READ - Frustrated with high fees: Asaf's story

2 MINUTE READ

Your advice today is coming from Erika Jonsson. Erika is Six Park Finance’s Head of Communication. She is an accomplished storyteller who has worked in writing and editing for more than 15 years. She studied journalism at RMIT and has worked in rural and suburban newsrooms as well as for the Victorian Government as a ministerial policy adviser. Erika loves travelling and running, and is an avid reader.

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When Asaf Harel grew frustrated with the high fees he was paying his retail superannuation fund, he did what many people do. 

“I talked to my friends about who they used for their superannuation and whether they were happy, because I realised my wife and I were paying far too much in fees,” Asaf said.

“My wife wasn’t working at the time, as our children were still very young, so her super balance was dropping noticeably as a result of the fees and that wasn’t a good feeling.”

One of Asaf’s friends was a Six Park client with a self-managed super fund (SMSF). Asaf investigated his options thoroughly and, once he and his wife had resolved to manage their own super, they decided to use Six Park and its superannuation administration partner to get started.

“I didn’t know what to expect about the workload involved in having an SMSF, but it’s been quite seamless and very easy – easier than my normal bank. I don’t have to do a lot – I keep my statements, I give them to my accountant at the end of the year, and there’s not a lot more to it.

“It’s one of the best things we’ve ever done. My wife’s super and mine are now joined together, which means less fees and less work.”

Asaf, 43, says he feels more engaged with his SMSF than he did with his retail fund.

“Having it online has made it more accessible and less removed – I feel closer to it. I think people are becoming more independent and thinking more about their superannuation, which is obviously a good thing.

“I don’t check my account often because there’s no point – it’s long-term and I don’t have to worry about it – but it’s good to know that we can check it easily if we want to.”

Strong performance by international and Australian shares, as well as emerging markets shares, have helped the Harels’ investment returns, which have outperformed his former retail fund during the same period. Investment outperformance has shown to be a huge impact and, together with fee savings, they have both helped his investments grow.

“If I combine the fee savings for both my wife and I, and together with fund outperforming we’re probably about $8000 a year better off – that makes a huge difference.”

Asaf works as a toy buyer for Target and loves his job – as do his four children, who are aged between 5 and 15.

“My wife hates it, because the kids are spoilt,” he says with a smile. “I’ve always loved toys and it’s a lot of fun to help choose what’s going to be a hit and what kids are going to enjoy.”

He’s a former Ironman and, even though he says he spends more time in the car than on his bike nowadays, he clearly still has the mindset of an athlete.

“When I think about Six Park, I think about how it fits into the lifestyle we have today in terms of taking control of life and having visibility and transparency. When I was doing Ironman, my Garmin watch could tell me everything about how I was going from day to day, how much exercise I was doing, and what improvements I was making. Six Park is like a Garmin for your finances.”

Bryce Finck