Growth in superannuation slowed in August but there was enough to squeeze out a 0.4 per cent increase for the median balanced option, according to the ratings houses.
SuperRatings and Chant West reported the slight uptick following a strong 3 per cent gain in July, taking the median return for the financial year to date to 3.4 per cent and 15.9 per cent over the past 12 months.
Australian equities continued to post steady returns in the growth asset space, with the median superannuation Australian shares options returning 2.4 per cent compared to a 2.5 per cent in the S&P/ASX200 Accumulation Index. However, the median super international shares option fell -1.2 per cent.
SuperRatings said mixed results were felt across all of the other asset classes as well. Diversified fixed interest and property fell -0.1 per cent and -0.3 per cent respectively and cash options returned 0.2 per cent.
Chant West director Warren Chant said August highlighted the benefits of diversification.
"Despite negative returns from international markets, the positive return from Australian shares resulted in the median growth fund finishing the month in positive territory for the 17th time in the past 20 months," he said.
"The median growth fund is now up over 50 per cent since the global financial crisis (GFC) low-point (end-February 2009) and now stands 14.5 per cent above its pre-GFC high (end October 2007)."
The Chant West report said five and seven-year returns were still pressured by the ‘GFC effect', while figures over 10 years had resumed a more normal pattern as impacts of the ‘tech wreck' lessened.