Like other superannuation funds, SMSFs are a way of saving for retirement. The difference between an SMSF and other types of funds is, generally, that members of an SMSF are the trustees.

This means the members of the SMSF run the fund for their own benefit and have total control over how the fund operates including when and where the fund invests its money. A SMSF must have fewer than five members and must operate within the context of the presiding legislation.

SMSF are recommended by many financial advisors as they offer investment control and a broader range of investment choices in comparison to other funds. Another major benefit of SMSFs is the control and flexibility the members have over the tax position of the fund. There is a large and rapidly growing number of Australians that prefer SMSF as a form of retirement saving however, setting up a SMSF is a major financial decision and should not be hastily decided upon.

SMSF should not be treated as a pot of gold or as a well of cash for the sake of investing. The trustees of SMSFs must comply with the existing legislation including submitting report to Australian Taxation Office.

Legislation allows SMSF the ability to borrow and leverage funds into both residential and commercial property. Direct property is one of the most popular investment choices for SMSFs for a number of reasons. Firstly, if selected wisely and held for an appropriate period of time, direct property will generally generate positive investment returns. Secondly, property is a tangible asset, you can see and touch it making it a more manageable asset.

SMSF give trustees the ability to harness their super balance as a deposit for investment property and purchase a property immediately without draining their own personal funds. With SMSF consisting of up to four members the fund has the ability to pool funds allowing increased exposure to property assets. SMSF property investment is a fairly recent development and can be quite complex therefore, it would be very much worth your while to get someone on side who understands the right procedures, protocols and strategies for a successful SMSF property investment outcome.

Setting up and managing a self-managed super fund can be a complicated and time-consuming process therefore, the value of high-quality, independent advice cannot be overstated. There is a range of consultants whom specialize in assisting SMSF trustees get the most out of their funds and avoid any nasty surprises. However, it is important to remember that the role of the consultant is just to advise and guide the SMSF trustees to make well-informed decisions. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the SMSF trustees to operate and manage the fund.

Recent statistics show that most Australians would choose to invest in property if they could get trusted advice. Most are paying off a mortgage with the hope to pay the loan on their own home.

If the market is booming, anyone can invest and profit from property. However, during a down-turn investors cannot afford to have undesirable, poorly maintained secondary property within their portfolio, stressing the need for a good property advice.