Investment Trends has conducted its SMSF Report for eight consecutive years, with the number of SMSF trustees using a RG146-compliant adviser falling from a peak of 71 per cent in May 2007.
The report is based on an online survey of 2,132 SMSF investors between March and April this year.
Investment Trends chief executive Eric Blewitt said while trustees are focusing on cost, they do have unmet advice needs - "but they really want to see value for it".
Of the trustees who currently use a RG146-compliant adviser, almost 40 per cent say 'I make all the decisions', according to the report.
The report also saw the amount invested in managed funds within SMSFs continue its decline, falling from 9 per cent last year to 6 per cent.
The amount of SMSF funds invested in direct shares rose slightly from 2011 to 41 per cent, and the amount in cash and cash products edged up to 28 per cent.
Thirty-eight per cent of the SMSF cash balance - $50 billion - is in excess cash, according to the report.