Your SMSF investment strategy is your plan for making, holding, and realising assets consistent with your investment objectives and retirement goals. It should set out why and how you’ve chosen to invest your retirement benefits to meet these goals.

The super laws require that you must:

Your SMSF investment strategy should be in writing and be tailored and specific to your fund’s circumstances. It should explain how your investments meet each member’s retirement objectives. Relevant circumstances of the members may include (but are not limited to) their:

While you can choose to invest all your retirement savings in one asset or asset class (e.g. all in property or all in cash), risks such as return, volatility and liquidity can be minimised if you invest in a variety of assets. This is called having a diversified portfolio and helps to spread investment risk.

SMSFs that may hold 90% or more of its funds in one asset or a single asset class indicate that the SMSF is not meeting the diversification requirements as outlined in the operating standard of the Superannuation Industry (Superannuation) Regulations 1994 (SISR). They could therefore be liable for penalties of $4,200.

However, it’s important to note that the ATO does not have the legislative power to force SMSFs to sell or move assets – SMSF trustees can invest how they wish. The requirement is that trustees consider diversification and clearly document the reasons behind their investment decisions about the composition of the entity’s investments, including the extent to which they are adequately diversified.

It is a timely reminder that it is good practice for trustees and their advisors to regularly review their SMSF’s investment strategy to avoid exposing the fund’s assets to unnecessary risks if a significant investment fails.

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