It’s also instructive to note that returns from high growth, growth and balanced funds over the five years returned double-digit annualised growth, while the conservative, steady, low volatility investment in cash returned about 50 per cent less annually over the same period. Fees are another point to consider. Members with large balances, in particular, should keep a close watch on fees because the impact they have on net returns can be significant. Funds that offer either a discount for high balances, or a cap on the fees once super savings reach a considerable amount, will be at an advantage.
Apart from some public sector funds, typically industry funds are the least expensive for members. However members should also increasingly examine the fund’s investment strategy to ensure it has a long-term plan and uses specialist advisers and funds managers with a depth of investment experience. Certainly after the recent financial crisis, more members will read the fine print to discover the strategy about derivatives, reserves and buy/sell spreads on entry to or exit from the fund. The more knowledge members acquire about how a fund operates, the more secure they will feel about their retirement savings.
Gabriel Szondy is the managing director of the Centre for Investor Education and a trustee