The number of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) using a financial planner is tumbling, but over 200,000 SMSF users want advice and aren't getting it, according to new Investment Trends data.
Investment Trends Senior Analyst, King Loong Choi said that the number of people who had a SMSF and sought advice fell to 36 per cent in 2015, down from 41 per cent in 2014.
He said the main reason was because of the heavy media scrutiny about the financial planning industry at the time the data was compiled in April 2015.
Choi said, the research house surveyed 3,941 SMSF trustees and the data found four subsequent reasons demand for financial planners declined.
One was that trustees wanted to manage their own affairs themselves, two, was the lack of confidence in advisers' expertise, three, was that they had a previous bad experience with a planner and lastly they cited they couldn't trust advisers "which is in line with what had been in the headlines when we conducted the study".
However, he believed there was a big opportunity for advice, as 213,000 SMSF trustees had "an unmet advice need".
He said, they didn't want advice about investment strategy, but instead wanted strategy advice on estate planning, advice on pensions, the age pension, offshore investing, longevity protection and transition to retirement (TTR).
"Among those with unmet advice needs, only 54 per cent intend to turn to a financial planner and while 51 per cent intend to turn to an accountant his represents a significant opportunity," Choi said.
He said both accountants and planners had already made moves to take advantage of this.
Choi said, nearly all of the most successful planners in the SMSF space had a working relationship with an accounting firm but a challenge they faced "was the lack of integration between planners and accountants systems, which represents an opportunity for technology providers" so they could both work collaboratively.