Welcome to SMSF Mate. 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 any 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 particular financial product you should obtain a product disclosure statement relating to that product and consider the PDS before making any decision about whether to acquire the product.
Gareth: Welcome to SMSF Mate’s daily, weekly, monthly podcast. We haven’t quite decided how many of these we can do. I’m Gareth. I’m here with Ashwin and Sonny. Go Ashwin voice.
Ashwin: Look my name’s Ashwin. I’m a local accountant. My background is I’ve got my own SMSF. I invest in it and I’m here to discuss how I go around doing that.
Sonny: Sonny here, a financial professional with 20 years’ experience and currently a practicing financial advisor.
Gareth: Well done and I’m just here to provide my two cents opinion. My day job is a digital marketer. I have had a self-made super fund since I was about 30 and felt like I didn’t want to pay for anybody’s advice. I got a couple of mates together to give it all to me on a podcast. That’s what we’re doing here. Welcome.
Sonny: Which is as much discussion and insight than it is advice.
Gareth: Absolutely. Big disclaimer about to be played.
Ashwin: All right. So question number one up for discussion is it worth paying for a financial advisor or wealth manager?
Gareth: Cue Sonny.
Sonny: I’ve clearly got some biased opinions about this. In short absolutely. There’s a number of reasons. If you read my bio on the SMSF site you’ll see a couple of those where I’ve mentioned some key points but off the top of my head. Now finance is a very specific topic that people get very personal about. Even if they have some idea of what to do or have been furnished with some information it’s difficult to be objective about your own financial affairs. Aside from the years of expertise and let alone the actual experience people have in terms of financial advice being objective about what you do and how you do it is one of the greatest values that a financial advisor brings.
If I’m talking to Ashwin about his affairs and he’s an accountant. He’s been in the space for a while. Spent some time in financial planning. He knows the nuts and bolts but to actually apply some of that to his own affairs is a different thing. I think objectivity is a key one. Expertise is a no-brainer. It something that we do all day every day and there’s varying types of advisors out there. There’s all different sort of jackets for different people. Different advisors will suit different clients. I think payment comes from objectivity, expertise and experience over different points in time.
Ashwin: Oh look I’d like to say it’s really important on those key events in your life as well. We’ve sort of discussed it previously but when you’re getting married having, kids, receiving inheritance, go through a separation, look at retirement. Those are times when you need that objectivity as Sonny mentioned. I think that’s when I would want to engage an advisor to sit down with whoever I’m in that situation with to put a plan together. Just to make sure I am on track or maybe I am fine but you need advice occasionally to check it in. Your car’s probably running fine but you still get it serviced. You still get it checked. There’s probably a reflection point that you need to do that at some point within your fund. Also to know what else is out there.
Like I said an opportunity cost is a great way to view it. What else could I be doing or what could I be doing alternatively? It might mean the super fund or self-managed super fund or an industry fund might be the right one for you to jump from one to the other. Typically you can make whatever vehicle you’re in work for you but there might be a need to move across for certain reasons.
Gareth: I think the word advice or advisor is also a bit misunderstood in that if you have a self-managed super fund that doesn’t mean you can’t have an advisor for your stock or funds or property. You can get an independent valuer to value your property and that’s advice but I think people kind of put advisors in this bucket that I’m completely hands off the whole thing and you’re going to do everything. I’m going to go and blame you later. You’re going to charge me exorbitant fees. There’s a real misconception behind what the market thinks an advisor does and what an advisor actually can do. I think some advisors can be very lazy and charge you a fee and not necessarily do much and put you in the same fund as everybody else.
Then there are other advisors that seem to basically manage your finances and teach you how to do budgeting and stop spending money on going out for dinner every week because you should be putting this in super. I think it’s important that you as an individual can understand or this is my opinion by the way can understand how much advice you do need and what you need advice in. Accounting, I don’t know how to fill in a self-managed super fund tax return. I’ve got an accountant advisor, call them that.
Ashwin: It’s not me.
Gareth: No, it’s not Ashwin. An independent who does the tax office compliance part. Then the accounting firm has their auditor advisor for so there are lots of advisors in self-managed super funds. My self-managed super fund has some funds allocated in an investment fund. That investment fund has a committee of people who are advising the portfolio but my part of the decision is to say I want to put this amount of money in that particular fund. After that my advice has ended.
Sonny: People engage advisors in different ways too. To Ashwin’s earlier point they’ll either engage because an event’s happened and they feel like they have a need.
