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'Astonishing': How your super fund grew by 12.2 per cent in just nine months

Business

Superannuation funds grew by 12.2 per cent in the nine months to the end of March, after what Chant West called an astonishing bounce back.

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It said the median growth fund, which the majority of super members hold, was up 1.9 per cent for the month of March and 3.1 per cent over the quarter.

The results were on the back of a strengthening economy and stock market.

It came as the Reserve Bank said preliminary data suggested the economic growth in the March quarter was likely to have recovered to around its pre-pandemic level.

Chant West said a double-digit return on superannuation funds for the financial year was a realistic chance and something that was inconceivable a year ago.

CommSec also reported that luxury vehicle sales now represented just over 12.5 per cent of total new vehicle sales – a record high. The latest data shows that Aussies remain keen on domestic purchases with the borders closed, with a skew to upmarket purchases.

“In fact, Porsche sales in March were the second-highest for any month on record,” CommSec said.

Australians are now waiting to see what moves the Federal Government will make in relation to the superannuation guarantee.

It has yet to reveal whether it would allow contributions under the superannuation guarantee to increase to 12 per cent by 2025, as is already legislated.

A decision is expected in next month’s Federal Budget, however the Government faces a difficult problem if it caves in to backbench demands to scrap the legislation because it said it would only do so if the economy was faltering.

Expectations are for economic growth to be about 4.5 per cent this year.

Chant West senior investment research manager Mano Mohankumar said the March quarter was characterised by optimism around the global rollout of vaccines and a return to some economic normality.

“Australian shares were up 4.2 per cent for the quarter, while international shares were up 6.2 per cent and 6.3 per cent in hedged and unhedged terms, respectively.

“Share markets are up again over the first half of April, and we estimate that the median growth fund has put on a further 2.2 per cent so far this month.

“That brings the cumulative return since the end of March last year to about 22 per cent, which is remarkable given the health concerns, disruptions and economic damage caused by COVID-19.

“It also means that we’re more than 7 per cent above the pre-COVID crisis high that was reached at the end of January 2020.

Mohankumar said that while most people still invested their super in the growth category, a meaningful number of people were now in so-called lifecycle products, where members were allocated to an age-based option “that’s progressively de-risked as that cohort gets older”.

 

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