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Every year, for the past four years, I’ve asked my team the same question:

“Are we worth the price of our subscription?”

This year, I asked a different question:

“How can our members get a free subscription … for life?”

After all, being a member of the Blueprint should make you at least $4,000 a year.

No, I’m not talking about stocks. I’m talking about saving you real money, right now.

Well, here’s my answer to that question:

Today I’m proud to introduce you to a new service: the 10x Challenge.

It’s called this because we’re bringing you the very best financial deals that will save you at least
10 TIMES the cost of your subscription, or about $4,000 a year.

We’ve created the 10x Challenge Savings App, which will calculate your savings.

And we’re giving away monthly prizes and awards for people who lead the way and save lots of

All totally unbiased. Totally independent. Zero kickbacks.

Even better...

Life’s too short to travel economy class, so we’re also going to show you how to live

I’m going to share with you how to spend the money you save with the 10x Challenge in ways
that will make you feel truly wealthy - regardless of whether you’re currently paying down debts or
you’re retired and living off a fixed income.

Strap yourself in - this is going to be a fun ride!

P.S. During the year we’ll be looking at more and more ways to save you 10x your membership.
However, to kick off things off with a giant barefoot boot, we’re covering our Super Picks for 2016.
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Table of Contents
Introducing the 10x Challenge Savings App Page 3

The curious case of the world’s cheapest fund Page 4

Revealed; our favourite SMSF Lite provider Page 11

How to cut your SMSF fees in half Page 15

How to live #BarefootRich even on the pension Page 21

Drink French Champagne on a beer budget Page 24

The 10x Hall of Fame Leader Board Page 25

Disclaimer Page 27

Read This First

Today we’re covering three different types of super funds. The right one for you depends on the level of
effort you want to make and the level of control you want over your nest egg:


1) A Basic ‘No Frills’ Super Fund

Justin Bieber could operate this fund. All you need is a heartbeat, and the ability to fill out an application
form. They’re not picky. Anyone can open one.


2) A Basic ‘No Frills’ Super Fund plus the ability to choose some shares

I call this option ‘SMSF Lite’. It requires a little more work (because you have the power to pick part of your
portfolio). It’s still a traditional super fund like the one above - and it’s managed by professional trustees,
who do all the paperwork and compliance - but you have the ability to invest part of your balance directly
into individual shares.


3) A Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF)

You get total control (you can invest in shares, property … and alpacas), but you also have total
responsibility. You’re in charge of all the paperwork and the compliance, or you pay a pretty sum to your
accountant for doing it.
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100% Fiercely Independent Research. No kickbacks, just the best

deals, so you save $4,000+ every year.

Our web-based 10x Challenge Savings App will automatically

calculate your annual savings.

Save on home loans, car loans, investment loans, along with

everyday banking and financial products.
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What follows is a tale of greed, and fear and loathing. October, 2005
Whisky bar, Brisbane
It’s also an ‘inside job’. 2.00am

I’ve never written a report like this in my 15-year career. Through bloodshot eyes, I took another swig of whisky
It draws on my direct experiences in boardrooms, private and attempted to focus.
briefings … and whisky bars … over the past decade.
I was in a cordoned-off area of a swanky bar in Brisbane,
This is the curious case of the world’s cheapest super boozing it up with some of the chiefs of the nation’s
fund. biggest super funds.

(And yes, I know that super is Aussie-specific legislation, We’d spent the day at an industry gabfest, but I was
but what I’m about to share with you, from my detailed learning more from listening to these liquored-up CEOs
research, is what I believe to be the cheapest investment than from any of the speeches I’d sat through that day.
fund in the world.)
As the night rolled on, I came to see that these guys were
As I’ll soon discuss, there are many compelling reasons driven by two things: ego and power.
to look at investing with this fund.
You’ve heard me say plenty of times that the super
However, the industry doesn’t want to talk about it. industry is the greatest rort going round, ripping $23
billion a year out in fees. Many jets, boats and mansions
Heck, even the company offering the fund doesn’t really have been bought from the money skimmed off your life
want to talk about it. savings.

So let’s talk about it. But not only that, they love winning awards...
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The most coveted of which is the Best Performing Super you’ve probably never heard of it, even though it’s been
Fund of the Year. the best performer over the past three years.

That’s because being top of the table can transform You know why?
a lowly fund into a powerhouse. Money gushes in as
investors chase the hottest new thing. The winning fund Because the fund that took out the gong could have
managers get huge bonuses, just like a Melbourne Cup- been run by the bloke behind the bar serving us our
winning jockey, and everyone toasts their success. shots. And because the fund is cheap.

But not this year. Really cheap.

This year, no one wants to talk about the best-performing I believe it’s in fact, one of the cheapest funds in the
balanced super fund in the country. In fact, I’m betting world.

That’s Not Australia’s Cheapest Super Fund…

This is Australia’s Cheapest Super Fund.

