Super fund of the decade

Super fund members have enjoyed high returns from a superannuation industry that has delivered strong performances for the past decade.

Last year was another strong year – the seventh best in history – delivering, on average, 14.7 per cent returns.

According to Chant West, UniSuper Balanced was the best fund for 2019, putting out returns to the tune of 18.4 per cent on its growth fund.

And with returns of 17 per cent or higher, Tasplan Balanced, CFS FirstChoice Growth, Australian Ethical Super Balance and AustralianSuper rounded out the top five.

An indication of how strong 2019 was for super funds was the worst performer in Chant West’s growth category, which still delivered 10.5 per cent returns.

“Very few would have predicted such a strong result 12 months ago when growth funds had just lost 4.6 per cent over the December 2018 quarter and investor sentiment was decidedly negative,” said Chant West senior investment manager Mano Mohankumar.

While 2019 was a good year for super, Mr Mohankumar reminded fund members that super was a long-term game.

“Certainly look at what your fund delivered over the year, but it’s even more important to know what its long-term objectives are and whether it’s achieving them,” he said.

The top-performing growth fund of the decade was Hostplus Balanced, which delivered average returns of 9.2 per cent a year.

AustralianSuper Balanced, UniSuper Balanced, Cbus Growth and CareSuper Balanced rounded out the remaining top five spots. All delivered 8.7 per cent or more per year.

“The 2019 result brings the average return over the past 10 years to 7.9 per cent per annum,” said Mr Mohankumar.

“That’s a tremendous run, but we should remember that it partly represents the recovery from the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) when the median growth fund fell about 26 per cent.”

However, as Kirby Rappell from SuperRatings told YourLifeChoices last week, Mr Mohankumar also cautioned members expecting big results in the coming year.

“It would be a mistake to assume that the level of returns over the past decade will continue,” he said.

“At some stage they’re going to revert to more ‘normal’ levels, and there will be more challenging times ahead.”

How did your super fund perform over the past decade?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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