Success in current investment markets might mean choosing a strategy that only pays off in three years’ time, according to Jim Christensen, chief investment officer of Telstra Super.

Christensen was speaking after collecting his award for chief investment officer of the year at the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards Evening.

“No one has got simple answers,” he said of record low yields in fixed income and high valuations in growth assets.

“The world is very complex, it is also time and path dependent. So, while you might have the right strategy, you might have to wait three years for it to materialize.”

He warned such a strategy would be hard for many, due to the popularity of following trends in investment markets, particularly those that had a quick pay-off.

“So, its very hard to keep the discipline to stand against what we think are silly or irrational trends,” he said.

Christensen is currently contemplating a more defensive strategy with higher weighting to cash.

He paid tribute to his fund’s success as due to their drive to maintain a top quartile status, to innovate on strategy and to innovate on product.

Telstra Super’s growth fund, which is the default for members under the age of 45 has achieved returns of 14.28 per cent over the past year to the end of April, 15.07 per cent over three years and 10.19 per cent over five years.

The other nominees in the category of chief investment officer of the year were, Richard Brandwiener of First State Super, Mark Delaney of AustralianSuper, Susan Gosling of MLC and Paul Kessell of Kinetic Super.

The nomination committee cited this was one of the hardest decisions, as the performance of all nominees was so outstanding.

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