Busting 3 SMSF myths – separating fact from fiction

Thinking about moving your super to a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF)? The excitement of full control may seem enticing. But before you take the leap, beware these common SMSF myths. 

Key learnings covered in this topic

  1. Common myths of SMSFs 
  2. The complexities of managing SMSFs 
  3. Your options as a CareSuper member.

Myth 1: SMSFs allow more investment opportunities than other super funds

It’s true that SMSFs enable investors to access different types of assets than a regular super fund would invest in, such as residential property. However, there are a lot of rules around what a SMSF can and can’t invest in. Further, figures from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) show a large proportion of SMSFs have a significantly high exposure to a narrow range of investments.*

Diversification across different asset classes is extremely important when it comes to investing your super, because asset classes perform differently at different times. As an example, if the property market underperforms or if investors face challenges such as insufficient cash flow for repayments, ongoing property expenses, or potential periods of vacancy – you risk jeopardizing your super returns, balance and income in retirement. 


At CareSuper, you have access to 12 different investment options, each with different targets for returns and levels of investment risk, plus a Direct Investment option (DIO) if you’re after more control. The DIO provides access to a range of shares, ETFs, listed investment companies and term deposits, for those who want to choose their own adventure in the investment world. If you choose to invest in one or more of our managed options, we diversify our investments across many different assets and asset classes – including those only institutional investors have access to, noting a requirement for substantial minimum investment.  And finally, with CareSuper's team of investment gurus who are experts in their fields, including managers who know the financial landscape like the back of their hands, you can enjoy the ride without worrying about potholes. Find out more about your CareSuper investment options.

Myth 2: a SMSF is cheaper than a regular super fund 

Another view is that managing super through an SMSF is cheaper than investing in a regular super fund. Sure, if you're a financial, legal and compliance wizard. However, many people end up with a significant reliance on outsourcing to professionals to help them with the essential tasks like establishing a Trust Deed, completing the annual audit requirements, setting/reviewing the investment strategy, and more. 

In short, managing the compliance, finance, legal and investment needs for your SMSF will probably require professional guidance, and that can end up costing you quite a bit. This could  potentially eat into your overall net benefit return (that’s the investment return you receive on your super savings after all the fees and costs have been taken out).


Staying with a regular super fund allows you to benefit from a team of compliance, legal and investment professionals, robust investment strategies, and a wealth of expertise. All without the added stress and costs associated with managing your super independently. At CareSuper, we keep our costs low and are committed to an active investment strategy that focuses on taking advantage when markets rise and protecting your super during uncertain times. This means a bigger net benefit for you. See how we compare.  

In the end, the grass is greener where it's well-tended, and that often means sticking with the reliability and convenience of a trusted super fund. 

Myth 3: SMSFs outperform super funds

Comparing SMSF performance to the industry median is like comparing apples to oranges (or even apples to pineapples!). Asset allocations in SMSFs vary considerably and are unlikely to mirror the asset allocations of other super funds. Research indicates that the investment return on assets (RoA) varies significantly year over year^, making it crucial to approach performance comparisons with caution, especially when making decisions about its suitability for your retirement goals. Further, you are responsible for the investment decisions, and these decisions will affect both your fund returns and your final retirement balance.


Established super funds like CareSuper consistently deliver solid performance, providing a reliable and expertly managed alternative to the potential risks of navigating the SMSF landscape. As proof: CareSuper has a strong heritage – we have received a 20-year Platinum Performance rating (2004-2024) from trusted research and consulting firm, SuperRatings, and have a track record of delivering consistently strong performance for members over the long term.~ 

We can help you navigate the world of super investments

Keen to get more hands-on investing your super? As a member of CareSuper, you already have access to 12 investment options, each with a different return target and level of investment risk, plus a Direct Investment option (DIO) if you’re after more control. We provide all members with expert advice on your investment strategy as part of your CareSuper membership#  and can help you choose the right one help you achieve your individual financial goals. Book a call-back.

If you’re keen to learn more about SMSFs, the ATO has a range of resources and videos that may be worth your time exploring. 

*Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Self-managed super funds: a statistical overview 2021-22  (Published 8 Feb 2023) 
~Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance and you should consider other factors before choosing a fund or changing your investments.
#Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.

Information correct as at 13 February 2024.

Top SMSF considerations
Investing your super in a self-managed super fund (SMSF) may seem appealing. However, they are complex and are strictly regulated. Consider these 8 things before going down the SMSF path.
Compare your super
See how CareSuper has performed against the average of all industry and retail funds.