OREANDA-NEWS. January 22, 2018. Appetite for equity investing among Australian Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) investors surged in 2017, with international shares, domestic exchange traded funds, mFunds and partially paid shares the top new investment picks for investors, new data from nabtrade revealed today.

The nabtrade data, which looked at the equity trading patterns of SMSFs in the 12 months to 15 December, showed this group of investors had almost tripled their investment in mFunds, and raised their holdings in ETFs and partially paid shares by 55 per cent and 51 per cent respectively.

Preference shares were equally popular with SMSF investors, with holdings up 34 per cent. Traditional equity holdings were also solid, up 13.5 per cent, while SMSFs retreated from investing in floating rate notes and options over the same period.

NAB Director of SMSF and Customer Behaviour, Gemma Dale, said SMSF investors were overall very active in equity markets in 2017, with total portfolios up more than 15 per cent on the previous year.

“The analysis shows that investors are getting comfortable with the more exotic equity instruments in the market and are prepared to spread risk. Low levels of volatility and the strong performance of domestic and international markets gave investors’ confidence to look for new opportunities,’’ Ms Dale said.

The data also showed SMSF investors are also getting more confident in international equity investing and prepared to take bets on new and innovative sectors such as robotics and aerospace using ETFs.

“International trading surged nearly 100 per cent over the previous year, with US equities and US ETF’s the most traded equity instruments on international markets throughout the year,’’ Ms Dale said.

‘’Like retail investors, SMSF investors are turning to offshore markets to diversify their portfolios and to access high growth sectors in the US.’’