Another positive quarter – despite turbulent markets

28 April 2023

Members benefitted from positive investment returns in the March 2023 quarter. All diversified PreMixed investment options finished in positive territory. 

AustralianSuper’s flagship Balanced option (Accumulation), where most members are invested, returned 3.50% for the quarter ending 31 March 2023. The Balanced option for Choice Income (Retirement) accounts returned 3.93%.  

AustralianSuper’s Chief Investment Officer Mark Delaney commented, “We’re pleased to deliver another positive quarterly return for members. At a time when Australians are feeling the impact of higher costs of living, it’s as important as ever to deliver on our purpose of helping members achieve their best financial position in retirement. 

“While economic conditions remain challenging, the Fund is well positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities as we navigate this market environment. As always, it’s important for members to stay focussed on the long-term.” 

 

The importance of a long-term investment view 

Short-term market downturns and recoveries can be expected over the lifetime of superannuation investing. Having a long-term focus provides members with a more realistic perspective of superannuation investment returns. Even members in or close to retirement could still have their super invested for another 10-20 years at least. 

As illustrated below, despite ups and downs in the market over the past 20 years, members’ super invested in the Balanced option has grown significantly. 

Growth of $100,000 from 31 March 2003 to 31 March 2023 in the Balanced option 
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. 

 

Market headwinds return – highlighting the importance of diversification and active management

The new year brought early optimism to financial markets. However, markets broadly fell in February and equity markets were further impacted in the first half of March, as headwinds returned – fuelled by persistently high inflation, rising interest rates, bank stress and slowing global growth. 

Overall, there was a broad uplift to performance across asset classes during the March quarter, particularly amongst listed shares and fixed interest investments. Listed shares started the new year with strong performance but faced higher volatility in March amid heightened bank stress. Fixed interest investments had a slower start to the year before rallying in March. 

The ups and downs of different asset classes over the quarter highlights the importance of investing in a well-diversified portfolio, across different asset classes, geographies and sectors – a cornerstone of AustralianSuper’s investment approach. 

Read more about the benefits of active management

 

Positive investment option performance

All PreMixed investment options finished in positive territory for the quarter ending 31 March 2023. AustralianSuper’s flagship Balanced option returned 3.50% for super accounts and 3.93% for Choice Income accounts for the March 2023 quarter.  

The Balanced investment option, over the last 10 years to 31 March 2023, has delivered an average return of 8.71% each year for super accounts and 9.56% each year for Choice income accounts. 

AustralianSuper has a strong track record as a top performing super fund. The Balanced option ranks in the top two for investment returns over the last 10 and 20 years1.

Super and TTR Income investment option performance as at 31 March 2023
Investment Option 3 months FYTD 1 year 5 years pa  10 years pa
PreMixed Options
High Growth 4.10%  7.87%  0.86%   8.13%  9.67% 
Balanced 3.50%  6.39%  0.71%   7.23%  8.71% 
Socially Aware 3.56%  5.68%  0.03%   5.96%  7.93% 
Indexed Diversified 4.89%  9.18%  1.40%   6.78%  7.07% 
Conservative Balanced 3.06%  4.67%  0.25%   5.43%  6.87% 
Stable 2.38%  3.24%  0.31%   3.85%  5.25% 
DIY Mix Options
Australian Shares 3.91%  12.88%  2.67%   10.13%  9.37% 
International Shares 7.27%  11.07%  1.88%   9.74%  12.35% 
Diversified Fixed Interest 1.44%  0.46%  -1.26%   0.81%  2.71% 
Cash 0.73%  1.77%  1.88%   1.14%  1.70% 
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. 

For TTR Income accounts, the investment return is based on the crediting rate for super (accumulation) options. From 1 April 2020 to 2 September 2022 the crediting rate includes an administration fee that is deducted from investment returns for super (accumulation) accounts. TTR Income accounts were adjusted to refund the administration fee deducted from investment returns. All TTR Income administration fees are deducted from account balances.  

Investment returns aren’t guaranteed. Past performance isn’t a reliable indicator of future returns.  
Choice Income investment option performance as at 31 March 2023
Investment Option 3 months FYTD 1 year 5 years pa  10 years pa
PreMixed Options
High Growth 4.59%  8.77%  1.16%  8.93%  10.67% 
Balanced 3.93%  6.99%  0.84%  7.83%  9.56% 
Socially Aware 3.95%  6.23%  -0.12%  6.55%  8.81% 
Indexed Diversified 5.92%  10.46%  1.56%  7.60%  8.14% 
Conservative Balanced 3.45%  5.24%  0.29%  6.04%  7.73% 
Stable 2.70%  3.64%  0.33%  4.28%  5.89% 
DIY Mix Options
Australian Shares 4.48%  14.20%  3.36%  11.48%  10.58% 
International Shares 7.95%  12.02%  2.03%  10.44%  13.60% 
Diversified Fixed Interest 1.63%  0.49%  -1.60%  0.95%  3.10% 
Cash 0.87%  2.07%  2.20%  1.34%  1.99% 
Choice Income investment returns are based on crediting rates, which are returns less investment fees and costs, transaction costs and taxes. Investment returns aren’t guaranteed. Past performance isn’t a reliable indicator of future returns.

 

Looking ahead

We anticipate global growth will continue to slow in 2023, and this is an environment our Investment Team has been anticipating. We are focussed on investing in a mix of asset classes with the aim of providing a balance of growth and portfolio stability to meet each investment option’s objectives. 

We remain defensively positioned and expect continued volatility in investment markets. Yet, these conditions can also create attractive investment opportunities for long-term investors. As the economic cycle progresses and markets react, we will continue to adjust the portfolio to manage risk and take advantage of long-term investment opportunities to help us deliver on our purpose for members. 

 

Find out more about how your super is performing  

For up-to-date information, please visit our performance page.

 

Explore our performance

 


References

1. AustralianSuper Balanced investment option as compared to the SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey – SR50 Balanced (60-76) to 31 March 2023. Investment returns aren’t guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns. 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.

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.


Compare us

Choosing the right fund could mean more money in the future, giving you more confidence in your long-term retirement plan performance.

compare us
Back to top