Self managed super funds (SMSFs) have increased their presence in the sharemarket in 2017, according to a new report from CommSec.
Despite trading less often, the report found that SMSF investors took larger positions in the first six months of 2017 with the average trade size increasing 7% and overall value of shares traded increasing 2%. In contrast, the overall value of shares traded by investors who were not investing through an SMSF declined 4%.
What are SMSFs investing in?
The report found that SMSF investors continued to prefer Australian blue-chip shares, with ASX 200 shares accounting for 60% of all SMSF trades in the first half of 2017.
“Within the ASX 200, SMSFs are most likely to be overweight in telcos, banks, utilities and consumer discretionary shares, reflecting their well-known preference for dependable dividend returns,” the report said.
Who are SMSF investors?
Although SMSF traders tend to be older with more established super balances, over the past five years the fastest growing SMSF segment is the 36 to 45 year old age group.
“This cohort is the engine room of SMSF growth, while the proportion of over 55s has actually declined,” the report found.
Of these younger SMSF traders there are some distinct differences in the way men and women are investing.
“Women aged between 35 and 50 invested nearly one-and-a-half times more in dollar terms in their SMSFs than in their personal accounts – the opposite of men of the same age.”
Despite the rise of younger SMSF traders, in terms of market value it’s the over 65s leading the charge. The report found that this age group accounted for 40% of SMSF trades by value in the first six month of 2017.
About the research
The CommSec SMSF Trading Trends Report is an in-depth exploration of the online trading behaviour of SMSF investors, released every six months. SMSFs are a significant investor segment, representing 30% of all superannuation investments in Australia.
This report is based on a detailed analysis of the trading behaviour of active CommSec clients between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017. The sample comprised a diverse cross-section of active share traders - defined as those who had traded at least once during the 12 months before the study period - including both SMSF and non-SMSF investors.