Superannuation returns: what can we read into them?

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It’s a new financial year so that means the media will soon be publishing their annual scorecard on the relative performance of superannuation funds.

From year to year, it’s up and down of course. And there’s a raft of factors that come into play.

Everything from what’s happening more broadly in the economy to variations in interest rates, geopolitical influences, and the “herd mentality” that can skew demand for what’s perceived as the latest hot tip. Plus let’s not forget the actual cost of investing, where charges by different professional money managers vary significantly – and this has a strong bearing on the net return achieved by an investor.

Over the last few years, the returns have been (in a general sense) above average. And that’s good news. But in the nature of markets, for all the ups, there are nearly just as many downs, impacted by the drivers we’ve mentioned above.

So if returns turn out to be a little softer this year compared with the previously buoyant years, is this cause for concern?

For clients of 5 Financial, our response is “no”.

That’s because when we develop a strategy for clients, it’s built around what we believe has the greatest likelihood of delivering the goals our clients are aiming for.

Notice we didn’t say that our strategies are designed to try to outperform the market.

Because as we’ve described above, the market is buffeted by a massive range of forces that are hard (if not impossible) to predict. And quite simply, trying to consistently outsmart the market is both costly and risky.

Instead, the strategies we create for clients hinge on what they require and are not about constantly trying to beat the market. Adopting a smart strategy and sticking with it, we believe, is the wise and more certain way to reach your goals.

And while we do agree rate of return is important, there are many other considerations we factor in that are just as relevant.

Things like your comfort level with varying levels of risk (which determines the relative weighting of investments that are typically more volatile). It’s also vital to take into account the need to diversify your investments to spread risk, and to rebalance your investments on a regular basis to keep your strategy in sync.

Plus your retirement timeframe will also play a big role in determining the best pathway to pursue.

And because we make use of investments that feature a relatively lower entry and ongoing cost, we also help you maximise the net return you gain – especially over the longer term. (These savings are reinforced by the fact that we typically advise you to hold your investments, rather than move them around frequently – and this helps you avoid unnecessary transactional costs.)

Plus beyond superannuation, you are likely to have other sources of income and assets that we structure to help you protect, and to minimise tax.

So in summary, with announcements of superannuation returns being lower this year than last, we don’t believe this is a problem.

That’s because by having a wealth management plan that’s perfectly customised to your goals and circumstances, you can feel less troubled by bumps in the market cycle, and feel confident that it’s progressively taking you closer to your bigger goals.

As always, if you have questions or you’d like to discuss your particular circumstances with us, please make contact. We’d be very pleased to share our experience in this important area.

2018-01-22T08:14:33+00:00 July 2nd, 2015|