Accountants were the most trusted source of financial advice for self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) trustees, while the use of a financial adviser by trustees dropped from 2015.
That was one of the findings of ‘SMSF Insights' survey of over 600 self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) holders jointly published and by the Financial Services Council and UBS Asset Management.
The survey found the number of SMSF holders having formal agreements with financial advisers was down from 46 per cent in 2015 to 42 per cent in 2016, while those using accountants rose from 25 per cent to 30 per cent.
The use of advice broadly reflected the reported trust SMSF trustees had in each advice source. Accountants were the most trusted source, with 64 per cent of respondents giving them a score of between seven and 10.
More than half (54 per cent) gave financial advisers a score of between seven and 10, while 41 per cent scored family and friends highly.
Those under 45 years of age, women, and those with mid-level funds (especially $200,000 to $499,999) showed higher levels of trust in all advice sources. However, older men with larger funds were least trusting.
Launching the report at a media briefing on Thursday, head of UBS Asset Management in Australia and New Zealand, Bryce Doherty, said people often equated SMSFs to do-it-yourself super funds, while the survey showed that 70 per cent of SMSF trustees received professional advice.
"The idea that we've got a third of our super pool sitting in the hands of individuals or couples or families in self-managed super funds, and you've got someone sitting there trading in stocks and doing this type of thing, I don't think that really translates through to the vast majority of self-managed super funds," he said.
"Advice, particularly from accountants or financial advisers is quite prevalent amongst the funds that were surveyed."
Almost a third (30 per cent) of SMSF holders said having the confidence to manage their own retirement savings was the biggest barrier to setting up an SMSF (especially those under 55), while the pressure of making their own investment decisions was seen as the most challenging aspect of running their SMSF (31 per cent).
"Again I think this is quite an interesting point that people are not setting up self-managed super funds in isolation. They are receiving advice from trusted sources," Doherty said.