The median balanced superannuation fund option delivered a return of 1.1 per cent in February despite the recent strength in equity markets, according to SuperRatings.
The research house noted that while equity markets have rallied in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s election, super fund returns have not experienced the same growth.
“What we have seen so far in 2017 is some stability in superannuation returns following what was potentially a bit of hype at the end of 2016,” said SuperRatings chair Jeff Bresnahan.
“Investors do not want to see markets getting too carried away, especially when there is still a fair amount of political and economic uncertainty globally.”
SuperRatings did, however, note that returns for the 12 months to February hit 11.3 per cent, their highest since April 2015 despite the “modest” start to the year.
“Looking over the past 12 months, only three months have seen negative returns, and these have been small, especially compared to the larger positive gains we saw at the end of 2016,” Mr Bresnahan said.
“Super balances seem to be in reasonable health, so investors should not panic if we do experience bumps.”
Additionally, returns for the first eight months of the financial year are a “healthy” 6.8 per cent according to Chant West, putting the super sector on track to deliver an eighth consecutive year of positive returns.
“Growth funds have performed better than expected this financial year. With share markets up further so far in March, we estimate that growth funds are up more than 7.5 per cent over the financial year to date,” said Chant West director Warren Chant.
“With just over one quarter remaining, there is a good chance that they’ll deliver an eighth consecutive positive financial year return. This is particularly impressive given the economic and political uncertainty that has been prevalent over the past few years.”
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