Letters: SMSF creation, QBE and executive pay

Readers comment on the costs involved in setting up a self-managed fund, and find reasons not to like investing in QBE.

Setting up an smsf

Again, I see poor quality information on the costs of setting up and operating an SMSF. Off-the-shelf SMSF packages are available for about $250 from companies like Patricia Holdings. These are accepted by the ATO and I have been using them for 10 years. I keep my accounts in a spreadsheet and my (suburban) Chartered Accountant is happy to audit the accounts and prepare the annual return for $750. There is no need for the expensive solutions being touted if one is moderately computer and spreadsheet literate.

DM

QBE’s share price decline

Looking back over articles on QBE for the last few years they have consistently been rated a buy and yet have been trending a steady decline for that same period. Many of the buy calls have been phrased as long term buy, but what is long-term in today’s high speed market? For four years the trend has been down, even cutting out the $30 peak prior to 2008, the price has trended from low $20's to just above $10 for four years. For an apparently well-run company this is a consistent poor returning investment. Eventually one of the buy recommendations will pick the bottom of the market but after four years of getting it wrong surely there should be some analysis of how this company can be looked at though a different lens.

C Salmon

Executive remuneration

I fully support the comments made by "Letters" contributor Leigh Kealton and suggest that Eureka provide a service to its' subscribers by publishing an occasional (but regular) assessment of comparative executive salary awards made by comparable companies. It would have the side benefit of demonstrating your much trumpeted independence from editorial control from News Ltd (or more to the point from News Ltd advertisers).

T Hammond

SMSF administration

Have you ever thought of providing some advice on any software programs that can help manage your SMSF from home? For example, MYOB and Quicken provide a number of accounting programs that help administer small businesses which are not expensive and easy to use. Are there any similar simple and relatively inexpensive products available for SMSFs? I know there are products available for accountants – but these are more complex and more expensive and also probably more difficult to understand.

GB

Ask Max

I'm sometimes baffled by Max Newnham's answers to questions people send in, and I generously I put that down to old age on my part. But in his response to the 'Can I enjoy my superannuation assets after retirement?' (http://www.eurekareport.com.au/article/2012/11/22/superannuation-and-tax/ask-max-your-questions-answered) question he makes me wonder if it's my fault I don't understand what he's saying. The question was quite clearly about what the enquirer could do after retirement but Max's answer, I think, was entirely about what he could do before retirement.

T Conway

Origin technicals

Buy ORG now? Ouch! Looks to me like a classic TLS weekly triple top from the late 1990s. Technically it looks very weak to me on daily, weekly and monthly charts with no consolidation in sight. Also, volume up on down days. Frankly, I would wait until the knife hits the floor or at least until the dead cat bounces before recommending it as a buy. But that's just an opinion. Fundamentals will win out at the end, but I would rather buy at a higher price when there is clear technical support.

LH