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‘Stunning’ rally helps super returns climb for fifth consecutive month

By Rhea Nath
2 minute read

The median growth fund delivered 1.9 per cent in March, adding to the “stunning” rally that has seen super funds gain 11 per cent since November.

A strong share market rally in the last five months has bolstered super returns up to 8.8 per cent for the financial year so far, according to Chant West.

The median growth fund (61–80 per cent in growth assets) returned 1.9 per cent over the month while the high growth (81–95 per cent) and all growth (96–100 per cent) options returned 2.3 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively.

On the other end, the conservative option (21–40 per cent in growth assets) also saw positive returns of 1.1 per cent while the balanced option (41–60 per cent) delivered 1.5 per cent.

Chant West senior investment research manager, Mano Mohankumar, noted two distinct periods observed in the financial year thus far, with growth funds retreating 1.9 per cent from July to October, only to gain a “stunning” 11 per cent on the back of the strong share market rally from November to March.

“The financial year to date return of 8.8 per cent puts super funds on pace for a 13th positive return out of 15 years,” he remarked.

Particularly, Australian shares rose 3.3 per cent in March while developed international shares advanced 3.4 per cent in hedged terms.

Emerging markets, meanwhile, were up 2.3 per cent, despite a relatively flat month for Chinese equities.

Australian bonds also rose 1.1 per cent over the month while international bonds rose 0.8 per cent.

However, despite the strong momentum of super returns in the last five months, Mohankumar warned of increased market volatility in April, driven by inflation concerns after the US Federal Reserve indicated interest rate cuts are unlikely to take place by June.

“The escalating tensions in the Middle East have added to those inflation worries,” Mohankumar said.

“It’s a good time to remind members that super is a long-term investment and there’ll be ups and downs along the way. Members should take comfort in the fact that most Australians have their super invested in well-diversified portfolios that have weathered previous periods of market volatility, and they continue to meet their long-term risk and return objectives.”

Additionally, he cautioned against switching to a more conservative option or cash with a view to switching back to a growth option later.

“Attempting to time the market, more often than not, results in inferior long-term investment outcomes than if you stay the course,” he said.