A typical Australian superannuation fund in the third quarter has posted its worst return since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., says Warren Chant, director of Chant West, a research firm that focuses on superannuation.

The average superannuation growth fund invests 61 per cent to 80 per cent of its assets in shares and property investments, or so-called growth assets, says Chant.

The rest of fund is invested in fixed income and cash, he says. Chant West says in the three months to September 31 these growth funds have fallen 5.1 per cent on average.

“Markets around the world have fallen so it’s only natural the performance of superannuation funds have dropped too,” says Chant.

Over one year the growth funds have dropped 0.4 per cent. Over five years the average annual return is 0.8 per cent. Over 10 years it is 5.5 per cent a year.

Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in September 2008, precipitating a global financial crisis.

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