For a free meeting about your SMSF, call me today.
Matthew Snelleksz, FCPA
SMSF Taxation Expert
Ph: (07) 3391 8370
If want to stay ahead in the game and build a thriving SMSF, then here are some tips so you too can become a student and then progress to become a master. Knowledge is power, and by you constantly being hungry for knowledge and seeking out the best information, you will build a strong and protected SMSF.
Start with the Fundamentals of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds
Don’t fly blind. Have at least a basic understanding of the fundamentals of superannuation, investing and retirement planning. If you have developed a distrusting mindset, then you need to fall back on some basic knowledge if you don’t want to be hoodwinked by unscrupulous financial advisors.
I’m not saying you should spend every waking hour head-deep in books like some academic hermit. Start with one broad, general book and get a feel for what takes your interest. Make it your goal to read one book every three months. This means that, in a year, you will have dramatically expanded your knowledge. Skim through magazine articles and websites; this will take next to no time to do, and you will glean pockets of valuable information.
Allocate 30 minutes a day for reading to feed your brain. Do it first thing in the morning before your workday becomes hectic and overloaded. Cut out magazine articles and bookmark blogs and websites that interest you and that will build your skills and knowledge, so that you can grow into a better manager of your own superannuation fund. I have a special folder marked “SMSF” in big, bold, black letters, where I put any articles, newspaper clippings, and website pages I have found that are relevant to growing a strong and sustainable SMSF.
I will jump on a plane to go anywhere in the world to do a course, attend a workshop, or seminar or listen to a keynote speaker. As a student of your own financial future, you need to think far and wide and seek out the best courses and training that you can undertake to enhance your skills and SMSF knowledge. I attend at least 2 national SMSF conferences per year. This is called decentralised learning, venturing beyond your locality, where being a student knows no bounds of being limited or constrained by geography. The good thing is that SMSFs are unique to Australia and the UK, so you won’t need to travel far. However, if you want to pursue and gain more in-depth investment knowledge, then you can go anywhere in the world. A great point to note here is that any travel expenses, courses and seminars that relate to your SMSF are fully tax deductible. Isn’t that great? You can use the money in your SMSF to fund all of this. It doesn’t need to come out of your own pocket. Think of it as your own SMSF investing in your own financial education. You get a tax deduction for improving your knowledge.
Learn from those who have gone before
Mix with like-minded people who have their own SMSF or who have taken control of their own financial destiny. Ask them many questions about what has worked and what has failed when setting up and running their own SMSFs. Such people are more than willing to share with you their knowledge. Under no circumstances seek advice and guidance from a financial advisor who does not have their own SMSF. It should be the first question you should ask if you are interviewing potential advisors.
Never stop learning
Every day, every week and every year, make it your goal to become wiser and add to your armoury of skills and knowledge. If you want to continuously grow and develop a secure and rich retirement, then make a commitment to learn a little more every day. The student who continuously learns a little every day does better than the student who just crams the day before the exam.
Each year, set a target in your SMSF for it to be better, stronger and more profitable than it was in the previous year. Seek out the skills you are currently lacking. Find out what industry knowledge on new products and services you need to know in the next three to five years in order for your SMSF to continuously grow. Surround yourself not with those people who just talk and boast about being “experts”, but rather with those people who quietly and shrewdly go about building a thriving retirement fund that you want to emulate. Forget the “big noters” who just talk themselves up, especially at their own investment seminar. If they were as rich and as wealthy as they claim to be, then they wouldn’t be running a free investment seminar at a dingy bowls club on a Tuesday night, where only seven people have turned up.
As in the rest of life, when you stop learning, stop discovering and stop improving yourself as a person, you stop growing. Always be looking for ways to enhance your skills and knowledge by learning to be a constant student. Don’t leave it to chance; if you do, you will have regrets in your retirement years. You need to put in the hard yards now, the “sweat equity”, and develop your financial intelligence so you can create a retirement full of enjoyment and freedom instead of one full of sadness and regret.