Whether it’s for diversifying the investment pool or even for the trustees fearing the next financial ‘doomsday’ event, a common question we get asked is “can an SMSF buy gold? And are there any rules we need to be aware of?”.

In short, yes and yes!

The first thing to consider is what type of gold we are analysing; are they collectable gold coins or bullion bars?  For the purpose of our blog, we look at bullion bars. Please refer to ‘collectable rules’ via the ATO website for more details on collectables.

Gold bullion bars

Since they are not defined as a collectable, when an SMSF buys bullion bars, the key issues to consider are as follows:


  1. Where will it be stored?

    • Whilst there are no specific rules around this, it’s the trustee’s responsibility to make sure the gold assets are securely protected. We recommend it is not stored in the trustee’s home and instead, stored in a dedicated vault service.
  2. Does it need to be insured?

    • Again, there are no specific rules around this so it comes down to the discretion of the trustee as to whether it is insured or not. If insurance is arranged, it cannot be part of a personal insurance policy, such as the home and contents.
  3. What records need to be maintained?

    • The trustees should keep a record of the purchase and sales documents (invoice etc) in the name of the SMSF as proof of ownership and for the calculation of (hopefully!) gains or losses.

When it comes to the annual accounts reporting, we will request for details on the above 3 matters. Then, for record keeping purposes, we will prepare an asset declaration for the trustees to sign confirming these key details.