ANZ bills their Smart Choice Super as having ‘outstanding’ as their investment management fees
“Australia’s Lowest Retail Super Fees”. It’s so (hey, they’ve got to make up their money somehow).
good that it’s won a host of awards like the “5-Star
Outstanding Value Canstar Award” in 2015. Our super recommendation is genuinely the cheapest
on the market. It’s 66 per cent cheaper than ANZ’s
But, here’s the thing: ANZ pays Canstar thousands of offer. And over your working life that could save you
dollars to promote their ‘award’. so much money you could be like Hoges and have
Swiss bank accounts. Hell, you could even buy
We, on the other hand, don’t accept any fees from yourself an award.
any financial institution: no advertising fees, no
payments for research, no speaking fees, no free
meals or footy tickets. No nothing.

And, even though ANZ boasts it has “Australia’s

Lowest Retail Super Fees”, it’s being a bit tricky.

First, because the ANZ is a bank, and banks operate

to screw as much money as they can out of you: like
their insurance options, which generally aren’t as
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Let’s face it – most super funds are the same, aren’t It’s called the Hostplus Indexed Balanced Fund, and it’s
they? returned 12.7 per cent per annum over the last three
years. That makes it the best-performing balanced
Well, yes and no. fund in the country, according to SuperRatings, which
researches more than 600 funds.
Every big fund manager in Australia has a ‘default’ super
fund. So what is it? … What does it invest in? … And why is it
a beautiful swan?!
Usually it’s their ‘balanced’ fund, which, as the name
implies, balances your money across a mix of assets - Let’s go duck hunting.
generally seven parts shares and three parts cash and
fixed interest (or thereabouts). If you didn’t make the The Hostplus Indexed Balanced Fund invests roughly
effort to tick one of the other boxes when you signed on one-third of its money in Australian shares, another third
the dotted line, that’s where your money has ended up. in international shares, and the rest in cash and fixed
(In fact, about eight in ten people don’t make a choice interest.
with their super and end up in a default balanced fund.)

Hostplus has one of the biggest and most successful

balanced funds in Australia, holding billions of dollars.
It’s their hero fund - the default option - and where the
bulk of the attention is aimed. However, they also have
another fund, with only a tiny amount of money invested
in it, that’s actually outgunned their hero fund.

I like to think of it as the ugly duckling of the super world.

But, actually, it’s a swan.

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Anyone can join.

The Million
There’s no minimum balance. Dollar Email
And, just to be clear, this is a plain Jane index-tracking To show you how much money this
fund: could save you over your working
life, I’m going to share with a you
It automatically buys shares in the biggest 200 an email one of our Barefoot team
companies in Australia (think the banks, BHP, Rio, members, who I’ll called Belinda,*
Telstra). received from her financial advisor:

It automatically buys the 1,500 biggest companies in “We need to do a switch on your
the US, Europe, Japan and elsewhere (think Apple, superannuation and investments.
Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway). As you are probably aware the
Australian market is very volatile and we would like to
And it automatically invests the rest in high-interest roll you back in to something more conservative until the
accounts. ‘market’ sorts itself out.”

Sounds boring, right? Belinda shared this email with me, and I told her, “reply
on your iPhone, right now, with this”:
Well, it is.
Dear (advisor’s name),
But it’s also beaten the pants off most stock-pickers.
Thanks for getting in touch.
The truth is, most managers don’t beat the market over
the long term. That’s because to get market-beating Before I switch out, could you do one thing for me?
returns they’ve got to jump a big hurdle first: the level
of fees. The higher the fee, the bigger the return needed Please compare and detail the returns and fees from
just to keep pace with Mr Average. your current recommended super fund versus the
Hostplus Indexed Balanced Fund over the past five
Research from Standard & Poor’s shows that over a five- years.
year term just 10 per cent of Australian fund managers
beat the market. The rest fall short. So a fund with dirt- Kind regards,
cheap running costs gets a huge headstart.
Enter the Hostplus Indexed Balanced Fund. It was
introduced without any fanfare five years ago with a 0.04 (*Name changed because she’s embarrassed I’m telling
per cent management fee. These days the fee is even you this).
lower - 0.03 per cent. In other words, that’s a fee of just 3
cents for every $100 invested. Belinda and her husband had been with this advisor for
years, stumping up a 1.4 per cent management fee for
That’s even cheaper than AFIC, which costs 16 cents for a Colonial FirstChoice balanced fund. Their advisor was
every $100 invested. also charging them a further 0.5 per cent in the form of
an ‘advisor service fee’.
And in case you think I’m not talking sense, let me put it
this way: Based on this research, Belinda is currently considering
switching to Hostplus Indexed Balanced Option.
If you pay a manager $1 for every $100 you invest, it will
reduce your end balance by almost 40 per cent over 50 Think about this for a moment...
years. Yet here’s the thing: you’re probably paying much
more than that. That one email could end up putting an extra million
dollars in their super by the time they retire.
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“That one email could end up Those numbers have been spat out by a simulator,
and, as we all know, simulators can’t predict the
putting an extra million dollars in future. A projection can’t take into account recessions,
their super by the time they retire” depressions, bull markets or bear markets.

What we do know is this: the long-term impact of paying

But that’s Belinda and her husband, not you.
high fees in superannuation is huge.

