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The Benefits of a SMSF over Traditional Industry Funds

By TW Business & Accounting Services

Benefits of a SMSF over Traditional Industry Funds

Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSF) have been a buzzword in the financial world, presenting an alternative approach to the more traditional, industry-managed superannuation entities. With greater control and a tailored investment strategy, SMSFs offer a compelling financial path for many individuals and business owners.

In this blog, we’ll explore the the unique benefits of SMSFs and how they may outshine the traditional industry funds, providing valuable insights for financial planners, small business owners, and self-employed individuals looking to optimize their retirement planning.

Understanding SMSF and Traditional Industry Funds

Before we compare the two, it’s essential to understand what each entails.

SMSF is a private superannuation fund that you manage yourself. It is regulated by the Australian Taxation Office. Members of an SMSF are also the trustees and act as the fund’s investment managers.

On the flip side, Traditional Industry Funds, often known as ‘not for profit’ funds, are managed by professional investment managers on behalf of their members. These funds are typically made for individuals across a range of industries and professions, with little to no relation between the members and investments.

Advantages of SMSF

For those considering taking the helm of their retirement investments, SMSFs offer several key advantages.

Control Over Investment Decisions

The most significant draw of an SMSF is perhaps the control it offers. Members can make investment decisions based on their personal research and understanding of the market. This level of involvement allows for a direct alignment of investments with goals and values, a luxury typically unavailable in traditional funds.

Flexibility in Investment Options

SMSFs aren’t limited to the investment options often seen in industry super funds. With a wide range of options including individual shares, property investments, and direct international shares, members can craft a diversified portfolio tailored to their specific objectives.

Potential Cost Savings

For those with substantial super balances, the costs of administering an SMSF may be less than the fees charged by traditional funds. Additionally, investors can combine and potentially save on fees associated with multiple accounts.

Learn about TW Accounting’s professional Gold Coast SMSF accounting services.

Tailored Estate Planning

SMSFs come with the unique advantage of allowing members to include estate planning considerations in the trust deed. This is significant for those who want to ensure their wealth is distributed according to their exact wishes after they pass away.

Comparison with Traditional Industry Funds

To weigh the advantages, it’s important to compare SMSFs against the benefits and drawbacks of traditional industry funds.

Performance Comparison

While fund performance can vary greatly, SMSFs can potentially provide better returns than industry funds, thanks to the ability for members to tailor the fund’s investments. However, this is also dependent on the member’s investment acumen and market conditions.

Fees and Charges

Industry funds, not being for profit, generally have lower fees compared to retail funds. However, their fees can still eat into returns. SMSFs have the potential to be more cost-effective if managed in a way that minimizes additional costs and fees.

Compliance and Regulations

The regulatory requirements for an SMSF are stringent, and the compliance costs associated with meeting them can be significant. These costs and administrative tasks can be outweighed by the benefits for some, but they do represent a hurdle for potential SMSF members to consider.

Target Audience Benefits

For different segments of the financial landscape, the benefits of SMSFs differ. Here’s a look at how these benefits specifically affect various key groups.

Financial Planners

For financial planners, understanding the nuances of SMSFs provides an additional service offering to clients. The ability to diversify client portfolios extensively and the potential for enhanced returns can create a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Small Business Owners

Small business owners may find SMSFs particularly attractive due to the ability to include business assets within their fund’s investments. This approach can have significant tax and financial planning implications, allowing for unique wealth growth and protection strategies.

Self-Employed Individuals

For the self-employed, the self-sufficiency offered by an SMSF aligns closely with the independent nature of their professional life. The fund can be an ideal partner in planning for a stable and comfortable retirement without reliance on a traditional employer’s contributions.


Control over the distribution of your pension is a significant advantage in retirement planning. Retirees can benefit from this level of control with an SMSF, allowing for tailored income streams and the potential use of more complex, but powerful, pension strategies.


The decision to take on an SMSF versus a traditional industry fund is a complex one that requires careful consideration of an array of factors, from investment knowledge to the desired level of control. However, the potential benefits in terms of performance, flexibility, and cost savings make it an avenue worth exploring for many.

While SMSFs may not be the right choice for everyone, the ability to create a tailored investment strategy that acknowledges individual needs, values, and circumstances is a compelling proposition. This level of customization can lead to a stronger financial position and more secure retirement, provided members approach the responsibilities of an SMSF with the requisite diligence and knowledge.

In a financial world that values individual empowerment, SMSFs stand out as a tool for those looking to take a more hands-on approach to securing their financial future. Whether you’re a seasoned investor, a savvy small business owner, or a diligent financial planner, considering the benefits of an SMSF can open doors to a more personalized and potentially fruitful retirement strategy.


This website and any documents contain general information only and should not be taken as financial advice. You, or in consultation with a financial planner, need to consider your investment objectives, financial situation, and your particular needs before making an investment decision.