We are in a SMSF and I feel the costs are too high. The fund is nearly $800K. Last financial years cost were; $3465 - Tax & Audit, $5400 - Financial Advice, $3807 - Brokerage fees. This is about $12,700 and amounts to around 1.7% on say average of $750K. Is that too much?
Wayne - Ocean Grove, Vic
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When it comes to setting up and running a SMSF, there are a number of considerations. One of them is definitely the cost of managing the fund but more importantly, keeping it compliant. As a trustee of the fund, you have the sole responsibility when it comes to compliance.
The structure determines the cost of setup and the quality determines who you hire to manage, if not self-managing. As the structures can be very broad under a SMSF based on your objectives and needs; it is hard to say how much it should cost to setup. Where the difference can occur; is the cost of managing it. The audit, again, it depends who is the accountant/auditor. A quality accountant can cost you as much or more than what you have mentioned. From the brokerage side; I would say it seems a bit steep unless there were too many transactions were taking place over the year. This could be because, there is not a long-term strategy in place with different investments within your SMSF.
The financial planning cost is again how an adviser structures the cost around the amount of work required to provide you the advice on different asset classes within your SMSF. The initial cost could be much higher as it involves a number of tasks that an adviser would have to undertake to consider all the relevant circumstances before advising you on the nature of portfolios and underlying platforms. Although, the ongoing regular advice could be more manageable than what you have mentioned as a review of strategy and circumstances warrant lesser work than initially needed in most cases.
I do agree that the cost of 1.7% seems higher than usual but is it unreasonable? Only a thorough analysis of the structure and the long-term objectives can determine that. I can only suggest to analyse your objective, goals and needs to understand the necessity of a SMSF and then conduct some research.
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