The shares most traded by self managed super funds

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  • The three most traded shares by SMSFs are the Commonwealth Bank, Telstra and NAB.
  • However, analysis by CommSec shows that self managed super funds are more frequently looking beyond the ASX20 for opportunities.
  • SMSFs are continuing to expand their investment offshore with a 30% increase in international share trades.

Self managed superannuation funds hold $749.9 billion of the nation’s $2.7 trillion retirement pot.

These selfies, as they are sometimes known, have long been buyers of blue chip shares, including the big four banks, because of the attractive full franked shares.

However, more recently these small funds, frustrated by the underperformance of many of the large blue-chip favourites, have increasingly turned to a more diversified group of mid- and small-cap companies

Analysis by CommSec shows that SMSFs were more frequently looking beyond the ASX20 for investment opportunities.

ASX20 shares now account for just 33% of the total value of shares traded by SMSFs, down from 40% a year ago and 34% at the end of 2017.

However, SMSFs are still more likely to trade ASX20 shares than other investors, with ASX20 stocks accounting for only 29% of trades by value performed by non-SMSF investors.

A rising market has seen overall SMSF trading activity rise, with the total value of shares traded up 2.1% and volumes up 5.8%, resulting in the average deal value falling more than 3.3%. The
average deal size of ASX20 trades has dropped by 10.8%.

“Despite these trends, the list of stocks most traded by SMSFs has remained largely unchanged over the last six months, with only a few significant shifts,” says CommSec.

The three most traded stocks by value remain Commonwealth Bank, Telstra and NAB, although they now account for a smaller proportion of trades overall — 13.8%, down from 15.5% six months ago.

CSL Limited moved into the top 10 shares traded by value, while strong trading in A2 Milk saw that company move from eighth to fifth.


SMSFs are continuing to expand their investment offshore with a 30% increase in international share trades for the first half of the year, according to the CommSec SMSF Trading Trends Report.

Adding an Apple or a Facebook to a portfolio has become an increasingly attractive investment option for SMSFs.

“This trend to add international shares is strong among SMSFs who often use a core portfolio of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) or managed funds for diversification, then add high conviction individual stocks such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google or Berkshire Hathaway in an effort to enhance performance,” says Marcus Evans, Head of SMSF Customers for Commonwealth Bank.

The CommSec report shows investment in ETFs with an international focus continued to increase in 2018 with SMSFs using this investment option to increase their exposure to currency and property offshore.

Combined with rising asset values, this desire for diversification has seen an 8 per cent growth in SMSF holdings in ETFs.