There are numerous benefits of a well-diversified portfolio including mitigating volatility and short-term downside investment risks, preserving capital and the long-run benefits of higher overall returns.
By spreading your SMSF’s investments across different asset classes and markets offering different risks and returns, you may better position yourself for a secure retirement.
However, did you know that 82% of SMSF trustees believe that diversification is important but in practice many do not achieve it?
This is because half of the SMSF population cite barriers to achieving diversification. The top being that it is not a primary goal for SMSF trustees, and they believe they have a lack of funds to implement it.
Furthermore, 36% of SMSF trustees say they have made a significant (10%) asset allocation change to their SMSF over the last 12 months. This demonstrates that SMSFs may not be actively restructuring their portfolio on an annual basis to respond to changing market conditions.
Another clear problem regarding diversification is the amount of SMSFs with half or more of their SMSF invested in a single investment. SMSF trustees say they primarily invest in shares to achieve diversification in their SMSF, while just a quarter say they invest in at least four asset classes to achieve this.
The bias and significant allocation to domestic SMSF equities conversely may highlight the fact that SMSFs are not adequately diversified, especially across international markets and other asset classes.
So what can you do?
Some of the steps you, with the help of an SMSF Specialist, can take to diversify your retirement savings and control your investments in a disciplined and planned way include:
- Ensuring there are clear and demonstrable retirement purposes in the choices you make.
- Ensuring you have an investment objective and a strategy to achieve that objective in place.
- Reviewing your portfolio and assessing it against the objectives you have set as often as you feel is necessary.
- Minimising concentration to any one asset class.
- Ensuring your Australian share portfolio is sufficiently diversified.
- Considering the benefits of geographic diversification.
- Ensuring your cash allocation is appropriate.
- Considering the benefits of exchange traded funds, listed investment companies and other digital investment platforms that allow low cost access to different markets.
Always remember to document your actions and decisions, as well as your reasons, and keep them as a record in order to demonstrate that you have satisfied your obligations as a trustee.
Given the importance of having an appropriately diversified portfolio and its impacts on quality of life in retirement, it is important to consider professional assistance in managing this important aspect of an SMSF.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document is provided for educational purposes only, is general in nature and is prepared without taking into account particular objective, financial circumstances, legal and tax issues and needs. The information provided in this article is not a substitute for legal, tax and financial product advice. Before making any decision based on this information, you should assess its relevance to your individual circumstances. While SMSF Association believes that the information provided in this article is accurate, no warranty is given as to its accuracy and persons who rely on this information do so at their own risk. The information provided in this bulletin is not considered financial product advice for the purposes of the Corporations Act 2001.