Superannuation funds regain 2011 losses, and then some

The median growth superannuation fund returned 4.3 per cent in the first two months of 2012 - more than recouping the losses suffered in 2011, according to Morningstar.

The gains in the beginning of 2012 reflect the strength of growth assets so far this year, with the ASX 300 Accumulation Index rallying by 7.3 per cent and the MSCI World Ex Australia Index up 4.5 per cent, according to Morningstar.

The legacy of the global financial crisis is still looming over superannuation fund returns, with the average super fund losing 23.7 per cent over the 2008 calendar year.

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According to Morningstar, the average growth fund requires a return of 14 per cent over the 2012 calendar year to fully recoup the losses of the global financial crisis.

"Over the five years to 29 February 2012, the media growth manager had an annualised return of 0.3 per cent. Ten-year figures show a modest annualised return of 4.8 per cent," said Morningstar research products manager Peter Gee.

"The best-performing growth managers over the three years to 29 February 2012 were Schroder (13.2 per cent), followed by Legg Mason Balanced (12.0 per cent), and CFS Growth (11.7 per cent)," he added.

When it comes to the top performing Australian equities funds for the year to 29 February 2012, Lazard Select came out top of Morningstar's review (returning 5.4 per cent), followed by Bennelong Concentrated (3.7 per cent) and Investors Mutual (1.8 per cent). 

The best performing Australian equities strategies for February 2012 were Legg Mason Value (6.5 per cent) and Lincoln (6 per cent).

CFS Future Leaders was the best-performing small cap manager for the 12 months ended February, returning 13 per cent. BT's small cap strategy returned 9.1 per cent for the year to 29 February 2012, and 14.4 per cent for the month of February.

International equities were best handled by Magellan for the year to 29 February 2012, with a 10 per cent return. T. Rowe Price and Zurich Global Growth were the top performers in February - both returning 5.3 per cent for the month.

APN, SG Hislock and Challenger were the best fund managers when it came to listed property for the year ended February 2012; while Macquarie Bank, AMP and Perpetual were top dogs when it came to fixed interest strategies for the year. 

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