Understanding what your super is invested in

6 December 2023

AustralianSuper invests in a diversified range of asset classes to help members achieve their best financial position in retirement. The specific allocation to these asset classes varies depending on the objectives of each investment option.

Here's an overview of the asset classes used by AustralianSuper.

Asset classes and examples of AustralianSuper holdings

With over $300 billion in member retirement savings as at 30 September 2023, we invest in a broad range of asset classes including listed shares, private equity, real assets, credit, fixed interest and cash.

Listed shares

Owning listed shares means owning part of companies that are listed on a public exchange, like the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). AustralianSuper invests in Australian and international companies.

Listed shares generally make money in two ways – through an increase in the share price and the distribution of dividends. Share prices can go up and down and are affected by many factors including company performance and economic conditions. We aim to invest in high-quality companies that may perform better than the broader market over the long term.

In the Australian shares portfolio, the investment team analyses the long-term prospects of companies by performing deep fundamental research and analyses of companies, industries and economies. The team seeks to identify and invest in high quality businesses with sustainable competitive advantages. Our research is based on identifying the key value drivers and rigorous valuation frameworks are used to establish intrinsic value.

In the international shares portfolio, the investment team selects securities and investment managers that have the potential to outperform the broader market. The internal investment team focuses on fundamental research and quantitative analysis to identify high quality businesses with sustainable competitive advantages. Best in class external managers are also used to provide expertise and investment strategies that have the potential to generate value for members.

Examples of some of the companies we could invest in include Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Woolworths and JB Hi-Fi in Australia. Examples of investments in international markets include Microsoft, L’Oréal and Samsung Electronics. These holdings were in the portfolio as at 30 September 2023.

 

Private equity

Private equity involves investing in companies that are not listed on a public exchange like the ASX. AustralianSuper invests in private equity in close partnership with specialised private equity managers in three ways:

  1. Allocating capital to funds of top tier managers,
  2. Co-investing along-side managers and
  3. Co-underwriting transactions to gain larger exposure and additional active asset ownership.

Collectively, these investment strategies have the potential to outperform listed shares over the long-term.

 

Real Assets

Real assets include unlisted infrastructure and property assets located in Australia and internationally. These investments help support economic development and improve living conditions for communities. Returns can come from increases in asset value from development and price appreciation, as well as income from rent or business activities.

Several themes are shaping the investment opportunities available in real assets. These themes are listed below with examples of assets held in the portfolio as at 30 September 2023.

Theme Portfolio holding Location Description
Digitisation Indara

Vantage Data Centers
Australia

Europe, Middle East and Africa
Leading owner and operator of tower and rooftop telecommunication sites.

Leading global provider of hyperscale data centers.
Energy transition Generate Capital United States One of the largest owners and operators of behind-the-meter battery storage, community and rooftop solar, energy efficiency retrofits, biogas facilities, electric buses and hydrogen-electric vehicle fleets in North America.
Estates Canada Water London, UK 53-acre development in central London. Expected to have 3,000 net-zero homes, sustainable workspaces for approximately 20,000 workers and 12 acres of new open space. 
Toll roads WestConnex NSW, Australia Toll road project with a 70-kilometre network of roads.
Transport logistics Moorebank Logistics Park Sydney, Australia State-of-the-art facility that connects Port Botany to the interstate rail network.
Private credit

Private credit investments involve providing financing for an agreed period in exchange for a return at an agreed interest rate, like a loan. AustralianSuper has a specialised team that invests in private credit opportunities. These investments include loans that fund commercial real estate construction or brownfield infrastructure assets. Private credit investments typically have higher yields to compensate for being more illiquid or risky than investment grade debt.

Examples of AustralianSuper’s private credit investments include a loan to Bascom Station, a build-to-rent (or multifamily) residential construction loan in San Jose, California and a loan to Heathrow Airport to provide extra liquidity as the airport recovers from COVID-19 traffic disruptions.

 

Fixed Interest

Fixed interest investments provide income from interest payments. These investments are traditionally defensive assets in a portfolio which can protect against market volatility because they can be less risky than asset classes like listed shares. Fixed interest investments include debt issued by governments and companies. Australian examples include bonds issued by the Commonwealth of Australia and companies such as AGL and Westpac. International holding examples include government debt from countries like the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, and corporate debt from a range of international companies.

 

Cash

Cash investments are short-term money market instruments. These are issued by banks, like the CBA, NAB and Westpac, as well as governments and companies. These types of investments are considered relatively low risk in the short-term, however, the asset class generally has lower returns compared to other asset classes over time. This means that the returns from cash may not keep up with inflation over the long-term.

 

Global diversification

AustralianSuper has investments throughout the world. This helps support Australia’s economy while members also benefit from growth in local and international markets. This global approach can also reduce investment risk through diversification.

As at 30 September 2023, about half of AustralianSuper’s investments are invested in Australia, with the remaining assets diversified internationally. The chart below provides examples of assets and their locations. These include the United States, United Kingdom, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Source: AustralianSuper

A map of the world that shows the location of AustralianSuper investments.  Locations include the United States, United Kingdom, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Twice a year, we publish a list of all investments to help keep you informed. For a comprehensive look at where your super is invested visit: What we invest in 

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.

Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

*Source: The 2022 AustralianSuper Monash University Retirement Confidence Index. Based on answers from approximately 3,000 people aged 50 and over. Retirement scores are compared to the Australian average, estimated from the key socio-demographic variables captured in the study

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.


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