Saturday, February 24, 2024

Checking in on the SMSF

 We have now been running an SMSF for almost three years. How is it doing?

The obvious benchmarks are our employer superannuation funds - Unisuper and PSS(AP). All these numbers are pre-tax. I probably over-estimate the tax paid by the funds, while I know the exact amount of tax paid by the SMSF. So the funds have a bit of an advantage here. 

The SMSF got a good start after which it gradually trudged higher. The two industry funds both declined substantially in 2022 and then recovered. PSS(AP) is almost catching up with the SMSF now.

The SMSF has had lower volatility than the two industry funds, though, at 1.85% per month, its standard deviation is only marginally lower than PSS(AP) at 1.87%. Up and down moves are both penalized using this metric. Unisuper's standard deviation is 2.23%.

Using Unisuper as the benchmark, the SMSF has a beta of 0.42 and an annualized alpha of 4.75%.* Another way of expressing this is that the SMSF captures 64% of the Unisuper's upside but only 24% of its downside. Reducing downside risk is one of our main goals.

* This is treating the risk free rate as zero. The official CAPM alpha using the RBA cash rate will be a bit lower.

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