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Issue 2: Cash – How much is enough in your SMSF?

August 2019

Hello again, for those who read the first of our SMSF Connect Investment Series – The importance of cash flow in your SMSF, I hope it was useful. For the next in our series, we’re sticking with the cash theme and ask ‘Cash – how much is enough in your SMSF?’

SMSFs are often criticised for holding too much cash in portfolios when compared with other superannuation funds or with managed funds that provide very little of their asset allocation to cash. Is this a fair criticism or are SMSFs and personal investment portfolios different from large superannuation funds?

In this next piece, I look at some of the reasons cash holdings can be high within SMSFs. As I said last time, some of these ideas relate to my own experiences and to some extent, I have experienced each of the instances referred to at some time.

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Ian Irvine – Guest Contributor

Ian has been a keen investor for over 40 years and can draw on his experiences from both investing on his own behalf and also having worked in financial services for more than 30 years. Over this time, he has seen many changes that impact investors’ attitudes to in what and how they invest.

He started his career in what is now referred to as fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) or grocery, working for an Australian margarine manufacturer. In 1986, he was recruited to Westpac around the time of deregulation of the sector, where he spent 10 years before taking a role at AMP and then with ASX for 14 years up to the end of 2017. He continues to be involved with ASX; working on their educational programs.

In 1996, he and his wife established their own SMSF and again the experience and lessons learned regarding managing an SMSF over the years have provided him with many insights and ideas. He enjoys sharing these with others where these are helpful and always suggest that if an investor or SMSF trustee is unsure, that they should seek appropriate advice from a licenced professional.

Ian holds a B. Com (UNSW), and lives in Sydney and enjoys travelling to and meeting investors and SMSF trustee at the educational events with which he has involvement with from time to time.