Best Balanced Super Fund: Best of the Best 2020
A "risk-balanced" philosophy has paid off handsomely for a regular top performer
QSuper has dominated both the balanced super and pension categories for the Best of the Best 2020 awards.
It's a testament to the fund's investment approach, which is vastly different from that of its peers. With arguably less risk, it still manages to be among the best performers.
Consumers who have been watching the super industry closely will know that QSuper invests with a higher allocation to fixed interest and is less exposed to shares than your typical balanced super fund.
This has helped it to deliver double-digit returns on its balanced super products over one, three and 10 years.
QSuper's Aggressive accumulation account might sound like a growth fund but, when you look deeper into its asset allocation, it is well and truly a balanced fund.
As at November 2019, it had 26.3% allocated to fixed interest, 24.6% to international equities, 15.8% to infrastructure, 7% to Australian equities and 6.6% to private equity, among other asset classes.
While asset allocations will differ for our second and third placegetters, AustralianSuper and Cbus, their investment strategy is in line with how a modern balanced super fund is investing.
For the past decade balanced super products in Australia have returned an average of 7.8%pa, according to the latest release of the SelectingSuper Balanced Index.
What this tells us is that the group of finalists in this category lead their field, each outperforming the 10-year benchmark by almost 2%.
QSuper says its outcomes reflect contributions from a range of asset classes.
Recognising the fund's performance for the 2019 financial year, Damian Lillicrap, QSuper head of investment strategy, commented: "Most funds' balanced options are more concentrated into equities than QSuper's, and after the lows of the GFC it has been a great decade for equities, so most funds have done well.
"QSuper has done better due in part to a range of assets that it has invested into that a mum-and-dad investor simply can't access themselves.
"QSuper has had great returns from direct infrastructure, direct property and private equity, that people simply can't directly access if they are trying to manage their super themselves via an SMSF."
He says having a more diversified approach means QSuper balanced members experience less risk than those in other high-returning funds.
And members have "experienced the best of both worlds, great returns and lower risk, the result of fabulous execution of a diversified investment approach that was put in place in 2011".