We’re not suggesting you rush out right now and invest
In this example, it’s a million bucks.
in the Hostplus Indexed Balanced Fund. What we’re
saying is that it’s a great yardstick for evaluating the Even when you run the numbers in comparison to most
performance of your current super fund. industry funds (which are still way cheaper than the
super funds flogged by the major banks), you can still
So let’s do that.
save a bundle.

Let’s take a look at how much super Belinda and her

A Simple Switch Could Save You Thousands
husband might retire with if they stick with their old fund.
If they make contributions of $20,000 (through Super
Guarantee, plus a salary sacrifice top-up), after the Tax
Office helps themselves to $3,000 in contributions tax,
that will be $17,000 added to their super each year.

“I can’t even count on my fingers and toes

the number of people I’ve recommended for
your newsletters and updates” - Kylie

Apples, Oranges and Rotten Tomatoes

Now I half expected Belinda’s advisor to come back and
argue the toss with her. After all, I was comparing ‘apples
to oranges’ rather than ‘apples to apples’.

But I was ready.

After 30 years, they’ll end up with a balance of
$1,939,000. Now, the Hostplus Indexed Balanced Fund is, well, a
passively managed index fund, whereas her fund was
Now, let’s run the numbers with the Hostplus Indexed actively managed by professional stockpickers who are
Balanced Fund. aiming to beat the returns of the index funds with their
stock picks. However, they charge a premium for that
Because Hostplus has lower fees (and there’s no extra service, whether they beat them or not. And therein lies
advisor commission either), the final balance grows to the problem.
$3,022,000. That’s $1,080,000 more, give or take a few
thousand bucks. I’d looked back at the last 10 years of returns and seen
that, after fees, they’d underperformed the index.
Okay, I’ll be honest here - that’s not going to happen.
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Of course, their actively managed fund may do better in Step 2: Send your own ‘Million
the future, but the fees they charge will continue to put a Dollar Email’
lot of lead in their saddlebags.
Cut and paste Belinda’s if you like, or write it in your own
The other thing was that the advisor was charging a words. Just as long as you ask your fund to provide a
0.5% advisor fee, instead of an hourly fixed rate. The written comparison of fees and performance, over the
advice wasn’t great, but they would have paid the guy at last five years, against the Hostplus Indexed Balanced
least $100,000 in advisory fees over their working life. Fund.

So armed with the facts, I awaited her advisor’s If you don’t have a financial advisor, all you need to do is
response. Yet here’s what actually happened: He didn’t find out how much you’re being charged by your existing
even respond to her email. Instead, from that point on he super fund. Google the name of your super fund and find
spoke only to the ‘man of the house’ (Belinda’s hubby). the fees, which should be located in the fund’s Product
Disclosure Statement. Plug them into the 10x Challenge
What a guy.
Savings App.

Remember, your long-term returns will be determined by

“Thanks Scott for your honest, everyday the asset class you invest in, and the fees you pay. All
advice, with no big words, bulls*@t or things being equal, the lower the fees, the better.

holier-than-thou attitude. And I love that

you’re not trying to sell me anything” - Pete Step 3: Make an independent
Read through the Questions and Answers section on
Okay, so here’s what I want you to do: the following page to understand the other factors to
consider before you switch.
Step 1: Work out how much you
could save
I want you to go to 10x Challenge Savings App and
calculate how much you’ll save.
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The Barefoot Brief

Super Simple

Our Simple Super Recommendation:

Hostplus Indexed Balanced Fund

What is it? What’s the likelihood they’ll jack up their

It’s from Hostplus (an Industry Super Fund),
and it’s their Indexed Balanced Option. Hostplus management have told me
they “don’t intend on raising fees in the
How long have they been around? foreseeable future”, and I believe them.

Hostplus have been around 28 years, and What about insurance?

they manage $17.5 billion in assets.
Hostplus has great insurance cover.
Who does it suit?
However, most super funds have what’s
Someone who wants a no-frills, professionally known as ‘group cover’, a package deal for
managed super fund. their members which ensures that everyone
gets a basic level of insurance cover. Before
If I’m in pension phase, can I still invest in you contemplate switching to any super
the Indexed Balanced Option? provider, consider your insurance options.
I’ve seen people move to another fund, only
Yes, Hostplus offers this as an investment to be knocked back for insurance because of
option in their pension fund. However, you pre-existing conditions. You don’t want to be
should think about your exposure to shares caught in insurance limbo land, having given
as you get older. up your old fund. When in doubt, talk to the
fund and have them guarantee a suitable level
What are the ramifications of switching of cover before you switch.
from another fund?
I get that a broad, low-cost exposure to
Rolling over any fund involves liquidating your investments makes sense, but I’d also
investments and potentially incurring Capital like to invest a small part of my super into
Gains Tax (CGT). In addition, your current Blueprint shares as well. Does Hostplus
fund may slug you with exit fees on the way have an SMSF Lite option?
out. Other funds only charge an administrative
fee. Check this with your accountant before Yes. (Keep reading.)
you switch.
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When we first introduced the concept of an ‘SMSF Lite’, are a lot more lucrative (for them). Again, you’re reading
it was an instant hit with Blueprinters. fiercely independent research. This is the advice that I
give to my family and friends.
Hold up, what’s an SMSF Lite?

