/content/dam/Superinsights/Images/ArticleHero/img-strong-start-to-2017-hero.jpg

Strong start to 2017

Rising international shares boosted gains in super funds for the March quarter, reports Mark Rider.

ANZ Smart Choice Super investments performed well in the first few months of this year, boosted by rising international sharemarkets.

Consequentially, all ANZ Smart Choice Super lifestage funds produced positive results, with the lifestage funds for those born in the 1980s and 90s – which are more exposed to growth assets such as shares – performing best.

As you know, most ANZ Smart Choice super members are invested in funds according to their decade of birth. In the ‘3 months’ column in the table below you can see the growth in each fund for the first quarter of 2017. Click on the relevant decade for a more detailed look at fund performance.

ANZ Smart Choice lifestage fund performance (%)

ANZ Smart Choice Super 3 months 6 months 1 year 3 years p.a.
1940s 1 .25 1.17 4.01 4.28
1950s 1.65 2.52 6.94 5.91
1960s 2.22 4.08 9.92 6.96
1970s 2.64 5.33 12.15 7.67
1980s 2.83 5.97 13.23 8.13
1990s 2.89 6.11 13.49 8.18

Note: Returns quoted use the unit price which is calculated using the net asset values for the relevant month end. Please note that all returns are after the deduction of investment fees. Reporting data is to March 31, 2017. p.a. = per annum. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The 2000s fund’s inception was on 18th February 2017 and therefore 3 month (and longer) performance data is not available yet.

As can be seen in the table above:

  • the 1940s fund returned 1.25 per cent for the March quarter
  • the 1990s fund was the best performer with a 2.89 per cent return
  • the 1970s fund, with investments roughly split 80 per cent (growth assets) to 20 per cent (defensive assets), returned 2.64 per cent.

Those ANZ Smart Choice members that opted to choose their own investments can see results for different classes of assets below. In the past quarter we can see that shares (equities) in Australia and overseas performed quite well, while investments in global property and cash didn’t.

Choose your own investment mix (%)

  3 months 6 months 1 year 3 years p.a.
Cash 0.34 0.71 1.57 1.93
Conservative 1.13 1.01 3.85 4.03
Moderate 1.74 2.64 7.29 6.09
Growth 2.36 4.65 11.02 7.35
Australian equities 4.37 9.03 18.40 7.36
International equities (hedged) 4.95 9.70 16.98 9.08
International equities (unhedged) 0.71 7.58 13.77 N/A
Global property 0.31 -2.04 2.72 9.80
Global fixed interest 0.48 -1.60 1.43 4.42

Note: Returns quoted use the unit price which is calculated using the net asset values for the relevant month end. All returns are after the deduction of investment fees. Reporting data is to March 31, 2017. PA = per annum. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Note the Australian Fixed Income fund’s inception was on 18th February 2017 and therefore 3 month (and longer) performance data is not available yet.

Members of ANZ Smart Choice Super for employers and their employees can access the latest returns across the full suite of investment choices online or by visiting the ‘Investment portfolio’ page via their ANZ Smart Choice Super account in ANZ Internet Banking.

(Note: The above investment returns are not applicable to QBE members. Refer below for important information.)

Why did ‘growth assets’ perform so well?

The reasons that growth assets increased in value, reflected in your superannuation funds’ performance across January to March 2017, was:

  • better global economic growth
  • higher company earnings growth in US and Europe
  • less risky political global environment
  • heightening investor optimism.

Continued economic growth and higher company earnings growth in the US and Europe, plus emerging markets (such as Brazil and China) faring strongly, contributed to positive returns this quarter.

This was accompanied by decreasing political risks, altogether boosting investor sentiment which led to international sharemarkets, in particular, performing strongly.

The Australian economy continued to remain strong as manufacturing expanded, although household earnings remained weak likely due to low growth in wages and the rapid run up in debt and house prices. Balancing the two forces of low-wage growth and high house prices, the Reserve Bank of Australia kept interest rates unchanged throughout the quarter. Some mortgage borrowing regulations were tightened again and banks lifted rates for some borrowers.

In Europe, markets were buoyed by the lowest unemployment level in almost eight years, while the manufacturing and services sectors maintained an upward trend. And the bond market proved a mixed bag but ultimately provided a positive return over the quarter (the best returns were seen in emerging market countries where yields fell widely, led by South American countries).

The above investment returns relate to super accounts only with the exception of members in ANZ Smart Choice Super – for QBE Management Services Pty Ltd and their Employees. To access the latest returns, please visit your ‘Investment portfolio’ page via ANZ Internet Banking.

For ANZ Smart Choice Pension returns, click on the above options to access the detailed Investment Option Summaries containing returns specific to ANZ Smart Choice Pension, or visit your ‘Investment portfolio’ page on ANZ Internet Banking.

Please note that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

May 2017