SMSF Adviser: Do you need to keep a specialist financial advisor when managing a Self-Managed Super Fund?

  • Ashwin RamdasAshwin Ramdas
  • Updated Dec 19, 2022

  • Mate Checked

    This information has been reviewed by our SMSF Mates before it was published as part of our review process.

When choosing to manage your own superannuation, there are many things to consider. One key question is, do you need to keep a financial advisor when managing a SMSF?

While it’s possible to go it alone when it comes to managing your SMSF, there are definite advantages to keeping a financial advisor in the loop. Here are four reasons why:

  1. They can help you make the most of your investments: A good financial advisor will have a deep understanding of how different investments work and how they can be used to achieve your financial goals. This knowledge can be invaluable when it comes time to make decisions about where to invest your SMSF funds.
  2. They can keep you accountable: Self-managing your super can be a big responsibility. Having a financial advisor to keep you accountable can help you stay on track and avoid making any costly mistakes.
  3. They can provide valuable peace of mind: Knowing that someone else is keeping an eye on your finances can be a huge weight off your shoulders. A good financial advisor will be able to answer any questions you have and help put your mind at ease about the management of your SMSF.
  4. They can save you time: Let’s face it – managing your own super can be time-consuming. If you’d rather spend your time doing something else, then outsourcing this task to a financial advisor makes perfect sense.

SMSF specialist advice: What options are available?

There are a few different ways you can get specialist advice for your SMSF. Here are some of the most popular options:

  1. Financial planner: If you’re looking for comprehensive financial advice that covers all aspects of your SMSF, then a financial planner may be the best option for you. Financial planners can provide advice on everything from investments and portfolio construction to retirement planning and estate planning.
  2. Accountant or tax agent: If you’re mostly concerned with the tax and compliance aspects of your SMSF, then an accountant or tax agent may be a better fit for you. These professionals can provide advice on topics such as minimising your tax bill, complying with super laws, and setting up an SMSF.
  3. Investment adviser: If you’re mostly interested in getting expert investment advice, then an investment adviser may be the best option for you. Investment advisers can provide advice on topics such as building a diversified portfolio, choosing the right investments for your goals, and managing risk.
  4. Financial coach or mentor: If you want help to develop your financial literacy and understanding of SMSFs, then a financial coach or mentor may be a good option for you. Financial coaches and mentors can provide support and guidance on topics such as how to run your SMSF, make investment decisions, and manage your finances.
  5. Do-it-yourself research: If you’re the type of person who likes to do their own research, then you may be best off doing your own research into SMSFs. There are a number of resources available online and in libraries that can help you understand the ins and outs of running an SMSF.

No matter what option you choose, it’s important to make sure you get expert advice that is tailored to your specific situation. Every SMSF is different, so it’s important to get advice that is relevant to your unique circumstances.

Self-managed super fund specialist advisors

When choosing an SMSF specialist advisor, it is important to make sure that they have an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL). This will ensure that they have the necessary qualifications and experience to provide you with SMSF advice. It is also a good idea to check references from other clients who have used the advisor in the past.

Another factor to consider when choosing an SMSF specialist advisor is whether or not they offer comprehensive services. Some advisors may only offer advice on investing in SMSFs, while others may also provide administration and compliance services. It is important to find an advisor who can offer a complete package of services so that you can be sure that your SMSF is being managed correctly.

Once you have found an SMSF specialist advisor that meets your needs, it is important to keep in touch with them on a regular basis. This will ensure that they are up-to-date on any changes in the law or regulations that could affect your SMSF. It is also a good idea to ask for their help if you ever have any questions about your SMSF.

Self-managed super fund financial advisers

Engaging an SMSF financial advisor can give you peace of mind that your fund is on track and help you make the most of your retirement savings. If you’re considering engaging an SMSF financial advisor, it’s important to choose one that is suitably qualified and experienced. You can ask your accountant or financial planner for recommendations or search for advisers who are accredited by the SMSF Association.

When meeting with potential advisers, be sure to ask about their qualifications, experience and fees. It’s also a good idea to get an understanding of their investment philosophy and approach to risk management.

Choosing an SMSF financial advisor is an important decision. But with some careful research, you can find one who will help you meet your fund’s objectives and give you peace of mind that your retirement savings are on track.

Self-managed super fund accountants

When it comes to managing your SMSF, it’s important to have a good accountant on your team. A qualified and experienced SMSF accountant can provide valuable insights and advice on how to best grow and manage your fund.

There are a few things to keep in mind when searching for an SMSF accountant. First, you’ll want to make sure that they are qualified and experienced in dealing with SMSFs. Second, you’ll want to find an accountant who is familiar with the laws and regulations surrounding SMSFs. And finally, you’ll want to find an accountant who is willing to work closely with you to ensure that your SMSF is managed effectively.

Here are a few tips on how to find a good SMSF accountant:

Check their qualifications and experience: When you’re looking for an SMSF accountant, the first thing you’ll want to do is check their qualifications and experience. Make sure they have a degree in accounting or finance, and that they have experience dealing with SMSFs. You can also ask them for references from previous clients.

