What can an SMSF invest in?

Investments should be for the sole purpose the providing for the member’s retirement.

The types of investments allowed are determined by the SMSF trust deed, SIS act and it’s  investment strategy. Your investment strategy needs to include the types of assets you wish your fund to invest in.

A list of allowable investments may be:

  • Cash at Bank
  • Term Deposits
  • Listed Securities (such as shares, managed funds, property trusts)
  • Unlisted Securities (only where there is no control of asset)
  • Units in a 13.22 Unlisted Trust (Special rules apply to these trusts)
  • Commercial Property (Special rules applies for related parties)
  • Residential Property (only to be rented or purchased at arm’s length (no related parties)
  • Collectibles (special rules on how these are stored and used)

What Investment Restrictions are there?

Investment restrictions apply to certain investments, particularly where a member is seen to have received a benefit. All investments must be purchased on an arm’s length basis.

Examples of investments that have investment restrictions are:

  • Loans or financial assistance to members or related parties
  • Units in trust controlled by the member or associates
  • Shares in a company controlled by a member or associate (i.e. private company)
  • Asset in your fund leased to a related party  (business real property has an exemption)
  • Residential Property rented or purchased from related parties
  • Units in trust controlled by the member or associates
  • Holiday House – used by the member
  • Golf Memberships used by the members
  • Collectibles that don’t adhere to specific rules
  • Use an SMSF asset for security for an loan
  • Assets with the use of borrowings without the correct Legal structure in place.

To ensure you do not breach the investments, when in doubt always seek assistance by speaking to an SMSF professional.