Superannuation is a tax effective way to save for your retirement. It’s similar to a managed fund where your money is pooled with other members’ money and invested on your behalf by professional investment managers. Generally you will not be able to access this money until you retire. Your employer will make contributions to your super fund and you can top it up with your own money. The government may also make contributions if you are a low income earner.
When a super fund is originally created, whether by you or your employer, it is often automatically set up in a default account. This means it’s the same fund for everyone, with the same investments, fees, and insurances all attached. The problem with a default setup is that we’re not all the same. One strategy doesn’t fit every situation. A review allows you to identify and then tailor your investments to suit you and your situation. As an example, if you are 18 and just entering the workforce, you don’t want to be invested the same as someone who is 64 and about to retire. Default funds can also be quite expensive, often see low returns, and can come with insurances already attached that you may not want or need. It is important to look at these things because they will all impact the amount you retire with.
An industry fund was originally created for workers of a specific industry. For example, construction is usually CBUS, retail is usually Rest, and hospitality is usually Host Plus. Just because you are in an industry fund does not mean you are in the best place for you and your financial goals, needs, or objectives. They need to be tailored to you to get you the result that you want. You are not the same person as everyone else who works in your industry, and therefore should not be invested the same. Like any other fund, an industry fund can be tailored to suit you and get a better result at retirement.
According to Russell Investments, a large money management firm, a good financial adviser can increase your returns by an average of 3.75 percent per year. That might not sound like a massive difference, but over a long period of time, it can be.
Financial advisers are licensed professionals who look after your investments to ensure that at retirement, you have as much money as possible. Financial advisers can help with everything from your super, to insurance reviews, wealth management, investment properties and portfolios, and everything in between.
Active management is one of the most important things a financial adviser can provide. Almost all super funds are invested into the market. When the stock market crashes, that means you could end up losing money. Super is a long term investment so small dips in the market do not really make a difference over the years, but bigger crashes can be devastating. In 2008, we saw one of the worst financial crises in recent history. When this happened, many Australians found that they had lost thousands of dollars from their super fund. Because a super fund is just an administration service, it is not their job to defend your money when markets are bad. A financial adviser is able to actively manage your fund, and pull you out of the market when it starts to crash so you avoid losing large portions of your super. The closer to retirement you get, the more important that becomes.
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