital marketing.
Gareth studied Business and Commerce at Curtin University, and has held board positions for a number of organisations, including serving as the President of the Western Suburbs Business Association and as a non-executive member of WA Business Assist. A true entrepreneur at heart, he started his first business at 13 and has created and run multiple successful businesses since.
Gareth enjoys good food, great wine and time in the sun when he’s not at his computer helping other businesses get ahead!
You can find out more about Gareth or connect with him on Linkedin here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/garethconcise/
SMSF Mate is a unique website because it has ideas about how to approach SMSFs, insurance and other financial topics that come straight from first hand experience. It's much more useful than what you find on all the other financial websites that just offer generic info that you could easily get on the ATO's website. It's also nice to know there's no financial incentive behind the information, it's legitimately there to help people understand self-managed super funds and how to get the most out of them, not to get an affiliate commission from a broker or other financial services provider. The investment product information is also incredibly useful, I've never seen this kind of functionality on any other website that let's you look at such a wide range of products, sort by what info is most interesting or important to you, and subscribe to updates for different funds and financial products all in one place. Definitely worth checking out if you own or are considering an SMSF!
SMSF Mate provides a unique insight into superannuation and financial topics in a way that is easier to understand than conventional websites. The colloquial nature of the site makes it easy to understand and they often speak about complicated topics in lamens terms so I can wrap my head around them. The investment product information is a great way to research funds that I am interested in investing in with my SMSF and there is a lot of helpful information on the site for better structuring my investment portfolio. In comparison to other websites which offer similar information, SMSF Mate excels as the information is free to access whereas many other sites charge a subscription fee for the same thing. Overall, I think SMSF Mate is a great resource for SMSF trustees and is worth looking at for a variety of super-related topics. Thanks.