10 May 2023
Investing successfully for retirement relies on a steady focus and not being distracted by the twists and turns inevitable on any long journey.
For AustralianSuper’s Head of Macro Research & Strategy, Amber Rabinov, the key to success is to remain focussed on your retirement goals. For most members with long-term investment horizons that means staying the course when markets fluctuate.
As Amber explains: ‘Market downturns can be unsettling, but members can take comfort knowing that we invest for the long term and look for opportunities that market downturns can provide. This means we are actively investing in assets that we believe are mispriced relative to our cyclical and longer-term views, as well as in a mix of quality assets globally. This can help deliver strong long-term performance.’
Markets move in complex cycles and can be challenging to predict, especially if you’re not an investment expert. AustralianSuper’s deep team of experts rely on decades of experience and extensive research to help add value over the long-term.
Read more: THE BENEFITS OF ACTIVE MANAGEMENT
Changing markets can cause unease
When markets fall, it’s natural to feel uneasy. Many people feel the pain of an investment loss more than they enjoy the success of a gain. It can be hard to see at the time, but when markets fall it’s often a time of opportunity.
As well-known investor Warren Buffet says, ‘Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.’
AustralianSuper navigates market cycles for members
The chart below shows that over a period of 20 years, despite ups and downs in the market, members’ super invested in the Balanced option has grown. It can be tempting to sell out of the market and wait on the sidelines until it seems safe to dive back in, but many studies show that this strategy can deliver lower returns over the long run.
Growth of $100,000 from 31 March 2003 to 31 March 2023 in the Balanced option
Long term performance of the Balanced option, starting with a $100,000 balance on 31 March 2003.
AustralianSuper investment returns are based on crediting rates, which are returns less investment fees and costs, transaction costs, the percentage-based administration fee deducted from returns from 1 April 2020 to 2 September 2022 and taxes. Returns don’t include all administration, insurance and other fees and costs that are deducted from account balances. Returns from equivalent investment options of the ARF and STA super funds are used for periods before 1 July 2006. Investment returns aren’t guaranteed. Past performance isn’t a reliable indicator of future returns.
Understanding AustralianSuper’s investment strategy
AustralianSuper has built a long-term track record of managing members’ retirement savings through market cycles. The Balanced option, where most members are invested, has generated an average return of 8.71% each year over the last 10 years and 8.28% over the last 20 years to 31 March 2023, making it one of the top 2 performing funds in Australia over 10 and 20 years1.
The Fund’s Balanced option has outperformed the median fund over the last 20 years as you can see from the chart below.
Strong long-term performance track record
The Balanced option has consistently outperformed the median fund over the long term, as at 31 March 2023.
Based on the AustralianSuper Balanced investment option compared to the SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey – SR50 Balanced (60-76) to 31 March 2023. Returns from equivalent investment options of the ARF and STA super funds are used in calculating returns for periods that begin before 1 July 2006. Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.
This means AustralianSuper is a top-performing fund for members over the long-term.
AustralianSuper has an in-house team of over 3002 investment professionals. This team continually assesses economic and investment data to help plan and adjust investment strategies. We take a diversified approach. By investing in a mix of assets, the team aims to further reduce risk, maximise investment opportunities and grow members’ retirement savings over the long term.
Read more: AustralianSuper’s investment strategy
The benefits of patience in times of uncertainty
History shows that the markets increase in value over the long term. By staying invested in a diversified portfolio your super has more opportunity to benefit from the inevitable upturn. This means members who stay invested in a diversified portfolio often end up in a better position than those who keep changing investment options.
It’s important to consider your risk tolerance and your risk capacity. Risk tolerance is about how much you are comfortable losing over the short term. Risk capacity is how much risk and return you need over the long term to achieve your retirement goals.
Seeking financial advice
Balancing your risk appetite and personal financial goals is something which may change over the course of your working life and retirement. Consider speaking to a financial adviser to help you work through any questions and goals. An accredited financial adviser can help guide you when investment markets are bumpy so you can stay calm, focus on your retirement goals and make the right investment choices for you.
1. AustralianSuper Balanced investment option as compared to the SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey – SR50 Balanced (60-76) to 31 March 2023. Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.
2. As at May 2023.
3. Personal financial product advice is provided under the Australian Financial Services Licence held by a third party and not by AustralianSuper Pty Ltd. Fees may apply.
Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.
This may include general financial advice which doesn’t take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision consider if the information is right for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, available at australiansuper.com/pds or by calling 1300 300 273. A Target Market Determination (TMD) is a document that outlines the target market a product has been designed for. Find the TMDs at australiansuper.com/TMD.
AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898.