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Australia's Financial Watchdog Warns Against Investing Retirement Savings into Crypto

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Mon, 17/01/2022 - 7:57
 Australia's Financial Watchdog Warns Against Investing Retirement Savings into Crypto
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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the country's top financial watchdog, has cautioned Australians who manage their superannuation funds against dabbling in cryptocurrencies.

The agency describes crypto as a "speculative investment" after recently publishing a warning about the rise of cryptocurrency-related scams.

The ASIC has registered an uptick in marketing campaigns that specifically target SMSF trustees on social media, urging investors to exercise caution:

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Do not rely on social media ads or online contact from someone promoting an 'investment opportunity.'

An SMSF gives people complete control over their retirement savings, which allows them to make unorthodox investing decisions by putting money into stamps, art and crypto.

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Moreover, managing your superannuation fund comes with additional risks given that fraud victims will not be compensated.

The regulator recommends consulting with a licensed financial adviser before making a decision to transfer funds to an SMSF.

SMSF trustees are fully responsible for following taxation requirements, and cryptocurrency investing could make compliance even more complicated.
  
In December, Australian federal police estimated that Aussies were scammed out of A$109 million last year.

In November, South Australia police seized A$700,000 worth of crypto following a dark web drug bust.

As per a survey conducted by the Independent Reserve's Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI), nearly a third of Australians own cryptocurrencies, which represents an 18% increase from a year ago.

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