It’s a typical no-frills super fund that also allows you to Mike and Scott’s ‘Deathbed Pact’
invest part of your super balance directly into shares
Our Chief Investment Analyst, Mike Kemp, has left his
that you choose yourself. Most funds call it a Direct
wife some instructions should anything happen to him…
Investment Option.

“Don’t go and see a financial planner or accountant

Looking back, I believe there are two reasons it’s been
under any circumstances. They won’t want to give up the
such a hit:
commissions, and they’ll try to convince you to let them
‘help’ manage your money. Instead, sit down with Scott
First, it’s simple and hassle-free. and go through the portfolio.”

You get to use some of your super money to buy shares And in return, I’ve left the same message for Liz.
of your choosing, but you don’t get lumped with all the
compliance, paperwork and legal headaches of running Now, maybe you don’t have a Mike or Scott in your life.
your own Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF). Or, in
reality, you don’t have your accountant charging you But here’s the thing: generally, in a relationship there’s
thousands of dollars a year to do all the paperwork for one partner who’s really interested in the share market
you. (if you’re reading this, that would be you), and the other
who doesn’t really understand it.
Yet there’s a second, more emotional reason people
gravitate towards this option: their partner. Consider the fact that your partner may not know how to
continue managing your finances (as you’ve them set up)
So why don’t more people use SMSF Lites? Because the in the event that you die. If you’re in an SMSF Lite, your
industry is busy trying to sell you traditional SMSFs that super is managed by professional trustees. Your partner
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can direct the fund to sell the shares and put the money SMSF Lite Providers
into a no-frills managed fund. Or, more likely, they can
choose to allocate more money to managed investments Note: Not all traditional super funds offer the option
as they get older. for you to buy shares. Those that do all charge slightly
different prices. However the key thing to understand
And, unlike with an SMSF, where you’re legally is that you need to consider the fee structure of the
responsible as the trustee, with an SMSF Lite you won’t underlying fund, and the cost of buying shares directly
have the Tax Office chasing you if something gets via the SMSF Lite facility.
mucked up.

The Players: SMSF Lite Providers

Do they
Do they Do they Fees and charges
offer Listed
allow you to allow
SMSF Lite Minimum Investment
Provider invest in the you to
known as Balance Companies Brokerage
top ASX 300 participate Like AFIC Annual fee on $10k
companies? in DRPs? and ETFs? trade
Confirmed for
Hostplus Choiceplus $10,000 $180 $19.95
later this year

CareSuper Direct $10,000 $300 $22

Australian Super $10,000 $395 $33

Shares $10,000 $300 $20
Living Super

$203 +
Media Super Direct $10,000 $33
Self $240 +
Cbus $40,000 $19.50
Managed 0.2%

Legalsuper Direct $10,000 $180 $20

*While ING DIRECT Living Super promotes a ‘fee-free investment option’ there’s a lot of fine print. I spoke to ING DIRECT and was
left scratching my head, especially with their cash option, which pays 0.75 per cent below the RBA cash rate.

Revealed: Our Favourite SMSF Lite term deposits.

Remember when looking at an SMSF Lite provider you Just like an SMSF, you might say?
need to consider the managed investment options and
costs, as well as the costs of their direct investments Well, yes, except you won’t be handing over thousands
option. of dollars in fees (a typical SMSF costs about $3,000 a
year in running costs every year).
And that’s why we’ve given the gong to Hostplus. They
call their version of an SMSF Lite ‘Choiceplus’, and it’s Now, to be invested in Choiceplus, you need a minimum
our current favourite. of $10,000 to kick things off, and at least $2,000 must be
kept in one of Hostplus’ other investment options.
For $15 a month (on top of the standard $1.50 per week
fee) you get to pick and choose from Australia’s biggest And this is where you can take another clever step: why
300 listed companies, together with a range of ETFs and not combine your SMSF Lite (Hostplus Choiceplus) with
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a super-cheap index fund (Hostplus Indexed Balanced

Fund)? “Thanks Barefoot! Being confident in
my money management helps give me
By combining Choiceplus with the Indexed Balanced
a foundation to go and help me live my
Fund, you’re getting the best of both worlds: a market-
leading superannuation option together with the dreams” - Sal
opportunity to pick and choose your own stocks -
including many of our Blueprint recommendations!

