Although the findings of the regulator’s Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) Taskforce have been welcomed by the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA), PIPA emphasises that specialised property investment advice is still required by trustees.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) found that most financial advice provided to investors in relation to setting up an SMSF was ‘adequate’. However, PIPA also notes that pockets of ‘poor advice’ continue to exist. Such poor advice is often given when recommending that investors establish a SMSF for the purpose of investing in real estate.
ASIC commissioner Peter Kell said that regulatory action would follow in cases where unlicensed SMSF advice or misleading marketing was found.
PIPA chairman Ben Kingsley said that Australian investors suffering at the hands of unscrupulous marketeers was unfortunately a common occurrence. These cases, of which ASIC is fully aware, could potentially explode with an increase in property investment via SMSFs as more investors become interested.
Kingsley claims that accountants and financial planners need more specialised training regarding SMSF property selection as they do not have the understanding or formal education required.