Sent: 23-03-2010 10:00:22
In this issue:
Return to full article list
HomeFree weekly newsletterSelf Managed Super Fund ArticlesContact usLogin
Four Topics This Week
a. Super funds in disclosure
Last Saturday the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age carried an article about disclosure and superannuation funds.
The article noted that people involved in superannuation often call for greater disclosure from companies but then on a comparable basis come up very short themselves.
Louise Staley and former funds manager but now a research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs is quoted in the article saying, "It is not good enough that multibillion-dollar funds don't disclose all their assets or how much they pay their trustees."
The MTAA super fund is also discussed, "the super fund [has] ... suffered the ignominy of investing in a fund that has lost $800 million in value in the past couple of years and not only lost its spot as the best-performing super fund in the country but become the second-worst performer, based on SuperRatings performance figures."
Financial planners are well used to today's hero being tomorrows struggling dog with fund managers.
Many industry fund members are learning this truism for the first time.
The article continues, "while many trustees describe MTAA as an outlier when it comes to industry funds, its questionable transparency, opaque set of accounts and level of corporate governance are all too common among funds.
"The industry funds will argue they have provided Australians with some of the best performances over the past 20 years, vastly outperforming retail funds due to their low fees and absence of commissions, yet they, along with the arguably less transparent retail funds, need to lift their game."
A few years ago I argued that super funds should have the same disclosure requirements as public companies especially in relation to related party transactions.
It's always nice to see the experts catching up!
You can read the article here: http://www.atcbiz.com.au/r.php?r=43m09cq
b. People in glass houses ...
Perhaps of greater interest is how quickly perceptions can change. Three to six months ago it seemed the knives were being sharpened to make life very hard, if not impossible, for Self Managed Super Funds. Self Managed Super Funds were considered the lawless frontier and their unacceptable behaviour had to rooted out and eradicated.
After the Cooper Review released its statistical report on the SMSF space, the "concerns" about the sector could no longer be sustained as a valid argument.
Perhaps this is another reminder that people in glass houses ...
Just yesterday the Cooper Review released a document about saving about $1 billion in transaction costs out of the large fund industry. Is it harsh to ask, why has it taken a Government committee to make this suggestion? Why would it take Government regulation to make it actually happen?
c. The Risk Store Conference
I'll be speaking at The Risk Store's Annual Life Risk Forum (29 & 30 April). Click here for further details: http://www.atcbiz.com.au/r.php?r=2yqtp42
d. A How To Book on Self Managed Super Funds
Finally please consider purchasing a copy of my book. You can look at the contents page at the following link: http://www.atcbiz.com.au/smsfbooktoc.pdf
Two options are available - once only subscription - $55 inc GST - or an annual subscription will gives you access to all the updates made throughout the year ($120 inc GST).
The book can be purchased at the following link: http://www.atcbiz.com.au/smsfstore.php
This email is general in nature only and does not constitute or convey specific or professional advice. Legislation changes may occur quickly. Formal advice should be sought before acting in any of the areas discussed. Be aware that the information in these articles may become innaccurate with time. Responsibility is disclaimed for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions. Particular investments are neither invited nor recommended and hence this publication is not "financial product advice" as defined in Section 766B of the above legislation. All expressions of opinion by contributors are published on the basis that they are not to be regarded as expressing the official opinion of any other person or entity unless expressly stated. No responsibility for the accuracy of the opinions or information contained in the contributor's articles is accepted by any other person or entity. Copyright: This publication is copyright. If you wish to reproduce this article you require a license, which can be purchased here, to do so.