Superannuation funds were “in the red” in March, with median growth funds retreating by an average of 1.1 per cent, says Chant West.
This performance means that super fund returns over the past nine months are “only marginally positive” at 0.1 per cent.
“The lower return/higher volatility environment we’re currently experiencing is likely to continue for some time given the shaky economic backdrop, and asset managers continue to report how challenging it is to identify future sources of growth,” said Chant West director Warren Chant.
SuperRatings also indicated that volatility will likely persist.
SuperRatings chairman Jeff Bresnahan said: “Whilst we are starting to see signs that the global economic recovery may be setting in, there is no disputing that market volatility continues to be a factor.”
“Looking at returns for the past year, it would appear that the fight between the Bears and Bulls is far from over,” Mr Bresnahan said.
Chant West added that industry funds “significantly outperformed” retail funds in March – returning -0.6 per cent versus -1.6 per cent.
Over the financial year to date, industry funds have returned 0.8 per cent whereas retail funds returned -0.2 per cent.
Chant West indicated that industry funds’ outperformance over the past year has been driven by higher allocations to unlisted assets such as unlisted infrastructure, unlisted property and private equity.
Such asset classes have outperformed listed markets over the 12-month period. Notably, Australian and international share markets are down 9.3 per cent and 4.4 per cent respectively over the past year.
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