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A Money.com.au study on the best long-term investment vehicle

October 2020

About the study

Money.com.au commissioned a survey of an independent panel of 1006 Australians. The survey sought to understand the avenue Australians consider to be the most profitable and secure long-term investment across property, shares, gold, cash and fixed interest. The survey also uncovered whether Australians would set up a self-managed super fund and the factors that may hinder them from doing so.

Would Australians consider investing in direct property, such as a self-managed super fund (SMSF)?

Forty-one (41) per cent of Australians said they would consider investing in direct property – such as a residential apartment – in a self-managed super fund (SMSF). ‍ A higher proportion of younger Australians would consider investing in a SMSF, at 58 per cent. This is compared with 49 per cent of those in their 40s, 30 per cent in their 50s, and just 20 per cent of over-60s.

Which types of property would Australians invest into a super fund?

Two-thirds of respondents (66 per cent) said they would be most interested in investing in residential houses in their SMSF, while 39 per cent said residential apartments, and 34 per cent said commercial property. ‍ ACT residents are more likely to invest in a residential apartment in their SMSF, at 71 per cent, followed by 41 per cent of NSW residents, and 33 per cent of Victorians. ‍ An equal 71 per cent of under-50s were more interested in investing in residential houses in their SMSF, followed by 62 per cent in their 50s and 59 per cent of over-60s.

Would Australians consider establishing a self-managed super fund in the future?

An SMSF allows members to invest in direct property, choose the property they invest in, and control their own fund as the trustee. Forty-one (41) per cent of respondents said these factors make it attractive for them, with 33 per cent saying they would consider establishing one in the future. Eight per cent of respondents said they already have such a fund.

Younger generations are more interested in SMSFs, with 53 per cent of under-30s, 48 per cent of those in their 30s, and 46 per cent of 40s saying they would consider establishing a SMSF in the future – compared with just 23 per cent of those in their 50s and eight per cent of over-60s.

Across the States, 36 per cent of NSW residents said they would consider establishing a SMSF in the future, compared with an equal 31 per cent of Victorians and South Australians, and just 24 per cent of ACT residents.

Why haven’t Australians already set up a self-managed super fund?

Among the respondents who do not already have a SMSF, 28 per cent said they lack funds in their existing super. A further 19 per cent of respondents admitted they lack good advice to get them started, 18 per cent said they are not focused on their retirement yet, and 18 per cent said they did not have the time or energy to set it up. ‍ Across the States, an equal third (31 per cent) of Queenslanders and West Australians said they have not set up a SMSF due to a lack of funds in their super, compared with 20 per cent of ACT residents. ‍ Younger Australians said they have not set up a SMSF due to not being focused on their retirement, with 27 per cent of under-30s citing this, followed by 22 per cent of those in their 40s, and compared with just 6 per cent of over-60s.

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