Ask about their familiarity with SMSF laws and regulations: It’s important to find an accountant who is familiar with the laws and regulations surrounding SMSFs. This will ensure that they can provide you with the best possible advice on how to manage your fund. Ask them about their knowledge of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act1993, the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, and the Superannuation Fund Management Act 1996.

Find an accountant who is willing to work closely with you: When you’re working with an SMSF accountant, you’ll want to find someone who is willing to work closely with you to ensure that your fund is managed effectively. Ask them about their process for providing advice and guidance, and how they communicate with clients. Make sure they are accessible and responsive to your questions and concerns.

Get referrals from trusted sources: If you know someone who has an SMSF, ask them for a referral to their accountant. This can be a great way to get started in your search for a qualified professional. You can also check with your financial advisor or broker to see if they have any recommendations.

Compare fees and services: When you’re comparing SMSF accountants, be sure to compare their fees and services. Make sure you understand what’s included in their services, and that you’re comfortable with their fee structure. You should also ask them about any hidden costs or additional fees that may be associated with their services.

What aspects of a self-managed superannuation fund can you get advice on?

Investment strategies

One of the most important aspects of your SMSF is your investment strategy. Your financial advisor can help you develop one that meets your retirement goals and objectives. They will also consider your risk tolerance and time frame for retirement.

Super contributions

Your financial advisor can also provide advice on making super contributions. They can help you maximise your tax advantages by contributing to your SMSF before tax or after tax. They can also help you make catch-up contributions if you have not been able to contribute the maximum amount each year.


Your financial advisor can also provide advice on insurance for your SMSF. This includes life insurance, income protection insurance and total and permanent disability insurance. They will take into account your needs and objectives when recommending the right type of insurance for you.

Drawing down benefits

When you retire, your financial advisor can help you plan for how you will draw down your benefits from your SMSF. They will take into account your age, retirement goals and other factors to create a plan that suits your individual needs.

Advice on SMSF investment strategy

If you are running your own SMSF, then it is important that you have a good strategy in place. This will help to ensure that your fund grows and provides for your retirement needs. There are a number of different factors to consider when putting together an investment strategy, and seeking professional advice can be a wise move.

Advice on SMSF insurance

There are two main types of cover available for SMSFs – death cover and total and permanent disability (TPD) cover. Death cover pays out a lump sum benefit if you die, while TPD cover pays out a lump sum benefit if you become disabled and cannot work again.

The amount of cover you need will depend on your individual circumstances. Some things to consider include the value of your superannuation balance, your debts, your dependents and your lifestyle. It’s important to get professional advice to make sure you have enough cover in place.

Advice on SMSF rules and regulations

Trustees need to be across all the rules and regulations but with constant changes to legislation, it can be hard to keep up. That’s why it’s important to seek professional advice when setting up or running an SMSF. A reputable advisor will keep you up-to-date with any changes that could impact your fund and help you comply with all the rules.

The risks and responsibilities of a self-managed superannuation fund

Running your own SMSF can be a great way to take control of your retirement savings and invest in exactly what you want. However, it’s important to remember that with this control comes responsibility. You need to make sure that you are aware of the potential risks involved and that you are taking steps to mitigate these risks.

The first thing you need to be aware of is the regulatory environment surrounding SMSFs. The rules and regulations can be complex, and it’s important that you understand them before setting up your fund. Not complying with the rules can result in heavy penalties, so it’s crucial that you know what you’re doing.

Another risk to be aware of is the potential for fraud. Because SMSFs are self-managed, there is a greater opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage of unsuspecting investors. You must be vigilant about who you trust with your money and ensure you’re not being taken advantage of.

Finally, you need to remember that as the trustee of your SMSF, you are legally responsible for the fund. This means that if something goes wrong, you could be held liable. It’s important to make sure that you have adequate insurance in place to protect yourself in case of any liabilities that may arise.

You need financial and legal knowledge

Running an SMSF is a complex task, and some strict rules and regulations must be followed. This means that you’ll need to have a good understanding of financial concepts and principles, as well as the relevant legislation.

You’ll also need to keep up to date with any changes to the law, as this can impact the way your SMSF operates. While it’s possible to get independent advice to help you with the financial and legal aspects of running an SMSF, it’s important to remember that you’ll be responsible for the overall management of your fund. This includes making sure all compliance requirements are met.

If you’re not confident in meeting these obligations, then setting up an SMSF may not be the right option for you.

If you want to set up an SMSF

There are many ways to set up an SMSF, but the best way is to consult with a specialist service provider. They will be able to help you with all the necessary paperwork and feel confident that your fund is set up correctly.

The benefits of using a specialist service provider include:

  • peace of mind that your SMSF is being set up correctly
  • access to expert SMSF advice and guidance
  • assistance with complying with all the relevant regulations
  • helping to maximise the benefits of setting up an SMSF.

If you’re thinking about setting up an SMSF, be sure to consult with SMSF experts to get the best results. Check out our article on SMSF setup here.

General Advice Warning

Ashwin Ramdas

Eventum Consulting

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:

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Kind words from Aussies managing
their own self funded futures

  • 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!

    David G, Self-Employed, SMSF Owner
  • 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.

    Tim B, Business Owner, SMSF Trustee