Case Study: Bill Gets the Best of Both Worlds IMPORTANT: You need to read this!
Bill has $200,000 in his work’s super fund (with a group Yes, Hostplus has taken out our gong for both the
called Mercer Super Trust). He’s sick of being screwed basic ‘no frills’ fund and ‘SMSF Lite’ in our Super
over in fees, so he likes the idea of a dirt-cheap super Picks for 2016. Just to be completely clear, there
fund. But he also likes investing in Blueprint shares that is no money, no in-kind, no nothing that influences
tickle his fancy. these recommendations. If Hostplus changes their
pricing, or we find a better deal, we’ll let you know.
Here’s how Bill can slash his fees, and invest in Blueprint
stocks - without the hassle of opening an SMSF. That being said, I wrote to the senior management
of Hostplus and asked them straight-up whether
After talking to his accountant, and checking over his they had plans to put up the pricing at any stage.
insurance, Bill decides to make the switch to Hostplus. They said, “we have no plans to increase the prices
After he’s filled out his forms, and the rollover is of our funds… and we know that you will be angry
complete, Bill selects to have $140,000 (70 per cent of with us if we do”.
his balance) invested in the Hostplus Indexed Balanced
Fund. The other thing to appreciate is that 80 per cent of
the population never change their super fund, and
With the remaining $60,000 (30 per cent), Bill decides as a result many lose up to $1 million in fees over
to open up a Hostplus Choiceplus account and buys their working life.
$10,000 worth of six Blueprint businesses (South32,
Challenger, HPI Limited, Woodside, Rio Tinto and However, you shouldn’t keep switching your super
Collection House). Bill buys the shares himself by logging fund like you switch your underpants. There are
into the Choiceplus website (brokerage costs $19.95 per transaction costs and tax consequences that could
trade). erode your returns. My advice is to find a low-cost
option that has all the features you want, and then
Now, over time, if Bill likes running his own show, he stick with it.
can invest more of his super - including future employer
contributions - into his Choiceplus (‘SMSF Lite’) fund.

All up, Bill is paying less than 0.2 per cent in fees,
including brokerage with his Index Balanced Option and
the SMSF Lite option combined.

Remember: the power of the Hostplus Indexed Balanced

Fund is its simplicity. If anything should happen to Bill,
his wife will have a professional trustee who’ll manage
the assets for her, at a rock-bottom price, and she’ll be
set to beat 90 per cent of super funds.
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The Barefoot Brief

Our SMSF Lite Recommendation:
Hostplus Choiceplus Direct Option

What is it? Can I invest in AFIC?

Hostplus Choiceplus Direct Option. Currently, no. However Hostplus management

have said this is confirmed to be added as an
How does it work? option later in the year.

There are rules on how you can invest your What about if I’m retired?
money in all super funds.
Yes, you’re able to use Choiceplus in the
Hostplus’ rules for this fund are: pension phase. You can also transfer your
shareholdings when you transition to the
1. You must have at least $10,000 to invest in pension phase without selling down your
Choiceplus. holdings (known as an ‘in specie transfer’).

2. You must keep 20 per cent of your super What are their fees?
balance in a managed option, like the
Hostplus Indexed Balanced Option. In addition to Hostplus’ standard fee of $1.50
per week, Choiceplus will slug you $15 per
3. Choiceplus allows you to invest 80 per cent month ($180 per year). Brokerage starts at
of your super balance (and contributions) into $19.95 per trade.
individual shares that trade on the Australian
Securities Exchange (ASX). What are the ramifications of switching
from another fund?
4. You can only invest in shares on the ASX
300 - basically the 300 biggest companies The same rules apply when rolling over
on the market. As of 1 February, the majority any fund - it involves selling down your
of the Blueprints stocks are in the ASX300 investments and potentially incurring Capital
(notable exceptions are 1300SMILES, AFIC, Gains Tax (CGT), or capital losses. Your fund
Berkshire Hathaway and Washington H. Soul may also have exit fees that’ll sting you on the
Pattinson). way out - check this with your accountant or
super provider before you switch.
5. You can’t invest more than 20 per cent in
any one stock.
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First, a confession: “Just because you can invest in

I have a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF). However, to
these weird and wonderful assets,
be completely honest, I probably wouldn’t get one again. doesn’t mean you should”
Instead, I’d go with an SMSF Lite.

Why? If you’re like me and you’ve already got an SMSF,

chances are you’ve been ‘upsold’ by your accountant
All things considered, having an SMSF Lite is cheaper – you went to get your tax sorted and came home with
and much less hassle than for Liz and I to be the legal a brand new SMSF (complete with leatherette folder to
trustees of our own SMSF. store your $2,000 trust deed).

The advantage of an SMSF is that, unlike with your Actually, what started out as a handy side income
garden-variety super fund, you can invest in, well, pretty for accountants has become a major money-spinner.
much anything. According to the Tax Office, if you have a SMSF with a
fund balance of between $200,000 and $500,000, the
Okay, there are a few no-go zones. You can’t lend your average expense ratio is a whopping 2.54 per cent.
super to your family, buy a beach house for yourself or
(with some limited exceptions) bury yourself in debt. Most of these fees are fixed: your accountant charges
you a yearly fee for the compliance and auditing. If
Outside that, it’s game on. Shares, property, barrels you’ve got a multi-million dollar balance, that fee is
of whisky (though you can’t drink it) - as long as it’s pocket change. If you’ve got a small balance, the fee
something that will provide for you in your old age, it’s eats away at your returns. And if that accountant directs
generally okay. you to invest in high-cost managed funds, you get
screwed twice with the worst of both worlds.
Yet here’s the thing: just because you can invest in these
weird and wonderful assets, doesn’t mean you should.
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Now, given I’m a proud ambassador for the Tax Office, Another Million Dollar Email
I don’t make a habit of disagreeing with them. However,
I think a more realistic cost for a $300,000 SMSF would Now, if you’re committed to keeping your SMSF, here’s
be around $3,000 a year (compared to $7,620 if you take how you can save yourself a fortune:
the Tax Office’s 2.54 per cent figure).
Dear Mr Accountant,
SMSF Fees: An Accountant’s Wet Dream
I’m a part of an investment group that I pay a fee to
for independent research.

