Did absolute return super funds do their job?

Two absolute return superannuation funds have made a return so far this year, and both were CFS funds, according to FE Analytics data. 

The funds were CFS Wholesale Personal Superannuation Bennelong Kardinia Absolute return at 5.78%, CFS Wholesale Personal Superannuation Schroder W Absolute Return Income at 1.12%.  

When looking at the top five largest absolute return super funds by fund size, it was only the CFS Wholesale Personal Superannuation Schroder W Absolute Return fund that made a return. 

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The largest fund, AMP Flex LifetimeSup and CustomSup Antipodes Global at $81.9 million lost 5.78% since the start of the year.  

According to the Bennelong Kardinia fund’s factsheet, the largest holding was Zip Co and Fortescue Metals (both at 4.1%), followed by Charter Hall (3.6%), and Harvest Technology and JB Hi-Fi (both at 3.1%). 

“The portfolio has a good mix of stocks that benefit from both a lockdown scenario and a re-opening scenario, with more recent additions resulting in a tilt towards a re-opening scenario,” it said on how it was dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.  

For the CFS Schroder fund, its highest sector allocation was towards Australian corporates (33.69%), short term securities (10.79%), Australian subordinated (9.23%), global corporates (9.01%), and Australian asset backed (7.18%).  

“Credit was a key contributor over the month both in terms of ‘carry’ from coupons but also as spreads continued to compress. Central bank support and government stimulus continue to buoy risk assets as they seemingly look through the negative economic news,” its factsheet said. 

“Duration was a detractor to portfolio performance as bonds yield rose over the month. Hence the long duration position we hold as a key diversifier subtracted from overall performance. Currency positioning also detracted from the portfolio. The ongoing strength of the AUD against the USD and Yen were the main drivers.” 

The fund noted that it would continue its “mantra” that it carried into the crisis which was to remain defensive, diversified, active, and liquid.  

Top five largest absolute return super fund performance 



Fund size 

Start of 2020 to 31 August 2020 return 

Five years to 31 August 2020 return 


Flex LifetimeSup and CustomSup Antipodes Global 

$81.9 million 




Flexible Super Super Antipodes Global 

$67.9 million 




FC W Personal Super Schroder W Absolute Return Income 

$44.8 million 



CFS FC W Personal Super FirstChoice Acadian Wholesale Australian Equity Long Short 

$31.2 million 




WF Super Perpetual Shareplus Long Short 

$29.3 million 



The Perpetual WF Super Perpetual Shareplus Long Short fund lost the most since the start of 2020 out of all the 18 absolute return super funds. 





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