AustralianSuper records its first negative return since GFC

“We are really starting with the end of a 13-year boom. Unemployment is very low, inflation is very high, interest rates are rising. Exactly the opposite of what it was in 2009. That’s why I think the returns will be lower because the conditions that have been in place for 10 years, the starting conditions, they’re now in opposite points, so it will be just harder,” Delaney said.

“It is not clear that this is the end of the difficult times. And a lot of times those tough times last longer than you’d hope… I think it might last a little longer and we just have to hold on, but don’t assume it’s going to last forever.

Investor concerns over runaway inflation and rising interest rates have sent tech company valuations skyrocketing this year, with listed tech stocks selling off sharply. However, Delaney said he would still consider investing in technology.

“Paradoxically, the cheaper they are, the more interested I am,” he said. “You want to invest money when things are bad. Not when things are going well.

Other super funds are expected to report their returns in the coming weeks, with similar results expected across the board given rising interest rates, inflation fears and deteriorating consumer confidence.


Mano Mohankumar, senior director of investment research at Chant House, said their research estimated the median return for growth options to be between -3.5 and -4%.

He said much of the year’s loss was attributable to June 2022.

“If you look at the 11 months to the end of May, the median growth fund was actually positive. »

He said the long-term super funds had achieved their goals and members should focus on those results rather than short-term numbers.

“It represents a negative return, but it is important that members of the super fund see things in context. This represents only the fifth negative year in 30 years of super mandatory,” he said.

“It’s important to see things in context and remember that super is a long-term investment. We’ve had a tough year and there are challenges ahead, but being distracted by short-term noise can really hurt your long-term investment results.

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