Their latest research suggests that we should switch

our SMSF over to an online super administrator, which
charges $799 a year, with the first year free.

I looked at my most recent statement, and I’m

currently paying (INSERT YOUR FEE) a year.

However, I appreciate your work and I have all my tax

affairs with you, but I do need to keep a lid on fees.

Are you able to meet me in the middle… say $1,500 a


Trust me - if your accountant wants to keep your

Okay, your accountant might not be picking up all of that,
business, he’ll sharpen his pencil!
but chances are they’re skimming off a lot more than
their real competition: online SMSF administrators.

One of the most aggressive out there (and the cheapest)

is ESUPERFUND, a spinoff of broking firm CMC
Markets. They want your business. They also want your
accountant out of the picture, so they’re offering a ‘free’

That’s right, if you sign up with ESUPERFUND, you can

set a fund up for zero dollars. They’ll even throw in the
first year’s financial statements, compliance reporting
and audit for zilch.

Of course the honeymoon will eventually be over, and

you’ll revert to an annual fee of $799 (plus a Tax Office
levy of $259). But that’s still way short of the $3,000 or so
you’d normally be paying for accounting and audit fees.

Importantly, with ESUPERFUND you have the ability

to invest in local and international shares, precious
metals (not that you should), residential property (not
that you should), commercial property, and Aussie and
international managed funds - and you can deal with
discount brokers like CommSec and E*Trade.
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Okay, so here’s what I want you to do: Seriously, just blame it on me.

Send the million dollar email to your accountant, and

Step 1: Work out whether you save yourself $1,500 or more.
actually need an SMSF
Remember, your long-term returns will be determined by
My view is that 80 per cent of investors don’t need an the asset class you invest in, and the fees you pay. All
SMSF. things being equal, the lower the fees, the better.

So who are the 20 per cent that do need one? Importantly, if you’re a small business owner buying
your business premises, I’d strongly suggest you stick
The first group are wealthy, sophisticated investors who with your accountant, because it’s a more involved
have significant, long-term portfolios that they’ve built transaction.
over the past few decades.

The second group are small business owners who want Step 3: Make an independent
to own their commercial property in their super fund. decision
This isn’t a new strategy - it’s been around for decades
- and for high-income-earning small business owners, Read through the Questions and Answers section on
it can make sense. However, you should also have your page 19 to understand the other factors to consider
accountant run the numbers on owning it in your own before you switch.
name and claiming the deductions against your taxable
“My Blueprint subscription has been one of
What makes NO sense is the ‘set up an SMSF and buy the most important decisions of my life” -
a single investment property’ fad. Most investors are Charles
already heavily exposed to residential property through
their homes, and loading up on even more property at
the pointy end of a boom is a recipe for disaster (and a
diet of tinned beans in retirement).

If you’re in the 80 per cent of people who don’t need

an SMSF, you should seriously look at the benefits of
investing through an SMSF Lite.

Step 2: If you have an SMSF -

and you want to keep it - send
your own ‘Million Dollar Email’
Plain and simple, this is all about using ESUPERFUND as
leverage to lower your fees.

You now know how much profit your accountant is

making from doing the basic compliance. That money is
better in your pocket than theirs.
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How to Break Up with Your SMSF

If you’ve already got an SMSF but have decided it’s Sell the fund’s investments and roll over the member
either too expensive or too much hassle, you don’t have balances (or pay them out, depending on your age).
to stick with it. In fact, thousands of people choose to
shut down their SMSFs every year. Complete the final financial statements and audit, and
lodge the fund’s final return.
Here, in brief, is what you’ll need to get your accountant
to do if you want to shut down your account: Pay out any final balances, and have your accountant
notify the Tax Office of the fund’s closure.
Make sure all your paperwork is up to date with the
previous year’s tax returns and compliance obligations How much is all that going to cost?
Well, it depends. As a guide, if your accountant charges
Estimate the fund’s final expenses (like accountant fees, you $2,000 every year for financial statements and
auditor fees and tax liabilities). You’ll need to keep that getting an audit, then budget for at least that amount to
amount set aside. get rid of the fund altogether, with an additional $300 to
$500 for winding up and deregistering your fund.

Beware: Your accountant won’t give up without a fight.

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The Barefoot Brief SMSF

Our SMSF Recommendation: ESUPERFUND

What is it? leverage with your
current provider (usually
ESUPERFUND, an ultra low-cost SMSF your accountant) can
provider. put dollars back in your
How does it work?
For everybody else, I believe either a simple
With ESUPERFUND, here’s what you get for hands-free super fund (like Hostplus Indexed
your (zero) upfront dollars: Balanced Fund) is the way to go. For those
who like the idea of picking their own
• SMSF trust deed investments, an SMSF Lite is probably all
• Document to appoint trustees that’s ever needed.
• Lodgement of an election to become a
regulated SMSF What are the fees?

