Should you set up a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF)?

SMSF’s can be an excellent way to build wealth for your retirement.
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Office of financial planner in Canberra. They are assessing the pros and cons of setting up a SMSF in Canberra

Are you thinking about setting up a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) or would you like an assessment of your current SMSF setup?

At Burley Griffin Finance Co. we take great pride in providing exceptional SMSF advice at a reasonable price.

The market for SMSF’s in Australia is quickly expanding – with recent figures suggesting that they currently hold approximately one-third of retirement savings in the country.

We understand the technical intricacies linked to SMSF’s and offer specific, tailored advice geared towards your financial goals and aspirations.

Our Canberra SMSF advice service includes:

  • Insurance review and implementation;
  • Establishing a Trust Deed and review of legal documentation by our preferred legal supplier
  • Borrowing advice within SMSF’s including the establishment of limited recourse borrowing arrangements
  • Advice on SMSF investments and full management and administration of your portfolio
  • Guidance on the formation of a SMSF which can include the rollover of existing funds and establishing a bank and/or broking investment account

Is an SMSF right for you?

Did you know that SMSFs are not only the largest – but also the fastest growing superannuation sector in Australia? However, before you establish an SMSF it is imperative to consider the pros and cons to work out whether an SMSF is going to be the right fit for your circumstances.

The pros of establishing an SMSF

SMSFs offer a variety of benefits and features that are not commonly available with other superannuation alternatives.

They can provide you with more control of your investments

An SMSF can enable you to set up your own tailored investment strategy and take full control of how and where your superannuation is invested.

A variety of investment choices

SMSF’s allow you to invest in a wide range of investments. These include shares, commercial and residential property as well as more unique investments such as pieces of art, coins and stamps.

You can have one fund to cover the family

Did you know that you can get up a SMSF for yourself and up to another three people? You can also consolidate your superannuation balances which may allow you to invest in higher value assets, obtain additional flexibility with estate planning and reduce the costs associated with managing a fund.

You can borrow via your SMSF

Your SMSF can potentially use borrowed funds to purchase shares and property – which could enable you to invest in higher valued assets. This is commonly known as a Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangement or LRBA.

Taxation concessions

SMSF’s allow you to obtain more control when it comes to timing your tax – this includes events such as commencing a pension without triggering CGT when your super assets transfer into a pension phase.

The cons of establishing an SMSF

So far, we’ve outlined the benefits of an SMSF and have highlighted the greater control, flexibility and ability to leverage borrowings in order to grow your asset holdings. However, like any investment decision there’s some potential disadvantages to consider when deciding whether an SMSF is going to work for you.

A higher cost for smaller balances

Realistically – you need to have at least $200,000 invested in a SMSF for it to be cost effective. Especially if you’ve decided to outsource the administration of the fund.

More responsibility

When you establish an SMSF – yourself and any other members of the fund will usually need to become trustees (or directors if a corporate trustee) and will be responsible for adhering to several legal obligations.

There are serious penalties for breaches

The ATO has authority to implement penalties for SMSF trustees who have breached superannuation laws. These can include:

  • demanding trustees to carry out particular educational requirements within a specific time period
  • disqualifying an individual from becoming a trustee (or director if a corporate trustee)
  • they can impose large admin penalties of up to $12,6000 per breach to trustees
  • apply through the court system to enforce civil and criminal penalties, and
  • give notice to a trustee to freeze the assets held within an SMSF where the trustees conduct could adversely affect the beneficiary’s interests.

SMSF can be time consuming

SMSF are very complex and technical. If you’re planning on managing your own SMSF you will need to have the knowledge, time and skills to meet all of the legal and other obligations.

If you’ve decided that a SMSF is the best option for you then we’d strongly recommend that you seek professional advice and guidance from a financial planner. You should also seek specific advice from an accountant to ascertain the taxation implications relating to your circumstance before establishing an SMSF.

For a free initial SMSF consultation, please complete our contact form and we will be in touch to book an appointment.

Please note – any advice on this site is of a general nature and is not tailored to your individual circumstances. Please seek personal, professional advice prior to acting on any information. Please also refer to our privacy policy and other compliance documentation 


Any advice on this site is of a general nature and is not tailored to your individual circumstances. Please seek personal, professional advice prior to acting on any information.

Damian Toms & The Burley Griffin Finance Co. Pty Ltd are Authorised Representatives of GWM Adviser Services Ltd AFSL 230692

Suite 4, 44-52 Townshend Street
PhillipACT 2606 
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Ph: 1300 210 594