Which funds have offered the strongest options for FY19?

As 30 June draws nearer, data from FE Analytics has revealed that the top performing superannuation fund options for the year to date include offerings from Australian Ethical, QSuper, Aon, and OnePath.

Australian Ethical is proving the strongest player for the financial year to date out of funds themselves, with its Growth option delivering the highest returns of all super fund options for the financial year to date, with 9.72 per cent, and its Balanced Accumulation option coming in fourth with 8.68 per cent.

Other big options to deliver some of the top returns for the financial year to date included AustralianSuper’s Stable option, Aon’s ACS Balanced and Balanced Growth Index offerings, QSuper’s Lifetime Aspire One and Two options, and three products from OnePath.

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Top 10 performing super fund options for the financial year to date

Source: FE Analytics

The industry-leading Australian Ethical Growth fund’s success appears to be at least partially due to its willingness to invest both domestically and abroad, leading to less reliance on any one market which could have proven particularly helpful when many Australian-heavy funds were hit hard with December’s stock market crash.

As of the end of last month, 60.05 per cent of the option’s assets were invested in Australasia, with 33.89 per cent in international assets and 6.05 per cent in the money market. Within this, around 39 per cent was invested in Asia Pacific equities, nearly 34 per cent in international equities, and ten per cent in global fixed interest. The remainder of its funds under management (FUM) were in property, the money market, and alternative assets.

The option only had one really significant individual holding, with 7.2 per cent of its FUM in Investa Property Group. It held no more than 1.4 per cent in any other holding, but did have shares in the classic big names such as Telstra, NAB, Westpac, Microsoft and Alphabet. It is also part of the trend of funds investing in CSL – which is one of the Australian Securities Exchange’s (ASX’s) biggest names of the last year, with 9.5 per cent of its FUM invested in the company at 30 April, this year.

Looking at superannuation fund performance more generally, the Mixed Asset – Aggressive sector has unsurprisingly delivered the highest returns this financial year to date, hitting 5.03 per cent. The Growth sector wasn’t far behind with returns of 4.86 per cent, followed by Balanced and Flexible options with 4.48 and 4.3 per cent respectively. The Moderate and Cautious sectors also offered no surprises, both returning conservative returns of 3.51 per cent for the former and 3.08 per cent for the latter.

Of course, as multiple research houses have pointed out, these overall returns are still below those the industry delivered by this point in the financial year for the last 10 or so years. That doesn’t mean that they’re not decent performances however, rather that performance so far this decade was notably strong until this year.

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