• Tax File Number application on your behalf

After the first year honeymoon,
• ABN application on your behalf ESUPERFUND will slug you $799 each year
• Draft investment strategy for financial statements, completion of a tax
• Resolution of trustees and draft minutes return and an audit. The Tax Office will also hit
• Bank account establishment you up for a $259 levy.

• Broking account establishment.

What about insurance?
Once that’s done and dusted, in the first year
you’ll get (free): You’ll have to arrange your own: it is a DIY
option after all.
• Annual balance sheet and profit & loss
statement For years I’ve suggested to people that it’s
• Annual member statements a good idea to keep a low balance in an
• Annual trustee resolutions & minutes industry fund to get access to their group
insurance cover. There are downsides to this
• Income tax return preparation & lodgement
though: you only get a basic level of cover,
• Annual audit. and you’re paying two sets of fees.

Who does it suit? What are the ramifications of switching

from another fund?
If that looks like a lot of work, it is.
The same rules apply when rolling over
But for some people an SMSF might be a any fund - it involves selling down your
good option. investments and potentially incurring Capital
Gains Tax (CGT), or capital losses. Your fund
The first group (which includes me) are may also have exit fees that’ll sting you on
people who already have an SMSF and need the way out - check this with your accountant
to screw down the costs as far as possible. before you switch.
That’s why using ESUPERFUND’s fees as
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My goal with the Blueprint is to turn you into an ‘insider’.

To show you how the game is being played around you, and how you can be one of the few
people in this country with access to genuinely independent research that can save you a fortune.

So after reading this far you’ll hopefully see how we can come good on our promise of ‘never
paying for your Blueprint subscription ever again’:

We’ve saved you $442 every year if you’ve got $50,000 and you’re after a no-frills super fund.

We’ve saved you $692 every year if you’ve got $100,000 and want to ‘do it your way’ with an
SMSF Lite.

We’ve saved you $1,500 if you’ve already got an SMSF.

To make it easy, we’ve also given you pre-written, cut-and-paste emails to send to your financial
advisor or accountant. You should use their responses to guide your own decisions.

What the Blueprint is all about, and especially the 10x Challenge, is EMPOWERING you to make
better, more confident decisions.

And we’re only just getting started… go to the 10x Challenge Savings App right now and look at
the rest of our fiercely independent recommendations and see just how much you can save!

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About 18 months ago my wife, Liz, and I sat in our rented house, on our rented couch, drinking a
celebratory wine out of coffee mugs.

Back then we didn’t have much to celebrate… we’d just lost our home and everything in it. But
earlier in the day the cheque had arrived from our insurance company.

It was a big bloody cheque.

I was half expecting it would be delivered by one of those armoured trucks. A big burly bloke with
a pistol, a moustache and a steely gaze would knock authoritatively on the door. He’d open the
briefcase that was handcuffed to his arm only after we’d given him the secret handshake. And
then a golden light would appear as we opened the briefcase.

Nope. Darren the postie stuffed the letter into the postbox of our rented house on Tuesday
afternoon - a dot matrix printout cheque in exchange for everything we’d ever owned.

We sat there that night staring at the cheque, and slurping wine, and making plans.

And then, for the next 12 months we did … nothing.

The bulk of the cash sat in our (high-interest online savings Mojo) account. The only things we
bought were some clothes, because all we had were the ones we were wearing at the time (our
son, Louie, had nothing but a disposable nappy and the onesie on his back).

Perhaps if you were in our situation you would have shopped ‘til you dropped. After all, we were
depressed, and it’s called retail therapy for a reason, right?

Well, when you lose practically everything you own, it changes the way you think about ‘stuff’.

Really, how could it not?

After all, buying everything again; a toaster, beds, linen, a potato masher, a house - can be an
overwhelming task.
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Now you could burn down your own house to have a life-changing experience too, but I’ve lived it
so you don’t have to, thankfully!

So here’s what we did.

We bought best quality for everything - which didn’t necessarily mean following the marketing
manipulation and using price alone as a signal of quality (‘higher price = better’).

My first purchase was a pillow.

Seriously, a pillow.

Your noggin lays on a pillow for a third of your life. That’s a long time to put up with a shitty pillow.

When my sister got divorced, I bought her a pillow.

Then I circled it out to my staff. I bought them pillows as well.

Jun, my Korean graphic designer, was admittedly a little perplexed with my offer.

He kind of bowed graciously and carried the pillow under his arm on the tram home.

I can only imagine the discussion he had with his girlfriend (also Korean) when he arrived back to
his studio apartment:

“Is this some sort of Australian employment custom?” she asks.

“I have no idea. He speaks with such a thick Australian accent that I really only understand every
third word he says,” he replies.

“You don’t think he… likes you… do you?”

“No, I don’t think so. He gave pillows to the rest of the team as well.”