Ashwin: And they don’t know anything.
Sonny: It can be reactive. Some people when they have an opportunity to speak to an advisor or someone that’s had an advice experience might be a little bit more proactive and then see the potential benefit of that relationship because effectively that’s what it is over a period of time. Then when you get down to the nuts and bolts of the different types of advisors. You might have strategic advisors out there. You’ve got investment management experts and different clients will be attracted to different types of advisors at different stages not only in their life but through their advice relationship journey. Someone that provides holistic advice people might go to when they’re planning for a financial future to tick all those boxes. It really depends.
There are still advisors out there to your point Gareth that will overcharge for services that they provide. There’s advisors out there that undercharge for the services that they provide. It’s something that you’ve got to find either by referral or word of mouth through other people and hearing stories to find one that fits. I used the jacket analogy earlier. It’s something that a client used with me. It might be a really good jacket but if that jacket doesn’t fit you then it’s not going to suit.
Gareth: You want a 30-year relationship with these people. Do your research. Shop around.
Ashwin: On that side of things I think when I have talked about with friends like ASX got great resource of questions you should ask an advisor and those answers should govern how well that suit or the jacket fits. That’s a guiding sense for those people that don’t have any financial literacy or unsure of those things. ASX great resource of questions you could ask and I’m sure we can engage that link on our relevant article for you to ask those questions.
Sonny: I would encourage what Gareth said go down and speak to as many as you can. Get a feel for the level of expertise. Get a feel for your rapport with them and how you might work together because it is an important decision. At the same time once you’ve made that decision it doesn’t have to be the only decision.
Gareth: You can change it if you fall out. These people are managing probably your largest asset. If it’s not working, you’re not happy, get out. Change it.
Ashwin: Ultimately, you’re in control. You’re in charge of who you choose. It’s not forced upon you. Regulations are put in place that advisors do need to engage you if you are part of a fund at the moment. That side of things has made the benefit of the royal commission in my view is advisors now are somewhat accountable to their clients.
Gareth: I think the other thing is don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions. I personally get a monthly report from a fund. It gives you a top level kind of summary of this is what we’re doing. I wanted to know exactly what shares were in my fund. I emailed the person who manages that fund and just straight out said what have we got. What are they? He sent back a very lovely email saying I’m so glad you asked. Have a look at this. Look at what you duh, duh, duh. I thought I was a bit embarrassed asking for what the fund had actually invested in but the investment manager was more than happy that I took a genuine interest in knowing what was in there.
Ashwin: That’s the engagement side of it. If you’re in the self-managed space do what Gareth does. Go through and ask the questions. Look at what your underlying investments are and actually engage in that side of it because that’s one of the benefits of having a self-managed superfund. You should know directly what you’re invested in whether that’s through an advisor yourself…
Gareth: Down to the ticker code. I was literally sent a spreadsheet with these are all the stocks that this fund currently owns right at this moment. I felt so empowered. My little portion of funds is probably tiny compared to other people’s fund.
Ashwin: Is it doing well?
Gareth: Define well.
Ashwin: Was it your expectation?
Gareth: Yes, it met my expectations but I think if I was to really think about it the actual performance fee is not the primary thing. What I was more confident in is that the companies that were in that fund were the sorts of companies that I kind of expected would be in that fund. I didn’t go through it and go what the hell is this and go I’ve never heard of these places. What are these businesses? It read like a rap sheet of the sorts of businesses that probably I would like to be invested in.
I felt very confident I think my out of 10 kind of score on my relationship with that fund has now gone up because it was transparent. Whether or not they do 10%, 8%, 20% that really is schematics. I’m comfortable with the direction that this is going in. I feel safe and warm and cuddly. I think that’s what’s really missing in this whole industry from an outside non-industry person is it’s a bit smoke and mirrorsy.
Sonny: Transparency. I think that it is key and you’ve got to ask for it at the same time.
Gareth: It’s up to you. Ask the questions.
Sonny: Just to look back on a previous point here’s a little gold nugget. Ask for a second opinion whether you’ve got an existing advisor or an advisor relationship whether you’re running yourself in a super fund by yourself. It doesn’t hurt. Sometimes it doesn’t cost and even if it does it would be well worth it to get a second opinion on what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.
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.
Further reading: Questions to ask to find a good financial advisorGeneral Advice Warning
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/
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
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/
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.