Super returns make good start to 2020

Superannuation funds have hit the ground running in terms of investment returns in 2020, with the median growth fund returning 1.9% in January, according to research house, Chant West.

It said this was on the back of the median growth fund returning 14.7% in 2019, and with the momentum appearing to be continuing in February.

The major drivers for the January returns were Australian shares which were up 4.9%, while even a decline in international shares was offset by the depreciation of the Australian dollar and listed property was up.

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Commenting on the investment results, Chant West senior investment research manager, Mano Mohankumar said that while the domestic share market was strong, global share markets slowed amid mounting fears over the spread of the coronavirus.

“This resulted in a flight to safely, pushing domestic and global bonds up 2.3% and 1.8%, respectively,” he said. “Global investors seem to have regained their confidence in February, with both Australian and global share markets recording gains so far.

“So, the year has started positively despite some lingering uncertainties. The biggest unknown is the potential spread of the coronavirus and what that might mean in economic terms. Travel and tourism-related businesses are already feeling the effects, as are others with strong trade links to China such as health food exporters.

“Investors are now weighing up which other sectors may suffer if the contagion continues. Australia is in the forefront here, because not only is China a major export market, it also supplies many parts and finished goods that Australian businesses rely on.”

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