Anyhow, if you haven’t bought a pillow in the last 12 months, you need to.

A UK study in 2011 found that “up to a third of the weight of your pillow could be made up of
bugs, dead skin, and house dust mites and their feces”. Sweet dreams!

Instead, you should buy this pillow: It’s called the Dunlopillo, and it’s the Mercedes Benz of
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I’m giving away three pillows (brand new, unopened ones!) this month to the best ideas on how to
live #BarefootRich.

So, how do you live #BarefootRich?

Let me give you some examples…

I’ve got a mate who drives a $195,000 Mercedes S-Class...that he bought second-hand for
$11,000. Even though it’s 15 years old, and has a lot of k’s on the clock, it’s an amazing piece of

I’ve got another friend who spent three weeks researching mattresses (even going so far as
visiting the factories where they were made), and bought an amazing bed for just $799 that was
comparable to a $3,000 Sealy.

Another friend spends $200 on gourmet food and booze and has a dinner party (with cut price
teenage waiters) that is a fraction of the cost of going to a fancy restaurant.

Send yours in an email with the subject line: #BarefootRich.

And now, I’ve asked our resident wine buff and managing editor of the Blueprint, Tom, to tell us his
tip for living #BarefootRich:
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I’ve got a confession: for a fair amount of my adult life I’ve been surrounded by booze.

No, I haven’t spent decades trawling Australia’s pubs and wine bars (although it’s crossed my

But I have been tasting, drinking and teaching people about wine since the days of Ben Ean
Moselle (well, perhaps not quite that long).

And there’s one thing I’ve learned from pulling the cork on thousands of bottles: sometimes you
get what you pay for, but usually you don’t.

At one tasting, we had more than 100 people sniffing, swirling (and spitting) their way through
some of the best sparkling wines from Australia and Europe.

(The labels were masked, so people couldn’t see what they were drinking.)

Nearly everybody turned their noses up at the $300 French plonk.

The crowd favourite? A $20 drop from Tassie.

My point? You don’t need to spend a ransom to live like a king. Or in republican terms, you don’t
need to own a string of casinos to live like Jamie Packer.

You see, with wine (and a lot of other things in life), finding something that’s great value is going to
make you happier than buying something just because it’s expensive.

And that’s where you come in.

We want to hear your stories. We want you to share with the Barefoot community your tips for
living a rich life.

We’ll even add an incentive: Aldi (you know, the supermarket with the funny labels) is wowing wine
critics with its $25 Champagne (yes, it’s the real stuff, from France). I reckon
it’s as good as the $80 brand-label bubbles in your local bottle shop.

So send us your suggestions. What do you do that makes you feel like a
million bucks?

If we publish your tip, we’ll thank you with six bottles of Aldi French

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Okay, the 10x Hall of Fame is… well, it’s a work in progress.

What we do know is that thousands of Barefooters have already put our money-saving strategies
to work.

Like Maria, who rang her bank and scored a 0.6 per cent rate cut on her mortgage. Over the life of
the loan, that’s more than $70,000 in savings.

And of course Barefoot Belinda, who could end up retiring with an extra million bucks in super.

So now it’s your turn.

We want to hear how you are putting money back into your pocket.

We want to see your picture on our Hall of Fame leaderboard (so we can swipe left on Warnie).

How do you get involved?

Easy. Just go to the 10x Challenge Savings App, via the

Blueprint website, and see how much you can save simply by
switching to our 100% fiercely independent recommendations.

Hit ‘send’ on your results to forward a copy to Barefoot HQ.

Get your name up in lights.

Now it’s over to you...

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100% Fiercely Independent Research. No kickbacks, just the best

deals, so you save $4,000+ every year.

Our web-based 10x Challenge Savings App will automatically

calculate your annual savings.

Save on home loans, car loans, investment loans, along with

everyday banking and financial products.

Note: if the button doesn’t work for you, log into the Blueprint website,
and click on the 10x Challenge Savings App button.
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How We Do Business At Barefoot

The Barefoot Investor operates under an Australian Financial Services Licence (302081), however we have chosen
not to offer personal, one-on-one, financial planning advice.

That means we do not sell investment products, and we do not receive any commissions, or payments of any kind
for any of our recommendations. To be crystal clear, we do not have any arrangement with any financial institution,
and we do not accept advertising or speaking fees from financial institutions.

So what do we do?

We publish fiercely independent, straight-talking money advice... whether you’re 8 or 80.

Because we are financial publishers and not your financial advisor, we don’t provide investment advice that is tailored
to your personal situation. While we make specific recommendations, they should not be construed as personal
investment advice.

When we answer questions from readers, our advice is of a general nature only, and should not replace seeing
an independent advisor. To be clear: You should seek independent financial advice before acting on any of our

That’s the guts of it. However, if you’d like to read what Larry our lawyer has written, click here.

The Barefoot Blueprint is published by Barefoot Investor Pty. Ltd. Registered Address: PO BOX 274 Romsey VIC
3434 (ACN: 112 545 169 ABN: 80 112 545 169) Australian Financial Services License: 302081.

Copyright 2016 Barefoot Investor Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved.