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SuperRatings   ⟩   News & Insights   ⟩   News   ⟩   Don’t panic! What superannuation is teaching the post-GFC world

AuthorGordon Toy

DateSeptember 20, 2018



Ten years since the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers, Australia’s superannuation funds have accumulated over $1 trillion in retirement savings, providing a windfall for members prepared to take a long-term view.

According to data from leading superannuation research house SuperRatings, members with a balance of $100,000 at the end of August 2008, just days before the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit, would today have a nest egg worth $193,887 if they remained in a balanced option. In contrast, members who panicked and shifted their savings to a capital stable option would have a far smaller balance of $164,277 (see chart below).

Growth of $100,000 invested over 10 years to 31 August 2018*

Select index

Source: SuperRatings

Interim results only

Source: SuperRatings

*Interim results

Investors who had stuck it out with their growth option would have fared even better, with $100,000 growing to $201,209 over the decade. The results show the importance of taking a long-term view, even in the face of severe crises such as the GFC.

“The failure of Lehman Brothers ushered in a period of intense crisis for the global financial markets, including in Australia,” said SuperRatings Executive Director Kirby Rappell. “We hoped then that the market crash would prove cyclical and that we would see a relatively quick recovery, but of course that did not happen.”

“But even in the face of the Great Recession, Australia’s superannuation funds have shown us that taking a long-term view and sticking with your investment strategy pays off. Super funds held their nerve and refrained from making rash decisions, and members continue to reap the benefits. After 10 years the GFC looks more like a speed hump.”

Interim results only. Median Balanced Option refers to ‘Balanced’ options with exposure to growth style assets of between 60% and 76%. Approximately 60% to 70% of Australians in our major funds are invested in their fund’s default investment option, which in most cases is the balanced investment option. Returns are net of investment fees, tax and implicit asset-based administration fees

According to SuperRatings’ data, the median balanced option grew at an estimated 1.0% in August, while the median growth option delivered 1.3%. Over ten years, results remain diminished by the GFC, with the median balanced option returning only 6.6% p.a. However, over the past seven years the median balanced option has returned a very healthy 9.3% p.a., with super funds riding the global share market rally which began in 2009.

“The lesson of the GFC is useful to bear in mind when confronting the risks and uncertainties in today’s market,” said Mr Rappell. “There are some significant risks, including the threat of tariffs on global trade and investment, central bank tightening, and the currency and bond crisis that has engulfed emerging markets. Funds need to maintain discipline and stick to their long-term return objectives in the interest of their members.”

Best and worst performing options over 10 years to 31 August 2018*

Source: SuperRatings

*Interim results

Australia’s top super funds take a long-term view

While the GFC continues to cast a shadow over long-term returns, Australia’s top performing funds have nevertheless delivered some impressive results. A comparison of balanced option returns shows that CareSuper remains ahead of the pack with an annual return of 7.6% over the past decade, followed closely by Equip MyFuture and HOSTPLUS.

Source: SuperRatings

*Interim results.

Source: SuperRatings

# IOOF Employer Super Core – IOOF MultiMix Balanced Growth Trust

*Interim results

Release ends

Warnings: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Any express or implied rating or advice presented in this document is limited to “General Advice” (as defined in the Corporations Act 2001(Cth)) and based solely on consideration of the merits of the superannuation or pension financial product(s) alone, without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or particular needs (‘financial circumstances’) of any particular person. Before making an investment decision based on the rating(s) or advice, the reader must consider whether it is personally appropriate in light of his or her financial circumstances, or should seek independent financial advice on its appropriateness. If SuperRatings advice relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of particular financial product(s), the reader should obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement for each superannuation or pension financial product before making any decision about whether to acquire a financial product. SuperRatings research process relies upon the participation of the superannuation fund or product issuer(s). Should the superannuation fund or product issuer(s) no longer be an active participant in SuperRatings research process, SuperRatings reserves the right to withdraw the rating and document at any time and discontinue future coverage of the superannuation and pension financial product(s). Copyright © 2018 SuperRatings Pty Ltd (ABN 95 100 192 283 AFSL No. 311880 (SuperRatings)). This media release is subject to the copyright of SuperRatings. Except for the temporary copy held in a computer’s cache and a single permanent copy for your personal reference or other than as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth.), no part of this media release may, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, micro-copying, photocopying, recording or otherwise), be reproduced, stored or transmitted without the prior written permission of SuperRatings. This media release may also contain third party supplied material that is subject to copyright. Any such material is the intellectual property of that third party or its content providers. The same restrictions applying above to SuperRatings copyrighted material, applies to such third party content.

For more information contact:

Gordon Toy
03 9623 6373

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