Since posting our 4-part series of blog posts on “How to prepare an Investment Strategy for your SMSF” in July 2009, they have consistently been some of the most popular posts on this blog. Our SMSF investment strategy sample has also been downloaded/viewed by a few hundred people, which has led us to believe that there are many SMSF trustees who are looking for some guidance to help them
Although our investment strategy is only a few pages long, it is a result of a lot of discussions and lessons learned by the trustees as we managed our investments through some of the toughest market conditions in our life time. We felt that it was not enough to write all our thoughts and experience in a few blog posts so we decided to write an e-book which we have called the “SMSF Investment Master Plan – How to prepare an investment strategy for your SMSF”.
According to data from the Australian Tax Office, over 30,000 new SMSFs are established each year. We still remember clearly how we felt when we tried to put together our first investment strategy when we were new trustees back in 2007. While we roughly knew what we wanted to do, we were also concerned about complying with the investment rules for super and having a proper risk management strategy to protect our funds. The funds in our SMSF represented many years of hard earned savings, and how well we invest it would ultimately determine how comfortable our retirement will be. No matter how large or small that amount is, it is still a huge responsibility! For new trustees who are looking for some guidance on how to create an investment strategy for your SMSF, we have written down all the things to consider when you prepare an investment strategy to suit you, taking into account your investment objectives, risk profile, skills and experience, time and interest. We have included a checklist of questions to ask yourself to help you come up with a suitable investment strategy for your SMSF, and a copy of our investment strategy as a sample for you to use to document yours.
We started managing our own super funds in September 2007, just before the onset of the global financial crisis. Our initial investment strategy was based on traditional investment approach of buying and holding assets, and using asset allocation and diversification to manage risk. When we found that this was not working for us, we decided to change our investment strategy to enable us to use exchange traded options to actively manage risk and to improve our returns in a bear market. For trustees of existing SMSFs who may be reviewing your investment strategy and looking for new investment ideas and strategies, we have also shared the investment strategies we use and our outlook for 2010 and beyond. If you like some of the strategies and would like to use them for your own SMSF, we have provided links on our blog to many free or value for money resources to enable you to learn these strategies. Do let us know if there are any areas you need more help with and we will see how we can address them in the future.