Recently, QSuper’s chief investment officer Charles Woodhouse hosted a live online market insight broadcast, which gave him the opportunity to remind members how QSuper’s long-term investment strategy is designed to weather the ups and downs of market conditions.
Mr Woodhouse discussed the current investment climate, the latest updates on QSuper’s performance, strategy and the opportunities within the market, both now and in the months to come.
He also fielded many questions from members, including these below, which are also among the most common questions being asked of QSuper’s financial advisers at the moment:
Q: How much have I lost?
A: Even though share markets are volatile, and even if that’s affected your account balance, it’s important to realise you haven’t actually lost anything unless you transfer/switch/sell your investments. If you do, that’s called “crystallising a loss”.
As an example, on Friday, March 13, 2020, the Australian share market initially dropped, then finished the day higher. If you bought shares at the start of the day, then sold them at lunchtime, you may have lost money (crystallised a loss). If you held the shares all day and sold them at the end, you may have made a profit. If you simply bought them and held onto them, you haven’t lost (or made) anything, you continue to hold those shares or units.
Q: Is my super safe?
A: Superannuation is a big deal – but it’s not a one-year deal. QSuper is an industry leader in long-term performance, so when markets are jittery day-by-day, it’s important to take a deep breath and consider your long-term perspective.
Our investment strategy is to invest in a “risk-balanced” way. We focus on risk allocation not asset allocation. It’s a diversification approach different to that taken by most other superannuation providers and a factor in QSuper receiving the inaugural SuperRatings Smooth Ride award in 2020, recognising us as the fund that has best weathered the ups and downs of the market, while also delivering strong outcomes1.
Q: What should I do/what is everyone else doing?
A: For most QSuper members, the answer to both of those questions is nothing. In other words, sit tight and do not react to the current cycle of market volatility.
In terms of what you personally should do – everyone’s situation is different and depending on your stage of life, retirement plans and other specific goals, you may want to get some personal advice. We give QSuper members access to over-the-phone financial advice on specific topics related to their QSuper account, at no out-of-pocket cost2.
In terms of what everyone else is doing – we do see a higher number of investment switches come through when the share market is volatile, but the vast majority of our 585,000 members do nothing.
Q: How is QSuper responding to market volatility (are you actively managing your investments)?
A: While the majority of our members do nothing, that’s certainly not the case for QSuper’s investments team – but it’s also no different to any other trading day.
When markets are volatile, QSuper’s investments team stick to our long-term strategy of risk-balanced diversification. This involves active daily management of the shorter-term asset allocations within the QSuper portfolio3. This daily management occurs in all market conditions.
Q: What were the government changes announced recently in relation to early access to super?
A: The government announced a range of changes, including early access measures. There were also changes announced regarding superannuation minimum drawdown requirements, which is summarised here. There are also other ways you may be able to access your super early.
For more answers to commonly asked questions, visit QSuper’s website.
SuperRatings does not issue, sell, guarantee or underwrite this product. Go to www.superratings.com.au for details of its ratings criteria. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Ratings, awards or investment returns are only one factor that you should consider when deciding how to invest your super.
QInvest Limited (ABN 35 063 511 580, AFSL 238274) is a separate legal entity responsible for the financial services it provides. For Income and Accumulation account members who receive personal financial advice from QInvest, the QSuper Board may pay for some or all the advice fee for advice related to your QSuper benefit. Eligibility conditions and some advice fees may apply. Refer to the Financial Services Guide for more information.
The term ‘QSuper portfolio’ is used to refer collectively to the underlying portfolios of assets which in combination make up the individual asset allocations of QSuper Lifetime and the Balanced, Moderate and Aggressive investment options.