The corporate regulator’s new warning about SMSF crypto investments has received a mixed reaction.
On Monday (17 January), ASIC called on individuals to seek proper financial advice before investing in crypto assets through self-managed superannuation funds.
In response to an increase in marketing that recommends switching from retail and industry funds to SMSFs to invest in crypto, ASIC said that individuals should not rely on social media ads or online contact promoting an “investment opportunity” or “high return” portfolio.
Readers of ifa, some of whom are acting advisers, responded to the warning with some even questioning whether some can advise on crypto.
“Astounding that the industry regulator has no idea that due to the licensing regime, compliance etc, that no adviser in Australia can advise on crypto,” one respondent said.
Another said: “What adviser, in their right mind, is ever going to sit down and assess the suitability of a client establishing an SMSF for the purpose of investing in crypto…”
One respondent said though they can advise on crypto, it doesn’t mean they would, writing: “I can’t ethically advise a client to invest in something I never would. Sadly this results in some clients deciding to go it alone, I just try to highlight the risk and ask them to only invest funds they can afford to lose”.
However, some were positive about the news, with one respondent saying crypto has now reached a “stage of legitimacy”.
“… holding a smaller percentage – perhaps 5 per cent, and no more than 10 per cent – is likely a wise idea,” they wrote.
“If it all dies in a heap (which is highly unlikely at this stage), then you’ve lost a small percentage of your fund. However if it does really well, then you’re on a winner.”
ASIC has pointed to its own website, Moneysmart and the ATO website as providing resources for information about scams, crypto investments and SMSFs.
Neil is the Deputy Editor of the wealth titles, including ifa and InvestorDaily.
Neil is also the host of the ifa show podcast.
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